Driving Tips for Bulgaria: How to Stay Safe

Hold on for dear life when driving in Bulgaria. Driving is considered very hazardous due to several factors, and the fatality rate is high. Find out more about the good, the bad, the ugly in Bulgaria.


First, in Bulgaria drivers are quite aggressive, which makes getting around a bit scary and intimidating. The cars on the road are as unsafe as the drivers, they are often old and their maintenance schedules untouched by the oily hand of a mechanic!

Poor Roads in Bulgaria

Infrastructure is poor, with the road systems throughout the country are largely unfinished. Which is another way of saying you'll run into loose gravel and potholes on major roadways. Hitting either of these at full speed can be disastrous.

Traffic signs and lane markings are scarce and make it very difficult to anticipate dangers.

Animals and livestock roam the roads in the remote areas. Driving in winter and at night is very risky and should be avoided.

Car Crime in Bulgaria

You might run into some crime on the roadways around Bulgaria as well.

Carjacking is possible, and you might encounter fake police officers along the Black Sea coast, or near Dupnitsa and Kyustendil on the roadway to Greece and Macedonia.

Avoid your itch to flip off, yell at, or otherwise confront aggressive or angry drivers. People like guns in Bulgaria, and aren't afraid to use them. Road rage incidents sometimes end very unhappily!

Not even road signs are safe!

You will come under more scrutiny as a foreign driver, so be extra careful with traffic rules and regulations and do not drive or park anywhere you should not.

If you want to avoid getting pulled over by a "real" cop, follow the speed limit and make sure you have the right paperwork - a license, registration and Bulgarian car insurance.

It's also a good idea to obtain an International Driver's Permit before you leave as it is a requirement in Bulgaria.

Every driver must possess a highway permit, called a "vignette" obtainable at post offices, ports, border points, gas stations and DZI bank offices.

Bulgarian drivers aren't too keen on pedestrians, so be extra, extra careful crossing the street no matter where you are in the country.

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