I have schengen visa , single entry issued by Italian consulate in Palestine. I want to visit Italy and Bulgaria. It would be my first time visiting Europe.

Should go to Italy first and then go to Bulgaria (notice that my visa is one entry and Bulgaria is not a schengen zone)? Or I can go to Bulgaria first, finish my work, then go to Italy?

  • It's probably not the greatest idea to post this image of your visa. It has a lot of personal information about you that people might be able to misuse. May 9, 2019 at 1:19
  • 2
    Welcome to TravelSE. I've edited the post so that personal details from visa are blanked out. I hope mods can remove the original from history or something.
    – RedBaron
    May 9, 2019 at 1:53
  • We have a similar question travel.stackexchange.com/questions/74609/… but it appears to be dated and this appears to be a grey area(atleast a couple of years ago). To be safe, I'd suggest getting a bulgarian visa unless someone here posts an update on regulations.
    – RedBaron
    May 9, 2019 at 2:53

3 Answers 3


There is no restriction from the Bulgaria side. It doesn't matter if you have a single or a multiple entry visa or if you have already used it or not. If you have a valid Schengen visa, you can enter Bulgaria and stay there up to three months in any six-month period.

From the website of the Bulgarian Ministry of foreign affairs

Visa-free regime for holders of Schengen visas for a stay of up to 90 days

On 25 January 2012 the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria adopted a decision according to which by the date of Bulgaria’s accession to the Schengen area, our country will unilaterally apply a visa-free system for holders of valid Schengen visas. They will have the right to enter and reside in the Republic of Bulgaria for a period of no more than three months in any six-month period from the date of the first entry, without needing to have a Bulgarian short-stay visa. The decision entered into force on 31.01.2012.

  • Per travel.stackexchange.com/a/74626/50234, the new EU law mandates Bulgaria to grant visa free access to only two or multiple entry Schengen visa. But as the OP in that answer implies, it is not known if that has led to change in Bulgarian law.
    – RedBaron
    May 9, 2019 at 7:26
  • @RedBaron I have read the Bulgarian law but there was not a single word about number of entries.
    – Dirty-flow
    May 9, 2019 at 7:27
  • Well as (very well) explained in the other answer, Bulgaria is now bound to follow EU rules so that is why single entry visa is a grey area - forbidden by EU but not by Bulgaria (which has to anyways follow EU)
    – RedBaron
    May 9, 2019 at 7:29

The order is pretty irrelevant as pointed out by other answers. Just a catch: if you want to visit Italy first, you cannot visit Bulgaria and then catch your return flight from Italy. This because you have a single-entry visa.

Options are:

  • Palestine -> Italy -> Bulgaria -> Palestine (or any other non-Schengen destination you are pleased/allowed to visit)
  • Palestine -> Bulgaria -> Italy -> Palestine

Since your visa is an Italian schengen visa, it will not affect your ability to enter Bulgaria. I am not sure if you need a visa to enter Bulgaria, but if you do, this visa will not be enough. This is only valid for Italy and Schengen states (as it says on the top, stati schengen).


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