Bulgaria is situated in the north-eastern part of the Balkan Peninsula. To the north it neighbours Romania, to the south Greece, to the south-east Turkey and to the west it borders on the Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Serbia. It reaches the Black Sea to the east.
110,993 square kilometers
The population of Bulgaria amounts to about 8 million people.
Sofia (1.5 million people)
Other large cities:
Plovdiv, Varna, Veliko Tarnovo, Bourgas, Russe, Stara Zagora and others.
Bulgaria is a parliamentary republic.
Bulgarian language belongs to the group of the Slavic languages. The alphabet is known as Cyrilic and was created by the brothers Cyril and Methodius in the middle of the 9th century. It consists of 30 characters. However, signs along international motorways, in airports and resorts are also spelled in Roman letters. English, German, French and Russian are spoken in the country's resorts, hotels and restaurants.
East Orthodox Christians - 86.6% of the population; 13% are Muslims. The Bulgarian Church is autonomous and headed by a Patriarch.
Bulgarian relief is extremely varied - large plains and lowlands, low and high mountains, valleys and lovely gorges, varied beaches.
Highest mountain peak:
Musala (in the Rila Mountain) - 2925m
Temperate continental with clearly marked four seasons. A Mediterranean influence is felt in the country's southern regions. The average annual temperature is 10.5?’?°C. The average January temperature is around O°C. Average summer temperatures rarely exceed 30°C.
Bulgaria can be reached by land (car, bus or train), air and water. In big cities you can use the public transport and also taxi-services.
Dialing code: +359
Electricity: 220V, 50Hz
The official monetary unit is called LEV and 1 LEV consists of 100 stotinki (coins). All payments should be effected in national currency. There are banknotes of 1,2,5,10, 20, 50 and 100 Lev and coins of 1,2,5,10, 20 and 50 stotinki. It is advisable to exchange foreign currency at exchange bureaus or banks. A lower bank exchange is used as a rule at the major hotels, rail and bus stations and international airports. The exchange rate is 1 EUR = 1.95583 Lev.
Banks are open from Mondays to Fridays, from 09:00 a.m. to 04:00 p.m. It is best to have your passport with you as you may need it when exchanging currency or cashing cheques.
You can use the main international credit cards at the big hotels, the car hire offices, at some restaurants and in the shopping centres. There are also automatic teller machines at the hotels, at the restaurants, the shopping centres, the airports and in the streets in the big cities and resorts.
Restaurants are open from 07:30 a.m. to 11-12 p.m., and some of them may be open as long as there are guests. Concerning the tips, in most of the bars and restaurants you are not charged for the service, therefore it is accepted to leave a tip of 5-10%. In some restaurants, the service charge is specified in the menu and included in your bill.
It is extremely various and comprises traditional European cuisine as well as typical and authentic Bulgarian meals and specialties. The most popular among Bulgarian salads are the "shopska salad" (chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and peppers sprinkled with Bulgarian white cheese ), the "kyopulo" salad (roasted aubergines, peppers, loads of garlic and parsley ), the "tarator" (cold yoghurt and cucumber soup ); Among the dishes you should try the "kavarma" ( meat and vegetable stew usually served in individual pots ), the "kebapcheta" ( spicy mince meat, sausage shaped and grilled ), "chushki biurek" ( fried peppers stuffed with egg and cheese ), "sirene po shopski" ( white cheese, egg, tomatoes, peppers, baked in a pot ), etc. What is worth knowing is that Bulgaria offers excellent, world-famous red and white wines, as well as grape and plum brandy (rakia in Bulgarian). Small tips and facts - Bulgarians tend to serve food warm, rather than piping hot. When ordering a main course in a restaurant, check if it comes with dressing (garnitura) - usually you have to order your side dishes extra.
Good morning/day/ evening = Dobro utro/ Dobar den/ Dobar vecher; Hello = Zdraveite; How are you? = Kak ste?; My name is ???‚?¦ = Az se kazvam ???‚?¦; Thank you = Blagodaria; Excuse me = Izviniavaite; Would you please help me = Bihte li mi pomognali; How much does it cost = Kolko struva tova; Numbers: edno (1), dve (2), tri (3), chetiri (4), pet (5), shest (6), sedem (7), osem (8), devet (9), deset (10).
January 1st - New Year March 3rd - Bulgaria's Liberation from Ottoman rule - the National Day Easter - according to the one week after the Catholic Easter May 1st - Labour Day May 6th - the Day of the Bulgarian Army May 24th - the Day of the Bulgarian Culture and Script (St. St. Cyril and Methodius???‚?„? Day and the day of the Slavonic script) September 6th - the Day of the Reunion of Bulgaria in 1885 September 22nd - the Independence Day November 1st - the Day of the Spiritual leaders December 24th-26th - Christmas Eve and Christmas
Besides the above mentioned, there are some other holidays and carnivals, which are very popular:
January 11th - the Kukeri Carnival February 1st - St. Trifon`s Day (wine growers holiday) March 1st - Granny Marts Day March 8th - Mother`s Day April 1st - All Fools Day June 1st - Children Day The beginning of June - the Rose Festival in Kazanlak December 8th - University Students Day