Disclaimer: These pages are not actively maintained, and some of the practical information on the site is out of date. I am working on a new version of the site that will focus more on my photos and memories of travel in Southeast Europe, and less on practical details that too easily become obsolete. In the meantime, please treat the information here with caution.
Bulgaria :: Frequently Asked Questions
Some general questions about the Balkans are answered in the Overview section. I haven't noticed many recurring questions specifically about Bulgaria, so this is a short list.
What is the best way to get from Istanbul to the Black Sea coast?
Travelling by bus is likely to be much faster than by train, as the train journey would involve making a connection a long way inland rather than following the coast. There are direct buses from Istanbul to Varna and Burgas. The Turkey Travel Planner lists bus companies operating from Istanbul to various cities in Bulgaria.
I believe that in the past there have been ferries from Varna to Istanbul, but I don't know of any passenger services currently operating on this route.
Can I get to Rila Monastery by public transport?
Yes, but there are only a few daily buses to the monastery, and it may be difficult to confirm the timetable in advance. Getting to the village of Rila via Dupnitsa or Blagoevgrad appears to be relatively easy, but the village is 19km from the monastery itself and bus services on this part of the route are rather sparse. This guide to excursions from Sofia lists bus times (although it is not clear if they are up to date), while this blog entry describes one traveller's recent experience of visiting the monastery by a combination of bus transport and hitching.
Many travellers opt to make things easier by visiting the monastery on an organised day trip from Sofia - it should be possible to arrange this through hotels or hostels, for example Hostel Mostel.