Petar Bakalov studied in his native town of Kotel, then in Varna. At the Higher School of Sofia (today's Sofia University) he graduated natural history, after which he was a teacher in the village of Ichera, Gabrovo, Varna and Sofia cities.
He specialized in paleontology in Germany and after his return to Bulgaria he was appointed assistant professor of geology and paleontology. In 1922 he became the first Bulgarian professor of paleontology. He is the founder of the paleontological researches in Bulgaria.
Petar Bakalov is the founder of the geological society in the country and his long-standing chairman.