Bulgaria Travel Guide: Travel tips for foreigners & backpackers, Sofia tourist information, Bulgaria food average prices, eating on a budget, accommodation in Sofia. Find discount hotels, cheap accommodation, vacation deals, holiday packages.
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Bulgaria Travel Guide

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Full country name: Republic of Bulgaria
Area: 110,993,6 sq km
Population: 7,563,710
Capital City: Sofia
Language: Bulgarian
Religion: 85% Bulgarian Orthodox, 13% Muslim, 0,8% Jewish, 0.5% Roman Catholic, 0,7% other
Government: Parliamentary democracy
Time Zone: EET (UTC+2); summer EEST (UTC+3)
Dialing Code: 359
Electricity: 230V, 50Hz
Weights & measures: Metric
Currency: Lev (BGN)

Money & Costs:
Average Yearly Salary:

Budget: 6-8 EUR
Mid-range: 10-15 EUR
High: 20+ EUR
Budget: 25 EUR
Mid-range: 50 EUR
High: 70+ EUR

Geography: Bulgaria is situated on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeastern Europe and is bordered by Romania, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece and Turkey. Since Bulgaria is by the Black Sea, it has an attractive seacoast covered with golden sands which attract a lot of tourists. The relief of Bulgaria is varied, with alpine regions being situated mostly in the southern part of the country. Stara Planina divides Bulgaria in two parts. It is as a natural barrier that protects the southern part from the cold north. The highest mountain of Bulgaria is Rila with its highest peak Musala (2925 m.) rising above.

Climate: All the four seasons in Bulgaria are lovely and tender, therefore you do not need to visit it necessarily in summer or winter time. Here you can enjoy the warm blooming spring, hot summer, colorful and pleasant autumn or mild winter with lots of opportunities for skiing. Bulgaria has about 2200 – 2500 hours of sunlight per year and an average yearly temperature of 14,7 C. The northern Bulgaria has moderate continental climate, whereas the southern Bulgaria enjoys intermediate continental tending to Mediterranean climate.

Recommended clothing: Pack your clothes according to the season: lightweight clothes for summer, medium-wear is recommended for most part of the year and warm or skiing clothing should be worn in winter.

Food: Bulgarian cuisine is delicious, but the food does not particularly differ from other European countries. Some of the products used in the traditional Bulgarian cuisine are: beans, sour/fresh milk, cheese, paprika, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, water-melons, apples and grapes. Bulgarians enjoy all kind of meats, from industrially bred animals to fowls, fresh-water and sea fish. Bread is something that inevitably must be present on Bulgarian dinner table. Don't be surprised that the tradition of meeting visitors with bread and salt is still very much alive and it would be kind of impolite to refuse this greeting.

Drink: Tap water is mostly drinkable, however, it depends on the town, so you should inquire about it. You can buy bottled mineral water in every grocery shop, it is of exclusively good quality. You will also like the natural juices without any preservatives, sold by the local Bulgarians in the streets.

Health: All travelers visiting Bulgaria are advised to take out travel insurance. There is a risk of tick-borne encephalitis and immunization against tuberculosis is sometimes recommended. All in all the health system in Bulgaria is good and you will surely find the necessary medicine at chemist's.

Social conventions: Handshaking in Bulgaria is the normal form of greeting, however, a nod of the head, opposite to almost everywhere else, means 'no', and a shake of the head – 'yes'. Choose conservative, but casual clothes. If you are invited to a Bulgarian's home, a small souvenir from one's homeland is expected and something for the family's children is always welcome. Note, that giving money is an offensive gesture.

Public Holidays:
1 Jan New Year's Day
3 Mar National Day (Day of Liberation)
2 Apr 5 Apr Orthodox Easter
1 May Labour Day
6 May St George's Day (Day of Bulgarian Army)
24 May St Cyril and Methodius Day (Day of Culture and Literacy)
6 Sep The Unification of Bulgaria
22 Sep Independence Day
1 Nov Day of the Bulgarian Revival Leaders
24 Dec - 25 Dec Christmas
31 Dec New Year's Eve

Note: Only schools and universities close when 1 November falls on a school day; banks, offices and government organizations remain open.

Disclaimer: The above information is for reference purposes only. The content of this page is not intended to substitute for advice given by the user's own government travel departments or a licensed travel health advisor. The viewer/user of this web page should always contact the user's own government representatives in that area for the most up-to-date information at that time, before making a final decision to travel to that country or destination.

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