Home Language HacksBulgarian 120 Most-Used Bulgarian Travel Phrases You Need to Know [Plus Audio]

120 Most-Used Bulgarian Travel Phrases You Need to Know [Plus Audio]

by Michele
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Useful Bulgarian Travel Phrases - Bolata Bay
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Going to Bulgaria? Then you’ll need to learn how to order a meal, ask for directions and say ‘hello’ (zdravei) and ‘thank you’ (blagodarya) with ease. This language guide arms you with useful Bulgarian phrases, a pronunciation guide, and audio recordings from a native speaker.

This Bulgarian travel phrase guide gives you a well-rounded set of practical phrases and vocabulary which will help you have meaningful conversations and interactions with the locals. To help me create this new addition to my collection of free travel phrase guides, I asked my friend and native Bulgarian speaker, Pavel from Curious Pavel to provide accurate Bulgarian translations and pronunciation tips. He’s even provided audio clips for each phrase to make things even easier for you!

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Let’s take a closer look at the Bulgarian language. Here’s what we’ll cover:

Table of Contents

Where is Bulgarian spoken?

Bulgarian is the official language of Bulgaria with about 12 million speakers mainly in Bulgaria. It is also spoken by minority groups located in Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Hungary, Greece, Macedonia, Turkey, Canada, USA, Australia, Germany, and Spain.

As a Southern Slavic language, Bulgarian is mutually intelligible with Macedonian and is closely related to Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Slovenian. This means speakers of either language can readily understand each other without much effort.

Useful Bulgarian Travel Phrases - Rila Monastery

Rila Monastery, Bulgaria

Bulgarian Alphabet

The Bulgarian alphabet is very similar to the Russian Cyrillic alphabet. This is thanks to Saints Cyril and Methodius who invented the Glagolitic alphabet in AD863 and used it to translate Greek texts in Old Church Slavonic. Using the Greek and Glagolitic alphabet, their disciples developed the Cyrillic alphabet that is still in use today. Bulgarians celebrate Saints Cyril and Methodius on the 24trh of May which is a national holiday in Bulgaria.

For ease of use, I’ve included the transliteration for each phrase which means you can read as if you were reading English, but you’ll be magically speaking Bulgarian!

Here are the letters of the Bulgarian alphabet and their pronunciation.

Аа (a) Кк (kuh) Фф (fuh)
Бб (buh) Лл (luh) Хх (huh)
Вв (vuh) Мм (muh) Цц (tsuh)
Гг (guh) Нн (nuh) Чч (chuh)
Дд (duh) Оо (o) Шш (shuh)
Ее (e) Пп (puh) Щщ (shtuh)
Жж (zhuh) Рр (ruh) Ъъ (er-gol-yam)
Зз (zuh) Сс (suh) ь (er ma-luhk)
Ии (ee) Тт (tuh) Юю (yoo)
Йй (ee krat-ko) Уу (oo) Яя (ya)

Bulgarian Pronunciation

You don’t have to learn the Cyrillic alphabet to realise that Bulgarian is actually very easy to read. Unlike languages such as French, Bulgarian is almost entirely phonetic, meaning that you pronounce it the same way it’s written. Of course, there are a couple of exceptions, but you don’t need to worry about these as the pronunciation guide will reflect these variations.

Another bonus feature of the language is that there are no nasty or complicated sounds to learn as they are similar to English.

Useful Bulgarian Travel Phrases - Inside Rila Monastery

Inside Rila Monastery, Bulgaria

Bulgarian Vocabulary

Numerous Turkish words entered into during the five centuries of Ottoman rule. In the 19th century, many of these Turkish loanwords were removed from the language and were mostly replaced with Russian words.

Other words have adopted into Bulgarian from Latin, Greek, French, Italian, German, and English.

How to Say ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ in Bulgarian (It’s not what you think!)

One of the trickiest things to adopt is how Bulgarians say ‘yes’ and ‘no’. In many countries and for English speakers, we usually say ‘no’ whilst shaking our head, and ‘nod’ when we say ‘yes’. Not in Bulgaria. Everything is reversed! Shaking your head side-to-side means ‘yes’, while moving it up and down means ‘no’. It’s an easy concept to grasp but implementing it feels like rubbing your tummy and tapping your head at the same time.

To avoid being misunderstood, be sure to accompany your answer with the words “да” (yes) or “не” (no).

Useful Bulgarian Phrases for Travellers

Bulgarian Travel Phrase Guide and Pronunciation

Want the infographic to take with you? Scroll to the bottom of the page and save it.

P.S. If you’re reading this on your phone and can’t see the pronunciation column, turn it to landscape mode. For some reason, tables aren’t mobile friendly. Sorry!

English Bulgarian Pronunciation (Transliteration)


Hello здравей (singular) / zdraveite (plural)
Good morning добро утро 
dobro utro
Good afternoon добър ден 
dobar den
Good night лека нощ 
leka nosht
Goodbye довиждане 
How are you? как си 
kak si
I’m great, and you? аз съм страхотно, а ти? 
az sam strahotno, a ti
I’m well, and you? аз съм добре, а ти? 
az sum dobre, a ti
Good, thanks добре, благодаря 
dobre, blagodarya
What is your name? как се казваш 
kak se kazvash
My name is… името ми е… 
kazvam se
Nice to meet you приятно ми е да се запознаем 
priyatno mi e da se zapoznaem
Nice to meet you too на мен също 
na men sashto
Have a nice day! хубав ден /  Приятен ден
hubby den / priyaten den


Please моля 
Thank you благодаря 
Thank you very much много благодаря 
mnogo blagodarya
You’re welcome пак заповядай 
Pak zapovyaday
Yes да 
No не 
Excuse me (getting attention) извинете (ме) 
izvinete (me)
Excuse me (when asking something to repeat themselves, begging pardon) моля? 
I’m sorry извинете ме / прощавaй(те) 
izvinete me / proshtavaj(te)
I don’t understand не разбирам 
ne razbiram
Do you speak English? говорите ли английски 
govorite li anglijski
I don’t speak Bulgarian very well не говоря български много добре 
ne govorya balgarski mnogo dobre
Could you please repeat that? може ли да повторите 
moje li da povtorite


How much does it cost? колко струва 
kolko struva
How much is…? колко е 
kolko e
Where is…? къде е 
kade e
Where is the bathroom? къде в тоалетната 
kade e toaletnata
When? кога 
May I please have…? може ли… 
moje li (mozhe li)
Could you please repeat that? може ли да повторите 
moje li da povtorite

Food and Drink

Beer бира 
Red wine червено вино
cherveno vino
White wine  бяло вино 
byalo vino
Water вода 
I don’t eat… аз не ям … 
az ne yam…
I’m a vegetarian аз съм вегетарианец 
az sam vegetarianets
The bill, please сметката, моля 
smetkata, molya
Restaurant ресторант 
Breakfast закуска 
Lunch обяд 
Dinner вечеря 
Appetizer аперитив/мезе 
aperitiv / meze
Main Course основно ядене 
osnovno yadene
Dessert десерт 
I would like… бих искал / бих желал 
bih iskal / bih jelal
What do you recommend? какво бихте препоръчали 
kakvo bihte preporachali
It was delicious, thank you беше вкусно, благодаря 
beshe vkusno, blagodarya

Getting Around

Left ляво 
Right дясно 
Straight ahead направо 
Turn left завийте наляво 
zavijte nalyavo
Turn right завийте на дясно 
zavijte nadyasno
Entrance вход 
Exit изход 
I’m lost изгубих се 
izgubih se
How do you get to…? как да стигна до… 
kak da stigna do
The bank банката 
The museum музеят 
The park парка 
The hospital болницата 
The hotel хотела 
The airport летището 
The church църквата 
The tourist office туристическият офис 
turisticheskiyat ofis
The bus stop автобусната спирка 
avtobusnata spirka
The train station ж.п. гарата 
zhe.pe. garata
The shop магазина 


First първи 
Second втори 
Third трети 
1 едно 
2 две 
3 три 
4 четири 
5 пет 
6 шест 
7 седем 
8 осем 
9 девет 
10 десет 
20 двадесет 
30 тридесет 
40 четиридесет 
50 петдесет 
60 шестдесет 
70 седемдесет 
80 осемдесет 
90 деветдесет 
100 сто 
1000 хиляда 


Day ден 
Week седмица 
Month месец 
Year година 
Today днес 
Tomorrow утре 
Day after tomorrow вдругиден 
Yesterday вчера 
Minute минута 
Hour час 
Time време 
Weekend Уикенд 
What time is it? колко е часът 
kolko e chasa
It’s 8 o’clock осем часа 
osem chasa


Monday понеделник 
Tuesday вторник 
Wednesday сряда 
Thursday четвъртък 
Friday петък 
Saturday събота 
Sunday неделя 


Help! помощ 
I need a doctor имам нужда от доктор 
imam nujda ot doktor
I don’t feel well не се чувствам добре 
ne se chuvstvam dobre
Call the police! повикайте полиция 
povikajte policiya
Fire! пожар 
pojar (pozhar)

Useful Bulgarian Phrases for Travellers [Infographic]

Like it? Pin it for later!

120 Most-Used Bulgarian Travel Phrase with Pronunciation

Sources | Curious Pavel | Lonely Planet Phrasebook

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Over to you!

Which of these Bulgarian phrases did you find the most useful? Let me know using the comments section below or join me on social media to start a conversation.
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