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It’s easy to find cheap hotels in Bulgaria, so where will you go?
Located to the north of Greece and Turkey, it’s quite astounding that Bulgaria managed to keep its beaches under wraps for as long as it did. A new political outlook at the end of the 1980s resulted in swathes of redevelopment along Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast. But it is only during the last 10 years or so that Brits have started flooding into resorts such as Sunny Beach for long, hot days on the sands.
Prices remain low for holidays on Bulgaria’s coast, despite rising visitor numbers. Sunny Beach in particular is known for cheap drinks and lively nights followed by days spent flopped on the sand. More upmarket resorts are located elsewhere on the coast, where all-inclusive hotels welcome guests looking for a quieter stay by the sea.
The capital city of Sofia is a treasure trove of attractions and is one of Europe’s most interesting – and value-for-money – city-break destinations.
Flight times from the UK to Bulgaria are 3-3.5 hours. Summer is by far the most popular time to visit, with average daytime temperatures of 25-30C in the beach resorts in July and August. On the coastline of Bulgaria, hotels generally close for the cold winter season. You can enjoy a break in Bulgaria in winter in Sofia or on the ski slopes in high-altitude resorts such as Bansko, which offers some of the cheapest skiing in all of Europe.
Finding your ideal hotel in Bulgaria is easy. Simply read on to figure out where you’d like to stay and then use our search tool to compare some of the cheapest hotel deals available.
Discover some of the best hotels in Bulgaria with our guide to where to stay…
Bulgaria is a cheap place to visit if you are used to holidaying in destinations such as Spain, Italy and the UK. Even in the busy capital of Sofia, gaining access to the most luxurious four- and five-star hotels will cost you a lot less than in most other European cities. Sofia oozes history, and purrs with stylish nightlife. The collection of interesting buildings, museums and restaurants seems endless – as does the dazzling assortment of bars and clubs that spring to life after dark. It’s everything you want from a big city - be it the hustle and bustle of the streets, or the sheer tranquillity of the many parks. Stay as centrally as possible to be close to the main attractions, which include St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and a clutch of national museums.
The second city of Plovdiv is known for being the oldest inhabited city in Europe, with a patchwork of history dating back some 8,000 years. The Old Town is the centre of all tourist activity; so you will probably want to choose a hotel in Plovdiv that is close to here.
Heading across to the shores of the Black Sea, visitors can fly into the cities of Burgas (also spelled Bourgas) and Varna. While these destinations are worth taking the time to get to know, the popular beach resorts of the Black Sea lure holidaymakers to hotels at the water’s edge. Spend your summer holiday in destinations such as Sunny Beach, Sozopol, Nessebar, Golden Sands and Pomorie. There are all-inclusive hotels along the seashore that treat guests to the best in Bulgarian hospitality, as well as many mid-range and budget hotels that offer half-board, bed-and-breakfast or room-only stays. Self-catering apartments and hotels are also popular with holidaymakers keeping an eye on the budget.
Bulgaria is an enchanting place full of interesting sights that will delight fans of art, culture and history...
Top five attractions
St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
A striking example of a Neo-Byzantine church, this Sofia landmark is a truly impressive building. More than 10,000 can crowd inside the cathedral, which gives you a clue to its immense size. It is open daily and there is no charge to enter.
Hidden among sand dunes some two hours south of the capital, you’ll find a remarkable village where almost every resident is part of the local wine industry. Visitors are encouraged to wander the streets and sample the local wines straight from the huge barrels that seem to be found outside each house.
Rila National Park
The raw beauty of Bulgaria is on display in this stunning, mountainous region. Enjoy walks in the countryside, where you could encounter eagles and deer in their natural habitat. There are plenty of small restaurant cabins dotted about the mountain trails and roads too. Arrange car hire in either Sofia or Plovdiv and you can be here in less than two hours.
Also known as Nesebar, this pretty resort on the Black Sea features an ancient peninsula town that feels a world away from the bars and clubs of lively Sunny Beach.
A 90-minute drive north of Sofia, you will find the Belogradchik Rocks – one of Bulgaria’s most popular landmarks. You don’t have to be a geologist to appreciate the splendour of these prominent stones, which are surrounded by an area of outstanding beauty.
From paying homage to the humble plum, to honouring national identity and, of course, toasting its superb wine, Bulgaria knows how to celebrate...
Sofia International Film Festival; March: For two decades, this festival has steadily grown to become an influential force in international cinema. Expect big crowds and some big names.
Plum Festival; August/September: Everything from plum marmalade to plum brandy is brought out as the locals worship this delightfully versatile fruit in Troyan, which is within two hours by road from either Plovdiv or Sofia. Car hire in Bulgaria is a must if you plan to stay longer than a weekend and want to dive into the culture and natural vistas of the country.
International Folk Festival; August: If you are holidaying on the Black Sea in summer then pop along to Varna for this proud display of traditional music, song and dance.