Once upon a time, small Bulgaria was called “Balkan Prussia”, and this was an apt definition. However, those times are already completely forgotten, and now Bulgaria is a hospitable Balkan country, where more than 3.5 million tourists come annually to relax on the Black Sea coast or go skiing in the Rhodope and Rila mountains.
Where better to go with a child – to Bulgaria definitely.
Bulgaria is located on the Balkan Peninsula, in the north it borders on Romania (the border runs along the Danube River), in the west – with Serbia and ancient Macedonia, in the south – with Greece and Turkey, and in the east it is washed by the waters of the Black Sea. The total length of this country is more than 110 sq. km. km.
Almost half of the territory of Bulgaria is occupied by mountains. The most beautiful of the mountain ranges is Pirin, and the highest mountain in Bulgaria is Musala (its height is 2,925 meters).
According to itypejob.com, the capital of Bulgaria is Sofia, which now has a population of over 1.4 million people. The history of Sofia begins around the 8th century BC. e. – Then there was a large Thracian city on this territory.
The official language of Bulgaria is Bulgarian, which, according to linguists, belongs to the southern subgroup of the Slavic languages. The Bulgarian language began to take shape during the time of the Slavic enlighteners Cyril and Methodius (IX century).
About 76% of the population of Bulgaria are Orthodox (Greek Catholic Church). Another 10% of the population professes Islam, its Sunni branch. Approximately 2% of Bulgarians are Catholics and Protestants.
According to computerminus.com, Bulgaria is a parliamentary democratic republic, its constitution was adopted on July 12, 1991. At the moment, Bulgaria consists of 28 provinces, including the capital region of Sofia.
The head of state is the President, who is elected by direct universal suffrage. He has the right to veto legislative initiatives of the National Assembly.
The Parliament of Bulgaria is a unicameral National Assembly with 240 members.
Climate and weather
The climate in Bulgaria is temperate continental, cold, wet, snowy winters alternate with dry, hot summers. In general, Bulgaria is a very sunny country. The average temperature in April-September is + 23 C, and the average annual temperature is + 10.5 C. On the Black Sea coast, the climate is maritime, the average temperature in July is from +19C to +30C.
The best month for skiing in Bulgaria is January.
Sea in Bulgaria
Bulgaria in the east is washed by the waters of the Black Sea. The length of the coastline is 354 km. On the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria, the first settlements appeared in the 5th century BC.
From the end of May to the end of September, the average temperature of the Black Sea near the Bulgarian coast is +25C.
Rivers and lakes
There are quite a few rivers in Bulgaria, the largest of them are the Danube, Maritsa, Tundzha, Iskar and Yantra. However, only the Danube is the only navigable river in Bulgaria (but navigation is still carried out along other Bulgarian rivers).
History of Bulgaria
The territory of modern Bulgaria was inhabited in ancient times. The state of Bulgaria itself has 1,300 years of history. In terms of the number of archaeological sites, Bulgaria ranks third in the world (after Greece and Italy).
The earliest inhabitants of the Bulgarian lands are the Thracians, who were first mentioned by the ancient Greek historian Herodotus. By the way, the legendary Spartacus, who raised the uprising of slaves in Ancient Rome, was a Thracian by birth.
The first Bulgarian kingdom was created in the middle of the 7th century by the legendary Khan Asparuh, who united the Bulgars, who came to the Balkans from Central Asia, and the local Slavic tribes. It should be noted that Bulgaria was the first Slavic country to adopt Christianity (this happened in 864 AD). At the end of the 9th century, the Cyrillic alphabet became the official alphabet in Bulgaria.
In 1014, under the blows of the troops of the Byzantine Empire, the First Bulgarian Kingdom collapsed. Only in 1185 was the Bulgarian statehood restored, after the formation of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. During the long reign of Tsar Ivan Asen II (1218-1241), Bulgaria reached the zenith of its glory, experiencing an economic, religious and cultural flowering.
However, at the end of the XIV century, the Ottoman Empire began to conquer the Bulgarian lands, and Bulgaria again lost its independence. The rule of the Turks in Bulgaria lasted for about five centuries.
From the middle of the 19th century, Bulgaria waged numerous wars with the Ottoman Empire for independence. On the side of the Bulgarians, Russian soldiers actively participated in these wars. In the end, on September 22, 1908, an independent Bulgaria was proclaimed.
After the defeat in the First World War in Bulgaria in 1918, the authoritarian dictatorship of Tsar Boris III was established, which lasted until 1943.
During World War II, Bulgaria fought on the side of Germany, but after the death of Tsar Boris III, it abandoned the alliance with the Germans. After the end of World War II, the People’s Republic of Bulgaria was proclaimed (this happened in September 1946).
In June 1990, Bulgaria held its first elections on a multi-party basis, and in November 1990 the country became the Republic of Bulgaria.
In 2004, Bulgaria joined the NATO bloc, and in 2007 it was admitted to the European Union.
The culture of Bulgaria was significantly influenced by the ancient Greeks and Romans. Until now, hundreds of historical monuments built before our era have been preserved in this country.
Bulgarian folk holidays and customs date back to those distant times when people tried to appease the mysterious forces of nature with offerings. Bulgarian folklore is considered one of the richest in the Balkans. The Fire Dance is an ancient religious ritual in Bulgaria. Barefoot people dance on smoldering coals, which helps, as the Bulgarians believe, to get rid of diseases.
To understand the Bulgarian culture, we advise tourists to visit the Rose Festival near the city of Kazanlak. This unique festival has been held for many years in a row. There is a legend that during the Roman Empire, 12 types of roses were grown on the territory of modern Bulgaria.
The most popular Bulgarian folklore festivals are Pirin Sings and Rozhen Sings. Every year, these folk holidays are visited by a huge number of people (according to official data – more than 150 thousand people).
Among the most famous Bulgarian writers and poets, Ivan Vazov (1850-1921), Dimcho Debelyanov (1887-1916) and Dimitar Dimov (1909-1966) should definitely be mentioned.
Bulgarian cuisine is close to traditional European cuisine, although, of course, it has its own characteristics. In many ways, Bulgarian cuisine is similar to the cuisine of Greece and Turkey. Traditional products for Bulgarians are yogurt, milk, cheese, tomatoes, bell peppers, potatoes, onions, eggplants, and fruits.
The most famous Bulgarian traditional dishes are vegetable “shopska salad”, gyuvech, pumpkin pie, flatbread “katma”, cold soup “tarator”, hot soup “chorba”, kebab, moussaka, cabbage rolls “sarmi”, yahnia, tomato salad “lutenitsa”, as well as pastarma.
Among the Bulgarian desserts, we note gris-halva, Rhodope banitsa and apple pie.
In Bulgaria, yogurt is very popular, which is often served with various fruit and berry additives, and ayran.
Bulgaria is famous for its white and red wines, as well as rakia (fruit vodka). In addition, in Bulgaria they make mastic, a strength of 47 degrees, and mint mentha liquor.
Sights of Bulgaria
Where to go on vacation in July abroadto enjoy a beach holiday, visit cultural attractions and festivals. Bulgaria is a definite must have for relatively little money.
Tourists come to Bulgaria, first of all, to relax in beach resorts or go skiing in ski resorts. However, in this ancient country with beautiful nature, tourists should definitely see its sights. The top five most interesting sights in Bulgaria, in our opinion, include the following:
- Mount Vitosha. The height of Mount Vitasha is 2290 meters. Now on its territory there is a national park.
- National Historical Museum in Sofia. This museum contains unique historical artifacts that give an idea of the history of Bulgaria, starting from the 5th century BC.
- Boyana Church. The Boyana Church is located in the village of Boyana at the foot of the Vitosha Mountains, just 8 kilometers from Sofia. It was built in the 13th century, although the first chapel on this site appeared in the 10th century. In 1979 Boyana Church was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
- Church of the Forty Great Martyrs in Veliko Tarnovo. This church was built in 1230 in honor of the victory of the Bulgarians at Klokotnitsa over the Despot of Epirus Theodore Duka. It is the tomb of the Bulgarian kings.
- Shipka National Park-Museum. Shipka National Park-Museum is located 22 km from Gabrovo on Mount Shipka. This museum is dedicated to the events of the Russian-Turkish war of 1877-78. Now there are 26 historical monuments in the Shipka Park-Museum.
Cities and resorts
It is difficult to say which city in Bulgaria is the most ancient. Some of them were formed by the Greeks and Romans (eg Balchik, Sofia, Varna and Sozopol).
At the moment, the largest Bulgarian cities are Sofia (more than 1.4 million people), Plovdiv (390 thousand people), Varna (350 thousand people), Burgos (about 220 thousand people), Rousse (more than 170 thousand people). ) and Stara Zagora (170 thousand people).
Bulgaria is known for its beach and ski resorts.
The most popular beach resorts are Albena, Dunes, Golden Sands, Burgas, Kranevo, Obzor, Rusalka and Sozopol. It should be noted that more than 97% of the coast of Bulgaria meets the environmental requirements of the EU.
There are no less ski resorts in Bulgaria than beach resorts. Among them are Bansko, Borovets, Pamporovo, Semkovo, Kulinoto and Uzana. This means that the best Bulgarian ski resorts are located in the Rhodope, Pirin and Rila mountains.
We recommend bringing the following souvenirs from Bulgaria:
- kuker masks (these are folk masks that appeared in Bulgaria several centuries ago). Kukers in the early Middle Ages drove away evil spirits and called for fertility. The masks are made of wood, leather, fur and feathers;
- paintings by local artists depicting traditional Bulgarian houses;
- handicrafts, especially from wood, clay and ceramics;
- dolls in traditional Bulgarian clothes;
- embroidered products, including towels, tablecloths and napkins;
- copper coinage and copper cezve;
- sweets (for example, Bulgarian Turkish delight and halva);
- products with rose water or rose oil;
- wines and spirits.
Stores in Bulgaria operate:
Mon-Fri: from 9.30 to 18.00
Sat: from 8:30 to 11:30.
Mon-Fri: – from 9:00 to 15:00.
Currency exchange offices are open until 18:00 (but some are open around the clock). You can exchange currency at the airport upon arrival or departure, or at the hotel.
To enter Bulgaria, Ukrainians need to obtain a visa.
Currency of Bulgaria
The Bulgarian Lev is the official currency of Bulgaria. One lev (international designation: BGN) is equal to 100 stotinki. In Bulgaria, banknotes of the following denominations are used:
1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 leva.
In monetary circulation there are also coins with a denomination of:
- 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 stotinki;
- 1 lev.
Accepted cards are Visa, MasterCard, American Express (less often – Diners Club and Airplus), as well as travelers checks.
You can import up to 200 cigarettes, 1 liter of strong alcoholic drinks, 2 liters of wine, 500 grams of coffee, 100 grams of tea, 50 ml of perfume, 250 ml of toilet water into Bulgaria duty-free. Money in the amount of more than 1 thousand dollars must be included in the declaration.
It is forbidden to bring drugs, firearms and ammunition into Bulgaria (unless, of course, there is a permit), edged weapons, dangerous chemicals and pornographic materials.
Useful phone numbers and addresses
Embassy of Bulgaria in Ukraine:
Address: Kiev, st. Hospital,
Phone: (044) 246-72-37
Fax: (044) 235-51-19
Embassy of Ukraine in Bulgaria: Address: Bulgaria, 1618
Inquiry – 144
Road assistance – 146
Ambulance – 150
Fire department – 160
Police – 166
Time in Bulgaria
Bulgaria is in the Eastern European time zone. Every last Sunday in March, the time in Bulgaria is set forward 1 hour (summer time), and on the last Sunday in October, the clocks are set back 1 hour (winter time).
There is no difference over time in Ukraine. Those. if in Sofia, for example, in the summer it is 9:00 am, then in Kyiv it is also 09:00 am.
In Bulgaria, tips are 10-12% of the bill. Such tips are usually given in restaurants, bars and taxis. A hotel maid is usually given 1 euro per day. Porters at airports and train stations – from 1 euro, depending on the weight and amount of luggage.
No mandatory vaccinations are required to enter Bulgaria.
We advise tourists in Bulgaria to beware of thefts and pickpockets. Such crimes usually occur at airports, vocals, crowded places, and beach resorts. Therefore, do not give the impression that you are a rich person who has a lot of money. Leave the car only in protected places. Never forget valuables in the car.
It is better for tourists in Bulgaria not to eat food offered by a stranger or an unfamiliar person, as this is one of the methods of robbing foreigners. Keep valuables and documents in the hotel safe.
Tap water is safe to drink, but sometimes it tastes or tastes bad. Therefore, it is better to drink bottled water.