Free Walking Tour, What to do in Sofia in one day, Bulgaria

Bulgaria

Bulgaria Travel Guide

Bulgaria is a Balkan country bordering Turkey, Greece, Romania, Serbia, North Macedonia, and the Black Sea. When we arrived in Bulgaria after two months in Istanbul, I (Sabrina) immediately asked: why did we leave Istanbul? The thing is Bulgaria has a rough and charmless exterior. However, if you can get past the initial gruffness, you’ll come to know that Bulgaria has a lot to offer. Travel in Bulgaria isn’t neatly packaged for tourists. But, once you dig in and spend some time, you’ll likely have a very rewarding experience. After our trip, we were indeed glad we came.

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Bulgaria Travel Guide - Travel the Balkans

Bulgaria Travel Guide Overview

  • Bulgaria Travel Basics
  • Where to Go in Bulgaria (Map)
  • What to Experience in Bulgaria
Planning a trip to Bulgaria? Read these helpful guides next:
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Old Town of Plovdiv | Bulgaria Travel Guide

Bulgaria Travel Basics

Official Name: Republic of Bulgaria

Capital: Sofia

Government: Parliamentary Republic 

Regions: Bulgaria is divided into 28 provinces. 

Population: 7.1 million 

Language: Bulgarian

Currency: Bulgarian Lev (BGN)

Payment Culture: Cash, though we were able to use our credit cards in Sofia and Plovdiv almost everywhere.

Tipping Etiquette: 10%

Water Quality: In Sofia, tap water is generally safe to drink. However, as you travel beyond the capital, we recommend only drinking filtered water.

Something Interesting: The Cyrillic alphabet was invented by two monks (Cyril and Methodius) in the First Bulgarian Empire in the 10th century. Cyrillic is used in Russia and in other Balkan and Slavic nations. 

Bulgaria Travel Guide - Sofia Roman Ruins

Where to Go in Bulgaria

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Гузен негонен бяга

 

 

 

 

 

Bulgarian Saying

A guilty person runs when he isn’t chased.

What to Experience in Bulgaria

Our favorite things to see and do
St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Bulgaria Travel Guide
St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Sofia

The capital of Bulgaria feels like a living and breathing history book – one that you can walk right into. In a single day, you can discover Sofia’s ancient Greek, Roman, medieval, Ottoman-era, and communist past. At the Serdika Metro Station, you can walk on an ancient Roman street, gaze at a communist-era building complex (the Largo), and see an Ottoman-style mosque (Banya Bashi). History aside, Sofia is an amazing destination for food and wine. Here’s how we recommend spending one day in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Bulgaria Travel Guide, Plovdiv
Plovdiv

Plovdiv

Bulgaria’s second largest city is a fascinating destination for travelers who love history, wine and offbeat places. It’s also considered the oldest continuously inhabited city in Europe. It was the ancient Thracians, a collection of Indo-European tribes, who originally settled in Plovdiv.

You can easily visit Plovdiv as a day trip from Sofia, or even better as a 2-day trip. Learn about how to spend a wine-themed day or weekend in Plovdiv.

Bulgaria Travel Guide - Sofia Saint George Rotunda

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@moonhoneytravelers
  • Alta Via 1.  We just finished hiking the Alta Via 1 - a multi-day trek in the Italian Dolomites. And, it was an adventure we’ll never forget.  The first two days of the trek, we hiked in pouring rain. With no mountain views and poor weather conditions, we tried our best to keep our spirits up.  On Day 3, we set off once again in rain. After a few hours on the trail, it started to snow. The smart thing would have been to turn back and secure a taxi to the next rifugio. But, we kept going. As we progressed, it became increasingly more difficult to find the trail. The snow was covering up the trail markers and the wind swept away the footprints of other hikers. We lost the trail several times.  The snow that was floating down ever so gently as first turned into a no-bullshit blizzard. We were soaking wet, increasingly numb, and at a complete loss of where to go. I started crying. With no one in site and no idea where the hut was, we started to freak out.  At this point, we were physically shaking. We took a few me minutes to regroup in a WWI cave. Sheltered from the blowing snow, we could locate where we were on Maps.me.  We found the trail and willed our frozen bodies into motion. When we saw Lagazuoi hut, we felt a tidal wave of relief.  After ringing out everything from our shirts to our underwear and changing into warm clothes, we drank 2 liters of hot tea and then met the most amazing group of women! Thank you Chris, Sigi, Jo and Susie for the wonderful company, conversations, and shared meals.  @susielambie @jored7  Photo: 2 days after the storm.
  • 2 years ago Kati and I visited the Dolomites for the first time.  It was a whirlwind of a trip, as we were relocating from Cologne to Vienna. We drove through Germany’s Black Forest, Switzerland’s Appenzell region, across the Dolomites and finally into Austria.  During our time in the Dolomites, we experienced our very first hut to hut hike. Until that point, multi-day hiking was a vague, intimidating concept. After our short 3-day trek around Sexten, we were hooked. And, looking back, it’s easy to say that that trip really changed our lives.  We’re finally back in the Dolomites. This time we’re here to hike the Alta Via 1.
  • The pearl of the Rätikon.  Our recent hike around the Rätikon Alps started and ended here. During our trek, we saw almost every vantage point of this lake.  We just published our 5-day hiking itinerary (link in bio). We also included suggested 3 and 4-day routes, if you have less time.  https://moonhoneytravel.com/europe/austria/raetikon-high-trail/
  • Rätikon.  This beautiful limestone mountain range straddles the border between Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein.  We just wrapped up a 5 day hike around the range, overnighting in Austrian and Swiss mountain huts along the way.  We’ll be sharing our itinerary on the blog very soon. Until then, happy hiking dear friends.
  • Berliner Höhenweg (Berlin High Trail)  We just finished trekking the Berlin High Trail in Tyrol, Austria.  This gorgeous alpine route showcases the finest mountain and glacier vistas of the Zillertal Alps. It’s an extraordinary adventure replete with challenging ascents and descents, rustic and grand mountain huts, and bell-wearing cows and sheep.  Our trekking experience was filled with indescribable beauty, hearty Austrian food, agonizing and dangerous descents in rain, physical pain (follow our stories for details), and a stolen iPad. 
Some days were extraordinary. Other days were quite good. And one day was utterly miserable. That’s life in a nutshell, right? Cheers to living the good days, the okay days and the bad ones too.
  • I want to share with you one of my favorite German words.  Genießer/Genießerin is a person who delights and takes pleasure in living. It’s someone who enjoys and relishes the present moment completely. It can be applied broadly, whether someone enjoys reading, drinking a cappuccino, hiking, or cycling. The connotation of this type of pleasure is wholly positive.  There is no direct translation in the English language. In English, too much pleasure is perceived as a negative. We use words like glutton, hedonist, libertine to describe people who take (too much) pleasure in certain things. In English, pleasure must be restrained. Without such restraint, pleasure isn’t “good,” but marred with sin.  Would you define yourself as a Genießer/Genießerin?

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