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Sofia church

Bulgaria Road Trip

Sofia - Bansko - Plovdiv - Stara Zagora - Burgas - Nessebar - Varna - Ruse - Veliko Tarnovo - Karnare

Expect on your itinerary

Beach Beach
Historical sites Historical sites
Landscape Landscape
Comfort Comfort
Road conditions Road conditions
Security Security
Urban life Urban life
Culture Culture
Bulgaria Road Trip ACTIVATE MAP Stages10 km1,470 h/stage2.5

Best months to drive

I II III IV V VI
VII VIII IX X XI XII

Road Trip Costs

How much does it cost to go on a Bulgaria Road Trip in Bulgaria?

Economy
Low budget options by car rental, accommodation and catering. In- and Out-bound travel expenses are not included.
rent & more 324EUR drive & more 200EUR sleep & more 473EUR eat & more 576EUR Total (est. for 2 prs.) 1,249EUR Total (est. for 2 prs.) incl. rented car 1,573EUR
Standard
Mid budget options by car rental, accommodation and catering. In- and Out-bound travel expenses are not included.
rent & more 540EUR drive & more 263EUR sleep & more 1,034EUR eat & more 864EUR Total (est. for 2 prs.) 2,161EUR Total (est. for 2 prs.) incl. rented car 2,701EUR
Premium
High budget options by car rental, accommodation and catering. In- and Out-bound travel expenses are not included.
rent & more 1,512EUR drive & more 363EUR sleep & more 1,430EUR eat & more 1,152EUR Total (est. for 2 prs.) 2,945EUR Total (est. for 2 prs.) incl. rented car 4,457EUR
Camper
On the road in RV, overnight at camp grounds with self-catering. In- and Out-bound travel expenses are not included.
rent & more 2,700EUR drive & more 400EUR sleep & more 660EUR eat & more 576EUR Total (est. for 2 prs.) 1,636EUR Total (est. for 2 prs.) incl. rented car 4,336EUR
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Bulgaria Road Trip Itinerary

Experience an unforgettable Bulgaria Road Trip, starting in Sofia and taking you through some of the most stunning places in the country. With a total distance of 1470 km, the 12-day journey will take you to Bansko, Stara Zagora, Burgas, Nessebar, Ruse and Veliko Tarnovo. Along the route you will have the opportunity to discover UNESCO Heritage Monuments, stunning nature, and explore the culture and traditions of Bulgaria. The roads are in generally good condition, with some curvy sections, making the journey suitable for all drivers. The best time to embark on this journey is between April and October, when the weather is mild and the countryside is in bloom. Plus, with its low budget friendly activities, this road trip is perfect for anyone looking to explore Bulgaria on a budget.
number of days 12 number of days
route length 1,470 km route length
budget low budget
good for family good for
traffic direction on the right traffic direction
accident level fair accident level

START Sofia

Distance 1,470 km Driving time 25.1 h Pace: modest 382.2 kWh Airports SOF
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Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, is the perfect starting point for the Bulgaria Road Trip. It is the largest city in the country with a rich history and culture, stunning architecture, and a vibrant atmosphere. Sofia offers plenty of attractions to explore, such as the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the National Theatre, and the Boyana Church. For those interested in the city's history, the National Historical Museum and the National Archaeological Museum are a must-see. There are also plenty of parks and gardens to enjoy, such as the Borisova Gradina Park, the South Park, and the Vitosha Nature Park. The closest international airport to Sofia is Sofia Airport (IATA: SOF), which offers many car rental options. From here, travelers can easily explore the city and its surroundings. Sofia provides a great starting point for the Bulgaria Road Trip and offers plenty of attractions to explore. From the historical museums to the parks and gardens, there's something for everyone to enjoy. With its close proximity to Sofia Airport, travelers can rent a car and explore the city and its surroundings with ease.

1 Sofia - Rila Monastery - Bansko

Distance 212 km Driving time 3.5 h Pace: fast 63.6 kWh View map Itinerary
dining venues scenic road sections of steep road stretches of winding road UNESCO World Heritage Site interesting  historic site accommodation options attractive landscape
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Embark on an exciting road trip from Sofia to Bansko, a distance of 212 km that can be covered in less than 4 hours. As you drive, you will pass through some of Bulgaria's most iconic sites, including the UNESCO Heritage site of Rila Monastery. Along the way, marvel at the picturesque landscapes and enjoy the winding roads that will take you to your destination. Be aware of the steep ramps, and take time to appreciate the historical sites that you will pass. This is one of the stages of a larger tour, and more information about attractions, accommodation options, recommended restaurants, and campsites along the route can be found in the itinerary. So, get ready to explore and enjoy the breathtaking views along the way!

2 Bansko - Plovdiv

Distance 155 km Driving time 3.3 h Pace: modest 40.4 kWh View map Itinerary
dining venues scenic road sections of steep road stretches of winding road interesting  historic site accommodation options
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Embark on a road trip from Bansko to Plovdiv, Bulgaria and explore the beauty of the Rhodope Mountains. This 155km journey will take you less than 4 hours to complete, so make sure you take your time and enjoy the stunning views of the mountains. As you drive, make sure to pay attention to the historical sites and the scenic roads. There will be some steep ramps and winding roads, so make sure to drive carefully. Start your journey in Bansko, known for its ski resorts and vibrant nightlife. Take a look at the local churches, such as the Holy Trinity Church and the Holy Virgin Church, and explore the old town. Then, make your way to the nearby Rila Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and take in its stunning architecture. Continue your journey to Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second-largest city. Enjoy the city's rich history and explore its cobblestone streets. Visit the Ancient Theatre, the Roman Stadium, and the Ethnographic Museum. Make sure to visit the Old Town and take in its 19th-century architecture. For more information regarding attractions, accommodation options, recommended restaurants, and campsites along the route, be sure to check out the Itinerary of this stage. So, get ready to explore the beauty of Bulgaria's Rhodope Mountains and make your way from Bansko to Plovdiv!

3 Plovdiv - Kazanlak - Stara Zagora

Distance 200 km Driving time 3.7 h Pace: modest 52.0 kWh View map Itinerary
dining venues UNESCO World Heritage Site interesting  historic site accommodation options
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Are you ready to embark on a captivating road trip through the heart of Bulgaria? Starting in the beautiful city of Plovdiv and ending in the vibrant city of Stara Zagora, this 200 km journey will take you less than 4 hours. Along the way, you will pass through the stunning city of Kazanlak, home to some of Bulgaria's most treasured UNESCO Heritage sites. From the Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak to the Shipka Memorial Church, you can immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of the region. On this stage of the road trip, you will also have the chance to explore some of the most picturesque landscapes in the country. Take a break from the journey and enjoy the stunning views of the Rose Valley and the Sredna Gora mountain range. For more information about attractions, accommodation options, recommended restaurants and campsites along the route, please check the "Itinerary" of this stage. So, what are you waiting for? Get ready to explore the beauty of Bulgaria on this unforgettable road trip!

4 Stara Zagora - Sliven - Burgas

Distance 185 km Driving time 2.5 h Pace: fast 55.5 kWh View map Itinerary
dining venues scenic road interesting  historic site accommodation options
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Embark on a road trip from Stara Zagora to Burgas and explore the beauty of Bulgaria! The route is 185 km long and you can complete it in less than three hours. Start your journey in Stara Zagora, the city of roses, and drive through Sliven, known for its rich history. Stop by the historical sites and enjoy the scenic roads. Along the way, you can explore the charming old town of Sliven and the beautiful nature of the region. Be sure to visit the nearby natural attractions, such as the Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari and the Sinite Kamani Nature Park. Finally, end your journey in Burgas, the largest city on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. Here you can stroll through the city center and experience its vibrant culture. Don't forget to visit the city's beaches and take in the stunning views. For more information on attractions, accommodation options, recommended restaurants, and campsites along the route, please refer to the Itinerary of this stage. Enjoy your road trip!

5 Burgas - Nessebar

Distance 38 km Driving time 1.2 h Pace: slow 8.7 kWh View map Itinerary
dining venues scenic road stretches of winding road UNESCO World Heritage Site interesting  historic site accommodation options
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Take a road trip from Burgas to Nessebar for an unforgettable experience! This 38 km journey will take less than two hours and is one of the most scenic routes in Bulgaria. Along the way, you will be able to admire the stunning views of the Black Sea and the Balkan Mountains. The winding roads will take you past some of the most beautiful UNESCO Heritage sites in Bulgaria, such as the Ancient City of Nessebar and the Burgas Lakes. You can also explore some of the picturesque villages and local attractions on the way. Don't forget to take your camera with you to capture the unforgettable sights! For more information about attractions, accommodation options, recommended restaurants, and campsites along the route, check out the Itinerary of this stage. Enjoy your journey!

6 Nessebar - Varna

Distance 101 km Driving time 1.8 h Pace: modest 26.2 kWh View map Itinerary
dining venues scenic road interesting  historic site accommodation options
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Embark on an exciting road trip from Nessebar to Varna! This 101km journey will take you less than two hours to complete, and is part of a larger tour. Along the way, you will be able to take in some of Bulgaria’s most stunning scenery and historical sites. Start your journey in Nessebar, a beautiful seaside town and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you can explore ancient ruins, including the Old Nessebar and the Church of St. Stephen. Continue your journey and you will come across the Kaliakra Nature Reserve. This area of stunning coastline is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including dolphins, seals and rare bird species. Next, you will arrive in Varna, the third largest city in Bulgaria. Here you can visit the Varna Archaeological Museum, which houses a collection of artifacts from the prehistoric era. You can also explore the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin and take a stroll along the waterfront. Along the route, you will be able to take in the stunning views of the Black Sea. Be sure to keep an eye out for any interesting sites or attractions that you may come across. For more information on attractions, accommodation options, recommended restaurants, and campsites along the route, please refer to the “Itinerary” section of this stage. Have a safe and enjoyable journey!

7 Varna - Razgrad - Ruse

Distance 194 km Driving time 2.6 h Pace: fast 58.3 kWh View map Itinerary
dining venues accommodation options interesting  historic site attractive landscape
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Ready for an adventure? Start your journey in Varna, the largest city on Bulgaria's Black Sea Coast, and take the road to Razgrad. On the way, you'll drive through rolling hills and beautiful forests, and pass by some of the most interesting historical sites. Make sure to stop and take in the picturesque landscapes, and don't forget to take a few photographs! The drive is only 194 km and should take you less than 3 hours. When you arrive in Razgrad, you'll find plenty of attractions to explore. Take a stroll around the old town and admire the cobblestone streets, visit the Ethnographic Museum and learn about the region's culture and history, or take a tour of the Monument of Liberty and learn about the region's tumultuous past. Finally, make your way to Ruse, the fifth largest city in Bulgaria. Here, you can explore the old town and visit the ruins of the ancient Roman town of Sexaginta Prista. You can also take a stroll along the Danube River and admire the stunning views, or visit the Freedom Monument and learn about the city's role in Bulgaria's liberation. For more information about attractions, accommodation options, recommended restaurants, and campsites along the route, please check the Itinerary of this stage. Enjoy your road trip!

8 Ruse - Veliko Tarnovo

Distance 107 km Driving time 1.6 h Pace: fast 32.2 kWh View map Itinerary
dining venues scenic road interesting  historic site accommodation options
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If you’re looking for a road trip with a mix of culture, history and stunning views, then the route from Ruse to Veliko Tarnovo is the perfect choice! The 107 km drive will take you less than two hours, and you’ll get to see some of the most interesting places in Bulgaria. Starting in Ruse, you’ll be able to explore the city’s landmarks, such as the Monument of Liberty and the Freedom Square. From there, you can take a walk along the Danube river and admire its beauty. From Ruse, you’ll drive through the small villages of Borovo and Pavlikeni, where you can admire the traditional Bulgarian architecture and the stunning views of the Balkan Mountains. The final destination of your journey is Veliko Tarnovo, the former capital of Bulgaria. Here, you can explore the Tsarevets Fortress, the Patriarchal Cathedral, the Samovodska Charshia and many other historical sites. On this route, you’ll be able to enjoy the best of Bulgarian history and culture, and you’ll also get to experience some of the most beautiful views in the country. Make sure to take some time to admire the scenery while driving, and don’t forget to take some pictures! If you want to get even more out of your journey, check out the Itinerary of this stage for more information about attractions, accommodation options, recommended restaurants and campsites along the route. Enjoy the ride!

9 Veliko Tarnovo - Troyan - Karnare

Distance 153 km Driving time 3.0 h Pace: modest 39.8 kWh View map Itinerary
dining venues scenic road interesting  historic site accommodation options
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Start your road trip in the stunning city of Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria, and drive through the picturesque Troyan to Karnare. The entire drive is 153 km and should take you less than 3 hours. Along the way, you will pass through the beautiful Balkan Mountains, with plenty of opportunities to take in the stunning views. In Veliko Tarnovo, take some time to explore the city’s ancient monuments, including the Tsarevets Fortress, the Monument of Asenevtsi, and the Church of the Holy Forty Martyrs. If you’re looking for a more modern experience, the city also has plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. In Troyan, visit the Troyan Monastery, one of Bulgaria’s most important religious sites. The monastery is home to a number of beautiful frescoes and artifacts, and is surrounded by peaceful gardens and forests. Karnare is a great place to end your road trip. The town is home to a number of historic sites, including the Church of St. Petka and the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin. If you’re looking for something a bit more modern, the town also has a number of restaurants and cafes. For more information about attractions, accommodation options, recommended restaurants, and campsites along the route, be sure to check out the “Itinerary” of this stage. Enjoy your road trip!

10 Karnare - Zlatitsa - Sofia

Distance 124 km Driving time 2.0 h Pace: fast 37.3 kWh View map Itinerary
dining venues accommodation options UNESCO World Heritage Site interesting  historic site
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Are you ready for a fun and exciting road trip from Karnare, Bulgaria to Sofia? This 124 km journey will take you less than two hours to complete, and you'll get to explore some of Bulgaria's most beautiful sites. Start your journey in Karnare, where you can visit the ruins of the medieval castle of Karnare. Next, head to Zlatitsa, a small town with a rich history. Here, you can explore the ruins of the medieval castle of Zlatitsa and the nearby UNESCO Heritage site. After that, continue your journey to the capital city of Sofia. Along the way, you'll get to witness the stunning views of the Balkan Mountains. Once in Sofia, you can visit the famous Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the National Museum of History. For more information about attractions, accommodation options, recommended restaurants, and campsites along the route, check out the "Itinerary" of this stage. So, what are you waiting for? Get ready for an unforgettable road trip!

  Sofia

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Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, is the perfect destination to end your Bulgaria Road Trip. With its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning architecture, you’ll be sure to find plenty to explore and enjoy. Start your tour of Sofia at the medieval Boyana Church, a World Heritage Site. Here, you can explore the frescoes that date back to the 13th century. Then, take a stroll through the cobblestone streets of the city center, where you can marvel at the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the National Assembly building. If you’re looking for a cultural experience, consider visiting the National History Museum, the National Art Gallery, and the National Opera and Ballet. Here, you can learn about the city’s fascinating past, explore its art culture, and enjoy a live performance. For a unique experience, take a cable car ride up Mount Vitosha, where you can take in the stunning views of Sofia. And for a tasty treat, take a trip to the Central Sofia Market Hall, where you can sample local Bulgarian delicacies. When you’re ready to end your Bulgaria Road Trip, Sofia is conveniently located near Sofia International Airport (SOF), making it easy to get home. Enjoy your time in Sofia!

Bulgaria Road Trip at a glance

Surely, our road trip idea has become a perfect inspiration for your future travels.
Our tour can be used as a foundation that can be recreated in its entirety or only partially and that can be enriched with interesting tourist attractions.
If car travel is a means of travel that you prefer, there are a number of important traffic regulations to follow and a bunch of elements to keep in mind to make your trip safe. The following road rules will surely become useful for all holidaymakers considering car rental or camper rental in Bulgaria.
There are a number of road regulations to be followed while travelling around Bulgaria. In Bulgaria, if you are planning to drive, try to stay away from alcohol at all costs. Holidaymakers should remember that the amount of alcohol you can consume is low and is only 0.5‰. In order to avoid a speeding fine, it is best to never exceed 50km/h, which is the maximum allowed speed inside the cities. 90km/h is the maximum permissible speed in non-build-up areas. Driving faster than the maximum speed of 140km/h. We recommend driving with your headlights on at daytime and equipping your car with a fire extinguisher and first aid kit to ensure proper safety.
You’re probably wondering about the costs of the whole trip. Depending on the needs of the holidayers, the cost may vary. Let’s have a look at the budget options.
The cost of gasoline for the cheapest offer to cover the planned 1,470km across Bulgaria can cost around 200 EUR. Economy accommodation options will cost more or less 473 EUR. You should also take into consideration the fact that you will spend roughly 576 EUR for food and restaurants in this option. Travellers will have to pay approximately 324 EUR if they opt for the budget hire car option as well. Thus, going for vehicle rental will increase the expenses of the road trip from roughly 1,249 EUR to about 1,573 EUR.
When it comes to the standard offer, you have to spend the maximum of 200 EUR to cover the planned stages of the road trip. If you are into standard accommodation options, you should remember that the expenses can amount up to more or less 1,034 EUR. The standard option in terms of food and restaurants can cost up to approximately 864 EUR. Travellers who want to cover the tour in a standard rental car can expect a cost of roughly 540 EUR. Summing up the standard offer, the estimated cost of the road trip will total more or less 2,701 EUR for holidaymakers who would like to try vehicle rental and 2,161 EUR for those who are not interested in renting.
The highest level of comfort of the premium option will come up to the expectations of the most demanding tourists. When it comes to this offer, the estimated cost of the road trip will total more or less 4,457 EUR for holidayers who are considering car hire and 2,161 EUR for those who do not want to rent. Travellers who would like to cover the itinerary in a premium rental car can expect a cost of roughly 1,512 EUR. If you are interested in the highest standard of the adventure, you should expect the average cost of approximately 363 EUR when it comes to fuel. Holidaymakers who opt for top services in all aspects of their trip should expect to pay around 1,152 EUR for food and restaurants and more or less 1,430 EUR for overnight stays.
Our itinerary will also be excellent for all camper enthusiasts, as it can be easily adjusted to their expectations. When it comes to this travel means, the expenses may amount to approximately 2,700 EUR. If you are wondering about the money that has to be spent on gasoline during the whole trip, it will amount to about 400 EUR. Drivers who choose camper hire should expect to pay about 660 EUR for accommodation and more or less 576 EUR for expenses connected with food.
The Road Trip Costs section shows all the mentioned details in a straightforward manner.
The best travel opportunity when exploring the part of Bulgaria showed in our road trip idea is between April and October. If you like Bulgaria Road Trip, you should definitely check out other interesting road adventures that are available on our website. The great variety of ideas will definitely meet the expectations of the most demanding tourists.

Facts for safer driving in Bulgaria

drink drive limit drink drive limit 0.5
max speed urban max speed urban 50 km/h
max speed rural max speed rural 90 km/h
max speed highway max speed highway 140 km/h
headlights at daytime headlights at daytime on
fire extinguisher fire extinguisher yes
tolls tolls yes
seat belts seat belts yes

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