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Bulgaria Travel Tips

Bulgaria travel tips on money saving, personal safety, sightseeing, and enjoying your trip to the fullest from InfoHub suppliers and community members.

Safe in Sofia
Submitted by M19880
In Sofia there are few places that you have to be particularly more careful about your bag or purse. Ask your guide about them. If not, in general the city is calm and safe.
Exchange rate
Submitted by M19880
If you have to pay in EURO somewhere (in a bar or a restaurant), always ask about the rate that they will apply. The official rate euro towards Bulgarian lev in Bulgaria is fixed and it is 1 euro = 1.95583 leva.
Taxi in Sofia
Submitted by M19880
Do not take a taxi from the street, but always ask the hotel to call a taxi for you. If however you have to take a taxi from the street ask in advance about the price to your final destination. If possible, get informed in advance about the safe taxi companies in Sofia.
Money Changing
Submitted by M19880
Avoid changing money in the exchange offices. It is safer to do it in the banks. If however you have to change it in an exchange office, ask about the rate and do not trust only the table with the rate. Very often they are not true.
Opera, Concerts
Submitted by M17673
Opera is performed at the State Opera House in Sofia, as well as in Plovdiv and other cities. You can also listen to classical concerts at Bulgaria Music Hall in Sofia.
Bulgaria, shopping
Submitted by M17673
Shopping: The main shopping area of Sofia is on both sides of boulevard Vitosha. Bulgarian products, clothes, shoes, handicrafts, wines, spirits and confectionery can all be purchased. Graf Ignatiev street. and Pirotska street are busy streets with local clothes and electrical stores.

Shopping hours: Malls in the big towns in Bulgaria work seven days a week, from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Bulgaria Food, National Drinks & Tipping
Submitted by M17673
Bulgarian food is hearty and good. Meals usually start with a salad, from which there are many to choose from on the menu. Locals usually sip rakia - the local brandy, during this course. Many meals include meat, potatoes, white cheese and beans.

In Bulgaria there is a wide variety of national dishes, as well as Western European standard dishes, which can be chosen on the spot at any restaurant. In the main resorts and bigger cities, vegetarians are well catered for. Fruit is particularly good and cheap ... view more throughout the year.

All good hotels have restaurants and there are many attractive folk-style restaurants and cafes throughout the country. Menus are usually written in Bulgarian, English and often German in the main resorts and cities. Eating out is good value. Some restaurants have folk dancing and music

National specialties:
- Tarator (cold soup made from cucumber, walnuts and yogurt)
- Shopska salata (huge salad starter with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and white cheese)
- Kavarma (individual casseroles of pork or veal, onions and mushrooms)
- Surmi (stuffed vine or cabbage leaves stuffed with meat)
- Kebapche (small, strongly spiced, minced meat rolls)
- Banitsa (pastry stuffed with white cheese).

National drinks:
- Coffee, served espresso style, is particularly popular.
- Drinks made from infusions of mountain herbs and dried leaves, particularly lime.
- White wines include Evksinograde, Karlouski Misket and Tamianka.
- Heavy red wines include Mavroud and Trakia.
- Liquors include Mastika (aniseed spirit, usually diluted) and Rakia (local brandy).

Tipping: Apart from the top hotels, restaurants rarely add service charge so a 10% tip is customary.

Pick pocking in Bulgaria
Submitted by M14455
In Bulgaria pick pocking is an art. Usually practiced by gypsies.

- Always take care of your wallet and hold it in a good place (front pocket for example).
- Be careful when getting in bus and in crowded places.
Attention - taxi drivers
Submitted by M14455
Always be careful getting a taxi in Bulgaria. What usually happens is that the travelers get ripped off and have to pay some ridiculous money.

Here you have a couple of advises:
- Make sure the taxi is a company car (yellow cars with phone numbers and writings on the sides).
- Before you get in, check the price (on the windscreen there should be little sign with the prices in Leva).
- Don't pay more than what the meter shows.
Best place in Varna to taste local cuisine
Submitted by M14455
There are a lot of restaurants in Varna where you can taste local cuisine, but the best one is called "Paraklisa" (The Chapel). They offer all kind of salads, soups, main courses, also vegetarian food, all cooked according to the old Bulgarian recipes. The place is located in the old part of the city.
Change money
Submitted by M14455
Once in Bulgaria, you have to be very careful changing your money!
- You can easy be cheated by some of the locals, if you try to change money in the street.
- Always use banks or change bureaus and make sure there is no commission!