Likes & Dislikes

Opinions

Bulgaria - Koprivshtitsa

Likes

1. Cheaper than countries like Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic.
2. Pretty beaches
3. Friendly locals
4. They sell bottled water at low prices, and it has a better taste than back home because of the high ph. levels
5. Plovdiv, Nessebar and Sozopol are unmissable

Dislikes

1. Not many people speak English
2. Few street signs or street names, and when they do exist they’re written only in Cyrillic script
3. A lot of half-finished buildings
(Esther, 2018)

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“When we entered the country we didn’t see much difference compared to Serbia when it came to cleanness. Maybe Bulgaria is fractionally less littered, but I wouldn’t put money on it. Both sides of the road are carpeted in litter, and we imagined we’d have a lot of stray dogs to deal with, but in this respect I have to say that the country has seen some positive changes.

Bulgaria is an exciting country, with a lot of novelties and surprises for curious visitors. Don’t expect anything too spectacular when it comes to sightseeing in cities, except for Plovdiv and perhaps Veliko Tirnovo and Nessebar. The beaches are average at best, but the mountains are wonderfully romantic, worth days or weeks of hiking, and nor will the remote mountain monasteries disappoint. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend a biking holiday, but nobody should be afraid of Bulgaria – it isn’t a dangerous place." (me,2019)



Practicals

Transport

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Bulgaria - a railway station in the countryside - Ata photo

Bulgaria - Train station - Ata photo

Bulgaria - Pazardzhik Province - a passenger train - s.i. photo (2021)

Shopping

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Bulgaria - crochet tablecloths - l.n. photo

Bulgaria - ceramic souvenirs - t.t. photo

Public safety

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Health

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Bulgaria - Gabrovo - Back Scratcher - Ata photo

Background

Bulgaria - Shipka Peak - national flags - Ata photo

Destination in brief


Bulgaria in brief

Bulgaria is a Southeast European country located in the eastern part of the Balkans.
Its neighbors are: Romania (north), Serbia and North Macedonia (west), Greece and Turkey (south). Bulgaria has a long Black Sea coast on its eastern side.

Size: 110,910 km² (42,855 mi²)

Population (in 2020): almost 7 million

60% of those who consider themselves religious are Eastern Orthodox and about 8% are Muslim (Turkish minority). 3-5% of the population is Romani (Gipsy) – Europe’s largest Romani minority.

Official language: Bulgarian, a South Slavic language (its closest relative is Macedonian) and the first Slavic language to have been written.
The Bulgarian alphabet is a version of Cyrillic (also used for Russian and Serbian)

Capital city: Sofia (in the western part of the country, 1,132 km away from the coast)

Bulgaria is a republic, a member of the European Union and NATO.

Bulgaria is the poorest country in the European Union. In Bulgaria, it is enough for a family to be able to pay its utility bills on time to be considered lower middle class.

Bulgaria has the second highest number of smokers in Europe and ranks sixth in the world in that respect.
Bulgarians think of themselves as: smart, warm-hearted, hard-working, too curious about other people’s incomes, family-oriented, funny, like to criticize their own country, able to be real drama queens sometimes.

Some stereotypes about Bulgarians in other countries:
Sly as a fox, talkative, selfish, skillful gardeners, men are very macho and bulky (but also formally very polite to women), quick to learn foreign languages
Romanians often say that Bulgarians are not honest.
 
Official currency: leva (BGN)

Average net monthly wage (in 2020): 540 USD

Bulgarians insist that yogurt was invented in their country. About 300 types of yogurt are sold in Bulgaria.

Most frequent surname: Ivanov

Most famous tourist attractions: Bojana Church in Sofia, Rila Monastery, Nessebar, old part of Plovdiv, Veliko Tarnovo
Optimal travel timing: July and August for a beach holiday (high season, crowded but seldom rainy), May and September for Sofia and inland
 



Geography

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Bulgaria - Seven Rila Lakes - a.j. photo

History

Bulgaria hasn’t changed its name since 681 AD, the date of the country’s creation.

Nowadays

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Bulgaria - law-abidence - Fishing is forbidden here

People

Bulgarians shake their heads to mean yes and nod for no.

Bulgaria - Varna - girls at the opening of the school year - Ata photo

Attractions

Plovdiv

Bulgaria - Old Town - a.j. photo

Plovdiv - unusual castle walls and the eastern gate - r.a. photo

Rila Monastery

Bulgaria - Rila monastery - n.a. photo

Rila monastery - n.b. photo

Rila Monastery - k.t. photo

Sozopol

Sozopol - Town Beach - s.i. photo

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