Bulgaria Warnings and Dangers
Bulgaria is a beautiful country with plenty of history, gorgeous architecture and friendly, helpful people. You may have heard stories about crimes against tourists, but don’t let that stop you from visiting. Instead, exercise caution and common sense, and you’ll have a wonderful visit.
Staying Safe In Bulgaria — What To Look Out For
As a traveler in Bulgaria, your biggest safety issue is likely going to be pickpockets. This is incredibly common, especially in large cities like Sofia. Pickpockets target tourists and are very quick, savvy and sophisticated. They often work in teams and may concoct a variety of scams and situations to confuse and distract you. The best way to avoid falling prey to a pickpocket is not to attract their attention.
How To Not Be A Target
Pickpockets are drawn to tourists, not locals. While you may not be able to pass for a local, there are things you can do to avoid being an obvious tourist. First and foremost, don’t stand out. Don’t flash large amounts of money, don’t be weighed down with shopping bags or luggage, don’t wear flashy jewelry and don’t look lost.
Walk with purpose. If you have a purse or bag, be sure you keep it close to you and secured. You can buy travel purses and satchels that are theft-proof. Pockets are not as secure as you think they are. If you are approached by someone asking you for money or something else that requires you to get in your bag, such as a cigarette or a pen, etc. walk away. This may make you feel rude, but again, in the midst of busy cities, pickpockets will say or do anything to get you to open your bag, put it down or to confuse and distract you.
Aside from pickpockets, there is also the chance that you could be mugged. Again, this typically happens in cities.
Avoid Being Mugged
Muggings are another occurrence you should be aware of. Again, don’t let this stop you from visiting a country, but do be aware. Often, your best defense here is your own responsible behavior. You can stay safe by not making yourself a target, as illustrated above, and you can be careful when you are out and about at night. Muggings may take place outside bars and nightclubs. Individuals and couples may be targeted walking back to their hotels and hostels at night.
It’s always a good idea to stay with a crowd, avoid dark streets and take a cab or other public transportation when possible. Avoid being intoxicated in public as that makes you more vulnerable.
Other Hazards To Watch For
Always be mindful of traffic, stay alert for scams and keep valuables secured at all times — or leave them at home.
More from SmarterTravel:
- Bulgaria Shopping – Shops, Stores, Best Buys & Inside Tips
- Bulgaria – What To Pack – Clothing and Supplies Tips
- 6 Months Living in Bulgaria
Editor’s Note: The above advice is compiled from the reports, reviews and tips of travelers to the country of Bulgaria.