Bulgaria Guide

Bulgaria Guide

Bulgaria – country information

Country name Bulgaria
Official name Republic of Bulgaria
Capital Sofia
Continent Europe
Area 110,912 km2
Population 7,282,041 (2012)
Foundation of a state 3/3/1878
The highest mountains Musala 2925 m, Vichren 2914 m
Longest rivers Dunav 2,850 km (in the country 450 km), Marica 526 km
State system a pluralist republic with a unicameral parliament
The biggest cities Sofia (capital) 1,125,000, Plovdiv 370,000, Varna 315,000
Official language Bulgarian
Ethnicity/National Composition Bulgarians 85.5%, Turks 10%, Gypsies 3.5%, others 1%
Religious affiliation atheists and no religion 60%, Orthodox 30%, Muslims 7%, others 3%
Currency 1 lev (Lv) = 100 cents
gross domestic product (GDP) US$14,103 (2012)
Average life expectancy of the population 72.30 years (2006)
Structure of GDP agriculture and fishing 11%, mining and industry 39%, construction 3%, services 47%

Bulgaria – neighboring states

State Capital Area Population
Macedonia Skopje 25,713 km2 2,062,294
Romania Bucharest 238,391 km2 20,121,641
Greece Athens 131,957 km2 10,815,197
Serbia Belgrade 77,474 km2 7,181,505
Turkey Ankara 783,562 km2 76,667,864

Country overview

According to Abbreviationfinder, Bulgaria is located in the southeastern part of the Balkan Peninsula, along the 354 km long Black Sea coast. Bulgaria represents Europe’s land link with Turkey and the Middle East. Bulgaria has always been one of the most permissive Soviet satellites. Since the peaceful revolution of 1989, Bulgaria has been undergoing rapid political and economic changes.

Country data

Location: Southeast Europe

Time zone: CET + 1

Total area: 110,879 km²

Land area: 108,489 km²

Water area: 2,390 km²

Length of the state border: 1,806 km

Bordering countries are accounted for:<brGreece: 472 km
Macedonia: 162 km
Romania: 605 km
Serbia: 344 km
Turkey: 223 km</br

Coastline: 354 km

Capital: Sofia

Provinces: 28
Blagoevgrad, Burgas, Dobrich, Gabrovo, Khaskovo, Kurdzhali, Kyustendil, Lovech, Montana, Pazardzhik, Pernik, Pleven, Plovdiv, Razgrad, Ruse, Shumen, Silistra, Sliven, Smolyan, Sofiya (Sofia), Sofiya-Grad ( Sofia City), Stara Zagora, Turgovishte, Varna, Veliko Turnovo, Vidin, Vratsa, Yambol

Electric current: 220 V / 50 Hz

Telephone code: 00 359 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: Musala 2,925 m


Population: approx. 6.9 million residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: -0.8% per year

Population density (residents per km²): 62

Life expectancy: 71 (male), 78 (female)

Official language: Bulgarian


  • 77% Bulgarian Orthodox
  • 8% Muslim
  • 15% other


The Bulgarian climate largely corresponds to that of Central Europe. In the south of the country, due to its proximity to the Mediterranean, it changes into a Mediterranean climate.

The summer months are not too hot and in winter it is not too cold. In the higher mountains there is snowfall in winter.


There is no pronounced rainy season.

Currency / finance

Currency unit: Lev (BGN)

Classification: 1 lev = 100 stotinki

ATMs: Available in larger cities.

International credit cards: These are only accepted by a few shops, as cash payments are common.

Regulations: > Foreign currencies can be imported and exported in unlimited amounts. If amounts with a value of more than 10,000 euros are carried, all foreign currencies must be declared upon entry. However, a declaration is also useful if you are traveling with less foreign currency.

The import and export of the local currency is not permitted.

You should keep all exchange receipts very well, as there are occasional checks when you leave the country. Even if you want to exchange leva that you do not need, this is only possible with an exchange receipt.

Customs regulations

The following may be carried duty-free:

  • 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 g of tobacco
  • 1 liter of alcoholic beverages

(Information applies to people aged 18 and over)

Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.

When entering Bulgaria (even if you only drive through the country) you should have all valuable items (computers, cameras, jewelry,…) declared in writing. Please make sure that you also receive a duplicate of the completed declaration form.

There is an export ban for antiques and works of art of all kinds (archaeological, historical,…).

The import, export and possession of drugs and narcotics is prohibited and is severely punished.

Travel advice

There is currently no country-specific safety notice for Bulgaria.

Behavioral advice

A vignette is required on all motorways and country roads, and the dipped headlights must still be switched on during every journey.

Since car thefts happen very often, you should always lock your vehicle (even if you only leave it for a short time).

It is also advisable to lock the vehicle doors while driving.


The Balkan state is still struggling with economic problems that date back to the times of the Cold War.

The unemployment rate has been reduced further and further through reforms and investments in recent years.

Industries: chemistry, food production, mechanical engineering

Natural resources: bauxite, coal, copper, farmland

Land use:

  • Land: 43%
  • Grain cultivation: 2%
  • Pasture area: 14%
  • Forests: 38%
  • other: 3%


Bulgaria is very rich in nature reserves away from the tourist strongholds. Many different plants and shrubs grow in the mild climate.


The animal world can develop almost undisturbed and freely through the over 100 existing nature reserves. Especially near lakes there are bears, hawks, chamois, deer, roe deer, golden eagles, wild boars, wolves and various water birds.

The many lakes and rivers are habitat for trout, pike, carp, mackerel, sturgeon, tuna, catfish and pikeperch.

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