Bulgaria

Bulgaria officially known as the Republic of Bulgaria is an mountainous country located in the Balkan Pennisula in the southeast of Europe bordering the Black Sea to the east, Serbia and the Republic of Macedonia to the west, Romania to the north and Turkey and Greece to the south. The capital of Bulgaria is Sifia which is also the country’s biggest city. The country might be small in area but it is rich in ancient culture, quaint locals, friendly and down to earth people who provide the warmth and hospitality of old days. The country is not only known as „Land of Roses“ but also for its sea resorts much of the country can be explored in great mountain regions, with many ski resorts.


View from the central Rhodopi mountain

Population & Languages

Bulgaria has a population of about 7.6 million and the official language being spoken is Bulgarian, but a considerable percentage of the population can also speak Turkish and Roma.

Electricity

The voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. The types of plugs used are Round pin attachment plug and “Schuko” plug and receptacle with side grounding contacts.


Bachkovski monastery

Geographic Location

Like already mentioned it lies in Balkan Pennisula in Southeastern Europe bordering the Black Sea to the east. The neighboring countries are Serbia, the Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine, Russia and Georgia. Bulgaria is strategically located near Turkish Straits making it the control point of key land routes connecting Europe to Middle East and Asia.

Climate

Bulgaria has hot and dry summers and cold and damp winters. In Summer the avarage temperatures are around 24°C (75°F) and in winter about 0°C (32°F). So the ideal time to visit Bulgaria is summer.

Local Customs

There are a few things one should know about when visiting Bulgaria. Handshaking is customary and dress should be conservative but casual and when invided to home souvenirs from home country are appreciated. Although the most important thing is that a nod of the head means ‚no‘ while shaking the head means ‚yes‘. 10 to 12 percents is customary for tipping for all services including taxi, restaurants, clubs and bars, etc.

Attractions

Sights to visit in Sofia are:
- St. Sofia Church
- St. George Rotunda
- Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
- National Ethnographic Museum


Katedrala Alexandr Nevsky in Sofia

In the Mountains you should visit:
- Village of Momchilovtsi
- Pirin National Park
- Rila Monastery

Travel

The natinal airline of Bulgaria is Bulgaria Air. Other airlines operating from Bulgaria are Aeroflot, AirFrance, Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, El Al Israel Airlines, KLM, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Olympic Airlines and Swiss Air. The biggest airport of the country is the Sofia International Airport EAD(SOF). Another aiport serving international flights is the Varna International Airport (VAR) located in the western outskirts of the city about 5 miles from Varna.

Sea – The important international ports are Bourgas and Varna along the Black Sea.

By Rail – Sofia is connected to Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest, Thessaloniki, Paris, Vienna, Munich and Berlin through frequent services of trains.

Duty Free Items

1. 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco
2. 1 liter of spirits and 2 liter of wine; 50g of perfume and 100g of eau de toilette
3. Gifts and personal use items.

Prohibited Items

Items prohibited in Bulgaria are Un-canned goods, meat or dairy products, Narcotics, pornography, firearms, ammunition, weapons, eggs, plants, endangered species, fireworks and alcoholic beverages that contain more than sixty per cent alcohol.