IntroductionBulgaria is a State of the Balkan Peninsula, situated in south-eastern Europe. The country has a lot to offer in terms of history, art and culture, though tourist flows today are still limited to the visit of the beautiful capital Sofia.
CapitalSofia (1 278 679 in 2003)
Official currencyBulgarian LEV
1 Euro = 1.95 Lev
1 Lev = 0.51 Euro
Time zone+2 GMT. Winter time applies
LanguageBulgarian. Russian is also widely spread. German and English are also spoken.
ReligionChristian-Orthodox, Muslim (among the Turkish minorities) and Catholic
Entry requirementsPassport is not necessary for a stay of up to 90 days. Identity cards must have a residual validity of at least 3 months. Visa is not required. Most driving licenses of European countries are valid, although it should be a good idea to have a translated copy in Bulgarian.
Travelling with petsPets like cats, dogs, ferrets must travel with an animal passport (in force since 2004) and must have a microchip or identification tattoo. All animals must be vaccinated against rabies. It is recommendable to ask details at the embassy or consulate prior to departure.
Health and safetySanitary structures either private and public are still far from the European standards, although in the last years many progresses have been made. There aren’t compulsory vaccinations, though it is good to know that some cases of Hepatitis B, TBC and meningitis have been registered by the Bulgarian sanitarian authorities. We recommend to bring with you the magnetic sanitary card. As for general safety, the political and social situation is considered steady. Be careful when travelling along the borders.
ClimateBulgaria enjoys a continental climate, with hot summers and cold winters. The mountain region, however, is subject to the alpine climate, whereas the coast on the Mediterranean sea enjoys a milder climate.
Form of governmentBulgaria has been independent from the Ottoman Empire since 1908, and is a parliamentary Republic.
EconomyBulgarian economy is based on heavy industry, but it is still quite weak, since it can count on few mineral resources. In the last years, however, there have been some small but important signals of recovery. Travel industry has been revitalised since the Soviet era, and it represents an important resource in the country’s economy.
Voltage220 V, frequency 50 Hz. It is always recommendable to bring a plug adapter.
Post offices, banks and telephonePost offices are open Monday to Saturday from 8/9 am to 18/18.30 pm. (In the biggest cities closing time is extended until 21 pm). Banks have the following opening hours: Monday to Friday 9 am to 16 pm. ATM machines are spread in the main cities and towns. In the country there is a good mobile coverage.
First Aid: 150
Roadside assistance: 955 72 70
European emergency number: 112, active all over the country.