There’s little not to like about living in Bulgaria. The climate is moderate and pleasant all year round. Natural wonders abound in the region and the Bulgarian landscape is decorated with numerous rivers, valleys, cave formations and lakes. The local population is friendly and welcoming, the cost of living is affordable, and the country’s economy enjoys stability.
If that hasn’t already persuaded you, here is an overview of why expats simply love living in Bulgaria.Diverse natural beauty
In Bulgaria, spectacular mountainous landscapes stand side by side with sunny clear beaches. Very few countries in the world present such natural diversity. With every few miles that you travel, you will find the scenery changing from alpine mountains and canyons to forests and coastal wetlands.
Bulgaria is rather small in size, but it packs in an incredible balance of contrasts. You can visit the Strandja Mountain in southeastern Bulgaria and spend some time with the variety of wildlife, birds and wildflowers, and then take a relaxing dip in any of the beaches along the Black Sea coast – all in the same day!
Delicious local cuisine
Bulgarian cuisine is a blend of traditional dishes and culinary influences from Slavic, Greek, Turkish and other European cuisines. The local traditions remain strong even today and recipes are still passed down through the generations.
Bulgarian food is known for its regional variety, freshness and fragrant spice. Food is mostly prepared with natural ingredients using cooking methods like slow simmering, which enhances the flavor and retains the inherent qualities of the ingredients. While living in Bulgaria, such food is available to you on a daily basis. The place is dotted with little taverns that allow you the chance to sample traditional Bulgarian food and wine.
The income level in Bulgaria tends to be lower compared to other European countries. But on the plus side, some of the most affordable prices in Europe can be found here. It is easy to find affordable accommodation; public transport is efficient and cheap, and so are food and recreational activities.
Bulgarians are known to be warm and welcoming people. They are a sociable lot and have a natural sense of curiosity that makes them very hospitable towards foreigners. They enjoy socializing and have a great sense of self-deprecating humor. This amiable attitude can be traced back to the importance of social life in Bulgarian culture.
Due to its geographical location and topography, Bulgaria experiences a temperate, pleasant climate throughout the year. But there are still variations in the weather. For instance, in the mountainous region the weather is colder, while the lowland and coastal areas witness warmer summers and moderately cold winters.
The climate is perfect for a range of outdoor activities. In the mountains, you can go skiing or snowboarding during the winters. There’s also mountain biking, hiking and paragliding for those who enjoy more adventurous sports. Bulgaria’s rivers are excellent for rafting and kayaking because of their fast currents. Those who prefer to spend time by the seaside can take some time to engage in a bit of snorkeling, diving or windsurfing.
Bulgaria has the most favorable tax regime in the European Union and hence serves as the ideal destination for foreign companies to reduce their tax contributions and save on business expenses. The rate of income tax in the country is 10 percent – the lowest in any EU country. Health insurance costs and pension contributions are also relatively low, making it all the more easy to start and run a business.
You can find some of the best artisans in the world in Bulgaria. There’s plenty to take back home when you visit the shops and open markets in different cities and towns.
Some great buys include crafts such as painted earthenware, carpets and embroidered table linen and clothing. All of these come at unbelievably low prices, making them quite hard to resist.
If, like many other expats, you have made Sofia your home, you can find some of the best buys along popular streets like Vitoshka, Saborna Street and Tsar Shishman Street. On the Black Sea Coast, Sozopol is the place to pick up handmade soaps, perfumes and cosmetics.
Do you enjoy living in Bulgaria? What are your favourite local places to go shopping or pass the time? Let us know in the comments.