Shopping in Bulgaria

Shopping in Bulgaria, while not as developed as in other areas of Europe, is improving rapidly. During the Communist era, long queues were common and the selection of products limited. People used to carry plastic bags, not necessarily with the intention of buying anything, but so that they would not be caught short if a mushroom delivery was made unexpectedly. After the collapse of Communism, the situation gradually improved, but it is only in the few years that shopping has really begun to resemble that of western Europe, with people having a wider choice, including international brands, and increased disposable income. These changes are confined to the larger urban areas, however, with the villages still operating very much out of the local store and/or using their own produce.

The Bulgarian Language

Bulgarian may appear a difficult language at first – particularly because of the Cyrillic alphabet – but once you manage the basics it is really quite straightforward. It follows strict rules of grammar and the vocabulary is much smaller than in English. Consider at least learning a handful of phrases and the alphabet before you arrive in Bulgaria, as this will help with simple questions, reading and pronouncing the words on signs. For example, the letter ‘B’ translates to the Latin letter ‘V’, ‘P’ to ‘R’, and ‘H’ to ‘N’, so Варна = Varna.