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7 Reasons We Can’t Wait to go to Bulgaria Again!

Not sure if you should go to Bulgaria? Then read this fantastic guide on all of the amazing reasons you need to visit Bulgaria right now!

Bulgaris really surprised us and “Zellini Smokini” was the mantra we took from Bulgaria when we visited a couple of years ago during our train travels through Eastern Europe.

Okay, most people don’t go around yelling out “Figs! Figs!” but it just rolls off your tongue, especially when you yell it like a local.

Eastern Europe beckons us. As we plan our next trip, we keep coming back to how wonderful, surprising, friendly, and beautiful we found Bulgaria. We want to go back! Here are our top seven reasons why we find this little-traveled country so fascinating.

In this post, you’ll learn about:

Read: The Top 7 Reasons to go Back to Bulgaria

7 Amazing Reasons to go to Bulgaria

Corinne standing with a local man and his horse during a visit to Bulgaria.

1. Go to Bulgaria to Meet the People

We weren’t sure what to expect, but immediately we began to find out that even though the Bulgarians might be guarded, they are super friendly and helpful!  

We don’t speak Bulgarian, or even Russian, let alone read Cyrillic, so we had to rely on hand gestures, a smattering of western European languages, and the locals’ command of our language to get by.  

With a lot of shouting, hand gestures, and many laughs it worked! We learned this early on in Melnik.

Two women chatting with flowers in Bulgaria.

Picture this.  We are on a gravel road in a tiny village somewhere in the hinterlands, and we decide we’re ready to stop for the night and get a bite to eat.  

A colorfully dressed woman of about thirty is walking up the road.  I jump out of the car and ask her with my extremely limited ability to communicate where we should go for a hotel and a restaurant.  She couldn’t stop laughing!  

There were absolutely none in the vicinity; we were going to have to keep driving, up to Shumen, the next very small city.  

The interchange was probably a total of ten minutes, but we both got such a kick out of each other that it became one of the defining moments of the trip.

From our first hotelier in Melnik, to the proud horse owners throughout the country, we found everyone to be genuinely friendly!

2. Visit Bulgaria to Enjoy The Food

Bulgarian bread

Fresh ingredients and few preservatives go into the tasty Bulgarian cuisine.  A hearty baked-daily bread, sizzling stews, and lots of pork make up much of the diet. We loved everything from the Shopska salad to the Bulgarian Meatball Soup.

However, I think the two main staples of Bulgarian food are potatoes and cheese.  Often these two are served together.  I ask you, what can possibly be better than potatoes and cheese?

Additional Reading: Bulgarian Food: The Ultimate Guide

A food market in Bulgaria.

Actually, their most famous dish is Shopska Salad.  I had one every single day I was there.  Every day!  Fresh green ingredients with a new cow’s milk cheese shredded on top; it was crisp and delicious in every place we ate.  

We left the country dreaming about them for the next six months.  To be honest, one of the main reasons I want to go back is for these delicious salads.  I’m drooling right now!

3. Go to Bulgaria to See the Countryside

Some beautiful houses you'll see if you go to Bulgaria.
Flowers in the Bulgarian countryside.

Driving in our little rented car, we got to see so much of the country and it was stunning.  From mountains to rivers, quaint villages and farmlands, the countryside is just downright picturesque!

4. Go to Bulgaria to See the Sights

The exterior of a Bulgarian monastery.
A church in Bulgaria.
Some of the amazing sites in Plovdiv.

Bulgaria is full of fantastic attractions.  Home to nine inscribed UNESCO World Heritage Sites, as well as plenty on the tentative list, illustrates what a diverse and historical country it is.  

We marveled at the world-famous Rila Monastery, the ancient city of Nessebar, and were perplexed how a modern city like Plovdiv could build itself right over an old Roman settlement. We also saw our share of Soviet memorials and statues.  

All in all, we enjoyed them and we are sure there is plenty more to see.

5. See the Coast

Boats in the water in Bulgaria
Man painting a boat.

Any country bordering the Black Sea is a worthwhile destination, and Bulgaria has a host of coastal villages and fishing towns that are fantastic.  

We’re not beach-goers, but I’ve heard the beaches are nothing to scoff at either.

Two Bulgarian men riding in a horse drawn cart,

6. Visit Bulgaria to See a Fascinating Mix of Old and New

One of my favorite things about traveling to places that are still a bit unknown is watching them develop.  

Being behind the Iron Curtain for so many years means that everywhere we went there was an intriguing mix of the old and new.  

No matter how large the city, even in the capital of Sophia, we saw horse carts alongside the cars or in this case, campers!

7. Go to the Capital of Sofia

Go to Bulgaria and see some of the amazing churches there.
Corinne and Jim standing in front of a church in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The capital of every country is worth visiting.  That’s where you find the museums, the statues, the parks, the churches, the things to see.  

We were less enamored with Sofia than many of the other places we visited in the country, but we did go to the market, eat at some great restaurants, and see the modern side of Bulgaria.  

I think we’d like to go back to Sofia and check out some of these sights and see if it will grow on us just a little more since this is an iconic Eastern European capital.


Do you want to go to Bulgaria? Or, if you’ve already been, do you want to go back to Bulgaria? What would make you want to visit Bulgaria?

Author Bio: Corinne Vail is a travel photographer, food lover, and a perpetual traveler who has been travel writing for over 14 years. For many years she lived overseas in Germany, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, and the Netherlands teaching the children of the US. military. She’s visited over 90 countries, and she’s not stopping anytime soon.

Laia (colibrist)

Friday 22nd of May 2015

Cool! I have never been in Bulgaria, but it does seem a nice place to visit!

Corinne Vail

Saturday 23rd of May 2015

Laia, We were so surprised by all of Bulgaria. We loved it, especially the people and the food.

Constance - Foreign Sanctuary

Tuesday 19th of May 2015

The food and architecture of Bulgaria looks amazing! The place looks so charming and beautiful!

Corinne Vail

Wednesday 20th of May 2015

Constance, The food is beyond amazing. I really do want one of those salads!

Lisa Wood

Wednesday 20th of May 2015

beautiful photos and description of your time in Bulgaria. I so love old buildings - there is something special about the history behind the buildings and imagining people from generations ago standing in the same spot. Would be funny trying to get across to someone what you are saying when they don't speak English :)

Corinne Vail

Wednesday 20th of May 2015

Lisa, I really love Bulgaria. Thanks for stopping by.


Tuesday 19th of May 2015

Bulgaria was our next door neighbor, but I've only been to Sofia. Their countryside is very similar to Romania's and so are some of the churches. Rila Monastery looks very impressive.

Corinne Vail

Wednesday 20th of May 2015

Anda, I'll be the landscapes are very similar, and I have to say, I'm not really a big fan of cities.

Phoebe @ Lou Messugo

Monday 18th of May 2015

You've made me want to go back even more than I did before reading this. I lived in Sofia for 6 months in 1991-2 having visited several times for several weeks each time from 1989 (pre-revolution). I was last there in 1993 which is far too long ago.

Corinne Vail

Monday 18th of May 2015

Phoebe, We loved Bulgaria! I hope you make it there this summer.