Written by the Travel Safe team
*Based on research and crime data
* Note 84 / 100 based on 9 User reviews.
Bulgaria: Safety by city
Bulgaria is a country located in the Balkans, on the western shore of the Black Sea.
It shares borders with Romania to the north, Serbia to the northwest, the Republic of Macedonia to the southwest, Greece to the south and Turkey to the southeast.
Even though it is one of the most interesting destinations in Eastern Europe, it is still not overwhelmed by influxes of tourists, which makes it even more attractive.
Bulgaria is one of the few exotic countries in Europe as it is still unexplored, but it has magnificent beaches, ancient churches, many opportunities for tourists who enjoy winter sports and great hiking, and larger cities open to everyone, but not everyone. teeming with hordes of visitors.
And although it hasn’t been frequently visited by Westerners compared to other European countries, or even other countries in this region, that is slowly starting to change.
Warnings and dangers in Bulgaria
OVERALL RISK: WEAK
Bulgaria is generally very safe. Crime rates are low and the most common form of crime is car theft and break-ins. Areas to avoid are the red light district near the Pliska Hotel and parks near the Lion Bridge or Lvov Most.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: WEAK
Transportation is relatively safe and reliable in Bulgaria, but it is still quite notorious for reckless drivers and driving is very hectic.
RISK OF PICKPOCKETS: AVERAGE
There is a certain risk of running into a pickpocket, especially in big cities like Sofia. Apply basic precautionary laws to avoid such a situation and use common sense.
RISK OF NATURAL DISASTERS: WEAK
Bulgaria has experienced a few earthquakes, fortunately with mild consequences. In mountainous regions, avalanches are possible.
RISK OF Aggression: AVERAGE
Bulgaria is generally safe when it comes to muggings and kidnappings, but it is recommended to avoid poorly lit and deserted streets as well as dangerous areas known for street crime such as parks near Lion’s Bridge or Lvov Most.
RISK OF TERRORISM: WEAK
Even though there have been no terrorist attacks in Bulgaria’s recent history, they should not be ruled out, so always be aware of your surroundings.
RISK OF SCAMS: AVERAGE
As in any tourist destination, there is a risk of being scammed. Check your change twice, negotiate everything in advance, never pay in advance and be wary of people who try to distract you by offering unsolicited help with your luggage or anything else, as this could be a trick to steal from you. The most common scam involves taxi drivers charging too much for their fares.
RISK FOR WOMEN TRAVELERS: WEAK
Single women should not have any problems, although special vigilance is advised around Sofia. Use extreme caution on poorly lit or deserted streets and in areas filled with clubs and bars, as drunk people can cause havoc.
So… How safe is Bulgaria really?
Bulgaria is generally a safe country to travel to and its people, just like in other Balkan countries, are quite friendly, although the Balkans have a falsely bad reputation.
However, even though the country is safe and the crime rate is not high, you should still use common sense when outside of the main tourist areas.
If you are in Sofia, try to avoid dark streets at night.
Always take care of your belongings and keep them by your side or safe in your home, and never leave them in a visible place in your car.
Regarding organized crime, although it is a serious problem throughout Bulgaria, it does not generally affect tourists.
Furthermore, the presence of organized crime groups is declining and Bulgaria is much safer than most European countries in terms of violent crime anyway.
Pickpocketing and scams are common, especially in busy places (such as bus and train stations, airports and areas near major tourist sites), so watch your valuables and if you get caught surrounded by a group of loud people throwing tantrums and making scenes. , you should immediately move away from them, as this could be a trick to divert your attention while they pickpocket you.
However, the most serious problem travelers may face is car theft.
If you drive an expensive car, never leave it in unguarded parking lots or on isolated streets at night – your car in these places is likely to attract criminals.
How does Bulgaria compare?
Most countries do not require a visa for stays of less than 90 days. After this period, you may need to obtain a visa. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned return date. If you are unsure of your visa status, visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will tell you whether or not you need a visa based on your nationality and the country you wish to visit.
The Bulgarian Lev is the official currency in Bulgaria. It is still largely a cash economy and, due to the potential for fraud, it is advisable to use credit cards sparingly and carefully – for example in establishments such as large supermarket chains or famous hotels.
Being a relatively small country, Bulgaria experiences a variable and complex climate. Heavy snowfall is common across the country from December to mid-March and is expected in mountainous regions of Bulgaria. July is the hottest month in Bulgaria with an average temperature of around 23°C,
Sofia Airport is the busiest international airport in Bulgaria, located 10 km from the center of the capital Sofia.
Like everywhere else, we recommend purchasing travel insurance when traveling to Bulgaria, as it covers not only costs related to medical issues, but also theft and loss of valuable items.
Weather averages in Bulgaria (temperatures)
Average high/low temperature
|Temperature / Month