Though the official language is Bulgarian, many people in large, well-touristed cities such as Sofia, Varna and Plovdiv speak some English. Rural Bulgaria is another story: very little English is spoken, even in tourist offices and other service centres used by international visitors. Younger Bulgarians usually speak a little English, while many of the older generation speak a smattering of German. Knowledge of the Cyrillic alphabet and a few basic phrases is invaluable when travelling off Bulgaria's tourist trail.