Before you go
So you read all these nice things about Bulgaria and decided to get some firsthand impressions. Excellent!
First off, organise your trip to the country. This shouldn’t be too difficult for you as getting to Bulgaria is like getting to any other destination in the world, just follow the basic routines: check if you need a visa to get into the country or if there are any other specific entry requirements you have to meet; make flight and hotel reservations, especially if you plan on travelling in the peak of the tourist season (July-August/ December-February) when the country is bustling with people; make a list of the things you want to see and do there; go through the national holiday calendar and decide if you wish to avoid or catch some local festival or event.
When to go and what to pack:
Spring is perfect for those who don’t like extreme temperatures and love sightseeing. During this time of the year the big urban centres like Sofia and Plovdiv transform into all-green fresh hybrids of nature and civilization and the beauty of the small towns and villages is never more apparent. This is the best time for you to feel their authentic atmosphere and see their marvelous historical and cultural landmarks without sweating like crazy or shivering with cold. May is generally warm and sunny but March and April are sometimes bleak and rainy, so consider taking a pair of waterproof shoes, a warm jacket and an umbrella together with your light clothes and espadrilles.
Summer in Bulgaria means a lot of sun, sandy beaches, fresh cocktails and a vast blue sea. Every year in the period July-August thousands of fun-seeking tourists visit the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast. If you want to be one of them, there are several items you can’t do without, like your bathing suits and flip-flops, for example. Take a lot of sun block and moisturizing lotion, too, as the temperature may rise to over 40° C. In fact, a parasol is also a must. However, the seaside is not the only attraction Bulgaria’s got to offer in the summertime. The big cities are nice and quiet and the mountains are cool and inviting. Actually, this is where all the keen hikers, climbers and mountain bikers are at that time of the year. If you share their passion for nature don’t forget to bring a pair of comfortable hiking shoes and trousers with you, as well as a warm hoodie and a waterproof and windproof jacket because the weather conditions in the mountains change rapidly and the temperatures can get extremely low, especially at night.
The colours of the autumn will leave you breathless. This time of the year is excellent for casual strolls along the sunny streets of the big cities and the cobblestone alleys of the 19th-century historical towns and villages. When it is raining (it is autumn, after all) you can visit Bulgaria’s famous museums and art galleries or catch a play or concert in one of the country’s many theatres, opera houses or concert halls. Bulgarian autumn is generally warm and sunny, but can also be really gloomy and wet at times so you may want to put a pair of waterproof shoes and a coat in your luggage. Don’t forget the umbrella, too.