Your comprehensive travel guide to Bulgaria - All in one place!
Bulgaria is a country situated in southeastern Europe and is the continent’s 16th largest country. The country has served as a stronghold base for several cultures and empires since the prehistoric times. Sofia is the capital and the largest city of Bulgaria, boasting an extremely important place among its European counterparts. The stronger sectors of the economy are mainly power resources, agriculture, and industrial projects. Bulgaria’s tourism industry is also on the rise as of present. From the dense forested mountainous ranges to the sun-kissed sandy beaches of the Black Sea to the fascinating historical narratives to the bustling party towns with an exquisite nightlife, Bulgaria has it all in store to attract massive tourist crowds.
History and Government
Bulgaria is a country with a long, tumultuous and fascinating history. It has been invaded, conquered and settled by Greeks, Scythians, Romans, Byzantines and Turks, all of whom left their indelible marks on the landscape. Bulgaria’s medieval ‘Golden Age’, when the Bulgarian Khans ruled over one of the largest empires in Europe, was bright but brief, while 500 years of subsequent, brutal Turkish domination isolated the country from the rest of Europe. More recently, Bulgaria spent four decades as a totalitarian Soviet satellite. It’s no wonder, then, that Bulgarians are so passionate about preserving their history and their culture, which has survived so often against the odds. In the last years of the 20th century Bulgaria began opening up, and is one of the newest members of the EU.
Bulgaria is situated on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeastern Europe. The country borders by Romania on the north, Serbia and Macedonia on the west, by Greece and Turkey on the south, and it is about on the Black Sea on the east.
The republic of Bulgaria covers a territory of 110 993 square kilometers. The average altitude of the country is 470 m above the sea level.
Bulgaria has a varied relief and the alpine regions are situated mostly in the southern part of the country. Stara Planina divides Bulgaria on two almost equal parts and it is a natural barrier that protects the southern part from the cold northern currents. The Danube Plain spreads to the north while the Valley of Roses and the Thracian lowland are to the south.
With a total area of 111,002 square kilometers, the country has a population density of 63 people per square kilometer or 25 people per square mile. It is the 144th most densely populated country.
The capital, Sofia, is also the largest city with an estimated population of 1.26 million people. Seventy-three percent of Bulgaria's population lives in urban regions, with 1/6 of the population residing in the Sofia area.
The culture of Bulgaria is based on an interesting blend of Thracian, Slavic and Bulgarian traditions, along with the influence of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Bulgaria also has a strong folkloric tradition that pervades many aspects of art, literature, music, celebrations and daily life.
Amongst other powers, Bulgaria has been conquered by the Roman, Ottoman and Persian regimes, and many of these attempted to repress local culture. However, a strong linguistic base and resilient and determined outlook allowed Bulgaria to preserve and retain its identity, emerging as an independent nation with unique food, traditions, habits and beliefs, of which the people are justifiably proud.
Food and Drink
Traditional Bulgarian food is mostly famous for its variety of cheese, yogurt and quality vegetables. Bulgarian Cuisine is similar to that of the surrounding Balkan countries as well as Turkey and Greece, yet they put their own little twist on their dishes. It’s typically fresh, hearty and contains a variety of mild spices. The most common meats are pork, lamb and chicken. Depending on the region, you will find that seafood, fish, and veal can be popular as well.
Any country’s tradition, heritage and ethos are best reflected through its festivals. Bulgaria is not an exception here and celebrates plenty of vibrant festivals. International music festivals, folk festivals, and cultural feasts, one can experience everything. These festivals in Bulgaria rejoice with great grandeur and enthusiasm and if you can manage to be a part of it, your vacation will turn out to be ever charming and magical.
Best Time to Visit
Average temperatures in Bulgaria vary. Considering humidity, temperatures feel cold for about half of the year and otherwise nice with a low chance of precipitation most of the year. If you’re looking for the very warmest time to visit Bulgaria, the hottest months are August, July, and then June.