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Travel Path Guide

Your Travel Guide

Travelling From The United Kingdom To Bulgaria

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Bulgaria is one of the Balkans’ most vibrant nations in almost every way.

There’s always something unexpected about Bulgaria, from its mist-shrouded mountains to its shimmering coastline to its lively folk music and fascinating ancient mythology. While it has seen a quick growth spurt over the past decade, Bulgaria is a country with fascinating culture, amazing sights, and incredibly gracious hospitality.

Entry Requirements

All COVID-19 entry requirements to travel to Bulgaria are eliminated as of May 20, 2022, regardless of where you have travelled from or nationality.

For those transiting through or arriving from Bulgaria, it is possible that neighbouring countries have additional health requirements. These may include declarations and COVID-19 testing. Check the relevant FCDO Travel Advice.

You should plan in advance if you have to travel. Before you go, check the Ministry of Foreign Affairs border information.

Before You Travel, Make Sure To Check Your Passport And Other Travel Documents.

Passport validity

You must comply with the Schengen Area passport requirements if you plan to travel to any EU country (except Ireland), Switzerland, Norway or Iceland, Liechtenstein or Andorra, Monaco or San Marino.

Your passport must contain:

  • Issued less than 10 years prior to the date you enter the country. (Check the “date of issue”).
  • Valid for at least three months from the day you intend to leave (check the “expiry date”)

Before you travel, ensure that your passport meets all requirements. Extra months could have been added to your passport’s expiry date if it was issued prior to October 2018.

If you feel your passport doesn’t meet these requirements, contact the Embassy of the country where you are visiting. If you are required to renew your passport

Visas

Bulgaria is not part of the Schengen region. Visits to Bulgaria don’t count towards the 90-day visa-free limit within the Schengen zone.

Your 90-day visa-free period in Bulgaria does not include visits to any other EU or Schengen country.

Travelling to Bulgaria can be done for as little as 90 days within a 180-day period. This is true if you are visiting Bulgaria as a tourist or to visit family or friends.

You will need to satisfy the entry requirements of the Bulgarian government if you wish to stay longer, work, study, or travel for business purposes or any other reason. You can check with the Bulgarian Embassy to see what kind of visa or work permit you might need.

If you are travelling to Bulgaria to work, please refer to the guidance on visas & permits.

You can stay in Bulgaria without a visa or residence permit if you have a long-stay visa or a Bulgarian residence permit. This time will not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit.

Passport stamping

Your passport could be stamped when you visit or leave Bulgaria as a visitor. To verify that you are complying with the 90-day visa-free limit, border guards may use passport stamps.

Check that your passport has been stamped before you enter the Schengen region as a visitor. This will prove to border guards that your compliance with the 90-day visa-free limit for Bulgaria and separate 90-day visa-free limit for Schengen areas is being observed.

Border guards will assume that you have exceeded your visa-free limit if the relevant entry and exit stamp is missing from your passport. Border guards will accept evidence, such as transport tickets, to show when you entered or left Bulgaria.

It may be necessary to:

  • Show a return ticket or onward ticket
  • Show that you have enough money to pay for your stay

If you are visiting Bulgaria and have a Withdrawal Agreement residence document, your passport may still be stamped.

For passport stamping information, if you’re a Bulgarian resident, please refer to the Living In Bulgaria guide.

The Best Places To See In Bulgaria

One of Eastern Europe’s gems in the rough is Bulgaria, a small Balkan country. It is home to iconic mountain ranges, including the Rila, Pirin and Rhodope mountains, which provide a beautiful backdrop to Bulgaria’s traditional villages.

These towns are rich with cultural heritage, and the mountains are a paradise for naturalists and hikers. The country’s Black Sea Coast is dotted with pristine beaches, while the resorts at the seaside are popular with both domestic and foreign tourists.

But history is weaved into the fabric of Bulgaria. It has been occupied since the beginning of time. The numerous ruins, churches from the past, and fortresses scattered throughout the country are constant reminders of Bulgaria’s unique story. From the Ottoman Empire to the modern democratic state, it has been occupied by the Romans and other ancient civilizations. Here are some of the top places to visit in Bulgaria.

Varna

Local Bulgarians love Varna as a sun-splashed destination when they leave Sofia or Plovdiv in the summer. However, Varna goes beyond being a resort town at the Black Sea’s edge. Yes sir. The city has a fascinating history and lots of crumbling Roman bathhouses. It also boasts elaborate Orthodox architecture (such as the Dormition of Mother of God Cathedral), which appeals to both history and culture lovers.

The beaches are still an important factor. One bustling beach-side promenade invites visitors with plenty of seafood restaurants, cocktail bars, and lively clubs that erupt just a few meters from the shore after darkness falls.

Sofia

The sprawling capital in Bulgaria is a patchwork of its past. It is surrounded by the Soviet brutalist monuments and an endless stream of cookie-cutting high-rises.

The centre is closer to the old remains of the Serdica Fort and the Roman-Byzantine Church of St George. These are located in the shadow of Stalinist municipal structures.

The iconic Orthodox domes, gilded edifices and Alexander Nevsky Cathedral are just a few of the many highlights. They glisten beneath Vitosha Mountain’s snow-covered tops.

It is all very unique, and it never fails to impress tourists who choose to stay awhile.

Veliko Tarnovo

At the foothills of the northern mountains of Bulgaria, the City of the Tsars is a majestic landmark. The setting of the town is breathtaking. It is connected by the Yantra River’s S-shaped meanders. Terracotta-coloured roofs tower over the waterways below.

This old town’s cobblestone streets and half-timbered houses are prime examples of what is now called the Tarnovo school. It was established during the Second Bulgarian Empire’s boom in the Middle Ages.

This means that travellers can enjoy a mix of natural beauty, thanks to the wild coniferous forests that cover the landscapes around them and culture and history, which ooze from the Tsarevets capital and the collection of stunning Byzantine churches.

Pirin National Park

The Pirin National Park, UNESCO-tagged, rises like a great Balkan bulwark to the borders of Macedonia & Greece. It is a hinterland unlike any other in Europe.

Its snow-spotted summits are covered in mist, while the alpine valleys below are dotted with edelweiss and forest-green pine avalanches.

Deer and bears still stalk the woods while wild goats climb up the precipices to seek shelter in caves and rocky crevices.

It is not surprising that this area is considered a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and hikers, with trails leading to Vihren (the highest peak) and weaving around the 186 mountain lakes.

Perperikon

Perperikon, which has traces of human settlements dating back to more than seven centuries ago and is known for its magnificent monolithic structure that crowns its hilltops in the Balkan Peninsula, is a must-see for history and culture buffs travelling through Bulgaria.

It was thought that the hill was used by Copper Age priests for rituals and soothsaying before it was fortified and built up by the Thracian tribespeople. This legend also claims it foretold the rise to power of Alexander the Great as well as Imperial Rome under Augustus. Visitors can now visit the site and explore it, but the best place to view relics or find them is the Kardzhali archaeology museum.

Returning To The Uk

The UK passenger locator is not required before you can travel. Also, you don’t need to take any COVID-19 test or quarantine upon your arrival in England.

 

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