Visiting Bulgaria From the USA For A Road Trip


There will be more differences than commonalities if you visit Bulgaria from the USA for a road trip. We use the metric system to measure speed (km/h), weight (in kilograms and tons), volume in liters, and temperature is being measured in Celsius. City centers are usually places where people go out to gather together. Parking places are paid for, and usually, there are scarce. People may be less open to communicating at the start. Not all European countries speak the same language, and most have different histories and cultures. If you are coming from the USA to Bulgaria, we recommend you read the information on this page to acclimatize more quicker. Here we will focus on driving, parking, speed limits in miles, road safety precautions, and how to convert temperature from Fahrenheit to Celsius. If you are visiting Bulgaria from the USA for a road trip, below you can find more information and suggestions.

Differences Between Driving in the USA and Bulgaria

On highways, traffic patterns can change quickly, suddenly, and unexpectedly to you because of the more frequent exist and incoming traffic streams. At sudden traffic stops, it is customary to flash your danger signals.

No right turns on a red light. In Bulgaria, you must stop at the red lights even if there is no incoming traffic from your left side. You can proceed only when the light turns green.

Like most European countries, Bulgaria follows the rules of priority to the right at an intersection. There is no such rule as whoever arrives first goes first at the intersections.

Roundabouts are a standard traffic-calming infrastructural approach. Incoming traffic has to yield the inside traffic. When leaving a roundabout, you must signal before you exit it.

Fuel is more expensive in Bulgaria than in the USA, and vehicle tanks are smaller. Tank stations have different types of gasoline depending on the octane level. The most common types of petrol (gasoline, benzin) are 98 (E5), 95 (E10), and 91. Some petrol stations offer gasoline with the designation 100, which has the highest octane level. Petrol stations also offer diesel (B7) and may offer LPG (Liquefied petroleum gas). You will not find fuel types 87, 89, or 93 in Bulgaria. At petrol stations, the price is quoted per liter, not per gallon. One gallon equals 3.8 (3.7895) liters.

Unlike in the USA, traffic lights are located on the nearby side, and you have to stop just before the traffic lights. You have to look up to see the traffic lights.

A headlight flash from the incoming car in Bulgaria means you can proceed. Someone asks to overtake or pass you if the flashing comes from the back.

There are manual transmission cars in Bulgaria. They are more economical and may be safer in the winter if driven correctly. If you are used to automatic transmissions, you can consider opting for an automatic transmission when booking a rent-a-car. A car with manual transmission is cheaper to rent.

In the big cities, there could be various traffic participants, ranging from small electric scooters, bicycles, and mopeds to large trucks, busses, trams, and of course, cabs.

Narrower roads are common in Europe and Bulgaria. Highways lanes are also slightly narrower compared to the ones in the USA. Highways in Bulgaria have two lanes only and a shoulder.

In the winter, neighborhood and inner-city roads are cleaned from the snow first, and snow is cleaned from the highways later. Don’t expect that if the road in front of your house is cleaned, you can start your country trip immediately.

Suppose you are visiting Bulgaria from the USA for a road trip. In that case, we must note that the temperature displayed on the car dial will be in Celsius, as we measure temperature in Celsius, not Fahrenheit, and there is an easy way to understand how to convert between the two systems. 

Know your speed limits in Bulgaria in MpH
Converting Temperature Easy

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Driving in Bulgaria has specifics, and we took a customized approach to explain them depending on the country of origin, with a sense of humor, and to make your driving experience worry-free.

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