Bulgaria is situated in Southeast Europe and occupies the eastern part of the Balkan Peninsula.
To the north it borders on Romania, to the west on the Republic of Macedonia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, to the east on the Black Sea, to the south on Greece and to the southeast on Turkey's European part.
Area: 111.000 sq km.
Extremely varied: large plains and lowlands, low and high mountains, valleys and lovely gorges.
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.
English, German, French and Russian is spoken in the country's resorts, hotels and restaurants.
Cyrillic. Signs along international motorways, in airports and resorts are also spelled in Roman letters.
86.6% of the population is Eastern Orthodox, 13% are Muslims. The Bulgarian Church is autonomous and headed by a Patriarch.
Bulgaria is a parliamentary republic.
January 1 - New Year
March 3 - Bulgaria's Liberation from Ottoman rule - the National Day
Easter - one week after the Catholic Easter
May 1 - Labour Day
May 6 - Bulgarian Army Day
May 24 - Day of Bulgarian Enlightenment and Culture and the Slav Script
September 6 - Bulgaria's Unification
September 22 - Independance Day
December 25-26 - Christmas
Sofia (pop. 1,141,000)
Plovdiv, Varna, Veliko Turnovo
Winter time: GMT +2 hours (October through March).
Summer time: GMT +3 hours (April through September)
220 V only
lev. Banknote denominations include 1,00, 2,00, 5,00, 10,00, 20,00 and 50,00 leva, as well as coins of smaller denominations.
offices - 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. (Monday to Friday)
banks - 9.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. (Monday to Friday)
shops - 10.00 a.m. to 8.00 pm. (Monday to Friday, Saturday until noon)
Important Telephone Numbers
Police - 166
Ambulance - 150
Road assistance - 146
- in big cities: trams, trolley-buses, buses
- elsewhere: buses
- inter-city transport: plane, train, coach
rent-a-car: AVIS, Hertz, Intertel, Europcar, Budget and International Car Rental in Sofia, the country's big cities and resorts
Free first aid and consultation in emergencies
In banks and 24-hour change bureaux. The exchange rate is announced every day.
Visa, MasterCard, JCB, Diners Club, American Express, Access, Airplus.
They can be used for the payment of all standard services in hotels, restaurants, night clubs, shops, car rentals, plane tickets, etc.
Passports and Visas
You will need a valid passport with an entry or transit visa which is issued by the embassies and consulates of the Republic of Bulgaria abroad.
No entry visas are required for citizens of the countries with which Bulgaria has a visa-free regime, or of organized tourists who have bought a package tour.
No entry visas are required for citizens of the EU and EFTA member states.
No visas are required for CIS citizens for a stay of one month, provided they are in the possession of a valid passport, a voucher for pre-paid tourist services or if they pay the sum of 40 USD for each day of their stay in the country.
Bulgaria boasts an extensive accommodation network ranging from luxury five-star to unpretentious two-star hotels, small cosy hotels and private rooms, meeting all modern requirements. Reservations through tourist agencies or local accommodation offices.
Troughout Bulgaria you will find catering establishments of different categories serving different foods:renowned luxury restaurants, taverns which serve national cuisine, restaurants serving foreign cuisine, fast food outlets, pizzerias, numerous cafйs and pastry shops, entertainment spots, etc.
Menus are usually printed in both Bulgarian and English. Restaurants stay open from 11a.m. to midnight, but may work round the clock.