Bulgaria Orientation Guide

The first Bulgarian state was established on the Balkan peninsula in 681 AD, making it one of the oldest countries in Europe. Just a postage stamp of a place, it is unusually rich in variety and natural beauty for a country its size. Bulgaria boasts nine sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Bulgaria is also home to a warm, proud and sensitive people. Though they have endured many twists and turns in their long national history, the Bulgarians have defended their land and preserved their culture for centuries.

Both are treasures waiting to be explored.

This section is currently under construction, so please check back often to measure our progress.


Introduction to Bulgaria

Bulgaria is a small country located in Southeast Europe, at the heart of the Balkan Peninsula. Sofia, the capital city, is close to the geographic center of the peninsula, and the Balkan Mountains run east to west across the center of the country like a spine.

We have prepared a printable overview of Bulgaria including the major political, geographical, historical and cultural reference points for the country.

A Brief History of Bulgaria

Bulgaria traces its history as a nation state all the way back to the year 681 CE, when their leader Khan Asparuh fought the great Byzantine Empire to a standstill after two years of struggle. In return for peace between them, Byzantium granted the Bulgarians a small independent kingdom with its capital at Pliska in the eastern Balkan mountains.


Bulgarian Language and Culture


Bulgarian Cuisine

Religion in Bulgaria

Bulgaria is traditionally a Christian nation, with the Bulgarian Orthodox Church enjoying pride of place as the national church.  Chapter 1, Article 13 of the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria identifies freedom of religion as a fundamental principle of the country. It stipulates separation of church and state and prohibits the use of religion for political ends. It specifically states that Eastern Orthodox Christianity shall be considered the traditional religion in the Republic of Bulgaria.

Religious groups are governed by the Law on Religion


while Bulgaria is committed to protecting religious freedom, and has a Directorate of Religions to oversee the activities of religious groups in Bulgaria. Registration of religious groups is mandatory, and there are strict rules concerning public religious activities and religious programs for children.
Bulgarian Protestants
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bulgaria
Islam in Bulgaria


Bulgarian Geography





Bulgarian Climate

Temperature and Precipitation Chart


Major Bulgarian Cities

Sofia | Plovdiv | Blagoevgrad | Veliko Tarnovo | Varna | Burgas


Developments and Trends

The Bulgarian Economy

Chart of Major Economic Sectors

Employment Chart

Government and Politics

Foreign Policy

Economic and Political Trends

Economic Development Priorities

Major Trading Partners

Bulgaria and the EU

Bulgaria and NATO


Doing Business in Bulgaria

Business Customs

Business Protocol

Meeting Preparation

Business Dress

Gift Giving

Business Entertainment

Employment Conditions

Work Ethic

Labor Market

Power Structure and Hierarchy

Attitude towards Foreigners

Establishing a Business Presence in Bulgaria

Business Services

Business Networking

Bulgarian Money, Banking and Taxes

Bulgarian Currency

Payment Practices

Changing Money

International Banks


Bulgarian Communications and Media

Telephone, Fax and Internet Services

Postal Services

Express and Delivery Services




Living in Bulgaria

Expat Enclaves

Housing in Bulgaria

Housing Costs

Renting versus Buying Property

How to Find Housing

Leasing and Fees

Telephone Installation



Home Furnishings

Home Entertainment


Clothing and Personal Care

Household Help


Education and Schools


Driving in Bulgaria

Driving Conditions and Motor Vehicles

Driving in Cities

Driver’s License

Automobile Insurance

Purchasing a Motor Vehicle



Pets and Pet Supplies


Religious Services


Social Networking


Health and Safety

Travel Advisories

Personal Safety


Medical Care

Hospitals and Clinics




Emergency Services



Preparing for Your Journey

Regulations and Requirements

Customs Regulations

Currency Restrictions

Health Requirements

What Clothing to Take

Packing List


Getting Around Bulgaria

Air Travel

Airline Telephone Numbers

Bus Travel

Bus Station Telephone Numbers

Train Travel

Train Station Telephone Numbers

Car Travel


Vignette System

Car Rental

Public Transport



Lodging, Dining and Nightlife

Reservation Services
Clubs and Cafes

Leisure Activities


Top 100 Tourist Sites

UNESCO World Heritage Sites


Performing Arts


Sports and Fitness


Suggested Reading about Bulgaria

Business Interests
Political Commentary