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Rhodopes, Bulgaria | © Jeanne Menjoulet/Flickr
Rhodopes, Bulgaria | © Jeanne Menjoulet/Flickr
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9 Reasons Why Your Next Trip Should be Backpacking in Bulgaria

Picture of Maria Angelova
Updated: 6 November 2017
Bulgaria is a backpacker’s heaven in many ways – it’s an affordable country, full of hidden gems, and versatile. But that’s not all, so check out our list of reasons why you should consider buying a ticket and heading for Bulgaria on your next backpacking trip.

It’s affordable

If there’s a surefire sign a backpacker will like a country, it is how cheap it is. You can travel in Bulgaria for two weeks at a fraction of the price you would pay for a week-long trip in Western Europe.

You will experience culture shock again

Traveling can become more and more predictable and kind of bland because you have seen every sight on the internet before really visiting it. In Bulgaria, however, you still have the chance to experience a culture shock, especially if you diverge from the main routes and head to the villages.

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Bulgarian grannies in a village | © Wengen/Pixabay

Its mountains are gorgeous and crisscrossed by marked tracks

Choose the Rhodopes if you like curvier, softer mountains with more forests, and Rila or Pirin if you enjoy rocky, rugged mountainous landscapes. A night at a mountain hut normally costs between four and 10 euros. While the conditions are basic and the rooms usually host from four to 15 guests, this is not something that will scare a seasoned backpacker. Take a map and a compass, or hire a guide if you are not confident about your orientating skills.

There are a few unique traditions you can watch (or join)

Has the idea of walking barefoot on living embers ever crossed your mind? In Bulgaria, this is a tradition observed every year on June 3. June is the month of the Rose Festival, while January to March is the period of the monster festivals called Kukeri. Whenever you come to Bulgaria, you have something exciting to add to your calendar.

Yavorov mountain lodge in Pirin, Bulgaria
Yavorov mountain lodge in Pirin, Bulgaria | © Zaprin Geguskov/Flickr

It’s a low-cost airlines hub

Ryanair and Wizzair both fly to Bulgaria with planes landing in Sofia (the biggest number of destinations available), Plovdiv, Burgas, and Varna. Public transportation will then quickly and easily take you to numerous other destinations around the country.

The public transportation is cheap

Most parts of the country are easily accessible by public transportation and you won’t have to break the bank. Trains are the cheapest, buses are quite affordable too, and even taxis cost less than 0.50 euro per km.

The big cities are cosmopolitan

Sofia, Burgas, Plovdiv, Varna, Veliko Tarnovo, Ruse… the biggest cities of Bulgaria have cultural spaces, themed bars, and a creative crowd that shapes their modern appearance. If you ask around, you will also find sub-cultures, underground music venues, and local hobby groups.

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Sofia from above | © Deensel/Flickr

There are unique places to stay

From wineries to clay houses and art-designed city apartments, Bulgaria is full of creative people who have built truly unique places to stay. This can turn every trip into a special experience.

It has it all – seaside, countryside, vineyards, and mountains

You can’t get bored with too much sun and too many beaches as the nearest mountain is usually less than 60 miles away. Wineries offer guided tours and wine tastings all over the country with a special note to the local grape varieties. As a whole, Bulgaria is such a versatile country, that you can have a completely different day every day.