The average annual temperature is 10.5°C, in summer about 25°C
and in winter about 0°C. The sea water temperatures in the tourist
season (May-October) range around 23-28°C.
Bulgaria is located in the southeastern part of Europe
and occupies the eastern part of Balkan Peninsula. To the
north it borders on Romania, to the west on the Republic of
Macedonia and Serbia, to the east on the Black Sea, to the
south on Greece and to the southeast on Turkey's European
111 000 km2
7 500 000 (2001 est.)
Sofia (pop. 1 200 000)
Plovdiv (pop. 345 000), Varna (315 000), Bourgas (200
000), Rousse (165 000), Stara Zagora (145 000), Pleven (120
000), Blagoevgrad (95 000).
Extremely varied: large plains and lowlands, low and
high mountains, plateaus, caves, valleys and lovely gorges.
Lowest point: 0 m (Black Sea), highest point: 2925 m (peak
Mussala, Rila Mountain - the highest peak on the Balkan Peninsula).
The climate in Northern Bulgaria is moderate continental,
while the climate in Southern Bulgaria is intermediate continental
tending to Mediterranean. The climate in the regions with
an altitude of 1000-1200 m above sea level is mountainous
and along the Black Sea coast it is maritime.
Great attention is paid on environmental protection. There
are 49 protected territories, 17 biosphere reserves (the largest
number in Europe), 3 national parks, 9 natural parks, 82 reserves,
3,055 protected natural sites, 63 protected plants, 419 protected
animals. The air and the waters in Bulgarian mountains are among
the less polluted in Europe.
Bulgaria is a parliamentary republic with democratic government.
Bulgarian - the oldest written Slavonic language. English,
German, French and Russian are 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 are Eastern Orthodox Christians, 13%
are Muslims. There are also small Roman Catholic and Jewish communities.
The Bulgarian Church is autonomous and headed by a Patriarch.
The Bulgarians are an ancient people. The first Bulgarian state
on today’s location in Europe was founded in 681. The name of the
state has not been changed ever since. Major dates and events in
681: The Bulgarian state was founded by khan Asparuh.
855: St. St. Cyril and Methodius, patrons of modern Europe, created
the Slavonic alphabet
864 - 866: Bulgaria accepted Christianity.
1018 - 1185: Bulgaria was part of the Byzantine Empire.
1185: Restoration of the Bulgarian state.
1396 - 1878: Bulgaria was part of the Ottoman Empire.
1878: Restoration of the Bulgarian state.
1878 - 1944: Bulgaria was a constitutional monarchy.
1944 - 1989: Bulgaria was a people’s republic ruled by the Bulgarian
since 1990: Bulgaria has been a parliamentary republic.
Today, reforms and democratization keep Bulgaria on a path
toward eventual integration into NATO and the EU - with which it
began accession negotiations in 2000.
Bulgaria is a proven travel destination - it has a modern tourist
infrastructure and marvellous seaside and mountain resorts. Nowadays
the tourism in Bulgaria is flourishing due to its beautiful nature,
ancient history and the famous Bulgarian hospitality.
During 2002 Bulgaria had been visited from over 3 million international
tourists. And they come back bringing their friends and relatives.
The annual tourist arrivals growth rate is 15%.
Bulgarian Lev (BGN) which consists of 100 stotinkas. All payments
are effected in the national currency. There are banknotes of 1,
2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 Levs (view
the notes and coins - opens in new window), and currency exchange
should be made in a bank or at an exchange office.
The major international credit cards are accepted at the larger
hotels, rent-a-car offices, at some restaurants and trading centers.
The stickers on the doors of shops and hotels provide information
as to which credit cards are accepted.
220 V; 50 Hz
At most restaurants and bars there is no service charge, and
therefore it is accepted that clients leave a tip of 5 to 10% of
the bill’s value. At some places the tip is specified in the menu
and it is included in the bill. Clients are free to give a tip if
they are pleased with the service.
+359: International dialing code for Bulgaria
+359 2: Sofia
+359 886, 887, 888, 889: MTel GSM operator
+359 898, 899: GloBul GSM operator