Bulgaria is a country in Southeast Europe. Borders five other countries: Romania to the north (along the Danube), Serbia and the Republic of North Macedonia to the west, and Greece and Turkey to the south. The Black Sea defines the extent of the country to the east.
With a territory of 110,933 square kilometers (42,855 sq mi), Bulgaria ranks as the 16th-largest country in Europe. Several mountainous areas define the landscape. Most notably the Stara Planina (Balkan) and Rodopi mountain ranges, as well as the Rila range, which includes the highest peak in the Balkan region, Musala. In contrast, the Danubian plain in the north and the Upper Thracian Plain in the south represent Bulgaria’s lowest and most fertile regions. The 378-kilometer (235 mi) Black Sea coastline covers the entire eastern bound of the country. Bulgaria’s capital city and largest settlement are Sofia.
– Population: 7977646
– Area: 110933 sq. km
– Language: Bulgarian
– Religion: Orthodox
– Summer temperatures: 26 to 30 C
– Winter temperatures: -5 to 5 C
– Time zone: GMT +2 (April – September +3)
– Capital – Sofia
– Currency – Lev (BGN)
– Exchange – 1 Euro / 1.95583 BGN
The official monetary unit is called “LEV” (plural “LEVA”). The banknote denominations include 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 LEVA, as well as coins – 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 called “stotinki” (“stotinka” for singular). 1 LEV coin is also available.
The official language in Bulgaria is Bulgarian. The Bulgarian language belongs to the group of the Slavic languages and it is very close to Russian, Macedonian and Serbo-Croatian languages. The majority of people speak Russian, basic English, German, and French.
Traditional Bulgarian culture contains mainly Thracian, Slavic, and Bulgar heritage, along with Greek, Roman, Ottoman, and Celtic influences. Thracian artifacts include numerous tombs and golden treasures. The country’s territory includes parts of the Roman provinces of Moesia, Thrace, and Macedonia, and many of the archaeological discoveries date back to Roman times, while ancient Bulgars have also left traces of their heritage in music and in early architecture.
Both the First and the Second Bulgarian empires functioned as the hub of Slavic culture during much of the Middle Ages, exerting considerable literary and cultural influence over the Eastern Orthodox Slavic world by means of the Preslav and Ohrid Literary Schools. The Cyrillic alphabet, used as a writing system to many languages in Eastern Europe and Asia, originated in the former around the 9th century AD. Ancient Roman architecture in Plovdiv, the oldest city in Europe and the 6th oldest settlement in the world, continuously inhabited since at least 3,000 BC. A historical artifact of major importance is the oldest treasure of worked gold in the world, dating back to the 5th millennium BC, coming from the site of the Varna Necropolis
Bulgaria has nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Madara Rider, the Thracian tombs in Sveshtari and Kazanlak, the Boyana Church, the Rila Monastery, the Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo, Pirin National Park, Srebarna Nature Reserve and the ancient city of Nesebar.
See our article Discover Sofia – lots of information for transportation, what to do/where to go and tips.
Information about Bulgaria ski resorts: Ski-in Bulgaria