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Bulgaria Travel Thread [was: Drinking Tap Water in Bulgaria....?]

Bulgaria Travel Thread [was: Drinking Tap Water in Bulgaria....?]

Old Jun 27, 19, 6:53 am
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Bulgaria Travel Thread [was: Drinking Tap Water in Bulgaria....?]

We've been in Bulgaria for nearly 2 weeks and I have read and heard all sorts of conflicting information. Were in Sofia and Sozopol, now in Sunny Beach.

Some says don't drink.

Some says fine to drink but may taste odd.

We have erred on the side of caution and are drinking bottled but brushing teeth with tap. Are we wasting money? I can't figure it out!
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Old Jun 27, 19, 3:01 pm
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All tap water within Europe is drinkable by law. However the buildings are sometimes old and the pipes a bit rosty. So persoanlly i buy water at LIDL when staying in Sofia (1.5 litre 0.25$)
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Old Jun 28, 19, 1:55 am
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Originally Posted by aysoo View Post
All tap water within Europe is drinkable by law. However the buildings are sometimes old and the pipes a bit rosty. So persoanlly i buy water at LIDL when staying in Sofia (1.5 litre 0.25$)
Its 'not only about 'health' but also 'taste'!

@aysoo is correct that the water will be potable but in many (EU) countries this is achieved by adding chemicals to combat those damned rusty pipes.

Cheers!
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Old Jun 28, 19, 5:11 am
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The worst water I've had in my life in Europe (taste- and looks-like) was a green liquid in parts of Wiesbaden, Germany, back in the 1960s. This is obviously no longer the case there or anywhere else on the continent. One hears a lot of urban myths about chemicals to combat rust, salts of all kinds, odd colour and, of course, lots and lots of pathogens. I've often wondered whether these "rumours" are not spread by local and multinational water bottling companies. Other than a potential etiologic agent for urolithiasis (for which there are indications that environmental factors play a role, which cannot be quantified and neither specified for an individual person affected), drinking tap water anywhere in Europe is generally considered to be safe. My own rule (have had several kidney stones so far) is if it tastes good, drink it. Avoid, though, at all costs non-bottled water, even in minimal quantities, in places that are known to suffer from non-optimal public health. One can start from here to find facts on drinking water worldwide.
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Old Jun 28, 19, 11:20 pm
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In theory, tap water is the most tightly regulated and controlled food in Europe. In practice, tap water has the highest quality in many European countries but not all. For instance, in Switzerland or Germany, scientific studies regularly find that bottled water has more contaminants than tap water.

Some people still claim bottled water tastes better. Personally, I have doubts such claims would hold up in a properly conducted double-blind test.

As for Bulgaria: My understanding is the tap water in Sofia is of high quality and safe to drink. When there, I drink it myself. Now, as for smaller towns and new settlements, I don't know what the numbers are. Honestly, I'd be at least a tiny bit skeptical. Tourism is on the rise in Bulgaria. Maybe some corners are cut here and there during construction and in the provision of basic services? I'm not saying that's necessarily true. Just that I'd err on the side of caution.

I know that in Croatia, another country which currently sees a huge spike in tourism--not unlike the gold coast in Bulgaria--public infrastructure hasn't kept up with demand. Huge flaws in basic services are well-known problems.
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Old Jun 30, 19, 8:54 pm
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Enjoyed the thread. Will be buying water for a quarter when I go next month.

but tell me what to watch out for next month? Will only be in Sofia, plodiv, and troyan.

Anything i I need to know, since your there now?
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Old Jul 1, 19, 12:57 pm
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Originally Posted by SJWarrior View Post
Enjoyed the thread. Will be buying water for a quarter when I go next month.

but tell me what to watch out for next month? Will only be in Sofia, plodiv, and troyan.

Anything i I need to know, since your there now?
We are loving Bulgaria!

started in Sofia and could have stayed longer but we flew to the Black Sea instead: Sozopol, Burgas, Nessebar, Sunny Beach then Varna.

I am am typing this on a train from Varna to Plovdiv.

The people are nice, the food is great and the weather has been spectacular. I keep telling people: think Greece but cleaner and cheaper.

Im a big fan!

Only issue was a taxi driver in Sofia who wanted to charge triple the going rate (we only knew because we had taken the route before). I gave him 150% of the going rate and said if he didnít like it to call the cops. If the meter is hidden you are being scammed.

Only that small negative incident after 16 days here so far.
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Old Jul 1, 19, 8:13 pm
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post

We are loving Bulgaria!

started in Sofia and could have stayed longer but we flew to the Black Sea instead: Sozopol, Burgas, Nessebar, Sunny Beach then Varna.

I am am typing this on a train from Varna to Plovdiv.

The people are nice, the food is great and the weather has been spectacular. I keep telling people: think Greece but cleaner and cheaper.

Im a big fan!

Only issue was a taxi driver in Sofia who wanted to charge triple the going rate (we only knew because we had taken the route before). I gave him 150% of the going rate and said if he didnít like it to call the cops. If the meter is hidden you are being scammed.

Only that small negative incident after 16 days here so far.
thank you for the reply. Let us know how plodiv is.
We are English speaking only. Will they be an issue?
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Old Jul 2, 19, 12:18 am
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I was super-pleasantly surprised about Plovdiv back in March!!! The city is very underrated and worth a day or two.

The younger generation speaks English, like elsewhere in that part of the world.
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Old Jul 2, 19, 2:11 am
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Originally Posted by Palal View Post
I was super-pleasantly surprised about Plovdiv back in March!!! The city is very underrated and worth a day or two.

The younger generation speaks English, like elsewhere in that part of the world.
This is so true!

We went to the public pool in Burgas to swim laps. The older lady at the desk couldn't understand us (nor we her) and we didn't have our iphones with us so she went and grabbed a 15 or so year old kid from swim practice who interpreted for us! His English was excellent.

But most times we have our phones with us with the google translate app which works great. We had an entire conversation at the train station in Varna with the ticket lady using google translate app on my phone. Same with the taxi driver from the Plovdiv train station to our homestay flat last night.
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Old Jul 2, 19, 9:53 am
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
We've been in Bulgaria for nearly 2 weeks and I have read and heard all sorts of conflicting information. Were in Sofia and Sozopol, now in Sunny Beach.

Some says don't drink.

Some says fine to drink but may taste odd.

We have erred on the side of caution and are drinking bottled but brushing teeth with tap. Are we wasting money? I can't figure it out!
My wife and our three young children just got back from two weeks in Bulgaria (stayed in Bansko, Plovdiv, and Sofia). We drank tap water exclusively, and HUGE amounts because it was so hot.

Not a single issue. Tasted fine, felt fine, didn't even cross my mind to think otherwise until I saw this thread!
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Old Jul 2, 19, 9:56 am
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Originally Posted by SJWarrior View Post


thank you for the reply. Let us know how plodiv is.
We are English speaking only. Will they be an issue?
We had zero problems. In places like Plovdiv and Sofia that receive tourists we found everyone in customer service had excellent English.

The only people I met that didn't speak English were the monks at Bachkovo Monastery

(Which by the way is a must see! Combine it with Asen's Fortress and some gorgeous waterfalls behind the monastery! Makes for an epic day
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Old Jul 2, 19, 9:58 am
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Originally Posted by SJWarrior View Post


Anything i I need to know, since your there now?
This might be obvious, but the Bulgarian Lev is hard to find outside of Bulgaria, and the Forex places that sell it (in Montreal, anyways) were asking a fortune.

Bulgaria was the first place where I bought the currency in country. Got a far better rate.

Crown Currency has many locations and offered the best rates (which you can see online to compare).

You're gonna love it, have a blast!
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Old Jul 3, 19, 4:17 am
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Yes, you can drink tap water in Bulgaria. It might taste a bit weird sometimes though. But it is safe to drink everywhere. Their bottled water is very affordable so if you don't like the taste of their tap water, you won't spend too much money on bottled water.
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Old Jul 3, 19, 4:32 am
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Depending of the city/region tap water might be great or might be rubbish. Even Sofia different suburbs have different water quality and taste.The best one will be if supply from Rila mountain spring water, it's great taste and cold temperatures during summer. In general the tap water is fine and can be drunk, the one from towns anyway.I and my family do not drink tap water at Black sea resorts, new buildings, cutting corners, doggy construction, doggy water supply etc. I do recommend drinking bottle water(Devin is my personal choice) when at Black sea resort.
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