Travel Facts

US State Dept Travel Advisory

The US Department of State currently recommends US citizens exercise normal precautions in Bulgaria. Consult its website via the link below for updates to travel advisories and statements on safety, security, local laws, and special circumstances in this country.


Passport/Visa Requirements

US citizens should make sure their passport will not expire for at least 6 months after they enter the country even if they do not intend to stay that long. They should also make sure they have at least 2 blank pages in their passport for any entry stamp. A visa is not required as long as you do not stay in the country more than 90 days.

US Embassy/Consulate

[359] (2) 937-5100; US Embassy in Sofia, 16, Kozyak Street, Sofia 1408, Bulgaria; https://bg.usembassy.gov/; acs_sofia@state.gov

LGBTQIA+ Travelers

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) travelers can face unique challenges when traveling abroad. Laws and attitudes in some countries may affect safety and ease of travel. Legal protections vary from country to country. Many countries do not legally recognize same-sex marriage. Approximately seventy countries consider consensual same-sex sexual relations a crime, sometimes carrying severe punishment.


Telephone Code


Local Emergency Phone

Ambulance: 150; Fire: 160; Police: 166


See WHO recommendations



Temperate; cold, damp winters; hot, dry summers

Currency (Code)

Leva (BGN)

Electricity/Voltage/Plug Type(s)

230 V / 50 Hz / plug types(s): C, F

Plug Type CPlug Type F

Major Languages

Bulgarian, Turkish, Romani

Major Religions

Eastern Orthodox 59.4%, Muslim 7.8%

Time Difference

UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time); daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March, ends last Sunday in October

Potable Water

Opt for bottled water

International Driving Permit


Road Driving Side


Tourist Destinations

Rila Monastery; Pirin National Park; Plovdiv Roman Theater; Sunny Beach; Tsarevets Fortress; Baba Vida Fortress; Belogradchik Fortress; Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari, ancient city of Nessebar

Major Sports

Soccer, skiing, basketball

Cultural Practices

Unlike in most other countries, a vertical shaking of the head indicates "no" in Bulgaria while a sideways shaking indicates "yes."

Tipping Guidelines

At restaurants, typically leave 10% of the total bill for a tip. Tip porters 50 levas per bag and hotel housekeepers 1.50 levas per day. It is common to tip taxi drivers 10% of the fare. Tour guides should also be tipped 5-10% of the total bill.


Rose oil and other rose products, pottery, traditional dolls, handicraft items including hand-tatted lace and wood-carved items

Traditional Cuisine

Shopska salad — tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, raw or roasted peppers, sirene (white brine cheese), and parsley; the vegetables are usually diced and salted and served with a light dressing of sunflower or olive oil and occasionally complemented by vinegar

Please visit the following links to find further information about your desired destination.

World Health Organization (WHO) - To learn what vaccines and health precautions to take while visiting your destination.

US State Dept Travel Information - Overall information about foreign travel for US citizens.

To obtain an international driving permit (IDP). Only two organizations in the US issue IDPs:
American Automobile Association (AAA) and American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA)

How to get help in an emergency? 
Contact the nearest US embassy or consulate, or call one of these numbers:
from the US or Canada - 1-888-407-4747 or from Overseas - +1 202-501-4444

Page last updated: Wednesday, May 03, 2023