If you’re planning a trip to Bulgaria, you might be wondering if it’s safe to travel alone. Venturing out as a solo traveller can be one of the most rewarding experiences, but it’s also understandable if you’re being a little more cautious. So, as local travel experts, let us assure you that it is safe to travel to Bulgaria on your own!
This country offers a rich and varied history, stunning natural beauty, and endless possibilities for solo adventures and activities. While there are some basic safety precautions we recommend based on your style of travel, millions of tourists visit Bulgaria every year and return home happy, refreshed, and hoping to return.
If you’re worried about wandering the capital on your own, why not join us for a Sofia walking tour to explore and learn all about our wonderful city? We offer lots of other private Bulgaria day tours to share everything from rose oil production to ancient Roman history to the stunning mountains and trails of Bulgaria.
This country is safe to travel on your own, but it’s certainly much more fun if you go beyond the ordinary with Excedo Travel!
Is Bulgaria a safe destination for travellers?
In general, yes, Bulgaria is a perfectly safe destination for travellers, even solo travellers. Of course, nowhere on Earth is completely free of crime or hazards, so it pays to practice basic caution.
A few specific safety tips for Bulgaria include the following:
Beware of pickpockets. Although pickpocketing is generally not considered an issue in Bulgaria, one can never know. In busy city centres, on public transport, and on beaches, pickpockets and petty theft can happen. Best be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on your belongings when in crowded areas.
Understand local protests. Political and civil unrest can ebb and flow here in Bulgaria. Since 2020, there have been many protests by local residents pushing for political change. While this should not affect your visit as a tourist, it’s important to understand the current situation as an important moment in our time as a nation.
Ask for taxi prices upfront. If you’re taking a taxi, it’s best practice to get a price upfront to ensure you are not surprised at the end of a ride. Ask for the cost before getting in. Something we would recommend as best practice for Sofia is using the TaxiMe App. You can download it from the App Store or Google Play. TaxiMe not only provides you with an indicative price for your trip, but also allows card payments through the app.
Know your physical limits. If you’re partaking in our outdoor adventure activities, such as hiking or skiing, do be sure to know yourself and your own limits. There’s no need to overexert yourself whilst on holiday! Enjoy the natural beauty while staying safe out on the trails.
Ask for local advice. Whenever you travel somewhere new on your own, it’s good practice to ask your hotel concierge or vacation rental manager for insights into the neighbourhood and local area. Find out if there are any spots to avoid and, of course, get their personal recommendations for where to eat and what to do! Locals have the best advice to offer.
Learn some local language. Learning a few important words and phrases can boost your confidence as a solo traveller in Bulgaria. Of course, having a local help you navigate and plan the perfect trip is even better!
Know how to ask for help. The local emergency services number is 112. It’s always good to know this whenever you travel somewhere new!
Safety Tips for Outdoor Adventures in Bulgaria
Bulgaria is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with its mountains and coastline creating the perfect combination for adventure all year-round. Visit in the winter to spring seasons for skiing and snowshoeing or the summer to autumn seasons for hiking; sunbathe on a Black Sea beach or stroll arm-in-arm through the Christmas Market in Sofia. Being outdoors in Bulgaria is the best way to bask in the natural beauty and to explore the cultural quirks of this small Balkan nation.
If you’re heading outdoors, there are a few safety tips to keep in mind. We do recommend you travel with a local expert if you’re headed out into the mountains. A certified mountain guide can help you navigate the terrain and ensure you enjoy your adventure as much as possible! For you hiking junkies, check out our 7 Rila Lakes Hike for a challenging adventure!
As mentioned previously, know your own limits when undertaking physical activities. Hiking, skiing, mountain biking, and other adventures can be wonderful ways to experience the beauty of Bulgaria. But you must be physically prepared for such activities! Do some training before you travel and get yourself into the best shape to enjoy these adventures, rather than feeling physically strained day after day.
Looking for inspiration for outdoor adventures in Bulgaria? Check out our Guide to Hiking in the Rila Mountains, Bulgaria and also this article on Daring the Notorious Pirin Mountain Ridge in April. Interested in rock climbing? Check out our recommended destinations for rock climbers in Bulgaria.
Also note any natural hazards when doing outdoor activities. Know if the area is prone to flooding or landslides; ask about trail conditions and even road conditions as you approach trailheads. Mountainous areas are famous for road closures at various times of year based on weather, so ask for local advice before venturing out on your own.
And, as always, if you’re travelling solo in Bulgaria or anywhere else, it is good practice to let someone know where you will be and when. That could be a family member or friend back home, your government travel registry, or even just making note of your plans with the hotel concierge or property manager in case you run into any trouble whilst out on the trails. Especially when on a hut-to-hut hike, always let your hosts know where you are heading and, if possible, always call ahead to let the next location on your itinerary know when to expect you.
Safe Solo Female Travel in Bulgaria
If you’re a solo female traveler visiting Bulgaria, you can rest assured that the country is generally safe and you will feel welcomed. As is typical in the Balkans (and, generally, around the world), you may experience some whistling or catcalling in the streets. But that’s generally as macho as it gets so you can otherwise feel comfortable enjoying your holiday on your own.
For more tips on how to travel to Bulgaria, you might like this article on what not to do as a tourist in Sofia. And, of course, feel free to contact us with any questions about our tours and insights into Bulgaria.