A Girls Guide to Exploring Bulgaria
April 1, 2020
9 Simple Tips for Experiencing a Girls Getaway to Bulgaria the Right Way
By: Rebecca Brown
Although travel is impossible for so many of us at the moment, we can all still dream and plan our amazing girls getaway trips for the (hopefully near) future. Why not take this time to learn about some new, less-traveled destinations?
Located in Southeast Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula, Bulgaria is waiting for travelers with spectacular natural beauty, great history, amazing cuisine, and friendly locals.
Whether you are a solo female traveler or you are planning a trip with your loved ones, friends, or family, there are a few things you should know about this beautiful country before visiting it. So, continue reading and find out our tips to visit Bulgaria the right way.
Explore Bulgaria’s Lively Capital: Sofia
There are many gorgeous places in Bulgaria, but its capital city is a must-visit, especially if you are passionate about history. The city is full of amazing museums, and it has a very exciting cultural mix.
Wander around the interesting streets, get closer to the city’s rich past, and don’t miss indulging in the delicious Bulgarian cuisine, known for its meat abundances, but also fresh fruits and vegetables, perfect for traveling vegans.
Go to the Beach but Avoid Touristy Sunny Beach
Bulgaria’s coastline has 354 km, so there are plenty of beaches, as well as great resorts waiting for you. Sunny Beach, however, is one of the most overrated destinations in Bulgaria. If you don’t want to be surrounded by big crowds and pay higher prices than usual, avoid Sunny Beach.
The beaches around the Kavarna region are, however, a great option, especially if you want some quiet sunbathing sessions, far from the loud groups of visitors.
Visit Bansko If You Love Winter Sports
If going to the beach is not your cup of tea, maybe you should plan to visit Bulgaria during the winter and enjoy its gorgeous ski resorts. Bansko, Bulgarians’ favorite winter resort, is waiting for you at the foot of the Pirin Mountains.
Besides the chance to get an adrenaline rush on the slopes, Bansko also offers you an authentic feel, especially through its charming taverns and artisanal boutiques. It is also a perfect destination and starting point for hikers.
Best Time to Visit Bulgaria
Depending on what kind of girlfriends getaway you want to have, you can visit charming Bulgaria all year round.
If you want to get the best deals, however, you better avoid the months of July and August, December (especially around Christmas) as well as the Easter holidays. Keep in mind that Bulgarians celebrate Christmas with the Catholics and Easter with the Orthodox Christians.
Don’t Let “Yes” and “No” Confuse You
The fact that Bulgarians shake their head “No” when they mean yes is very confusing, especially when they say out loud the word “Da”, which means yes while shaking their head. So, you better get used to this before you arrive, so when you are there, you won’t let this difference disorient you.
Learn a Few Words in Bulgarian
No matter where you go, you should always be prepared with a few words of the local language. Not only do the locals really appreciate your effort, but knowing the basic words can definitely make your life easier in a foreign country.
If you find learning words in Bulgarian too hard, at least carry a Bulgarian phrasebook with you. In big cities, like Sofia, the capital, people speak English, but when you adventure into discovering the countryside, a phrasebook will surely be helpful.
Also, don’t ignore the fact that Bulgarians use the Cyrillic alphabet, so even if the signs are usually in Latin, in the more isolated areas, these might be only in Cyrillic. Having the names of your favored destinations written in Cyrillic and saved on your phone or on a piece of paper might be helpful.
Don’t Be Shy, Bulgarians are Friendly
Whether you are traveling solo, or you are in a group of people, talking to the locals is something that gets you closer to the spirit of your destinations.
And, the great thing is that Bulgarians are very friendly people, especially those living in the countryside. Even if they don’t know English or the language you are speaking, they will try to help you most of the time.
Leave a Tip
It is customary to leave a tip in Bulgaria, so this is something you must consider when paying in a restaurant, but also at a gas station, where you are expected to tip the guy that helps you. Less than 10% should be fine in restaurants.
Also, it seems like the taxi drivers usually round it up, and take their own tip, whether you want to give them one or not. Try to have enough change to be able to pay the fixed amount, if you don’t want to leave them a tip.
No matter if you are a solo female traveler, or you are planning a memorable girls getaway with your friends, you need to take all the necessary safety measures.
Overall, Bulgaria is pretty safe for both men and women, but it used to be quite famous for car robberies and pick-pocketing incidents, especially in touristy places like Sunny Beach. So, if you rent a car, make sure you park it in a safe place and always keep your valuables close.
If you are a solo female traveler, keep an eye on your drinks in bars and clubs, take care when alone at night, and avoid dark streets and dangerous neighborhoods
Author’s Bio: I’m Rebecca, a translator and avid traveller, a book worm and horror flick enthusiast. My job has given me the amazing opportunity to travel to dozens of countries around the world, and writing on Rough Draft gives me a chance to try to showcase some of them.