Religion- predominantly Eastern Orthodox. The Bulgarian Church is
autonomous and headed by a Patriarch.
Language -the official language is Bulgarian and uses only the Cirillic
alphabet. To facilitate tourists, road and direction signs in
populated areas, resorts, railway stations, airports and along the main
motorways are also spelled in Roman letters. English, German, country.French,
Russian and other languages are spoken in the Time difference.
-Winter time: GMT + 2 hours( October through March) Summer time: GMT
+ 3 hours (April through September).
Official holidays: January 1 - New Year; March 3 - Bulgaria’s Liberation;
Easter; May 1 - Labour day; May 24 - Enlightenment and the Day of Bulgarian
Culture and Slav Script; December 25 - Christmas.
Working hours: State institutions and banks usually work from 9 a.m.
to 3 p.m. Most shops are open from 9 a.m. and to 7 p.m. Mainly stores
selling food beverages, as well as catering establishments, work round
Important telephone numbers. In all populated areas:
0123 - operator for international calls (if no direct phone call is
120 - wake up call
121 - operator for long-distance calls within the country
140 - sending of telegrams
144 - telephone information service for office phone numbers
145 - telephone information service for home numbers
146 - Emergency Road Service
150 - Emergency Medical Aid
166 - Police/Road patrols
175 - weather forecast
180 - exact time ("speaking" clock)
Monetary unit and currency exchange - the national monetary unit is
the LEV. Banknote 1, 2, 5, 20, 50 leva. The exchange of currency is
unrestricted and there is no compulsory exchange. Upon departure from
the country any unused Bulgarian currency may be changed back into the
respective national currency at the border.
Credit cards - American Express, Diners Club, Bankamericard Visa,
Access, Eurocard, Mastercard and Carte Bulgaria. Blanche, among others,
are accepted in They can be used for the payment of all standard services:hotel
accommodation , restaurants, night spots, shopping, car rentals, plane
How to reach Bulgaria?
By air - both foreign, as well as several Bulgarian state-owned and
private airline companies link the country with the operate and five
continents. Domestic services charter flights are organised to resorts
in summer and winter.
By train - the main trains - European and trans-continental trains
run through Bulgaria. International trains link Sofia with the many
European capital cities and inland rail network provides access to all
By boat - there are sea an river connections via the Black Sea and
the Danube. The majority are tourist cruises rather than regular boat
By car - there are numerous border checkpoint for entry into the country.
National driving licenses are valid in Bulgaria. advance or paid at
Insurance has to be made in the border. Cars ( self-drive and chauffeur
driven) may be rented at the border checkpoint and in all tourist offices
throughout the country.
Speed limit: 50 km/h in populated areas, 90 km/h outside populated
area, 120 km/h on motorways.
Passports and visas
I. Visa-free regime
1. The citizens of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany,
Great Britain, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg,
Malta, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and Sweden
may enter the country without a visa for a period of 30 days with a
normal valid passport or ID.
The citizens of these countries are not required to fill out border
control cards, nor is any address registration required for a first
entry in the country for every calendar year, save at their own wish.
2. The citizens of Cuba, Croatia, Czech Republic Estonia, Hungary,
the Republic of Korea, Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia,
Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro and Tunisia may enter the country without
a visa for a period of 30 days with a normal valid passport.
3. US citizens may enter the country without a visa for a period of
30 days with a normal valid passport, after paying a border fee of 20
4. The citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the CIS (with the exception
of Uzbekistan) may enter the country without a visa for a period of
30 days with a normal valid passport. They must fill out a border control
card and certify the possession of funds to the amount of 40 USD per
day for every day of their sojourn or present a package holiday voucher.
The voucher (family or individual) of the travel company must be filled
out in three copies and addressed to a licensed Bulgarian tour operator.
It must show the number and license of the settlement and hotel which
provides the services. The three copies of the voucher are stamped at
the border, the third copy being kept by the tourist.
Groups of organized tourists from the CIS (with the exception of Uzbekistan)
arriving in the Republic of Bulgaria are not required to fill out border
control cards or to certify the possession of currency funds.
Organized tourist groups of children from the CIS (with the exception
of Uzbekistan) arriving on charter flights in Bourgas, Varna or Sofia
may enter the country as listed, a passport being required only for
the group's leader.
Organized tourists in items 2 and 3, listed as a group, arriving in
the Republic of Bulgaria, are not required to fill out a border control
card. In the absence of a list they are treated as normal individual
tourists. If, during their sojourn, they briefly visit neighboring countries,
the list is stamped at the border upon departure from the country. Their
re-entry in the country, through the same or a different border checkpoint,
is regarded as a first entry in the country.
Individual (not organized) tourists must fill out a border control card.
All tourists of the countries listed in items 1, 2, 3 and 4, entering
Bulgaria in a motor vehicle, may only enter the country with a normal
valid passport and must fill out a border control card.
II. Visa regime
The citizens of all other countries, visiting the Republic of Bulgaria
for the purposes of tourism, may enter the country with a valid passport
and entry visa, issued by a diplomatic or consular representation of
the Republic of Bulgaria, and a package holiday voucher.
No visa is required of the citizens of Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Cyprus,
Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, New Zealand, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia,
Singapore, the Republic of South Africa, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates
and Zimbabwe, provided they are in the possession of a package holiday
All yachts entering the territorial waters of the Republic of
Bulgaria are subjected to an "entry" and "exit" inspection at the following
sea and river ports:
Danube: Vidin, Oryahovo, Svishtov, Rousse and Silistra; Black Sea:
Balchik, Varna, Bourgas, Nessebur, Pomorie
The following fees are collected at border checkpoints for entering
or transiting the Republic of Bulgaria:
Cars - 10 USD;
Coaches seating more than 8 + 1 persons, including the
driver's seat - 60 USD; Two-axis trucks - 70 USD; TIR trucks -
A disinfection fee is also collected at border checkpoints as follows:
Cars - 2 USD or 3 DM;
Minibus - 4 USD or 7 DM;
Coach - 6 USD or 10 DM;
Trucks - 10 USD or 17 DM.
No compulsory immunizations are required of foreign citizens
arriving in the Republic of Bulgaria.
Customs Formalities and Restrictions
Upon entry and departure from the country foreign nationals are obliged
to fill out declarations according to a specimen, approved by the Minister
of Finance, about the following currency valuables carried by them:
1.Bulgarian banknotes and coins in circulation in excess of 10,000
leva. Amounts over and above this figure may only be taken in and out
of the country with a permission by the BNB, valid for a period of 90
days after the date of issue;
2.Bulgarian coins in circulation of numismatic value (may only be exported
from the country with a permission by the BNB);
3.The equivalent in foreign currency in excess of 1,000 USD; Foreign
natural persons may export convertible currency to an amount not exceeding
the amount of the imported and declared currency, reduced by the cost
of objects bought in the country;
4.Shares, bonds, promissory notes, bills of exchange, cheques and other
securities in circulation, issued by local persons in leva;
5.Shares, bonds, treasury bonds, certificates of investment and deposit,
cheques, bills of exchange, promissory notes, letters of credit and
other similar securities, issued by foreign persons in foreign currency;
6.Precious metals and precious stones and articles thereof in excess
of the normal amount for personal and family use - in kind, weight and
7.Coins containing gold, silver or platinum - in kind, weight and value;
8.Other currency valuables.
The export of objects, including coins made of gold, silver or platinum
of historic, archaeological, artistic or numismatic value is prohibited,
except with a permission by the Minister of Culture.
The respective value of the objects and coins is determined by the
Ministry of Culture and the Bulgarian National Bank.
Import of Goods
Prior to the customs check travellers, i.e. foreign natural persons,
are presented with an instruction leaflet, containing information about
customs regulations in the country in one of the internationally accepted
languages for the verbal declaration of objects subject to declaration.
Persons aged below 16 are acquainted with the obligations for declaration
by foreign nationals by the adult persons accompanying them. The instruction
leaflet is signed by the foreign nationals in confirmation of their
being acquainted with their obligations for declaration.
Travellers are obliged to declare verbally:
expensive objects, subject to return (cassette players, TV sets, photo,
video and film cameras, musical instruments, lap-top computers, etc.);
objects in excess of the set limits for duty-free import; objects of
a commercial nature in kind and quantity; objects prohibited for import
and export from the country or which are subject to licensing requirements:
weapons, ammunition, narcotics, psychotropic substances, protected animals
and plants, objects of historic, archaeological, artistic or other
The value of the objects, subject to declaration, is declared according
to purchase prices.
Information regarding import regulations for hunting weapons:
Weapons may be imported by groups of individual or organized tourists
arriving for the purpose of hunting tourism with package tour vouchers,
the permission applying to hunting weapons and hunting carbines, together
with the necessary instruments and ammunition. The import of short-range
weapons (pistols and revolvers) is prohibited. It takes place under
a different procedure, established by the Ministry of the Interior.
Travellers who fail to declare any objects, subject to declaration,
are liable under the Customs Act and the Penal Code.
Travellers have the right to import the following without paying any
duty or import charges:
articles for personal use: articles needed by foreign nationals during
their stay in the country, corres and profession; consumer goods:
a.Tobacco products (for persons aged above 16): 200 cigarettes
or 250 g of other tobacco products;
b.Alcoholic beverages (for persons aged above 16): 2 l
of wine or 1 l of spirits;
c.Other beverages: 500 g of coffee or 200 g of coffee
extract, 100 g of tea or 40 g of tea extract;d.50 ml perfume and 250
ml eau de toilette.
The transit transport of goods in commercial quantities on the
territory of the Republic of Bulgaria is only permitted in containers
which can be sealed.
Drivers of motor vehicles with foreign registration, entering and
staying in the country, must have Civil Liability insurance. If they
do not, they are obliged to take it out at the border checkpoint.
medical expenses for foreign citizens residing temporarily in the
country or transiting it; civil liability for environmental damage for
the transport of goods by road on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria.
Tourists can book hotels or other accommodation facilities in the tourist
service offices of Tourist Information and Reservations EAD at border
checkpoints. Package services, currency exchange, sale of phonecards,
telephone services, etc., are offered.
Traffic rules in Bulgaria are the same as in all other European countries.
The permitted speed limit (km/h) for different types of motor vehicles
in the country is as follows:
Category A/ 50/ 60/ 100
Category B / 50/ 90/ 120
Category C / 50/ 80/ 100
Drivers of motor vehicles who exceed the permitted speed limit without
causing an immediate danger to traffic are fined.
In case of accident, the person driving a motor vehicle with a foreign
registration, is obliged to remain on the scene of the accident until
the arrival of the competent authorities (traffic police).
Driving is prohibited after alcohol consumption (over 0.5 per
mill in the blood) or under the influence of drugs.
Petrol stations sell 91 and 98 octane petrol, 95H unleaded petrol and
diesel fuel. There are petrol stations in all border checkpoints, on
international motorways, in populated areas and along second-class roads.