Bulgaria ‘s climate and geography have resulted in a relatively high investment in attracting foreign tourists. Bathing holidays along the Black Sea coast and skiing in the mountains are the most important focus areas. In addition, there has been an increasing number of tourists to the capital Sofia after Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007.
In Europe, Bulgaria has managed to profile itself as a low-cost country for mass tourism. In the past, tourists were mainly from other Eastern European countries, but tourists from southern and western Europe have later taken over much of the market. In 2017, 11.6 million foreign tourists came to Bulgaria. From the following four countries, there were more than one million tourists: Romania (1.9), Turkey (1.4), Greece (1.2) and Germany (1.0).
Varna, located on the Black Sea coast, is the country’s third largest city and a popular tourist destination.
The largest and most famous tourist sites along the Black Sea coast are Albena, Golden Sands, Varna, Zlatni Pjasătsi and Slănchev Brjag. Popular places for skiing are Borovets in the Musala Mountains, Pamporovo in the Rodopi Mountains, Bansko at the foot of the Pirin Mountains and the Vitosja mountain range 10 km south of Sofia. Besides bathing and skiing holidays, health tourism linked to natural mineral sources is another area of focus. Well-known mineral baths are Kjustendil, Sandanski, Velingrad and Hissarya.