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Bulgaria Shopping, Culinary, and Accommodation




Popular souvenirs include handicrafts such as lace doilies, wood carvings, toys, leather goods, and jewelry. The handmade colorful blankets, carpets and traditional costumes, which are woven by Bulgarian women and embroidered with artistic patterns, are particularly beautiful. Typical souvenirs are also spirits, wine and sweets. Branded clothing is imported from Turkey and is readily available. Eyeglass frames are up to 50% cheaper in Bulgaria. The best shopping in Sofia is offered by the shops on Vitosha Boulevard. Here you can buy Bulgarian products, clothes and shoes. On Ulitsa Graf Ignatiev and Ulitsa Pirotska streets there are several electronic stores. in the valley of roses, which is located about 200 km east of Sofia, is the world’s most important cultivation region of rose blossoms for the extraction of rose oil. The oil is one of the most expensive essential oils ever. It is used in a variety of ways in the perfume industry, in food perfuming and in pharmacy, and is also popular with tourists. The farmers and fishermen of the region offer their goods at the weekly markets. The market in Varna, which takes place in the park behind the cathedral, is particularly well-known. Skilled artists offer their work along the waterfront in Albena. You can have silhouettes or portraits made in chalk, oil or watercolor.

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Opening hours

Mon-Fri 10am-8pm, some shops also Sat 8am-2pm.



Bulgaria has a diverse nightlife with numerous clubs and a lively bar scene. In the big cities like Sofia, Bourgas, Varna and Plovdiv, as well as in the holiday resorts, you can hear both modern Bulgarian sounds and international music. Chalga (pop-folk), a Bulgarian style of music that emerged in the 1990s and is a mixture of gypsy, dance and techno, is particularly popular. In addition to dancing and music, there are often various shows in nightclubs. Current event information can be found in the tourist information and hotels. The holiday resort of Slatni pjasazi (Golden Sands), also known as the “Ballermann in the Balkans”, is home to the biggest party mile in Bulgaria. There are about a dozen discotheques here in which “Mallorca stars” such as Jürgen Drews, Mickie Krause and Markus Becker perform in the summer. The seaside resort of Slanchev bryag (Sunny Beach) also attracts young partygoers in particular with its numerous bars, pubs and nightclubs. Music and folklore evenings are organized in many restaurants. In Sofia you can see a performance by the State Opera or attend a classical concert by the national folk ensemble. There are also opera performances in Plovdiv and some other larger cities. Plays by Elias Canetti are often performed in the Sava Ognjanov Dramatic Theater in Ruse. In Burgas in the summer there are theater and opera performances in the sea park. The Philharmonic Orchestra also gives summer performances in the open air.



In Bulgaria, lunch is the main meal. Dinner is a social event with dancing in most of the rustic, cozy restaurants. The food is spicy, hearty and good. There is usually a salad as a starter. Local fruit is excellent and inexpensive all year round. In the restaurants there is a large selection of Bulgarian dishes as well as Western European cuisine on the menu. Almost all hotels have a restaurant; more interesting are the folk taverns and cafes.

Regional specialities

Special treats include: Tarator (cold yoghurt soup with cucumber, stuffed peppers and aubergines) Kebapcheta (small, heavily seasoned meat rolls) Banitsa (dumplings filled with fruit or cheese) Shopska salata (large starter salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and white cheese). Kavarma (pork or veal stew with onions and mushrooms). Surmi (vine or cabbage leaves stuffed with meat) Kebapche (small, heavily seasoned minced meat rolls)


Tipping was relatively uncommon until recently, but 10-12% is now reasonable.

Regional drinks

Coffee is drunk heavily sweetened. Herbal teas are very popular. Among the white wines, we recommend Karlauski Misket, Tamianka, Evskinograde and Chardonnay, while the best red varieties include Trakia and Mavroud. Local spirits include mastika (aniseed liquor, usually diluted) and rakia (a fruit brandy).

Minimum age for consumption of alcoholic beverages

In Bulgaria you can drink alcohol from the age of 18.



Advance booking is recommended. Categories: There are luxury, first and second class hotels. Only a few hotels meet international standards. For more information, contact the Bulgarian Hoteliers Association, 2 Sveta Sophia Street, BG-1040 Sofia. (Tel: (02) 986 42 25. Web: http://www.bhra-bg.org/).


Tent pitches are divided into categories I-III. The first two categories offer hot and cold water, washing facilities, showers, electricity, grocery stores, restaurants, telephone and sports fields. All campsites are close to resorts.

Other accommodation options

Available in over 30 major cities. For more information, contact the Bulgarian Tourist Board (see addresses) or the USIT Colors Youth Hostel Association, 35 Vassil Levski Boulevard, BG-1000 Sofia (tel: (2) 981 19 00. Internet: www.usitcolours.bg).



82.6% of the population are Orthodox Christians, another 1.2% belong to other Christian denominations. There is also a Muslim minority (12.2%) and a small Jewish community.

Social Rules of Conduct

General: In Bulgaria, a nod (horizontal) is often used to express a negative, while a shake (vertical) can mean agreement. Bulgarians prefer telephoning to writing. Bulgarians are very happy if you speak a few phrases of their language. Manners: The usual forms of politeness should be observed. They shake hands to greet each other. Hugs are common among men, and friends kiss each other on the cheek to greet each other. People address each other as Gospodin (Mr.), Gospozha (Mrs.) or Gospozhitsa (Miss.) together with their surnames, and at informal meetings they use their first names. Bulgarians are very hospitable. Small souvenirs are gladly accepted by the host, the children are also happy about a small gift. Monetary gifts should not be given. If you are invited to dinner, you should not eat the plate completely empty, otherwise the host might fear that the guest has not had enough. Dress code: Smart casual wear is common, evening wear is only expected on special occasions. Swimwear belongs on the beach. Photographing: People should be asked before photographing them. Photography is often allowed in the mosques, but you should ask beforehand. Photography is prohibited in the museums and churches. Military installations may not be photographed. Smoking: Smoking is prohibited in closed areas of restaurants and cafes.


Best travel time

Hot summers, precipitation is possible. Often heavy snowfalls in winter. The basin landscapes in the south (Maritza valley) and south-west (Struma valley) are influenced by the Mediterranean, while the north of the country is continental. The best travel time is midsummer (July and August). The best conditions for winter sports enthusiasts prevail in the ski areas from December to the beginning of March.

Country data

Phone prefix


Area (sq km)



6,968,147 (Source: homosociety)

Population density (per square km)


Population statistics year


Member of the EU


Main emergency number


Bulgaria flag vs map