Compare travel insurance for Bulgaria

Bulgaria boasts beautiful beaches along its Black Sea coast, a vibrant capital city, plus great value skiing in the mountain towns of Borovets, Bansko and Pamporovo.

Do I need travel insurance for Bulgaria?

It’s always sensible to take out travel insurance, wherever you go on holiday.

With a travel policy in place, you’re covered for all sorts of mishaps that might happen when you’re away.

It can pay out for your medical treatment if you fall ill or have an accident. And you’re covered if your luggage goes missing or your passport is stolen.

Travel insurance can also reimburse the cost of your holiday if you have to cancel or curtail your holiday and return home early due to unforeseen circumstances.

In short, taking out travel insurance can help you relax and enjoy your break away in Bulgaria, knowing that you would be taken care of and not left out of pocket if something happened.

What is usually covered in a travel insurance policy?

Most travel insurance policies cover:

  • Medical expenses - If you fall ill or have an accident and need medicine or hospital treatment
  • Repatriation - Pays to transport you back to the UK if your illness or accident requires it
  • Lost luggage and belongings - Helps you recoup the cost of replacement items
  • Cancellation and curtailment - If you have to cancel or cut short a trip this cover can compensate you
  • Personal liability cover - In case someone sues you for causing injury to them or damage to their property

Depending on the activities you intend on doing in Bulgaria, you can add extra cover to your policy such as:

What level of travel insurance cover do I need?

A European travel policy will cover holidays to Bulgaria, but there are a few different types of cover to explore:

Single-trip cover

If you just want to cover your trip to Bulgaria and it’s the only holiday you’ll be taking in the next 12 months, then a single-trip travel insurance policy will suit you. It begins from the day you travel and ends when you arrive home.

Annual multi-trip travel insurance

Annual travel insurance could be your best option if Bulgaria isn’t the only trip you have planned this year.

With an annual policy, you’re covered for all the holidays you take in one year. There’ll be a limit on the duration of each trip – usually between 20 to 60 days, depending on the policy.

Backpacker travel insurance

Backpacker travel insurance - sometimes called long-stay insurance - is designed for people travelling for long periods, often visiting various countries on their trip. So if Bulgaria is on your travel itinerary for a gap year, this is the type of policy that would suit you.

What’s healthcare like in Bulgaria?

The standard of healthcare in Bulgaria varies depending on where you are. Big city hospitals have the latest technology but in more rural areas, facilities can be more basic. You may find hospital staff don’t speak English outside of tourist areas and that you’ll need to have food brought in for you.

Do I need vaccinations for Bulgaria?

According to the NHS Fit for Travel website, a tetanus course or booster is usually advised.

And, depending on your circumstances and where you’re going in Bulgaria, you might also consider vaccines for diphtheria, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, rabies and tick-borne encephalitis.

Check the website for more details on which of these vaccines you might need.

Do I need a visa?

British citizens don’t need a visa to go to Bulgaria. However, if you’re intending to stay for longer than 90 days, you’ll need to check with the Bulgarian Embassy what type of visa you’ll require.

Your passport needs to be less than 10 years old on the day you arrive in Bulgaria, and valid for at least three months after the day you’re due to leave.

Tips to help you stay safe in Bulgaria

Bulgaria is considered to be safe for travellers. You just need to take the same sort of precautions as you would at home.

Things to be aware of include:

  • There have been reports of taxis overcharging in tourist areas. Use taxis with meters and rates that are on display
  • Similarly, check alcohol prices as some bars and nightclubs have been found to overcharge tourists
  • Carry a photocopy of your passport with you to show as proof of identity
  • Rabies is present in parts of Bulgaria so avoid approaching dogs in the street and get medical help quickly if you’re bitten
  • When you’re around sensitive areas like military establishments, it’s best to avoid taking photographs or to ask for permission

Does my GHIC card cover Bulgaria?

The Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) is valid in Bulgaria. It gives you access to state-funded medically necessary healthcare in Bulgaria at the same rate as a resident of the country. The GHIC is replacing the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), but a current EHIC remains valid until the expiry date on the card.

You should still have travel insurance in place, though. The GHIC card won’t cover private health care and won’t pay for returning you home should that be necessary if you fall ill or have an accident.

What if I need emergency assistance in Bulgaria?

112 is the European emergency phone number. You can call the number anywhere in Europe from a mobile phone to contact an ambulance, the police or fire service.

What sort of things can I do on holiday in Bulgaria?

There’s plenty to see and do in Bulgaria, you may want to:

Bask on the beaches: Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast is blessed with beautiful beaches. Choose from lively and purpose-built resorts like Sunny Beach and Golden Sands packed with everything from football pitches to fairgrounds. Or seek out smaller seaside locations like Nessebar, a UNESCO-protected old town with its own blue-flag beach. There are plenty more secret sands to discover along the coastline, too

Hit the slopes: Beginners and intermediate skiers will love the great-value skiing in Bulgaria’s mountain resorts and the lively apres-ski scene, too

See Sofia: Bulgaria’s capital city is a lively mix of ancient and modern. Roman ruins sit among modern art galleries and a beautiful gold-domed cathedral. A vibrant cafe culture and restaurant scene add to the buzz

Escape the crowds: The mountainous regions of Bulgaria - including the Balkans and Rhodope ranges - are a hiker’s paradise. And the forested foothills and National Parks are a nature lover’s dream. Expect awe-inspiring views, glacial lakes, rare flora and even the chance to spot brown bears and lynx on guided tours!

Explore ancient towns and cities: Stroll through history on the cobbled streets of ancient Bulgarian towns and cities. Plovdiv is known as being the sixth oldest city in the world dating back to 5000 BC. Visit the atmospheric medieval old-town and historic landmarks, including a Roman amphitheatre

Heritage sites: Bulgaria is home to more than its share of UNESCO world heritage sites. Don’t miss the stunning 10th century Rila monastery, with its impressive architectural design, multi-coloured tiling and frescoes. Or the remarkable rock-hewn churches of Ivanovo

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