While slowly coming out of a world pandemic situation and people being tired of staying put for so long, we all start looking for future travel destinations to add to our bucket list.
The way we travel in the future will most certainly change – actively avoiding crowds and wearing masks at airports and other closed public spaces will become some of the new habits we need to adapt to.
And while traveling will hopefully soon be possible again, we need to be cautious of much more things now than before.
After the borders are completely open, there is one small European country that eagerly awaits its visitors and cannot wait to show you what it has to offer.
If you have never considered Bulgaria for one of your trips, here are 7 wonderful reasons why you should choose it to be your first travel destination after the lockdown.
7 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT BULGARIA RIGHT AFTER THE PANDEMIC
It won’t break the bank
Bulgaria was ranked the #1 cheapest holiday destination by Insider in 2019, outranking countries like Thailand, Indonesia and Croatia.
I’m not going to argue that this fact is 100% true, but Bulgaria certainly is among the cheaper places to visit.
Even though Bulgaria is located in Europe, it is by far less expensive than all other typical European destinations that come to mind.
Let’s just say that you could find a lovely accommodation for about €10-15 per person, have some street food for as little as €2 (or less) and enjoy a cold glass of beer for €1.50.
If you’re trying to stick to a reasonable budget without sacrificing your comfort, Bulgaria is definitely the place to be.
There are, of course, cities and resorts where prices might get a bit steeper than the average, but all in all, you can certainly get away with very little expenses during your stay in Bulgaria.
Bulgaria is still very much off-the-beaten-path
Considering the current happening, it will most probably become the norm for travelers to look for more unknown and less-crowded places to visit.
Well, if you didn’t know, Bulgaria is certainly one of those still undiscovered gems.
Not sure if that’s because of the neighborhood with some of the most popular European destinations – Greece and Turkey, so Bulgaria’s just staying in the shadows…
Or just because of the lack of proper marketing to attract more visitors.
Regardless, this is your chance to visit this beautiful country without having to walk into crowds of tourists and wait in line to see the most important attractions.
Do it before it turns into another mass destination, like most of the continent already is.
There is an abundance of activities to do
From high peaks and mountain slopes (amazing for skiing), deep forests (hiking paradise) to sandy beaches and seaside resorts – you will never run out of things to do in Bulgaria.
If you’re interested to get to know the local culture, you can sign up for a few woodcraft lessons, witness a rose oil production demonstration (Bulgaria is the world leader in rose oil production, used in many perfumes and fragrances), or learn how to prepare a traditional meal during a cooking class.
The food is to die for
Since we’re on the topic of food…
Traditional Bulgarian cuisine incorporates a loot of spices and herbs, which contributes to its mouthwatering flavors.
Foreigners have always been impressed with the quality of food here, especially of fresh produce – many people still grow fruits and vegetables in their own gardens.
Often you might come across open-air markets where you can buy actual fruits and veggies – not the plastic cr*p you get in supermarket stores.
Yogurt is another big topic in Bulgaria.
Did you know that there is a bacteria called lactobacillus bulgaricus, which is only found in the air of Bulgaria, and helps locals produce some of the healthiest and most probiotic-rich yogurt in the world?
It is relatively similar to Greek yogurt, but at the same time very distinguishable – it tastes more sour and, in my opinion, way better.
The dish scene is also quite versatile. It often incorporates vegetables and meat, but there are some vegetarian options as well!
Here are some of the most traditional dishes to try in Bulgaria:
Banitsa – the must-try pastry that everyone has grown up eating for breakfast. The original recipe includes a filling of typical local white cheese (similar to feta).
Shopska salad – a simple, yet easily distinguishable and very delicious salad. It includes a mixture of diced tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and peppers, and the most important ingredient – grated white Bulgarian cheese. Oh, and one olive on top.
Moussaka – the Bulgarian version of this widely popular Balkan dish includes solely potatoes, eggs and minced pork meat. Add some Bulgarian yogurt for an amazing tasty explosion.
Tarator – a cold soup, served mainly in the summer for refreshing purposes. It incorporates yogurt (mixed with water), cucumbers, garlic, dill and sometimes walnuts.
Sarmi – stuffed vine or cabbage leaves, filled with rice, *sometimes* minced meat and many spices. It’s oh-so-delicious.
The scenery is stunning
While traveling around the country, you’ll notice that the landscape might vary quite a bit.
One day you can be climbing thousand-meters high peaks, and the next – chilling at the beach with a cocktail in hand.
Or why not visit the rose valley and see the beautiful flower fields?
There are so many hiking paths, beautiful view spots, mighty rivers and picturesque lakes, peaks to climb and the Black Sea to retreat to.
Locals love it when tourists come to visit
One of the things that describes Bulgarians as a nation is the unadulterated hospitality.
Whenever coming across foreigners, interested in learning more about the country, Bulgarians are usually more than happy to invite them into their home, serve them some food and try having a conversation, despite the language barrier. This is mostly true for smaller towns and villages.
But even if you’re in a busy and fast-paced city like Sofia, you can still find someone who’d be eager to show you around and tell you more about the place.
Keep in mind that people here are very expressive and high-tempered – don’t think that this politeness is fake, because it isn’t. If someone tries to help, they usually really mean it.
This is where the oldest city in Europe is located
Plovdiv, being around 8000 years old, has been named the oldest city Europe, surpassing even ancient Greece!
The city of Plovdiv has been continuously populated since around the 6th millennium BC and nowadays is the second-biggest city in the country and one of the most visited places in Bulgaria.
Here you can see one of the best-preserved ancient theaters in the world, many Roman remains (they were everywhere, weren’t they), as well as the beautiful Old Town part with typical houses of the Bulgarian Revival period.
Needless to say, Plovdiv is very worth the visit, even more so than the capital of Sofia. Or why not both?
Here is a list of 25 gorgeous places to visit in Bulgaria – if you need some inspiration to plan your upcoming trip. 😉
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