Tour and Travel Info

Travel tips to Bulgaria

bulgaria
bulgaria

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bulgaria2

About the county

Officially known as the Republic of Bulgaria or Bulgarian Republic, Bulgaria is a beautiful mountainous country lying in Balkan Peninsula in Southern Europe bordering the Black Sea to the east, Serbia and the Republic of Macedonia to the west, Romania to the north, Greece and Turkey to the south. Bulgaria also borders Turkey, Romania, Ukraine, Russia, and Georgia along the sea. The largest and the capital city is Sofia. The country may be very small in area but it is rich in ancient culture, picturesque locales, down to earth and friendly people who provide the warmth and hospitality of old days. Bulgaria is known as “Land of Roses” due to the largest production of roses here. Although Bulgaria is known mostly for its sea resorts much of the actual country can be explored in great mountain regions, with many ski resorts a perfect destination for skiers. With unique customs, spectacular crafts, colorful festivals, folklore and so on Bulgaria has it all to take the imagination of visitors by surprise and excitement.

Population & Languages

The population of Bulgaria is roughly 7.4 million and the official language being spoken is Bulgarian. Turkish and Roma are also spoken by considerable percentage of the population.

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.

Geographic Location

It lies in Balkan Peninsula in Southern Europe bordering the Black Sea to the east, Serbia and the Republic of Macedonia to the west, Romania to the north, Greece and Turkey to the south. Bulgaria also borders Turkey, Romania, Ukraine, Russia, and Georgia along the sea. Bulgaria is strategically located near Turkish Straits making it the control point of key land routes connecting Europe to Middle East and Asia.

Climate

The climate of Bulgaria can be termed as temperate with hot and dry summers and cold and damp winters. Summer temperatures average around 75°F (24°C) and winter temperatures average about 32°F (0°C). The ideal time to visit Bulgaria is summer.

A donkey-drawn carriage traverses Ovcha Kupel, a row of ubiquitous, poorly-maintained apartment complexes in Bulgaria's capital Sofia, on October 3rd, 2014. "Ovcha Kupel" translates to "Sheep's Baptismal Vessel," from the legend that an 1858 earthquake in the region cracked open the earth to healing mineral water, curing farmers' sick sheep grazing on nearby pastures.

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This photo is from a project that aims to gauge the state and effect of democracy in the former Soviet satellite nation Bulgaria, two and a half decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The story of democracy in Bulgaria at age 25 is a cautionary tale about transplanting one-size-fits-all Western values to a nation still undergoing social and economic upheaval. Bulgaria is still one of the poorest, most corrupt nations in the European Union, its post-1989 hopes wilted by political instability, high crime rates and skyrocketing inflation. While Bulgarians can now freely vote and protest without much threat to their freedom, their new oppressor is corruption - which is at a 15 year high, across political and civil sectors alike. The ennui is so casually etched on the passerby's face that it becomes routine - one that fits in sadly well against a startling backdrop of rotting architecture, joblessness, and a vast population decline. Despite what democracy has changed in Bulgaria, the daily struggles of its populace remain largely untouched, trapped in a post-communist time capsule.

This project was supported by a grant from The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Photo by: Yana Paskova

Local Customs
Like any other country Bulgaria has its own customs too and normal courtesies should be followed. Handshaking is customary. Dress should be conservative but can be casual. Souvenirs from home country are appreciated if invited to home. Here is Bulgaria, a nod of the head means ‘no’ and a shake of the head means ‘yes’. Tipping up to 10 to 12 percent is customary for all services including restaurants, bars, clubs, taxis etc.

Attractions

Sofia

  • St. Sofia Church
  • St. George Rotunda
  • Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
  • National Ethnographic Museum

Mountains

  • Village of Momchilovtsi
  • Pirin National Park
  • Rila Monastery

Travel

By Air – The national airline of Bulgaria is Bulgaria Air. Other international airlines operating from Bulgaria include Bulgaria include Aeroflot, Air France, Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, El Al Israel Airlines, KLM, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, MALEV Hungarian Airlines, Olympic Airlines and Swiss Air. Sofia International Airport EAD (SOF) is the biggest airport which is like six miles east of Sofia. Other international airport is Varna International Airport (VAR) located in the western outskirts of the city about five miles from Varna.

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

River – Ferries can cross into Romania from Vidin to Calafat.

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
    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.

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