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WELCOME TO BULGARIA

Bulgaria
Bulgaria is a beautiful sunny country, small in size but rich in ancient culture, scenic splendour, friendly people and old-fashioned warmth and hospitality. In spite of its relatively small territory (110 912 sq km), the country has various landscape.
The scenery changes subsequently from white sandy beaches, to vast plains and high mountains. A continental climate with hot summers and cold winters makes the country a popular beach resort while offering good skiing in the winter.
Located in the south-east of the Balkan Peninsula, Bulgaria borders Romania to the North, the Black Sea to the East, Turkey and Greece to the South, Serbia & Montenegro and Macedonia to the West. The river Danube forms the country's northern frontier and offers quick access to Central Europe. A crossroads location between Europe and Asia facilitates transport flows through the country.
Bulgaria lies in the northeastern part of the Balkan Peninsula.The country is 520 km long and 330 km wide. It borders the Black Sea and the Danube river and is at a convenient and strategic crossroad location between Europe and Asia.

Local time:
GMT+ 2
Climate:
Temperate continental (2, 000 to 2, 400 hours of sunshine per year). Four seasons. Dry and hot summer, mean temperature+ 23?C (April-September). Cold winter with snowfalls, mean temperature 0?C. Mean annual temperature 10.5?C.
Population
8,428,006
Language
Bulgarian.
English, German, French and Russian is spoken in the country's resorts, hotels and restaurants.
Religion
86.6% of the population is Eastern Orthodox, 13% are Muslims. The Bulgarian Church is autonomous and headed by a Patriarch.
State government
Bulgaria is a parliamentary republic.
Official holidays
January 1 - New Year
March 3 - Bulgaria's Liberation from Ottoman rule - the National Day
Easter - one week after the Catholic Easter
May 1 - Labor Day
May 6 - Bulgarian Army Day
May 24 - Day of Bulgarian Enlightenment and Culture and the Slav Script
September 6 - Bulgaria's Unification
September 22 - Independence Day
December 25-26 - Christmas
Capital
Sofia (pop. 1,141,000)
Large Cities
Plovdiv, Varna, Veliko Turnovo, Sliven, Stara Zagora
National currency:
Bulgarian lev (pl. leva). Fractional coins are called 'stotinki' (100 stotinki = 1 lev). The exchange rate against the euro is fixed at Lv 1.96/EUR 1.
Banks and currency exchange:
Many local banks and bureaux de change operate in the capital and across the country. Major international banks also have
offices here.
Banking hours: 9 a.m.-5 a.m., Monday to Friday. Foreign-exchange offices are open until 6 p.m., and some around the clock.
Currency exchange at the airport on arrival or departure, and in the larger hotels, is also possible. Do not exchange money in the streets or outside banks and bureaux de change despite the bargain rate offered: you risk being cheated.
Electricity:
mains voltage 220 V/50 Hz, round two-pin plugs.
Shopping:
Vitosha Boulevard is Sofia's major shopping area. There is also a variety of shops along Graf Ignatiev and Rakovski streets.
Shops are open 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday to Friday; 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday. Some supermarkets are open 24 hours a day.
Fresh food, fruits and vegetables can also be bought from market places open daily in the capital and in the country.





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