BULGARIA in pictures|
Republic of Bulgaria
|Area:||total: 110,910 sq km|
|water: 360 sq km|
|land: 110,550 sq km|
|Capital:||Sofia - 1 188 000 inhabitants.|
|State government||Bulgaria is a parliamentary republic.|
|Prime Minister||Sergey Dimitrievich Stanishev|
|Population||about 8 milion|
|Religion||86.6% of the population is Eastern Orthodox, 12% are Muslims,2% other.|
|Language||Bulgarian and uses only the Cyrillic alphabet|
|Administrative divisions||28 provinces (oblasti, singular - oblast) Blagoevgrad, Burgas, Dobrich, Gabrovo, Khaskovo, Kurdzhali, Kyustendil, Lovech, Montana, Pazardzhik, Pernik, Pleven, Plovdiv, Razgrad, Ruse, Shumen, Silistra, Sliven, Smolyan, Sofia, Sofia-Grad, Stara Zagora, Turgovishte, Varna, Veliko Turnovo, Vidin, Vratsa, Yambol|
|Time difference||Winter time: GMT + 2 hours( October- March).|
|Summer time: GMT + 3 hours (April- September)|
|Airports||Sofia, Varna, Bourgas|
|Roaming Mobile Operators||MTel, Globul|
- January 1 - New Year
- March 3 - National day of the Liberation from Ottoman Domination
- Easter - Two days (Sunday and Monday) according to the Orthodox calendar
- May 6 - St. George's Day
- May 24 - the Day of Bulgarian Enlightenment and Culture and Slav Script
- September 6 - National Day of Bulgaria's Reunion in the year of 1885
- September 22 - Independence Day
- November 1 - Day of the Bulgarian Revival Leaders
- December 24-26 - Christmas Eve and Christmas
- December 31 - New Year's Eve
Getting to Bulgaria
If you would like to travel to Bulgaria by car you may use your national driving license if it complies with international standards. If you enter Bulgaria by car you must state which border crossing you 'll be using when leaving and paying a road tax accordingly.
A regular Danube car ferry connects Vidin with Calafat in Romania.
Bulgarian - Serbian Border
Bulgarian - Macedonian Border
- Kalotina - Motorway E-80
- Vrushka Chuka - Belgrad-Zajcar-Koulata-Sofia Motorway
Bulgarian - Greek Border
- Gyueshevo - Sofia-Kyustendil-Skopje Motorway E- 871
- Stanke Lisichkovo - Stip-Delchevo-Blagoevgrad-Sofia Motorway E -79
- Zlatarevo - Strumica-Petrich-Sofia Motorway E-79
Bulgarian - Turkish Border
- Koulata - Motorway E-79
- Kapitan Petko Voivoda - Motorway E-85
Bulgarian - Romanian Border
- Kapitan Andreevo - Motorway E-80
- Malko Turnovo - Motorway E-87
- Rousse - Motorway E-85
- Yovkovo - Constanta-Dobrich-Kula Motorway 27
- Durankulak - Motorway E-87
- Silistra - Motorway 7
The speed limit in the Bulgaria is as follows: 50 km/h in populated areas, 90 km/h outside populated areas, and 120 km/h on motorways. Petrol stations are located at every 30 to 50 km.
Airline companies which offer direct or non-direct flights to Bulgaria are:
Air Bulgaria, Balkan Bulgarian Airlines (LZ), Turkish Airlines, Swiss Air, Olympic Airlines, Malev Hungarian Airlines, Lufthansa, LOT Polish Airlines, KLM, Czech Airlines, British Airways, Austrian Airlines, Al Italia, Air France, Aeroflot, Air Algerie , Hemus Air , Syrian Airlines.
Official site of Sofia's airport http://www.sofia-airport.bg/En/
Site of Air Bulgaria, which offers a variety of promotions - http://www.air.bg/en/.
Bulgarian international airports, phone numbers:
|Bourgas airport||tel.: +359 56/ 87 02 48|
|Sofia airport||tel.: +359 2/ 937 22 12|
|Plovdiv airport||tel.: +359 32/ 60 11 11|
|Varna airport||tel.: +359 52/ 50 08 34, 50 08 40|
You can visit Internet site http://www.centralnaavtogara.bg/ where you will find more information about international and interurban bus schedules and where you will be able to make online reservations.
Traveling to Bulgaria by water is also possible way to enter the country. There are two Black Sea ports located in the main Bulgarian seaside towns Varna and Bourgas which provide direct links with Ukraine, Russia and countries of the Mediterranean basin. There is also an extremely good access to Central and Western Europe through River Danube. The biggest Bulgarian port on the River Danube is located in Rousse and another river station is available in Vidin as well.
The main European railway routes pass through Bulgaria. If you prefer traveling to Bulgaria by train we recommend visiting the official site of the Bulgarian State Railways which provide direct or non-direct transportation to main European and Mediterranean cities: http://bdz.bg/eng/index_eng.htm.
Foreigners with valid international passports which are citizens of countries-members of European Union, Iceland, South Korea, Monaco, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland can spend up to 90 days in Bulgaria without a visa.
Citizens of Tunisia with valid international passports can stay in Bulgaria without a visa up to 60 days.
Foreigners who can spend up to 30 days in Bulgaria without a visa must be citizens of Australia, Andorra, the Vatican, Israel, Canada, Lichtenstein, Macedonia, New Zealand, USA, Serbia and Monte Negro, Romania and Croatia.
The official Bulgarian currency in circulation is Lev as 1 Lev is equal to 100 stotinki (Bulgarian coins). Foreign persons can safely exchange money at all Bulgarian banks and at most of the exchange bureaus without a commission for currency exchange. We recommend you not to use exchange desks at hotels and airports because they offer less favorable currency rates. You can use cash machines in all Bulgarian cities, most of towns and tourist resorts if possessing a debit card of Master Card, Visa, Diners Club International, JCB Cards, American Express, Access, Airplus. Cash is the accepted form of payment in Bulgaria, so we advise you not to use credit cards when paying any items or services, because they are accepted at a small number of hotels, restaurants and shops in Sofia and some other major Bulgarian cities as well as in some luxurious tourist resorts as Sunny Beach, Albena and Golden Sands, but you will not be able to use a credit card in smaller towns or rural areas. The average Bulgarian currency exchange rates of major international currencies are as follows: 1 Euro = 2 BGN (2 Leva), 1 US Dollar = 1.5 BGN, 1 Pound Sterling = 2.7 BGN.
Hotels in Bulgaria:
You can examine in detail most of the Bulgarian hotels located in the main cities, villages and tourist resorts at the following Internet address: http://www.hotelsbulgaria.com/.
Here is the list of Bulgarian websites offering services in the rent a car business which we advise you to use:
Most important phone numbers
150 - Emergency Medical Aid
166 - Police/Road patrols
175 - weather forecast
180 - exact time ("speaking" clock)
121 - operator for long-distance calls within the country
140 - sending of telegrams
144 - telephone information service for office phone numbers
145 - telephone information service for home numbers
146 - Emergency Road Service