Bulgaria's spectacular mountains, swathe of golden beaches and vibrant cities have begun attracting hordes of eager-eyed tourists over the past few years - a dramatic change to how the country was a mere 10 years ago.
In fact, Bulgaria has been through mammoth changes in the last few years, with many of the cities and resorts undergoing construction booms galore, tempting buyers from Western Europe with relatively cheap property and stunning landscapes.
Bulgaria's beautiful beach and ski resorts are expanding quickly as a result and have lured visitors away from more expensive European destinations with low-priced lift passes and accommodation options. The main cities have shrugged off their weary Communist-era image and have become vibrant and attractive, with well-kept boulevards, varied shopping and lively nightlife. In contrast, many towns and villages have preserved the authentic Bulgarian spirit and hospitality and the country is especially proud of its rich folklore traditions.
Last updated: 22 April 2014
The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Protests, often at short notice, continue across major cities in Bulgaria, with the largest crowds in Sofia. The protests remain largely peaceful, but are attracting attention from extreme groups so there is a small risk of violence. Avoid large gatherings in public spaces, keep up to date with media reports and follow the advice of the local authorities.
There is an underlying threat from terrorism.
Be aware of pickpockets in city centres and tourist resorts especially in crowded areas like buses, trains and busy streets. Keep valuables in a hotel safe if possible.
Be aware of prostitutes around Burgas and Sunny Beach.
If you need to contact the emergency services in Bulgaria call 112. English speaking operators are available.
Carry a copy of the information pages of your passport at all times as proof of identity.
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