Every time I travel abroad I realize how much I love Bulgaria. Our country is gorgeous! We often don’t see it or take whatever we have as granted. We also like to compare ourselves to others. And I know it’s easier to point out the bad things, but let’s do the opposite instead.
Let’s think about the good things that warm our Bulgarian hearts even when we are far away, and which impress the adventurous foreign travelers when visiting our country. Because… Bulgaria is gorgeous and here are 84 reasons to love it!
1. Bulgarian women are crazy beautiful. They are often tall, with pale skin, dark hair, and blue or green eyes. More than once they have been ranked among the most (or THE MOST) beautiful in the world
2. For that reason Bulgarian men are the luckiest; They spend every day of their lives, being surrounded by the heavenly beauty of Bulgarian girls.
3. We have one of the best internet speed in Europe. Last year Bulgaria ranked at the 20-th position in the global Net Index Explorer for broadband internet accessibility and speed.
4. Not only do we have fast internet, but there’s also free wi-fi everywhere. We like to be open!
5. Plovdiv, which is our second biggest city, is European capital of Culture 2019.
6. Well, well, well… and Wikipedia says Sofia is the most affordable European capital to visit. I think Wiki does not lie.
7. Bulgaria is well connected with the rest of the world and offers a lot of low-cost carrier options. For example, you can buy a two-way ticket Milan – Sofia just for €50.
I gotta tell you…
8. The rivers.
9. The lakes.
10. The caves.
11. The mountains.
12. The waterfalls.
13. The sea.
14. We have four clearly defined seasons unlike many other countries.
15. “Gypsy Summer”! That’s what we call it when the summer continues throughout September (and possibly October). It’s our fifth season and everybody loves it.
16. You can see dolphins in the sea.
17. You can go to a concert in a cave! What I am trying to say here is that there is something for everyone’s taste.
- Sunny beach is one of the top summer party destinations in Europe.
19. At the same time we have some unique untouched beaches along the Black sea coast where you could go camping and stay in touch with nature.
20. Our tomatoes taste like tomatoes. Every Bulgarian who has lived abroad knows the craving for a real Bulgarian tomato. We even have a saying: “Home is where tomatoes taste like tomatoes.”
21. Bulgarian yogurt (Japanese understand us on that one). It’s one of our secrets to living a long life, but shh.
22. The Tarator. It’s a typical Bulgarian cold yogurt-cucumber soup. I know it sounds strange, but if you feel brave enough to try it- read this.
23. Our food is real, no GMO. We still naturally grow veggies and fruits.
24. We even do our own food preservation. Pickles, tomatoes, paprika-we put all sorts of vegetables in jars to use during the winter. This way we have a healthy alternative to the full of preservatives jars from the store.
25. Chubrica. It’s a spice made of a variety of dried Bulgarian herbs, which we like to put in almost every dish. If your whole life you’ve felt like there has been a spice missing in your dish – that’s it!
26. You probably have already tried Italian, French and Greek cuisine and if you like them, you should definitely give Bulgarian food a try! It’s a hidden gem among the Southern European cuisines.
27. Wine, wine & wine! We love wine and we are also one of the biggest wine-producing countries in Europe.
28. Homemade wine and rakia. Every Bulgarian knows the feeling when the whole family gathers in the sunny countryside at the end of summer in order to turn the freshly picked fruits into rakia and wine to warm our hearts during the winter.
29. Homemade or not, drinks in Bulgaria are extremely cheap when compared to other countries.The cost of one beer is around 2.50 leva (€1.25) in a regular bar.
- You are allowed to drink in parks. (Actually you are not, but everybody does it)
- Bulgarians, like true Balkan people, know how to drink and party. You won’t find us wasted at 10 pm. When we drink, we’re immortal!
32. There are water fountains all over. Meaning, free water everywhere. In some cities we even have actual mineral water source points, so you don’t have to buy bottled mineral water, but instead you could fill your own bottles anytime and as much you want!
33. We have many 24 hours shops. So if you need condoms, cigarettes or just food in the middle of the night, you don’t have to go across the whole city to get some.
34. Stores and supermarkets don’t close on Sundays!!!
35. You could buy homemade pretzels for breakfast on your way to work in the metro or at bus stops. There are lots of nice old ladies who make a living by taking their time to get up early and prepare those tasty pastries, which they sell to you always with a smile and a kind word. They are also really cheap- only 60 stotinki (30 cents).
36. Dear shopaholics, we have the most malls per capita. There are more than 10 malls in Sofia alone!
37. The unique squat shops. It’s a nice tiny exercise every time you need to buy cigarettes, something sweet or a Cola. (If you can’t possibly imagine what that is, look at the pictures above and figure it out.)
- We have a lot of markets out in the open. Flower markets, flea markets, veggies & fruit markets, country markets… You could buy almost anything and on always on a lower price. They also have kind of an exotic atmosphere which you could only find in the Orient countries.
39. Traveling inside the country is cheap. No matter if you travel by train, by bus, or by car. I only don’t know what the case with boats is.
40. Even taxis are cheap. You can take a taxi from the airport to the city center of Sofia (12km) for 15 lv. (€7).
41. We have one of the nicest subways in Europe, which speaks in English with a pretty awesome accent.
42. Did I tell you how much the ticket for the public transport is? It costs just 1 lev (€0.50).
43. There is a variety of means of transport. It’s not that uncommon to see some old-fashioned pal using a horse to pull his cart. Even our park police uses big beautiful horses in order to patrol a larger territory.
44. Distances are not big. Only for 4 hours you can travel from the capital to the seaside, which are on opposite ends of the country. Or you can take a plane and be there in 45 min.
45. You will have to learn the Cyrillic alphabet since the majority of signs are written… well, in Cyrillic letters. Bulgarian officials are not very fond of translating useful street information. But what the heck, the Cyrillic alphabet is one of the three official European alphabets, so it would be nice to learn it.
- You could enjoy amazing sceneries while traveling inside the country. Fields of sunflowers, small villages, high mountain peaks…
47. If you are a fan of the green, Bulgaria is the destination for you! Nearly one third the country is covered in forests.
48. You could chill anyway and anytime you want. You can even bring your own hammock to one of the city parks and hang it wherever you want.
49. If you are an animal lover, you would enjoy the rich fauna we have in our cities. Our “strays”are friendly and sociable and you could always make a four-pawed friend, which will remember if you were kind to it and greet you everytime it sees you.
- For us balconies are not just a place to dry our clothes. We like to arrange them with flowers, put out some chairs and a table, and thus turning them into little heavenly gardens where we can enjoy our morning coffee or warm evenings with friends.
51. The famous Bulgarian rose oil. It is used for making some of the world’s most popular and expensive perfumes and cosmetics.
52. The healing qualities of our mineral springs. They have been known for ages and are used for balneotherapy. It’s also not expensive to visit them, as you may suspect.
53. Therefore the SPA and wellness tourism in Bulgaria is affordable and awesome.
54. There are unique folklore festivals held in the mountains where you can learn more about our culture and traditions. You probably don’t know, but the Bulgarian nation has one of the richest folk heritage in the world. Click here to see the top 10 traditional festivals held in Bulgaria according to the travel blogger David’s been here.
55. We have our own specific bagpipe. The Bulgarian bagpipe is called the kaba gaida which is larger and with a lower pitch than the gaidas of other southeastern European countries. It will give you the chills (in a good sense) when you hear it.
56. Chalga music! (Sadly, you have all probably heard of Azis). Half of the Bulgarians love it, the other half hates it, but foreigners always do love it! It’s like a rule.
57. You should definitely experience the feeling of being completely lost in a “yes-no” conversation with a Bulgarian. We are the only country in the world where people shake their heads to mean yes and nod for no.
58. Bulgarian grandmas – They are like the wise men from the legends- they are really tough and appear to know everything!
59. Bulgarian families – that is an experience hard to explain to a foreigner! Bulgarian families are big. Reaaally big. I don’t even know all of the words we have for different family members. We value family a lot and if you are connected by blood with someone, even if he is a cousin of a cousin (of another cousin?!), he is family and you are connected.
60. We are rich in traditions, we are rich in history, we are rich in culture! You can never get bored, because one life is not nearly enough to explore Bulgaria!
61. We take our shoes off at the door of our homes.
62. Martenitsas. That thingy you can only see in Bulgaria. It’s a tradition for us to exchange those red and white threads on the 1st of March for health and luck. You could read more about it here.
63. July morning. The day before the 1st of July people from across the whole country travel (often hitchhiking) to Black Sea coast to meet the first sun rays on the first day of July. It’s an unique tradition, celebrated only in Bulgaria. You can read more about it here.
64. “Name Days” are celebrated in addition to birthdays and in many cases are even more valued. So, if you don’t like to celebrate that you are getting older, how would you like it to celebrate your name?
65. Villages like Leshten and Kovachevitsa will take you back in time with their authentic atmosphere and looks.
66. One of the biggest wealth in Bulgaria is the great number of monasteries situated over the unapproachable peaks or enclosed by mountains and surrounded by incredible nature.
67. Bulgaria ranks third in Europe for the number of it’s valuable archaeological monuments.
68. Sofia’s architecture is an interesting mixture of old architecture, concrete buildings and modern skyscrapers. Each part tells a different story and there is a lot to explore.
69. The capital Sofia is situated just 15 minutes away from a mountain – Vitosha Mountain. Most capitals may have rivers, but not us- we have a whole mountain!
70. If you live in Sofia you can go skiing, snowboarding, hiking, wandering, etc. at any time. Start the car and in 15 minutes you would escape the city jungle and be on the top of Vitosha mountain.
- We have top-class ski resorts like Bansko where last year were held rounds of the Ski World Cup.
72. Bulgarians are quite lighthearted and easy going. “It doesn’t matter if we win or lose — either way, we are getting drunk.” Life shouldn’t be taken too seriously and this is kind of our credo. We don’t give up.
73. When we are out on the streets we don’t smile a lot and it’s possible that you could be feeling like walking in a city full of Grumpy cats. BUT when we gather with our friends and family, we are loud, happy and enthusiastic. It’s just that when we are seen in the hood we like to look bad, yo.
74. The dirty jokes. We are big on telling dirty jokes and are always kind enough to translate them to foreigners, making them blush.
75. Our sarcasm and cynicism are kind of charming. We like to make fun of ourselves.
76. Enjoying coffee for hours. Bulgarians love drinking coffee, but nothing like the Italians who have it as a shot… we sit, we talk, we chill.
77. A top outsourcing destination. A lot of call centers which are perfect job placement for foreign citizens.
78. Bulgaria’s doctors and nurses are extremely well trained and deliver first class medical care despite the poor standard of their facilities.
79. We have an active street art scene, where many talanted people express themselves, while making the urban environment more colorful and enjoyable. You can visit the Facebook page of the artist from Destructive creation and see some great art pieces! Click here.
80. Bulgaria has certainly not sold out to the West and it’s an authentic country, where you can experience a totally different way of life.
81. No crowds of tourists. Bulgaria is still off the beaten track destination and you can feel like an explorer.
82. There are free tours of the biggest three cities in Bulgaria – Free Sofia Tour, Free Plovdiv Tour and Free Tour Varna. The tour guides are great and you will learn quite interesting and funny facts about our country. We also recommend to Bulgarians to join the tour, you will be surprised how much you don’t know.
83. You could live like a king while visiting! We still have our own currency which is called “lev”(лев) and therefore everything’s cheaper compared to countries which have the Euro.
84. If you don’t have much ($$$), you can still live happily in Bulgaria. We are pretty good at making the most of… well, nothing and still be enjoying life. It’s a skill you can master here.