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Travel


In general, visitors from the following countries do not need a visa to enter Bulgaria:

Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Malta, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK (British Citizen Passport Holders and British Nationals /Overseas/ only), USA, Uruguay, the Vatican, Venezuela, SAR – China (Hong Kong, Makao). All holders of passports from countries not mentioned in the list above need visas to enter Bulgaria.

With Bulgaria's entry into the EU in 2007, Bulgaria's visa requirements have been upgraded to meet EU requirements. Basically, entry into Bulgaria is now as (relatively) simple as entry into any EU Member State. Citizens of the EU and countries, stated above not need a visa to visit Bulgaria for a period of up to 90 days within a six-month period, but must hold a valid passport to enter Bulgaria. Passports must be valid for at least three months after entry.
EU citizens visiting Bulgaria should obtain a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). It is not a substitute for medical and travel insurance, but it entitles you to state provided medical treatment that may become necessary during your trip.

For more information, please contact the Bulgarian Embassy in your country. We are not the official Bulgarian Consulate, and therefore we cannot answer your specific questions about Bulgarian visas and only present general information about Entry requirements to Bulgaria. We cannot be held responsible if any of the rules change.

Airports: Sofia is the main international airport. Other international airports are Plovdiv, Varna and Burgas. Varna and Bourgas airports are used in summer mainly; and Plovdiv only offers flights to a limited amount of destinations. The nearest airport to Veliko Tarnovo is located 10km away in the town of Gorna Oryahovitsa, at the moment it is closed for passenger’s flights.
Regular flights are available from all over the world to the capital Sofia and from there you can get public transportation to Veliko Tarnovo. During the active tourist season (May – September) charter flights are also available to the two big airports on the Black sea coast – Varna and Burgas.

Trains: Bulgaria is linked by train to Istanbul, Thessaloniki and Athens in Greece, Belgrade, Bucharest, etc. Veliko Tarnovo is on the route of the Orient Express from Bucharest to Istanbul.
You can travel from Plovdiv and Ruse directly to Veliko Tarnovo by train, and from Sofia and Varna you can get a train to Gorna Oriahovitsa, and from there to Veliko Tarnovo you can get a connection train, taxi, mini bus or a local bus (distance to VT is 7 km).
Every day there are international trains to Istanbul and Bucharest, which pass through Veliko Tarnovo. Also from Gorna Oriahovitsa train station you can get a connection to Athens or Belgrade.

Busses: Regular bus service is available from Sofia and Varna to Veliko Tarnovo with the buses arriving at the “Yug” (South) bus station or next to Hotel “Etar” (depending on which company you’re using). The journey takes about 3 hours and costs about 20 leva (10 EUR).
The buses from Plovdiv (a 4 hour journey), Ruse (2 hours) and Burgas (5 hours), arrive at the “Zapad” (West) bus station.

For more information and timetables on public transport click here.

Driving: Cars are allowed to cross any of the many border points to enter Bulgaria. Any national driver’s license is valid. Route restrictions apply if you're only in transit through Bulgaria. Remember to buy a vignette, vignettes are available in various places, like the post offices, gas stations, at the border crossing points, etc. The vignette consists of two parts. The first one - called a vignette sticker - should be stuck to the bottom right corner of the front window of the car and the second one is kept by the driver of the vehicle. Depending on the term of validity of the vignette, one can get a weekly, monthly or annual vignette.
If you’re traveling with a car, Veliko Tarnovo lies at the cross road between E85 (Ruse – Burgas) and E772 (Sofia – Varna, with the “Hemus” (A2) Motorway at both ends). 

Speed Limits: a speed limit of 50km/h applies in every village or town unless otherwise indicated. Out of town, between the villages and towns, speed limit is 90km/h; on major highways – 120km/h.

Getting around: One of the best things about Veliko Tarnovo is that you can go everywhere by foot!
If you don’t have your own car and yet you want to travel, you can always use the public transport. Many regular bus lines operate into the city and to some of the nearby towns and villages. The ticket for the city bus costs only 0.40 EUR and can be bought in the bus. For all other places outside of Veliko Tarnovo and its immediate surroundings, you can ask at the Western Bus Station or the Tourist Information Centre, located into the city centre, where you can also receive information about rental cars.

Taxis: For your convenience, many taxis operate and they are not just comfortable, but are also very cheap compared to taxis in many other cities around the country. There should be a meter in every car and their tariff should be noted on the front window screen. Make sure you choose taxis with big telephone numbers on the side of the car – this means they work for a big reliable company and will not cheat you.

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