Touring Bulgaria, part 3 – Border Customs

Unfortunately in the past some American travelers have reinforced the “ugly American” view in some parts of the world and we think it better to be positive diplomats, accepting the challenge to accent the good things about Americans versus the bad.

Americans traveling so close to the Middle East at this time of July should maintain restraint from loud celebrations of American citizenship. Some fellow travelers will wish you a nice holiday, but others may resent America and it is those type of folks that you should steer clear.

Customs Information: Visitors may import 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars, 1 litre of spirits or 2 litres of wine, gifts for friends and family, and unlimited foreign currency if declared upon entry to Bulgaria.

Red dots denote the permanent Border/Customs checkpoints in Bulgaria. (

What can you take out of Bulgaria? Visitors may export any item which was brought in at the time of entry, foreign currency amounting to USD 1,000 without declaration and up to 10,000 if declared. Special bank permission is necessary for larger sums. Cigarettes and alcohol can be exported using the above limits.

Registration Information: You must “register” your presence in Bulgaria just as in other Eastern European countries as Russia, etc. You will be given a yellow “statistical card” which lists your name, address, reasons for your visit, etc. If you are staying in a hotel have the front desk stamp it for you, but if you are visiting friends/family or staying in private accomodations this card must be taken to a local police station for registration. The penalty for failure to register is USD $100 when leaving the country and the possibility of being denied an entry visa in the future.

There is a border tax of USD $20 when entering Bulgaria. For those arriving via an airport this tax is automatically added in the cost of the ticket when purchased.

The destination for this trip is the Bourgas region which lies along the Black Sea. You can see it on the Bourgas district map below.

District map of the Bourgas region. (

The trip from Varna to Bourgas is about 5 hours. Take bottled water on any trip as the quality of water varies which can easily cause upset stomach conditions.

Photographer Alan Grant took this photo along the Milanovo Pass area.

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