Explore Bulgaria in Europe

Country Guide

Map of the area of  in

Bulgaria with its capital Sofia is located in Europe (Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea). It covers some 110,911 square kilometres (slightly larger than Tennessee) with 7,262,000 citizens. Bulgarian and Turkish are the the official languages used in Bulgaria. Macedonia, Greece, Romania, , Turkey and Serbia are bordering countries.

Bulgaria is a country in the Balkans on the western side of the Black Sea. The Bulgarian language is related to Serbian, Russian and other Eastern European languages, but contains many international words. Bulgarians use the Cyrillic alphabet which can make the task of getting around the country somewhat difficult if you aren't familiar with this alphabet as most signs are written in it. However, getting acquainted with the alphabet isn't very difficult and may save you a lot of trouble, especially as many common words are homophones of English or French words. Bulgaria is a member of the Schengen Agreement but has not yet fully implemented it. For EU and EFTA (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) citizens, an officially approved ID card (or a passport) is sufficient for entry. In no case will they need a visa for a stay of any length. Others will generally need a passport for entry.


Landscape, climate and basic hints for travelling

National Tourism office

Website: Bulgaria Tourism

1 St. Sofia Str.
1000 Sofia

Phone: +359 2 987 9778
Phone: +359 2 989 6939

The landscape features mostly mountains with lowlands in north and southeast. The average density of population is about 65 per km². The climate in Bulgaria can be described as temperate with cold, damp winters, hot, dry summers. Potential threats by nature are earthquakes or landslides.

To reach someone in Bulgaria dial +359 prior to a number. There are 2,164,000 installed telephones. And there are 10,617,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks operate on frequencies of 900, 1800 Mhz. Websites typically end with the top level domain ".bg". If you want to bring electric appliances (e.g. battery charger), keep in mind the local 230V - 50Hz.

Learn more on our Bulgarian Facts page.

Description of the flag of Bulgaria

Three equal horizontal bands of white (top), green, and red; the pan-Slavic white-blue-red colors were modified by substituting a green band (representing freedom) for the blue
note: the national emblem, formerly on the hoist side of the white stripe, has been removed.

National administrative regions of Bulgaria

Historical background information

The Bulgars, a Central Asian Turkic tribe, merged with the local Slavic inhabitants in the late 7th century to form the first Bulgarian state. In succeeding centuries, Bulgaria struggled with the Byzantine Empire to assert its place in the Balkans, but by the end of the 14th century the country was overrun by the Ottoman Turks. Northern Bulgaria attained autonomy in 1878 and all of Bulgaria became independent from the Ottoman Empire in 1908. Having fought on the losing side in both World Wars, Bulgaria fell within the Soviet sphere of influence and became a People's Republic in 1946. Communist domination ended in 1990, when Bulgaria held its first multiparty election since World War II and began the contentious process of moving toward political democracy and a market economy while combating inflation, unemployment, corruption, and crime. The country joined NATO in 2004 and the EU in 2007.

Learn more on our Bulgarian Facts page.

Based on the content from wikitravel.org. The original article can be found here based on the work of these users. Geography information is based on the data provided by geonames.org, CIA world facts book Edition 2010 and 2013, Unesco, DBpedia, wikipedia and others.