Book Cheap Flights to Bulgaria

Find out more

About Bulgaria

Nestled in the Balkans to the west of the Black Sea, Bulgaria is an exotic nation of stately churches, historic villages, thrilling winter sports and sublime beaches. Populated by over 7 million people, it is slowly becoming a more popular tourist destination. Top attractions include the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia and the buttery beaches of Varna.

Cheap flights to Bulgaria are now available, so prepare to be blown away by its stunning scenery and historical landmarks! The country’s hub airport is Sofia International Airport (SOF), a 25-minute drive from the city centre. Sofia International Airport serves a multitude of airlines, including Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa and Qatar Airways. Popular connecting flights to Sofia depart from Johannesburg and Cape Town. Flight duration from Johannesburg to Sofia is approximately 13 hours, 45 minutes.

Why visit Bulgaria

majestic landscapes

Majestic Landscapes

From the alpine woodlands along the Balkan Mountains and well-preserved national parks to the sprawling sugar-sand beaches fringing the Black Sea, you’ll truly be surprised by the sheer beauty of Bulgaria’s landscapes.

historical towns

Historical Towns

UNESCO-acclaimed towns and villages house much of Bulgaria’s history and charm. See the ruins and crumbled facades of orthodox churches, delicate frescoes and Neo-Baroque buildings – testaments to Macedonian and Soviet influences.

vivacious nightlife

Vivacious Nightlife

The locals sure know how to party like rock stars and, with such a vibrant nightlife pulsing through the major cities and beach resorts, you’re bound to have a great time dancing the night away in a jazz club or beach bar.

General information

Essential details you need to know before your trip

Currency Bulgarian Lev (BGN)
Exchange Rate 1 ZAR = 0.142 BGN
Language Bulgarian
Hub Airport Sofia International Airport (SOF)
Airline Bulgaria Air
Time Zone GMT + 02:00
Travel Adaptor Type F

Best time to visit Bulgaria

Due its mountainous location, Bulgaria has a fairly continental climate, with warm Mediterranean influences breezing along the east coast. Summers (June-August) are typically hot and dry with bursts of thunder showers, while winters are extremely cold with lots of snowfall. Skiing fanatics can hit the glistening slopes between December and April, when ski resorts are teeming with activity. Major cities like Sofia buzz with Christmas cheer, festivals and night markets, so you’ll never be at a loss for things to see and do. To avoid the summer crowds and high prices, the best time to visit is in the shoulder seasons of March-May and September-October, when the beaches are still warm and inviting, and hiking the lush landscapes is much more pleasant.

Weather & Climate in Bulgaria (Sofia)

Average temperature (°C) & rainfall (mm) per month

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Low °C -5°C -3°C 0°C 5°C 9°C 12°C 14°C 14°C 11°C 6°C 2°C -2°C
High °C 2°C 5°C 10°C 16°C 20°C 24°C 26°C 26°C 23°C 17°C 10°C 4°C
Rainfall (mm) 32 35 38 53 72 75 56 44 40 36 51 49

Bulgaria is an underestimated destination, rich in historical landmarks, alpine scenery, sprawling coastlines and a vibrant nightlife.

One of Bulgaria’s most fascinating charms is its old, historical towns. Wander your way through the cobbled alleyways of Plovdiv, gazing at the stone-clad buildings and Byzantine arches, while enjoying its upbeat nightlife of jazz and indie bars.

Zheravna’s rustic appeal lies in its iconic architecture and restored stone cottages lining the cobbled streets. Similarly, the unbridled history and culture of Veliko Tarnovo is depicted in its terracotta roofs and Byzantine churches peppered amongst wild alpine woodlands. History buffs will cherish the archaeological wonders in Perperikon, where traces of human settlement date back to 5000 BC.

Sofia is the diverse capital city, with its Soviet remnants, orthodox churches, art galleries and trendy bars backdropped by the snow-capped Vitosha Mountains.

Bulgaria’s landscapes are equally impressive as its history. Pirin National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre bordering Greece and Macedonia. It is a paradise for hikers and nature lovers with its scenic trails, crystal lakes and alpine valleys.

Hear legends of old whispering through the crags of the Belogradchik Rocks, one of Bulgaria’s most famous natural phenomena.

Dust off your ski boots and make your way to the prestigious ski resort of Bansko in the winter. When you’ve had your fill of the velvet slopes, enjoy the jazz bars and tavernas nestled in the foothills.

You haven’t appreciated all of Bulgari’s treats until you’ve explored its gorgeous coastline. The ultimate party hotspot is Sunny Beach – where nightclubs, booze cruises and hedonistic bars are the order of the day. For a less rowdy coastal experience, visit the picturesque, white-washed seaside village of Nessebar. Varna is a summer favourite – it’s orthodox architecture, lively beach bars and seafood restaurants make it a popular spot for any traveller.

Compare several airlines, and book your cheap flights to Bulgaria online at Travelstart!

South African passport holders do require a travel visa for Bulgaria.

The South African Embassy in Bulgaria is situated in Sofia @ 7 Shipka Street, Sofia, 1000.

Phone: + 359 2 939 5015

Email: sofia.admin@dirco.gov.za

Bulgaria is a relatively safe country with no major crime known to occur towards tourists. Nonetheless, practise the usual vigilance and safety precautions as you would in any foreign country. Avoid flashing wealth and keep personal belongings close-at-hand, especially in crowded areas. Walking around at night is generally fine though, in bigger cities like Sofia, avoid dark and deserted streets at night time. Also, watch out for the potholes!

To avoid being scammed, use taxis with regulated meters and check the going rate with locals. Do not exchange money on the street, rather use an exchange bureau or bank to avoid cases of fraud.

When walking in the forests and mountains, be aware of wild bears and wolves – do not wonder off the designated paths.

There are no mandatory vaccinations to enter Bulgaria, however, you may want to consider being immunised against rabies as there are many stray dogs roaming the streets. Healthcare facilities are good in the cities, but hospital conditions do vary.

A comprehensive travel-insurance policy to cover theft and medical expenses is always recommended.

Item Cape Town Johannesburg Sofia
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant R90 R100 R72
Domestic Beer (0.5 litre draught) R22 R10 R14
Cappuccino (regular) R19 R20 R15
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) R10 R12 R6
Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro) R35 R35 R38
Why book with us
  • Bringing you the best fares from all airlines
  • Expert assistance from booking to departure
  • Online destinations for planning your travels
Already Booked your Flight?

Explore our Hotel listings:

  • 1000's of options worldwide
  • Best prices
  • Great service
Personalised Assistance

Need help with your booking? Contact our expert Travelbar agents for guidance and booking assistance

  • 0861 878 278
  • travelbar@travelstart.com

Download our app

Free for iPhones and Andriod