If you’ve never been to Plovdiv or Bulgaria but want to visit our country and the oldest living city in Europe, here you’ll find the most important things you need to know about your visit.
Visa and Passport Requirements - Bulgaria is a member of the European Union since 2007 and the citizens of the member states and some other nationalities don’t need a visa to enter Bulgaria. A valid passport and/or ID card is required.
A detailed list of countries for whose citizens owning ordinary passports a short-stay visa (up to 90 days) in the Republic of Bulgaria is/isn’t required, can be found here.
Bulgarian currency and payments - The Bulgarian currency is lev. 1 EUR = 1,95583 lv. It is not very common to use the European currency for payments. Many exchange offices are available in the city, but we advise you to be careful and pay attention to the course of exchange. In Plovdiv, there are ATMs at many locations and many places, especially in the central part, as well as all major chains, accept payments via POS terminal.
Tip from Lost in Plovdiv: If you are traveling make sure you have cash because in most cases the card payment is not very popular in smaller towns and villages.
Budget and Travel Costs: Plovdiv is a relatively cheap and affordable destination where you can get excellent quality of goods and services for your money spent. A reasonable budget per day is between EUR 30-40, excluding accommodation costs. Entrance fees for most museums and attractions are between 3-5 EUR. Detailed rates for accommodation in our recommended places can be found in this article HERE and in the accommodation section of the site.
In Bulgaria, the tip is not mandatory, but if you are satisfied with the service or product you have received, it is acceptable to leave between 5-10%.
Tip from Lost in Plovdiv: You can also leave a tip in taxis, usually rounding up or adding up to a lev more. Be careful with some taxi drivers who claim they don’t have change to get a bigger tip.
Public transport: As we wrote in our article on taxis in Plovdiv, the easiest way to get to the city under the hills is a low-budget flight to Krumovo Airport. In our publication Where to now? there is detailed information about the buses and the means of transportation, but we want to note that Plovdiv is a pedestrian city and it is quite possible that you don’t need transport if you are located in the central part of the city.
Climate and when is the best time to visit Plovdiv: Plovdiv has a moderate continental climate with four seasons. The summers (June-August) are hot with 33-38 degrees C, the winters (December-February) are cold, with temperatures reaching up to -15 degrees Celsius, in spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November) mornings and evenings are cooler (8-18 ° C), and during the day it is warm and sunny (18-26 ° C). The best time to visit Plovdiv is anytime between the beginning of April and the end of October.
Our favorite time to visit Plovdiv is in spring or autumn. Then the freshness of the morning and the coolness of the evening are in pleasant contrast to the fiery sun at noon. The landscape is beautiful, picturesque and peaceful!
Electricity, Internet connection, and mobile coverage: Bulgaria uses the standard European contact with a voltage of 220 volts. English, American, and similar contacts need additional attachment.
Regarding Internet connection, it is important to know that Bulgaria has one of the fastest and most reliable connections in the world (5th if we need to be precise). This is one of the reasons why Plovdiv has the potential to become a favorite place for digital nomads. There is a good wireless connection in the public places, and there are many pubs where you can do your work with a cup of fine coffee. Our suggestions for co-working spaces can be found HERE.
Mobile connection and coverage: excellent almost everywhere in Bulgaria. Sometimes it's hard to find a wireless internet connection absolutely anywhere, but it's easy to use your phone as a mobile point. The dialing code is 00359 for Bulgaria and 032 for landline numbers in Plovdiv.
The good news is that since 2017 according to European legislation, roaming charges were eliminated, so you don’t have to worry about your phone bill after your stay in the city under the hills.
Emergency calls, medical services, and insurance: the emergency number in Bulgaria is 112. They will consult you and forward your signal wherever needed. Regarding medical services, there is nothing special or worrying when you stay in Plovdiv. Hospitals are divided into private and state-owned and most of them have emergency centers. Pharmacies are numerous and scattered evenly throughout the city, and there are always some that work non-stop. For medications against headaches, colds and the like, you don’t need a prescription, but for something more serious, it is best to consult a doctor and/or have a prescription for the medicine.
Finally, we would advise you to make road health insurance. The European Health Insurance Card is valid for all citizens of the member states.
Personal security and social norms: Plovdiv is a relatively safe city. There is no need for more specific precautions, just be careful of everything that would generally make an impression - beware of pickpockets, do not go alone in dark areas at night, ignore people who want to offer you some kind of services on the street and do not go into conflict.
The people of Plovdiv are friendly. Nearly everyone in the younger generation speaks English and will gladly guide you when you need help. If you decide to visit the city on the seven hills, make sure you have the time to get to know the locals. Enjoy your visit, leave any preconceptions and let the special atmosphere here enchant you. Plovdiv will surprise you!