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Destination Bulgaria, a virtual guide to Bulgaria, the country in southeastern Europe, on the western shores of the Black Sea.

Bulgaria (Bulgarian: България), officially the Republic of Bulgaria, is a unitary state on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe bordering the Black Sea in east. The country shares international borders with Greece, the Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, and Turkey.

With an area of 110,879 km², compared the country is somewhat larger than Iceland (103,000 km²), or slightly larger than the U.S. state of Tennessee.

Bulgaria has a population of 7.3 million people (2013); capital and largest city is Sofia with 1.3 million inhabitants. Official language is Bulgarian, it is written in Cyrillic.

This page aims to give you a broad overview of Bulgarian art, culture, people, environment, geography, history, economy and government.

Beach at Golden Sands, a major seaside resort near Varna
Beach at Golden Sands, a major seaside resort near Varna in northeast of Bulgaria.
Image: ©

Republic of Bulgaria | Republika Bulgariya | Република България

Country Profile

Flag of Bulgaria
Flag of Bulgaria
where in Europe is Bulgaria?

Official Name:
Republika Bulgariya
short form: Bulgariya
int'l long form: Republic of Bulgaria
int'l short form: Bulgaria

ISO Country Code: bg

Time Zone: EET
Local Time = UTC +2h (summer +3)
Actual Time: Wed-Oct-14  02:00

Country Calling Code: +359

Capital City: Sofia (pop. 1.3 million)

Other Cities: Plovdiv (370 000), Varna (350 000).

Type: Parliamentary Republic.
Independence: 1908 (from the Ottoman Empire)

Location: Southeast Europe
Area: 111,000 km² (42,857 sq. mi.)
Terrain: with large mountainous areas, fertile valleys, plains, coastline along the Black Sea.

Climate: Temperate continental, mild summers and cold, snowy winters.

Nationality: Bulgarian
Population: 7.4 million (2011 census)
Ethnic Groups: Bulgarian 84%, Turkish 10%, Roma 5%.
Religions: Bulgarian Orthodox 83%, Muslim 12%,
Language: Bulgarian
Literacy: 98.6% male: 99.1% female

Natural resources: Bauxite, copper, lead, zinc, coal, timber, arable land.

Agriculture products: Vegetables, fruits, tobacco, livestock, wine, wheat, barley, sunflowers, sugar beets.

Industries: Electricity, gas and water; food, beverages and tobacco; machinery and equipment, base metals, chemical products, coke, refined petroleum, nuclear fuel.

Exports - commodities: clothing, footwear, iron and steel, machinery and equipment, fuels.

Exports partners:
Germany 10.4%, Turkey 9.1%, Italy 8.7%, Romania 8.2%, Greece 7.3%, France 4% (2012)

Imports partners: Russia 20.9%, Germany 11.3%, Italy 6.7%, Romania 6.6%, Greece 6.1%, Turkey 4.6%, Spain 4.5% (2012)

Currency: Bulgarian
Lev (BGN)

Bulgaria earned its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1878, but having fought on the losing side in both World Wars, it fell within the Soviet sphere of influence and became a People's Republic in 1946.
Communist domination ended in 1990, when Bulgaria held its first multi-party election since World War II and began the contentious process of moving toward political democracy and a market economy while combating inflation, unemployment, corruption, and crime.
Bulgaria became a NATO member state in 2004 and joined the EU on 1 January 2007.

Other countries in Southeast Europe: Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia

Note: External links will open in a new browser window.

Official Sites of Bulgaria

Republic of Bulgaria
The Government of the Republic of Bulgaria.

President of Bulgaria
Official website of the President of Bulgaria.

National Assembly of Republic of Bulgaria
Bulgaria's Parliament.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria
Official website of the ministry.

Diplomatic Missions
The Official Web Portal of the Diplomatic Missions of Bulgaria Abroad.
Embassy of Bulgaria
Washington D.C.
Bulgarian Embassy in London

National Statistical Institute

National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (NIMH)

SEE Online
Southeast Europe Online is designed as a Balkan portal site focusing on creating a virtual network of NGOs in Southeast Europe.


Map of Bulgaria
Political Map of Bulgaria.

Google Earth Google Earth Bulgaria
Searchable map/satellite view of Bulgaria.
Google Earth Google Earth Sofia
Searchable map/satellite view of Sofia.

Map of Europe
Political Map of Europe.


24 Chasa
Bulgarian news (in Bulgarian).
Bulgarian News Agency
BTA with news in English and Bulgarian.
BNN - Bulgarian News Network
Online news agency.
Bulgaria Online
Gateway to Bulgaria. News and Information from Bulgaria.
Bulgarian news (in Bulgarian).
Focus News Agency
News by Focus Information Agency.
National and international news.
Sofia Echo
Bulgaria's weekly English-language newspaper.
Sofia News Agency
Current national and international news.
Bulgarian Business News (in German)
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Arts & Culture

Weekly online news for culture (in Bulgarian)


Business & Economy

Bulgaria was a former Communist country that entered the EU on 1 January 2007, it had an averaged more than 6% annual growth from 2004 to 2008, driven by significant amounts of bank lending, consumption, and foreign direct investment.

Corruption in public administration, a weak judiciary, and the presence of organized crime continue to hamper the country's investment climate and economic prospects.

Bulgarian National Bank
The Central Bank of Bulgaria, established in 1879.
Bulgarian Stock Exchange
The only functioning stock exchange in Bulgaria.

Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Official website of the chamber.


Bulgaria Air
The national airline carrier of Bulgaria, based in Sofia.

Bulgaria International Airports
Sofia Airport
Site provides airport and flight information for departures and arrivals.
Bourgas Airport
Charter hub.
Varna Airport
The gateway to the Black Sea coast.

Bulgarian State Railways
Official website of Bulgarian State Railways - BDZ.

Port of Varna
Official website of Varna's port.
 icon paintingsImages of saints, a kind of icon painting.

Destination Bulgaria - Travel and Tour Guides

Discover Bulgaria: Black Sea, Danube, Golden Sands, Nessebar, Pirin, Sunny Beach, Strandja,
Links to accommodation, hotels, attractions, festivals, events, tourist boards, biking, hiking, climbing, cruising, diving, tours and much more.
The Official Tourism site for Destination Bulgaria.

Discover Strandja
Discover the area of Strandja Mountain and National park.
Bulgaria travel information.
Site about the town of Nessebar one of the oldest settlements in Europe.
Travel Bulgaria
A travel guide to Bulgaria.
Wonderland Bulgaria
Bulgaria - with its history, geography, population, and folklore.

Golden Sands
Goldstrand, a Black Sea resort close to Varna.
Sunny Beach
The biggest Black Sea resort, Burgas, Bulgaria.

The Municipality of Sofia Capital City of Bulgaria. 
Bourgas the city at Black Sea.
Tourism guide to the city of Plovdiv.
Official website of the the biggest city on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast (in Bulgarian).

Hotels in Bulgaria
Find Hotels in Bulgaria.

Travel and Tour Consumer Information

Sunny Beach
Sunny Beach, the other mayor seaside resort in Bulgaria ©

Cathedral of the Assumption
Cathedral, Varna ©


Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
New Bulgarian University

The Paissii Hilendarski University of Plovdiv

Saint Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia.
The oldest institution of higher education in Bulgaria.


Environment & Nature

Ministry of Environment and Water of Bulgaria
To preserve the natural heritage of Bulgaria and to ensure a healthy environment for the population.

BlueLink Information Network
Civil environmental gateway to Bulgaria.
Climate Change
Bulgarian web-portal on climate change and its impact on the environment.

Ocean Planet - Discover your Wolrd
Made to inspire youngsters in the countries of the Black Sea region to take interest in Earth Sciences.
Maliovitsa ©


Bulgaria a brief history outline
Dimiter Markovski's not so brief History of Bulgaria.
History and Culture
Comprehensive information about Bulgaria's rich history.
History of Bulgaria 681-1944
An extract from the book "Bulgaria Illustrated History" by Dr. Bojidar Dimitrov (1995)

National Museum of History
The Bulgarian history.
Ancient City of Nessebar, a world heritage site in south east of the country. ©

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Other countries in the Balkan region:
Albania | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Croatia | Greece | Macedonia, Rep. of | Montenegro | Serbia | Slovenia | Turkey
Other Countries of Eastern Europe:
Belarus | Czech Republic | Hungary | Moldova | Poland | Romania | Russian Federation | Slovakia | Ukraine