5 Essential Tricks to Finding Public WiFi in Bulgaria

March 3, 2016

By Jess @JessTripelio, who keeps a wonderful travel blog with lots of useful information for places near and far. Thank you for reviving my rusty blog, Jess!

Thanks to Katya for allowing me to write my piece of advice regarding internet connectivity in her homeland. If you haven’t already checked it out, you’ll also want to have a read through her list of useful tips for visitors to Bulgaria, as well as all the other informative, well-written and illustrated articles on her blog! I’m really pleased to be here.

The internet has revolutionized the way we travel, allowing us to keep in contact with friends and family back home, look up new places to visit and much, much more. It’s not always easy to find public WiFi spots in new places though, and you don’t want to waste time on your trip trying to scout out WiFi hotspots. If you’re headed to Bulgaria in the near future though, fear not: public WiFi networks are relatively easy to come by. Here are some tips to finding public WiFi during your time in Bulgaria:


  1. Use the WiFi Finder app.

Believe it or not, Sofia, Sunny Beach and certain other spots around Bulgaria offer free WiFi access without your even having to look too hard for them! You may not be able to access the networks from all parts of the area, but if you’re traveling with a smartphone or tablet, you can use this app to find open WiFi networks in your vicinity. You’ll be able to search on a map, so you can easily find which hotspots are closest to you and look up directions to take you there.

  1. Head to a place that you know has WiFi.

If you can’t seem to find WiFi anywhere else, you know that you can generally count on finding WiFi at Starbucks, other coffee shops or hotel chains. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be a customer either. You might be able to connect to their networks from out in front of their building, or you might be able to play “clueless tourist” in the lobby of the hotel for a little while (just act like you belong). If all you’re looking for is to send a quick email home, these could be your best bet since they’re generally in prominent locations.

  1. Select accommodation that offers WiFi.

Unless you’re really out in the middle of nowhere (and oftentimes, not even then), you should be able to find a place to stay the night that offers WiFi (or at least offers a business center where you can access the internet through their computers). If in doubt, it’s worth calling ahead. Again, you don’t want to waste time trying to find an internet café or other WiFi source. Plus, it’s nice to be able to kick back in the evenings and shoot out some emails or stream some Netflix after a long day wandering about—just make sure to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to get around the site’s location-based restrictions.

  1. Turn your smartphone into a mobile hotspot.

If you’re really at a loss for finding public WiFi networks and you have a data plan on your smartphone, you can experiment with turning your phone into a mobile hotspot that shares your data connection with your computer or tablet. It’s also a great way to get a better connection, especially if you’re staying in a busy hostel or rural area. Often, your data connection will be stronger than the available WiFi source if there are multiple people using the internet at once. And don’t worry, you don’t have to have a lot of tech savvy in order to set this up; it’ll only take you a few minutes!

  1. But be safe on public WiFi.

The thing is, hackers often target travelers who tend not to realize there’s been an issue with their account until it’s too late. It can happen anywhere, even back home, but especially when you’re on holiday, you want to make sure your passwords, banking information and other personal information stays secure. That VPN that’ll let you watch Netflix (by hiding your true location) is also a great way to safeguard your information, because it’ll encrypt your web traffic and make it incredibly difficult for hackers to intercept and interpret. So it’s a definite must any time you’re accessing WiFi networks abroad!

Have you traveled around Bulgaria? What tips and advice can you share with other travelers regarding internet connectivity?

Unspoiled Beaches in Bulgaria

July 25, 2010

If you see a beautiful lonely sand beach in Europe you are either there way out of season or you are dreaming. However, Bulgaria still has a couple of unspoiled, non-commercialized, beautiful, lonely beaches by its Black Sea. I am going to disclose one of them to you here. This info is only for nature lovers, enjoyers and keepers. All greedy investors keep out, because these places are National Parks and we don’t want anybody building anything there.

Karadere is the name of the beach and it is on the north seaside. Miles of sand beaches and nothing but, vines, trees and bushes around them. There are no showers, no WC, no food stores – I mean nothing! Just sand, billions of round pebbles by the sea and emerald waters.

My soul was so happy there - and it shows..

And because people feel so far from civilization on this lonely, unspoiled beach, it is only natural for them to bathe naked.

The beach of Karadere

How to get there: the closest village where you can stay is Goritsa. It is a sweet, quiet village. From Goritsa you need a car to get to Karadere beach. The drive is about 25 minutes in the direction of the town of Byala. One thing you need to know is there are hairy pigs grazing along the way to the beach. They are not wild animals but I personally prefer not to be walking in their company.

Pigs along the way to Karadere beach

Where to stay: There are many village houses in Goritsa where you can rent a room. The prices are very low – 15-25 leva per person per night. We stayed at “Pri Pancho” (meaning Pancho’s). It was nice and clean – all you need – no more no less. Write me an e-mail if you need help with reservation.

Where to eat: Again at Pancho’s. The food is delicious and natural. The fish soup is a must. We were lucky to have tried turbot fish there. The prices are one of the lowest you will find at the sea.

Koprivshtitsa – 1030m Above Seal Level

July 20, 2010

Narrow cobbled streets, coulourful houses with unique architecture in Bulgarian Revival Period style, numerous small museums, craft shops, cool mountain fresh air – that’s Koprivshtitsa for me and it’s always worth a visit.

Souvenir Shop in Koprivshtitsa

How to get there: If you are driving from Sofia you have to take Botevgradsko Shosse which eventually becomes E79 and E871. At the intersection where these two split, you need to take Е871 road (also known as the Under-Balkan Road) on your right just after Lukoil gas station. Koprivshisa is only about 110 km from Sofia but for the last 15 kilometres you should be prepared for a winding road so the whole journey takes almost 2 hours. See google map.
You can get to Koprivshtitsa by bus or by train. The buses stop right in the centre of the town. Note that the train station is far from the town’s centre – about 8 kilometres. Although there are shuttles and taxis they are not 100% reliable.

The house of Dimcho Debelyanov - famous Bulgarian poet

What to see: Just take your camera and one of the narrow cobbled streets… All the houses are built in this specific architectural style of the National Revival Period. Thanks to the local construction law all new or renovated buildings are designed in the same style. Whether it’s a private house, the tourist information centre, or a souvenir shop… they all look like they’ve been built in the  1850s.

You’ll run into different museum houses – all of them unique but at the same time very much alike. The taxes for visitors are quite low.

You have to see the Oslekov’s House – a beautiful, original house which will give you a good idea of how a well-off Bulgarian family lived in 1850’s – 1900’s.  The house was built by a rich local merchant Nencho Oslekov. In his tailor shop were made the uniforms of the participants in the Uprising of April 1876.

Oslekov's House

Guest room in Oslekov's House

Room for handiwork

I am not going to get deep into history here. It is much better to get a local tell you the stories of Koprivshtitsa. Ask about how the town got its name, about the 3 times Koprivshtitsa has been burnt down, about the first gun shot of the April Uprising, about Kokon mahala (the Dame neighborhood)… I don’t know another Bulgarian town with so many stories to tell.

The Old Church - the Assumption (Uspenie Bogorodichno)

The New Church - St Nikolai Church

Where to stay: We’ve stayed at two different hotels (Kozlekov Hotel and Todorini Kashti) and they both have the same problem – thin walls. Hotel Kozlekov has one big advantage – a great terrace with a wonderful view of the unique town of Koprivshtitsa.

Where to eat: the best meals are prepared in 20 April Restaurant right on the main square.  I can’t say that the place is too cozy but the food is excellent. They have the best Shkembe Chorba and Lamb Soup! It is not by chance that locals dine there – they know best where they can have good food in town. And if you can get the owner, George, to tell you some Koprivshtitsa history you can’t ask for more from your Koprivshtitsa visit.

20 April Restaurant

Interesting Events: About once every four years the National Folklore Fest takes place in Koprivshtitsa. Performers from all over the world come to Koprivshtitsa to participate. If you are planning to be there you need to reserve a place to sleep way in advance. This year I’ll be there to feature the event. 10th National Folklore Fest – Koprivshtitsa 2010 coming soon…