|Popular in||October||High demand for flights, 11% potential price rise|
|Cheapest in||June||Best time to find cheap flights, 2% potential price drop|
|Average price||HK$5,553||Average for return flights in January 2022|
Bulgaria, located on the northeastern part of the Balkan Peninsula, was under Ottoman rule for 500 years. It emerged in 1878 as a monarchy, and then, after the Second World War, fell (quite happily) under Soviet rule for another 50 years. Now a member of the European Union (since 2007), it is a fascinating country to visit and closer to the UK than you might think; increasingly cheap flights to Bulgaria take only three hours.
Not yet in the eurozone, Bulgaria offers great value for money for those seeking sun on the Black Sea coast, skiers searching for fresh snow in Bansko and second homers hoping to pick up cheap property. There are airports in Sofia, Varna, Plovdiv, Burgas and Gorna Oryahovitsa.
The country has ancient cities with Unesco-listed attractions (including Kazanluk Tomb; the Ivanovo Rock Churches; and Rila Monastery), a slow and laid back way of life, and wild landscapes (Rila, Rhodopes, Balkan and Pirin Mountains), and Sofia, its charming, green and open capital.
One thing to remember before searching for Bulgaria flights, is the locals’ habit of shaking the head for yes and nodding for no.
Search and compare: cheap flights to Bulgaria
Bulgaria has hot, dry summers, much like the rest of the Balkan countries along the Black Sea. Winters can be cold and snowy, especially in the Balkan Mountains, and summers can be very hot.
Peak season at the coast is, naturally, summertime, with most visitors arriving off their flights to Bulgaria between late June and early September. Bulgaria’s ski resorts are emerging as some of the best in Europe. The ski season runs from late December through to Easter. Sofia is a year-round destination, busiest in the summertime and around Christmas.
Low season fares apply at the seaside resorts around Varna for most of the winter. The weather is less good, but the scenery is still appealing.
Buses are faster than trains and the network far more extensive, however, it can be confusing working out where they are going and where you need to get off, as many drivers will only speak Bulgarian. There are two train lines between Sofia and Varna and Sofia and Bourgas. Service is fairly poor.
Bulgaria Air flies between the main destinations of Sofia, Varna and Bourgas.
The fastest flights from Hong Kong to Bulgaria offer at least two stops. With Qatar Airways, you can land at the Sofia International Airport in Bulgaria (SOF) in 25h 15min. The flight stops at Doha Hamad International Airport (DOH) and Bucharest Otopeni Airport (OTP) in Romania. KLM also offers flights to Bulgaria. Their fastest Bulgaria flight deals take 22h 40min with two stops at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS). There are also flight options to the Varna Airport (VAR) in Bulgaria. A typical flight to this airport includes three stops at Doha Hamad International Airport, Otopeni Airport, and Sofia Airport in Bulgaria. This should take 29h 45min.
Unfortunately, direct flights from Hong Kong to Bulgaria are not currently available, however, you can search for cheap flights to Bulgaria with the fastest travel time. KLM offers the shortest flight from Hong Kong International Airport to Sofia International Airport, with just one stop at Amsterdam Schiphol.
Bulgaria offers different options for public transportation. For trips between major cities, you can travel by air. Bulgaria Air offers domestic flights connecting the Black Sea coast with Sofia, with journeys taking about 1h. If you prefer travelling by road, different cities are connected by highways. Renting a car is an option that saves time. However, navigating the roads could be challenging if you don’t know Cyrillic, so a GPS would help you solve this language barrier. This option is ideal for travelling around town and between towns not far from each other. Car hire prices start from around HK$285 to HK$800. Buses link different cities and major towns. You’ll find buses run by several private companies, which offer modern, comfortable transport operating between large towns like Sofia to Burgas and Sofia to Varna. For long distances, visitors opt for the train, which is run by the Bulgarian State Railway. Train services link most cities and towns, including Varna and Sofia. However, journey times are slower than travelling by bus. On the upside, trains offer travellers an opportunity to experience beautiful scenery. Train service in Bulgaria is cheap, with a trip between Sofia and Varna costing around HK$119 to HK$166.
Bulgaria is a Balkan country comprising a mountainous interior, rivers, and the Black Sea coastline. It’s a cultural melting pot with Slavic, Greek, Persian, and Ottoman influences. The country offers a rich heritage of music, traditional dance, crafts, and costumes. One of the spots popular with visitors is Ancient Nessebar, an ancient city with cobblestone streets, small parks, archaeological remains, historic architecture, and churches from the 4th to the 18th century. There are also various restaurants and bars overlooking the sea. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, there are many things to do. The country offers a diversity of forests, mountains, and Black Sea beaches. There are several sites for divers, whether sunken World War II battleships, underwater caves, or underwater forests take your fancy.
Hong Kong citizens visiting Bulgaria don’t need a visa for a stay of up to 90 days.