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English Springer Spaniel in Nessebar Bulgaria

Travelling with Your Dog in Bulgaria: The Ultimate Guide

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Last Updated on 28/03/2024 by Claire Coney

Cairn Terrier travelling in Bulgaria
Abigail – Ethno Village open museum Etar Bulgaria

Travelling with your dog in Bulgaria can be an amazing experience. I enjoyed travelling to Bulgaria in 2023 and took my dogs, Abigail and Charlie. I was excited to explore a new country and find dog-friendly adventures to share with them.

Bulgaria is located in Eastern Europe. It boasts a diverse landscape of mountains, plains, and coastlines. Travellers can explore its rich history, culture, and nature at an affordable cost.

Are you considering taking your dog on a trip to Bulgaria? You may have some queries about the dog-friendly aspect of travelling with Fido in Bulgaria. To assist you in planning your trip, I have compiled some tips and information.

Can I Bring My Dog to Bulgaria?  

Travelling with your dogs in Bulgaria
Me, Abigail and Charlie at the Sea Gardens, Burgas Bulgaria

The answer is yes, you can bring your dog to Bulgaria as long as you follow certain rules and regulations. If you are travelling from a non-EU country, your dog will need additional paperwork.

  • A microchip that complies with ISO standard 11784 or 11785.  
  • A valid rabies vaccination is administered at least 21 days before entering Bulgaria.  
  • An EU pet passport or an EU health certificate issued by a veterinarian.

If you are entering Bulgaria from a non-EU country with your dog, you must go through a designated border crossing where the paperwork for your dog will be checked.

Austin and I entered Bulgaria from Greece through the Thermes-Zaltograd border. Despite the narrow and bumpy mountain roads, we were treated to breathtaking views. The border crossing was fast and hassle-free, with only one local car ahead of us. The officials inspected our documents and searched our van, and we were cleared to proceed in just 20 minutes.

Pet Insurance in Bulgaria  

Traditional Mountian Village - Malko Tarnovo Bulgaria
Traditional Mountian Village – Malko Tarnovo Bulgaria

It is not mandatory to have pet insurance in Bulgaria, but it’s highly recommended. Pet insurance can cover the costs of veterinary care, emergency treatment, or repatriation should your dog get sick or injured during your trip. You can buy pet insurance from your home country or a local provider in Bulgaria. Some of the options are:  

Remember that human travellers benefit from travel insurance.

Is Bulgaria Dog-Friendly?  

Bulgaria is not the most dog-friendly country in Europe, but it is not the worst either. You can expect challenges and limitations when travelling with your dog in Bulgaria, but also some opportunities and advantages. Here are some of the pros and cons of dog-friendly travel in Bulgaria:  

Pros:  

  • There are many natural attractions and outdoor activities that you can enjoy with Fido. Try hiking in the Rhodope Mountains, camping along the Black Sea Coast, or visiting The Central Balkan National Park.  
  • There are many hotels and accommodations in tourist areas like Sofia, Plovdiv, Hisarya, Smolyan, and the Black Sea Coast that welcome pets.
  • Some dog-friendly restaurants and cafes have outdoor terraces where you can dine with Fido.  
  • Some public transport options allow dogs, such as trains and taxis.  

Cons:  

  • Many places do not allow dogs or have strict rules for them, such as museums, monuments, churches, or shopping malls.  
  • There are few dog parks or off-leash areas where Fido can run and play freely.  
  • Not many veterinary clinics or pet shops offer quality services or products for your dog. Take your dog’s medication prescription
  • Some cultural differences and attitudes towards dogs may cause misunderstandings or conflicts with locals.  
  • There can be packs of stray dogs in the cities and around the countryside.  

Travelling with Your Dog to Bulgaria  

If you decide to travel with your dog to Bulgaria, I have some tips and advice to make your trip easier and more enjoyable:  

Travelling with your dog in Bulgaria
Abigail – Travelling with your dog in Bulgaria
  • Plan and do your research. Find out what documents and vaccinations your dog requires, what transport options are available, what accommodations and attractions are dog-friendly, and what local laws and customs apply to dogs.  
  • Pack Smart. Bring everything your dog needs. Food, water, bowls, leash, collar, harness, tags, toys, bed, crate, blanket, poop bags, travel first aid kit, etc.  
  • Prepare for your Journey. If you are travelling by car planning your trip will ensure you and Fido have a safe and comfortable journey together. 
  • Be respectful and responsible. Follow the rules and regulations for dogs in Bulgaria. Keep Fido under control at all times, clean up after Fido, and be considerate of other people and animals.  
  • Be flexible and adaptable. Expect some challenges and surprises along the way. Be ready to adjust your plans or find alternatives if something goes wrong or changes.  

Dog-Friendly Accommodation in Bulgaria  

Finding a place to stay with your dog in Bulgaria can be difficult, but not impossible. There are some hotels and accommodations that accept pets. But they may charge extra fees or have restrictions on the size or number of dogs.  

I like to use Airbnb.com and Booking.com to find dog-friendly accommodation. I filter my search by pet-friendly options.  I found some lovely accommodations that were perfect for our needs. In fact, the hosts were dog owners themselves!

Are Restaurants Dog-Friendly in Bulgaria?  

Dog friendly restuarant in Bulgaria
Chernomorets – dogs allowed outside.

The answer is yes and no. There is no official law or regulation that prohibits dogs from entering restaurants in Bulgaria. Although, it is up to the discretion of the owner or manager. Some restaurants may allow dogs inside. Some may allow them only on the outdoor terrace, and others may not allow them at all. It is best to ask before you enter or make a reservation. You can also use websites like Tripadvisor.com to find dog-friendly restaurants in Bulgaria.  

Are Dogs Allowed on Beaches in Bulgaria?  

Dog friendly beach the Black Sea Bulgaria
Driver Beach – good for dogs

The answer is yes but with some limitations. There are no official laws or regulations banning dogs from beaches in Bulgaria. But some local rules and restrictions vary from place to place. Dogs are not allowed on the main public beaches during the peak season (from June to September). Especially in popular tourist resorts like Sunny Beach, Golden Sands, or Albena. But there are some exceptions and alternatives where you can take Fido to the beach in Bulgaria, such as:  

Dog friendly beach Bulgaria
Gardin Beach – Dogs can swim and go in the cafes.
  • Dog-friendly beaches. These are usually wild beaches. There are some secluded and unregulated beaches. Few people or authorities go to these beaches. You can take Fido to beaches such as Drivers Beach, Sinemorets Beach, or Gradina Beach. But, be careful of the water quality and safety, and respect the environment and wildlife.  
  • Beaches early morning or late evening. Some public beaches allow dogs outside peak hours usually before 9 a.m. or after 7 p.m. when fewer people and lifeguards are around. But, this may depend on the season and the location, so always check before you go.  

I enjoyed travelling with my dogs in Bulgaria and hope you will too! Bulgaria is a beautiful destination for travellers who want to experience a different side of Europe. It’s a stunning country with nature, rich culture, and affordable prices. It’s also a fabulous destination for dog owners who have prepared for the trip. Following the tips and information above can help you plan your trip to Bulgaria with Fido.  

Further Reading  

5 Geat Reasons To Take Your Dogs On Holiday   

How to Make Travel to Europe With Your Dog Easy!  

Travelling with a Dog in The Car – Top Tips 


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