Do you love travelling? Are you eager to explore Bulgaria? … and are you an addictive person when it comes to collecting things?
If all of your answers are positive, I am happy to share with you an amazing booklet! It is called “100 National Tourist Sights”! The initiative by the Bulgarian Tourist Union has been around for more than 50 years and encourages many locals and foreigners to visit some of the best sightseeing places in Bulgaria!
To explain: The booklet has listed around 120 sights (so more than 100 – I think because some of them are not so easy to reach, e.g. Botev peak) in Bulgaria that are worth a visit. These include churches and monasteries, museums, galleries, caves, mountain peaks, etc. At each sight you can collect a stamp and a sticker in the booklet. You do not need to collect a sticker (but it is of course super cool). The stamp is free of charge, the sticker costs 1 BGN. I have personally visited many museums that did not have any stickers left, but don’t worry – you can buy them at the headquarter of the Bulgarian Tourist Union in the city center of Sofia. Once you collect 25 stamps, you get a bronze badge. Once you have visited 50 of the sights listed – you get a silver badge, and with 100 stamps you also get a golden one. People who have a badge take part in an annual competition to win different things (e.g. cooker, etc.). People who have collected 100 stamps for sure get a small prize as well as take part in a competition for a car! Bonus: if you have 100 stickers, you take part in a second competition for another car!
To get a badge or register for the contest you should present your booklet at the headquarter of the Bulgarian Tourist Union in Sofia or in other Bulgarian cities where they have a representative (e.g. Burgas, Plovdiv, Pleven, Varna, Veliko Tarnovo, etc.). Keep in mind that the registration for the annual competition must take place by the last Sunday of August when we celebrate the Day of Tourism.
The booklet costs 2 BGN and can be purchased at most of the ticket offices of the sights included in the booklet.
PS: This way you not only have fun while travelling around Bulgaria, but you also keep track of the places you have visited!