Safety of Public Transportation: Fair
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Fair
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor to Fair
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor
The Bulgarian road system is underdeveloped. There are few sections of limited-access divided highway. Some roads are in poor repair and full of potholes. Rockslides and landslides are common on roads in mountain areas. Livestock and animal-drawn carts present road hazards throughout the country. Travel conditions deteriorate during the winter as roads become icy and potholes proliferate. The U.S. Embassy in Sofia advises against night driving because road conditions are more dangerous in the dark. Many roads lack pavement markings and lights, and motorists often drive with dim or missing headlights.
Heavy truck traffic along the two-lane routes from the Greek border at Kulata to Sofia and from the Turkish border at Kapitan Andreevo to Plovdiv creates numerous hazards. Motorists should expect long delays at border crossings. A U.S. state driverís license is not considered valid for Bulgaria; only an international driverís license is accepted. Persons operating vehicles with foreign license plates frequently complain of being stopped by police and being fined on the spot for offenses that are not clear.
Buses, trams, and trolleys are inexpensive but often crowded and of widely varying quality. Passengers on the busiest lines have reported pickpocketing, purse-slashing, and backside-pinching.
For specific information concerning Bulgaria driver's permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, contact the Bulgarian National Tourist Organization.
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