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A Guide to Driving in Bulgaria

If you are planning on driving in Bulgaria and renting a car and driving your self around then you will want to familiarize yourself with driving in the country.

Since you will be in a foreign country you will likely see road signs that you might not be familiar with. And the conditions of the roads might not be what you are expecting either. If you will be driving in Bulgaria for the first time you should know what you will probably have some difficulty finding your way around the country. This is due primarily to most of the road signs being in Cyrillic script as opposed to using the Roman alphabet. It would be a good idea to look for a book that shows you the different types of road signs that you might encounter when driving Bulgaria and then offers up a translation as to what the different signs mean.

You will need to have a driver's license from your home country as well as an international driving license to be able to legally drive in Bulgaria. You will also need to have an international green card from your auto insurance company. And if you plan on driving through countries of the former Yugoslavia then you should be prepared to have to pay for local insurance at the borders.

You will discover that a lot of the roads in Bulgaria are in a poor state. There is only one roadway in the entire country that is freeway quality and it runs from Sofia to the border at Turkey. You will see that most of the roads in Bulgaria are covered in cavernous potholes. And during the harsh winter conditions a lot of roads in Bulgaria are impassable. Roadways are often narrow and do not be surprised if you turn a curve and find some livestock in the roadway.

It is required by law that all occupants of a vehicle wear seatbelts. It is also illegal to be talking on a cell phone while driving in Bulgaria.
Speed limits in Bulgaria are 60 kph, or 35 mph, in the areas that are built up. On main road the speed limits are either 80 kph or 120 kph, which is 50 mph or 75 mph. You will notice that speed limit signs are in Roman numerals, so you should be able to read those. If you do commit a traffic offense the police can only issue you a citation and cannot demand an on the spot fine payment. Sometimes though drivers of vehicles with foreign license plates are stopped and fined on the spot for random things.