Bulgaria welcomes you with its endless flower valleys of rose, lavender, beautiful ancient towns, unique stone structures, long-standing culture, spectacular Orthodox churches, and especially the friendliness and hospitality of its people. The trip to the land of roses will be even more memorable if you choose the right gift to bring home. So, what to buy in Bulgaria and what to buy in Sofia Bulgaria? Let’s check out our Bulgaria shopping guide with the suggested of the list of +17 best, must buy Bulgarian gifts, Bulgarian souvenirs including best gifts from Bulgaria, top things to buy in Bulgaria as well as best places to buy in Bulgaria to find out the answer and help you bring back meaningful Bulgarian souvenirs for your loved ones!

Sofia street | what to buy in bulgaria
Rose oil, traditional dolls, martitsasa… are Bulgarian must-buy souvenirs that you should not miss when traveling here. | what to buy in bulgaria
Troyan Pottery, must buy in Bulgaria. | what to buy in bulgaria

The world of souvenirs in Bulgaria is very rich bearing bold national identity and local culture, so if you are having a headache and don’t know what to buy in Bulgaria and things to buy in Bulgaria as meaningful and practical Bulgarian gifts, Bulgarian souvenirs, the wonderful suggestions below will help you choose easier.

Bulgarian gifts & top things to buy in Bulgaria: Rose Essential Oil & Rose Water

Bulgarian girls in traditional costumes in a rose valley. | what to buy in bulgaria

Near the Bulgarian town of Kazanlak in Stara Zagora province, there is a long-standing rose-growing valley, covering an area of more than 2,000 square kilometers, attracting hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. The roses here are harvested in the right season to produce many different products for life. One of them is rose essential oil which is consider the essence of Bulgaria. Bulgaria is the largest producer of rose oil in the world. Rose essential oil is also known as “liquid gold” which brings high value to this country. Therefore, when you have an opportunity to set foot in Bulgaria where dubbed “The land of roses”, besides admiring the beauty of roses, immerse yourself in its scent, buying products made from this flower is the number one choice.

Rose essential oils are also likened to “liquid gold”, which is the most famous and best souvenir to buy in Bulgaria. Extracted from petals of one of the rarest flowers in the world, the Bulgarian Rose Damascena (Damask Rose).

Rose trees grown in the valley are “bathed” just enough in the gentle spring rains, so they bloom very beautifully. People will harvest the most beautiful flowers with thick and succulent petals, long-lasting fragrance to make essential oils. The harvesting process must be done entirely by hand, carefully selected and then plucked, keeping the flowers fresh and unbroken until they are put into distillation. Bulgarian rose essential oil has a very pleasant, gentle smell and is considered one of the most luxurious fragrances in the world, chosen by many famous perfumers to produce their own perfumes.

The bottles of essential oils with pleasant scents will definitely be meaningful gift. | things to buy in bulgaria
Rose essential oil is extracted very elaborately. | things to buy in bulgaria

To extract 1 gram of essential oil requires at least 1,300 roses or more, so this is a super expensive gift. However, if you have a bottle of such essential oil in hand, you will be extremely satisfied because unlike other products on the market, Bulgarian rose essential oil is 100% completely pure, unadulterated, every drop, every drop is extremely pure.

To extract 1 gram of essential oil requires at least 1,300 roses. | best things to buy in bulgaria

Rose essential oil is especially good and safe for health, very beneficial in curing Eczema, Stress Relief, Relaxation and Menstrual… also used as a cosmetic to beautify the skin, so it is a gift that is extremely loved by women. After a trip to Bulgaria, if you can bring home small bottles of rose essential oils like these as a gift for your loved ones, what could be better.

Bulgarian rose oil is quite expensive but worth a buy. | best gifts from bulgaria

Because it is a popular souvenir, you can easily buy rose oil in most souvenir shops, supermarkets, shopping malls, even local markets throughout Bulgaria in a wide range of brands, sizes, qualities and prices as well. You can refer some of the best best Bulgarian rose essential oil producers and brands such as: Edens Garden Rose, Bulgarian Rose Otto, Aphrosmile Rose Essential Oil, Hana Rose Absolute Essential Oil, Gya Labs Rose Essential Oils, Alteya Organics…

Damask Rose, one of the world’s rarest rose flowers used to make the high quality of Bulgarian essential oil. | best gifts from bulgaria

If you visit these rose fields, do not forget to buy dried flowers as a type of tea, or even fresh flowers to bring back as the most practical souvenir.

What to buy in Bulgaria: Cosmetics from roses, lavender flowers

Not only used to extract rose essential oil, Bulgarian Rose Damascena (Damask Rose) is also a raw material to making many other organic cosmetics such as lotions, lipsticks, etc., which is the beauty secret of European women. Take advantage of the opportunity to visit Bulgaria, why don’t you buy some rose cosmetic sets as gifts?! There are lotions, hand creams, lipsticks, powders, perfumes, and even soaps… serving your beauty needs from A to Z.

Various cosmetic products can be produced based on rose flowers. | best gifts from bulgaria

Not only famous for producing rose essential oils, but cosmetics from Damask Rose are also very popular and loved by many tourists. The quality of the Bulgarian rose is extremely good, so the cosmetics with the main ingredient from this flower are also highly appreciated and become the beauty secret of many women around the world.

Cosmetics from Bulgarian roses are also very popular at its high quality.

You can buy a wide variety of cosmetics made from Bulgarian roses such as rose water, lotion, hand cream, rose lipstick, powder… The scent of these products is very pleasant so it will definitely make you happy, comfortable.

Like Bulgarian rose essential oils, cosmetics made from roses are also popularly sold in markets and souvenir shops across Bulgaria, especially in the capital Sofia, so it is easy to find and buy.

Bulgarian rose cosmetics became beauty items introduced at major European fairs. | best gifts from bulgaria

There are several Bulgarian rose cosmetic brands you should consider to buy their products such as Alteya Organics, Wooden Spoon, Just Amazing,Black Sea Stars, Victoria Beauty, Avia Cosmetics, Bilka…

Harvesting lavender flowers. | best gifts from bulgaria

In addition to roses, Bulgarians also use lavender to make cosmetics, this place is also one of the largest growing lavender flower regions in the world. Cosmetics from this flower have beautiful and romantic colors and pleasant scents, bringing a sense of luxury to the user. The famous Bulgarian lavender products such as soaps, aromatherapy bags, essential oils… are the choices of many tourists. To buy lavender cosmetics, you can go to beauty shops and shopping streets and malls in the capital Sofia, remember to check prices in many places in advance before deciding to buy.

Bulgaria is also very famous for its lavender cosmetics, a worthy gift to buy. | best gifts from bulgaria
Lavender Flower Water | best gifts from bulgaria

Best gifts from Bulgaria: Organic Soap

Rose soap | best gifts from bulgaria

Bulgaria is one of the leading producers of rose oil in the world, and products based on its excellent rose oil quality are used in some of France’s finest perfumes and cosmetics. In addition to cosmetics, rose essential oils and rose water as introduced above, one of the products made from rose to buy in Bulgaria is handmade organic soap made from this flower, with gentle fragrance, good for your skin, this is definitely a body care product that should not be missed.

In addition, you can also buy lavender soap which is not inferior quality.

Organic lavender with shea butter handmade soap product. | bulgaria shopping guide

Top things to buy in Bulgaria: Rakija

Rakija is the national drink of Bulgaria. | bulgaria shopping guide

One of the gifts that you can buy when visiting Bulgaria is Rakija liquor (fruit brandy). Rakija is a famous alcoholic drink, considered the “national drink” in the land of roses. It is made from naturally distilling fermented fruits including pears, apples, peaches, plums, and grapes. The alcohol content of this liquor is not too high, suitable for both men and women but home-produced rakija can be stronger. Rakija is an integral part of Bulgarian life, the locals often say “You are not a true Bulgarian if you don’t have a whiskey bottle full of homemade rakija in your fridge”.

The fermented fruit liquor in Bulgaria is called Rakija or Rakia or Raki. You can buy rakija to enjoy with your family, if you love fruit-based spirits, this is a drink that will make you satisfied. | bulgaria shopping guide
Rakija is an extremely popular alcoholic drink of the Bulgarian people, this is considered the national drink of this beautiful country and is widely used across the country. | bulgaria shopping guide

Rakija is made from naturally fermented fruits such as pears, apples, peaches, plums, grapes, nuts… The alcohol content of rakija in stores is only about 40% ABV, but it’s homemade, the content will be higher and stronger.

Must buy in Bulgaria: Bulgarian Wine

Bulgarian wines. | bulgaria shopping guide

Besides the Bulgarian essential rose oil, rose water, rakija liquor, another gift worth to buy is the Bulgarian wine. Tourists always carry grab some bottles back home. Two favourites, the Rubaiyat Red 2013 and the Castellum Chardonnay Barrique.

Best Bulgarian souvenirs: Traditional Bulgarian Costumes And Embroideries

Bulgarian people in traditional authentic folk costumes. | what to buy in sofia bulgaria

Traveling to Bulgaria, you will surely be impressed with the charming and gentle girls wearing traditional embroidered costumes. The unique look and sophisticated lines of these costumes and embroideries make many tourists love and want to buy them as souvenirs. Visitors can buy these traditional Bulgarian folk costumes or meticulously embroidered scarves from souvenir shops, and locals call them Shevitza.

Traditional Bulgarian folk costumes are very sophisticated, vivid and beautiful. | what to buy in sofia bulgaria
| what to buy in sofia bulgaria

Striking white and red motifs.
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Best Bulgarian gifts: Martenitsa

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Bulgarians use red and white wool or cotton threads to braid them into a small ornament and usually in the form of two dolls, bracelets or a broochs which bring health, happiness and longevity. This is a gift they give each other every spring to wish each other peace and luck. Martenitsa is braided in a very simple way, sometimes adding wood beads, stones, jades and dummies with monochrome yarn to make the souvenir even more eye-catching. They can be also made into keychains, bracelets, necklaces… a spiritual gift for relatives and friends.

According to Bulgarian people, Martenitsa is an object that brings good luck. If you travel in Bulgaria in March, you will be given Martenitsa as gifts by locals and these items are also sold in gift shops. | bulgarian souvenirs
Martenitsa is said to bring good luck and health, happiness to the receiver. | bulgarian souvenirs

Don’t forget to bring home Martenitsa as gifts for friends and relatives after your trip, before giving them, just tell them that Martenitsa is an object that brings luck, prosperity and even helps to make their wishes come true.

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Duduk (Traditional Bulgarian whistle)

Duduk sixth holes musical instrument. | bulgarian souvenirs

Duduk is a solo wind instrument with a special and melancholic sound, a traditional wooden instrument used by shepherds in Bulgaria, it usually is a pipe of 25 to 40 cm long and has 6 holes and often made of acacia tree wood (common locust). The Duduk has a pipe mouthpiece. Its melody and timbre are contrasting in the various pitches. In the lowest pitch the tones are weak. You can find them in music stores or souvenir shops.

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What to buy in Bulgaria: Gyuveche Clay Pot

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Gyuveche is a traditional Bulgarian ceramic pot in which it is baked and served, a Bulgarian souvenir that is very popular with tourists. This pot is shaped like a small clay pot with a lid usually used in meals. You can easy find this pot across Bulgarian souvenir shops, you can buy it for decoration or use in your kitchen.

The traditional Bulgarian colorful ceramic pot for single serving meal, comes in a variety of designs, sizes and color.

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Bulgarian Kukeri masks

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In the beginning of the year Bulgarian men will dress in scary Kukeri costumes and masks to participate in a weird festival of monster and in a practice dating back millennia, Bulgaria’s kukeri dancers perform traditional rituals intended to ward off evil and invite good things. This is old Bulgarian tradition that has been practiced since Thracian times and is of a Thracian origin. If you don’t scare you can buy a kuker mask as a cultural gift to decorate your home.

Costumed and masked dancers known as ‘kukeri’, who are believed to chase away evil spirits.

Traditional Bulgarian Dolls (Bulgarian Folk Dolls)

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Traditional dolls play a very important role in Bulgarian culture, they often appearing in festivals and weddings. Most Bulgarian children often own their dolls those attached to them throughout their childhood. They are completely handmade, wearing typical colorful traditional costumes of each region. It is said that folk dolls is an integral part of Bulgarian culture.

The traditional dolls here are handcrafted with colorful striking costumes, the most popular being dolls dressed in the signature traditional costumes of each region. | bulgarian souvenirs

Bulgarian dolls come in many sizes, designs, they can also used to attach to keychains, as gifts for children, or as a display to remember the trip. Dolls are sold in most souvenir shops and markets across Bulgaria, so you won’t have to look for them. The price of each product is also not too expensive, suitable for choosing as a gift, light and easy to carry as well as buy in bulk.

What to buy in Sofia Bulgaria: Bulgarian embroidery

Bulgarian embroidery

Many old Bulgarian women are masters of beautiful embroidery products made from lace with vivid color, rich in pattern. They often sell lace tablecloths, scarves, pillows and clothes in tourist sites at reasonable prices.

Tablecloth | bulgarian souvenirs

Things to buy in Bulgaria: Troyan Pottery

| what to buy in bulgaria

The mountain town of Troyan and the neighboring village of Oreshak are famous for their beautiful ceramic products which is known as Troyan pottery, one of the most famous ceramics in Bulgaria. The pottery style practiced today began in the 19th century based on the elements of the Trakian, Roman and Slavic art and patterns.

Troyan pottery has a long history, unique patterns and textures with a variety of designs and harmonious colors, which are very suitable for gifts. You can not miss the intricate ceramic products from this brand from vases, plates, teapots, cups to jars, ashtrays, pots…

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Herbal teas

Bulgarians drink a lot of herbal tea, especially in winter. You can find many industrially produced teas at any supermarket, but to find a local herbal tea, head to an organic grocery store and see what they have to offer. We recommend looking for Mursalski, an organically grown, hand harvested tea known for its beneficial effects on human health. Particularly, it is effective for healing of the urinary tract and prostatitis, liver and kidney diseases. It can only be produced in the Rhodope Mountains in Bulgaria.

Mursalski tea | what to buy in bulgaria

In addition, you can find another tea that extremely worth to buy which is rose tea, a specialty of Bulgaria, made from one of the most precious roses in the world called Rosa Damascena (or Damask Rose).

Bulgarian rose tea

Bulgarian Yogurt (Kiselo Mlyako)

Mlyako yogurt is also an delicious gift option. This is a traditional dish that is delicious, smooth and extremely good for the digestive system. You can buy some to make fruit pickles, make yogurt at home or make other tasty drinks.

Banitsa

Banitsa is a traditional Bulgarian pie, a phyllo dough pie stuffed with ingredients of feta cheese, eggs, and yogurt, usually eaten as breakfast. Some regions also stuff more cabbage, red apples or walnuts into the pie to increase nutrition.

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Best gifts from Bulgaria: Sharena sol

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Sharena sol means “particoloured salt” or “mixed salt”, also known as colourful salt, is a spice mix used extensively in Bulgarian cuisine. Its most typical ingredients are dried savory, paprika and salt. You can buy it at any supermarket, grocery store or local market. The seasoning is contained in lovely jars of all shapes and sizes, making this a great gift for those who love to cook.

Signature blend seasoning of Bulgaria. | what to buy in bulgaria

Other souvenirs

Besides Bulgarian souvenirs and gifts we introduce above you can buy other items to take home such as keychains, t-shirts, paintings, refrigerator magnets, jewelry, Easter eggs…

Colorful Easter eggs with rose patterns. | what to buy in bulgaria

Bulgaria shopping guide: Where to shop?

The main shopping places in Sofia center city are on Vitosha Boulevard, Ulitsa Graf Ignatiev and Ulitsa Pirotska streets.

Below we suggest some best places to buy in the capital Sofia including malls and shopping centers and markets.

  • The Mall
  • Kvadrat 500
  • Central Market Hall (Tsentralni Hali)
  • Zhenski Pazar Women’s Market
  • Mall of Sofia
  • Serdika mall
  • City Center Sofia
  • Sofia Outlet Center
  • Paradise Center
  • Zona Urbana
  • Open Air Book Market in Sofia
  • Bulgaria Mall
  • Flea Market
  • Zhenski Pazar (Women’s Market)
Slaveykov Book Market in Sofia

Bulgaria shopping guide: Some tips when shopping in Bulgaria

Currency

Pedestrians and trams are passing through the renovated “Graf Ignatiev” street in Sofia downtown.

Bulgaria does not use the Euro (€) but uses the Lev as the currency with 1 Euro = 1.96 Lev. There are legal money exchangers in most cities. To have a good exchange rate, tourists can exchange money at branches of big banks, avoid exchanging on the street because it is easy to encounter scams. It is possible to exchange at railway stations, bus stations or airports, but the exchange rate is not very favorable.

Usually, supermarkets and shops in this country only use Lev and they mainly use cash, payment cards or other payment methods are quite rare. Therefore, when traveling to Bulgaria, you should bring cash for convenient shopping.

Business hours

Vitosha Boulevard

Most shops and stores in Sofia are open either 9am-6:30pm or 10am-7pm, Mondays to Saturdays, though some shopping malls and centers often don’t close until 10pm. In central areas like Vitosha Boulevard, expect to find stores open on a Sunday.

Tax information

The VAT tax in Bulgaria is 20% and tourists who live outside the EU are able to obtain a VAT refund from the airport, next to passport control.

Sofia guide: Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Sofia you can refer to

Read more Bulgaria travel guide here. And Sofia here.

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