Cover photo: jelev92
As citizens of the world today it is not unusual to spend two days in Italy for good coffee and food, to fly to Amsterdam for a party and then to a beach on the French Riviera for example. We travel quickly, easily and comfortably, but often we don’t think of the peculiarities of the country we go to. Each country has its own strangeness and uniqueness that can both make our vacation a wonderful experience or totally spoil it.
Photo credit: Bally Club
The team of the only digital guide under the hills has recognized some of the common mistakes, which no matter whether you're coming to Bulgaria or traveling outside it, it’s good to consider:
You don’t check your carrier's mobile and Internet plans
Bulgaria is a member of the European Union and if you come from one of the member states you don’t have to change anything at your tariff. However, if you travel from the US or a non-European country, check the roaming offers and carefully select the appropriate plan. Keep in mind that in most establishments you can use the Internet for free, so you can use the social networks to connect to your family and friends.
You don’t exchange money and rely on credit/debit cards only
Most of the places, especially in the central city area, have POS terminals and you can make a card payment. However, keep in mind that some places only accept cash. It is good to ask in advance and to have some amount of cash available. We recommend that you exchange money with a bank or an institution you know.
You visit and eat only in familiar places
Often, when we are on vacation, we instinctively rely on what we know (for example, the cuisine characteristic of our part of the world) and don’t dare to merge with the locals. Well, we think Plovdiv is the perfect place to relax and not be afraid to try those small places typical of our country. Don't miss to also try the traditional Bulgarian dishes, which are no less delicious and aromatic than any foreign cuisine.
You miss the museums
If you are intimidated by the huge queues in front of the historic buildings in Rome and Paris, here at least we will reassure you. There are no queues for museums in Bulgaria and Plovdiv, the entrance fee is extremely affordable and you won’t regret the time. Particularly impressive for the tourists (and for the locals) are the old aristocratic homes in Old Plovdiv, which strike us with the rich ornaments and their exquisite decoration and arrangement. Klianti House, Nedkovic House, and the Ethnographic Museum are just some of the jewels that will take you to another age.
Photo cover: autumn_chocoholic
There is no restaurant or bar in Bulgaria where there’s a service charge included in your bill, so tipping is advisable (especially if you’re pleased). 10-15% is quite normal for a restaurant, and when you take a taxi you can round up the amount.
And while we are on the topic of transport, it is important to note that in Plovdiv there is hardly any purchase of public transport tickets in advance. There are machines on most stops, but they often don’t work. Tickets aren’t bought from the driver either. There are conductors on the buses who, after you get in, pass and charge you. It is important to know that children in Bulgaria travel for free only if they have a specially issued card. Regardless of age and height, if you don’t have a card, you pay the full ticket - 1 BGN.
You set your expectations too high
We all do it. We read thousands of recommendations, watch pictures and leaflets, but we forget to open our own senses and perceptions and look at the places from our point of view. Perhaps not everything will be perfect and wonderful, but Plovdiv will surely find a place in your heart, and it is no coincidence that it attracts more and more tourists and residents every year.