More and more British tourists are spending their holidays in Bulgaria, and it’s not hard to see why. With its beautiful sandy beaches, mysterious mountains, ancient monasteries and a buzzing capital city in Sofia, Bulgaria has something for every kind of holiday.
Whether you’re eager to try out the country’s hiking rails and off-piste skiing, delve into its rich history or just relax by the sea, it’s all waiting for you – just make sure you’re insured before you leave, so you can enjoy your holiday with peace of mind.
Do I need travel insurance for Bulgaria?
If you’re planning a holiday in Bulgaria, you should always make sure you have travel insurance before you set off. That way, you’ll be protected against many common travel problems while on your trip. For instance, travel insurance can cover you against illness, accidents, lost baggage and theft.
Travel insurance also means you’ll be able to reclaim your costs if you have to cancel or cut short your trip in an emergency – so you can relax and enjoy your holiday.
What type of travel insurance do I need for Bulgaria?
Because Bulgaria is an EU country, your trip will be covered by any European travel insurance policy. However, there are many different types of insurance that might suit your holiday. When you find travel insurance deals through MoneySuperMarket, you’ll be able to tailor your insurance to your needs. Some categories to watch out for include the following:
- Single-trip insurance: If you only want to cover your trip to Bulgaria, select single-trip travel insurance and type in Bulgaria as your destination
- Annual multi-trip insurance: If you take three or more holidays a year, it might save money to buy an insurance policy for the entire year. You can choose from a policy that only covers trips within Europe, or policies that will cover you across the world. (If you’re planning to visit the USA, Canada or the Caribbean, you’ll need a specific policy which covers these countries)
- Backpackers’ insurance: If you’re visiting Bulgaria as part of a backpacking holiday, you can find great deals on backpackers’ insurance, which can cover you for longer trips or visits to several different countries
What should my Bulgaria travel insurance include?
When you’re choosing a travel insurance deal for your Bulgarian holiday, look out for these important features your cover should include:
- Medical cover, which most insurers will offer for costs up to £5m. This is particularly important due to the uncertainty over Brexit – it’s not currently guaranteed that your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will continue to cover treatment in Bulgarian hospitals once the UK leaves the European Union
- Cancellation cover, which pays out up to a certain amount if you need to cancel your holiday or cut it short due to an emergency.
- Repatriation, which covers the cost of bringing you back to the UK
- Baggage cover, which insures you in case your luggage is lost during your trip or any of your possessions are stolen. If you’re taking any particularly expensive items – such as jewellery – on your holiday, make sure they’ll be included in your insurance
- Gadget cover, which will help in case a possession such as a mobile phone or a GoPro is lost or stolen
- Passport cover, which protects you against extra expenses if your passport is lost or stolen while you’re abroad
You should also keep an eye on your policy’s excess – that’s the amount you’ll have to pay yourself towards any claim. A higher excess usually means your premium is cheaper – but make sure it’s an amount you’ll be able to pay.
The full details of your insurance will be in your policy document, so make sure you read it in full before you choose a travel insurance deal.
What won’t be covered in my Bulgaria travel insurance?
There are some features that may not be included in your insurance for your trip to Bulgaria. These are known as exclusions. Make sure know what you can and can’t claim for before you make your holiday plans.
- Some insurance policies might not cover you for accidents or injuries you sustain during activities like skiing and snowboarding, or even hiking or kicking around a football on the beach. MoneySuperMarket’s insurance comparison toolallows you to quickly find out what activities will and won’t be covered in any travel insurance policy. If you plan on enjoying any physical activities while on your Bulgarian getaway, check that they’re included first
- If you have a pre-existing medical condition, or you’ve had one in the past for which you’ve received advice or treatment, you may be charged a higher premium. If this is the case, it may help to take out a special policy for pre-existing conditions
- Bulgaria is a stable and peaceful country – however, you may not be covered for incidents related to civil unrest, war or terrorism, so exercise caution
- If you suffer an accident or injury that can be linked to you drinking too much or using illegal drugs, insurers are likely to refuse your claim
When should my Bulgaria insurance policy start from?
When you choose an insurance policy, make sure you’re covered from the day you book your trip, not the day you actually leave. That way, you’ll be covered in case you need to cancel your holiday before you set off.
Top travel tips for Bulgaria
Bulgaria is full of beautiful sights and exciting things to do. Use our Bulgaria travel tips to help you make the most out of your holiday:
- Nod for no: One quirk about Bulgarian people is that they shake their heads to say yes, and nod for no. It might confuse you the first time you see a Bulgarian answering your question with a big smile and a vigorous shake of the head – but you’ll soon get used to it
- Train times: Aside from the express line connecting Sofia to Istanbul, trains in Bulgaria are often antiquated East German models – great if you want to sit back and enjoy the scenery, but frustrating if you want to get somewhere fast. For quicker travel, it might be a better idea to take a bus or rent a car. If you do take a train journey, make sure you bring enough snacks and bottled water, as these are unlikely to be sold on board
- Ancient Plovdiv: It’s a hotly contested title, but Plovdiv in Bulgaria makes a good claim to being the oldest city in Europe. The city features stone age sites up to 8,000 years old, alongside magnificent Roman ruins like the theatre of Philippopolis and a beautiful medieval old town. History buffs will also enjoy the city’s great archaeological museums
- Hit the beach: For those who prefer to just soak up the rays, Bulgaria is becoming a popular summer destination – from lively resorts like Sunny Beach to secluded seaside getaways, the Black Sea coast averages a balmy 30° in July and August
- Or the slopes? Bulgaria also has fantastic skiing and snowboarding resorts – just make sure you’re insured for winter sportsbefore you hit the piste
- Tipping tips: Tipping is encouraged in bars and restaurants, and your staff will expect something in the region of 10%
- Cash is king: The Bulgarian currency is the lev, with one lev worth around 45p. You’re likely to come across a lot of places that don’t accept cards, so make sure you have plenty of leva handy. Hotels might add a 5% surcharge to your bill if you use a credit card, so it pays to stick to cash
- Rise and shine: Bulgarian food is quite similar to Greek or Turkish, but breakfast time is when the local cuisine really stands out. Get up early to enjoy banitsa – layers of whipped cheese, yoghurt, honey and filo pastry – or ‘princesses’, grilled open-faced sandwiches of meat and cheese
- Flying saucers: If you can stomach the hike, the Buzludzha Monument is well worth seeing. It’s a bizarre abandoned Communist-era monument in the remote mountains, and looks like a UFO’s touched down on the hilltops. Don’t try to sneak inside, though – the site’s now under a 24-hour guard
- Smell the roses: Bulgaria produces around half of the world’s rose oil, an essential ingredient in some of the best-known perfumes. Consider visiting Rose Valley in the centre of the country to see the fields or take part in the Rose Festival in early June. You can even buy a bottle of pure rose oil to bring back for family or friends
Get the best price on travel insurance for Bulgaria
Travel insurance for Bulgaria is essential to keep your protected, but not all policies are the same. To find the cheapest Bulgarian travel insurance that meets all your needs, it’s important to compare before you buy.
MoneySuperMarket’s comparison tool asks you a few simple questions about you and your holiday: where you are going, how long for and what you want your policy to cover, and in just a couple of minutes you can compare prices from a range of leading travel insurers.