List of Traditional Bulgarian Souvenirs
Bulgarian souvenirs have distinct differences from other gifts you can obtain from Balkan countries. They might resemble but have their own cultural background and story. These gifts are available in many souvenir shops and local street markets in Sofia.
Rose Oil from Stara Zagora Province
One of the world’s biggest manufacturers and exporters of rose essence or oil is Bulgaria. June is a great time to visit Bulgaria because you can witness the traditional Rose Festival up close at the Rose Valley, which is located in the Stara Zagora Province, close to Kazanlak. Bulgarian rose oil has such a stellar reputation that it is regarded as a national symbol. You may get a bottle of this fragrant and aromatic oil in whatever city you visit. Apart from the oil itself, this essential oil is also used to make some of the best Bulgarian souvenirs, such as cosmetics and health items.
Kashkaval Sheep’s Milk Cheese
Very famous in the Balkan region, Kashkaval Cheese is one of the delicious Bulgarian souvenirs that you can bring back home. Similar to cheddar cheese, it has a semi-hard texture which is good for melting over food. This cheese is made from sheep’s milk and is high in nutrients and has a slightly nutty flavor. Feta cheese is very popular there but Kashkaval Cheese is easier to carry and put into your luggage.
Bulgarian Traditional Clothing or Nosiya
Today, Bulgaria is seen as a modern nation, and Bulgarians no longer dress traditionally regularly. Nonetheless, traditional Bulgarian attire has grown to be a priceless asset for them, and the people of Bulgaria are immensely proud of their vibrant and exquisite attire. These noisy clothing can be rented from studios in many Bulgarian cities, particularly those that cater to tourists. You can purchase one or more of these beautiful, intricately patterned garments from souvenir shops and take them home as mementos.
Gyuvech Clay Pot
Gyuvech is a small clay pot that is used for cooking in the oven. There are many similar pots in the region like Serbia with similar uses. All ingredients such as meat, vegetables, and cheese are poured into the pot and after cooking, they are served to people in the same dish. In souvenir and handicraft stores, you can buy the full service of this pottery and bring souvenirs for yourself or your loved ones.
Lutenitsa Spread Sauce
If you had any meals in a restaurant in Bulgaria and the cuisine had a really good sauce, it was most likely Lutenitsa sauce. One of the most authentically Bulgarian souvenirs is this sauce, which you should definitely try when visiting and then take back with you. This sauce is made with a blend of pepper, spices, and tomatoes and is available in little jars. The savory and flavorful sauce is consumed by Bulgarians with grilled meat or by rubbing it over a slice of bread.
Religious Paintings of Jesus
Bulgaria as a whole has retained most of its Orthodox Christian values and you will still see many oil paintings depicting Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary as well as other Saints across many monasteries in Bulgaria and local art markets, especially in Sofia. These religious Sofia souvenirs are found near some churches like St Nevski Cathedral but many souvenirs shops sell them among other merchandise.
Bulgarian Martenitsa Bracelets
Prevalent in both Bulgaria and Macedonia, Martenitsa is generally a cotton or wool bracelet to represent the beginning of spring and the new year full of hope. The colors of the twisted cotton used for this bracelet are red and white. This ancient culture is still alive in Bulgaria and on March 1st each year during the Baba Marta or Grandma March, local people wear these bracelets. Normally, locals will tie these bracelets to a tree branch after the first sight of a flying swallow. These Martenitsas are readily available in springtime and are cute Bulgarian souvenirs that you can wear for good luck and prosperity.