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Bulgaria has remained under the radar, as far as international tourist destinations are considered. This makes Bulgaria the destination for you to visit this year, before its popularity gets out of hand. You can experience the dramatic mountain ranges, the stunning beaches, and the quaint historic towns without being thronged by huge crowds, as the case is with most other European towns.
Bulgaria is a unique experience for those who want to go off the beaten track, and experience new adventures. The one thing you have to do is figure out what is the best time to visit Bulgaria, and you’re good to go!
- Best Time to Visit Bulgaria: April – May, September – October
- High Tourist Season: June – August
- Low Season: November – March
- Ski Season: December – February
- All Seasons: April – May (spring), June – August (summer), September – October (fall), November – March (winter)
- The best time to visit Bulgaria is during the shoulder months from April – May, and September – October, as the weather will be pleasant, and the prices will be lower.
- The high season is summer, from June – August. This is when to visit Bulgaria if you want to make use of the lively atmosphere and spend time with large crowds.
- Winter is mostly low season across the country, as there is plenty of snow, and most of the smaller towns will shut down.
- December – February is the peak season for ski resorts, when the snowfall is even and thick.
Bulgaria is an underappreciated wonder- overshadowed by its many European neighbours. It’s got some of the friendliest locals a tourist can ever come across in the entire world- they might not speak your language (most of them only speak Cyrillic), but they will help you out with all the resources in their hand.
It’s important for you to find out when to visit Bulgaria as this will determine what kind of adventures you will have- whether it is discovering the mountains or lakes, or the stunning architecture in Sofia.
Bulgaria has a continental weather, so there will be two determinants that will help you choose the best time to go there. First of all is the weather itself- if you cannot bear the cold, there is no point in visiting in winter. Second is the cost- summer is the most expensive, and winter is the least. To find out the pluses and negatives of each season, read on.
1. April to May – Spring / Good Season
Spring time weather is absolutely stunning in Bulgaria. The weather is pretty mild, especially along the coast, which gets a nice warm breeze due to the Mediterranean. Earlier on in the season, the snow might still be melting, so be prepared for some thawing. Expect some amount of rains, especially in May.
The prices will be lower during this season, as the tourists would not have started coming in huge numbers, post-winter.
- Avg. Temperature: 72 – 73° F / 10 – 15° C (in Sofia)
- Rainfall: 36 – 100 mm
- Season: Spring
- Highlights: Spring is a good time to visit the country for a holiday in the Mediterranean coast, without being hounded by a lot of tourists. From mid-April, most of the resorts will be open, and you will get good discounts as well. There are a number of cultural events for you to be involved in as well, including Orthodox Easter, or the unique Day of the Slavonic Alphabet that has a number of events surrounding it, celebrated throughout the country.
Since the weather is good, you can even opt for trekking at Pirin National Park. Keep a look out for the Humour Carnival in Gabrovo, in May!
2. June to August – Summer / High Season
June – August is the peak holiday season in Bulgaria and you can find a number of tourists in the country, especially in Sofia, and in the coastal regions. These are the hottest months in the country, and June is usually the wettest month as well. You can expect the beaches to be crowded, the prices for accommodation and travel to be expensive, and the weather to be slightly hotter and more humid than the last season.
- Avg. Temperature: 86 – 89° F / 19 – 21° C (in Sofia)
- Rainfall: 33 – 61 mm
- Season: Summer
- Highlights: Summer brings crowds to the Black Sea coast, making the entire area lively and filled with parties. If you wish to escape the crowd, you can also head to the mountains, which will be much cooler. Rila, Pirin, Vitosha, etc. have beautiful mountain huts that are extremely unique to the region and will give you a good taste of the country! If you want to do something different during the summer, head to the cultural heart of Bulgaria- to Rila Monastery, or the Thracian Kazanlak, or Sveshtari. There are a number of festivals during this season- from the Rose Festival (Kazanlak), to Pirin Sings Folklore Festival (August).
3. September to October – Fall / Good Season
Fall in Bulgaria is absolutely stunning. The weather still remains rather warm, but the evenings and nights start getting chillier. This is a good time to visit the beach, or head to the mountains- as the weather is pleasant enough for both. By October, there will be some rains, so plan your treks accordingly.
The weather would have gone down during this season, as most of the tourists would have left.
- Temperatures: 64 – 78° F / 11 – 17° C (in Sofia)
- Rainfall: 41 – 57 mm
- Season: Fall
- Highlights: September – October might be when to visit Bulgaria if you want to explore Sofia. The weather in Bulgaria is just perfect, and there aren’t too many crowds to block your views. Check out the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, or stroll through the plentiful gardens and museums in the area. You could also head to Plovdiv, one of Europe’s cultural capitals, where you can enjoy the pleasant weather and the unique art of Bulgaria.
4. November to March – Winter / Low Season
Winters in this country are not for the weak. The weather in Bulgaria can get strikingly cold starting with end of November – December. There will be plenty of snow starting from December- and the snowfall is present throughout the country.
However, this is when to travel to Bulgaria if you want to avoid the crowds, experience true European winters, and travel for cheap. Keep in mind- a lot of smaller towns might be shut down for tourists, or inaccessible.
- Temperature: 41 – 56° F / -1 – 6° C (in Sofia)
- Rainfall: 1 – 79 mm
- Season: Winter
- Highlights: If you don’t want to laze about Sofia, you can definitely go skiing. The best months to go skiing are from December – February, when the snowfall is fresh and thick. Head to Bansko or Razlog- they will definitely help you build a lot of memories.