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Last updated on 30 March 2024

Questions and answers about Bulgaria

The flag of Bulgaria
The flag of Bulgaria
Do I need a visa to enter Bulgaria?

Citizens of the EU, EEC (Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein) and Switzerland don’t need a visa for entering and staying in Bulgaria for any period of time. Bulgaria is not a full member of the Schengen Area yet but is in the process of joining. When entering Bulgaria at a land border, you still need a valid national identity card or passport to enter as an EU/EEC citizen. However, since 31 March 2024, there are no controls at air and sea borders between Bulgaria, Romania and the rest of the Schengen Area. Please note that a driver’s license is not a valid travel document, even if it was issued by an EU country.

Bulgaria is applying the European Union’s Common Visa Policy. Citizens of the following countries can enter Bulgaria without a visa (conditions apply) for no more than 90 days in any 180-day period: Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, El Salvador, Georgia, Grenada, Guatemala, Holy See (Vatican), Honduras, Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Nauru, New Zealand, Nicaragua, North Macedonia, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela.

Citizens of countries not listed above do need a visa to enter Bulgaria. For more information, visit our page about visas.

Is Bulgaria a member of the European Union?

Yes, Bulgaria is a European Union member state since 2007.

Is Bulgaria part of the Schengen Area?

Not yet. The country is fulfilling the formal accession criteria and is currently in the process of joining the Schengen Area.

What is the official currency in Bulgaria?

The official currency is Bulgarian Lev (BG: лев, plural: Leva), abbreviated as BGN or LV (ЛВ in Cyrillic). It is pegged to the Euro at the exchange rate of 1 EUR = 1.95583 BGN. This is quite comfortable for visitors as dividing prices by 2 will practically give you the Euro equivalent. The lev’s sub-unit is stotinka (BG: стотинка, this is the singular form), 100 stotinki (plural) equal 1 lev. The name of the currency comes from the archaic Bulgarian word “lev” meaning “lion”.

What language do they speak in Bulgaria?

The official language of the country is Bulgarian, which is a South Slavic language. Actually, it was the first Slavic language attested in writing.

Does Bulgaria use the Latin or the Cyrillic alphabet?

Cyrillic is the official writing system in Bulgaria. It was made official in the country in 893, more than 1100 years ago.

How many people live in Bulgaria?

The population of Bulgaria is 7 million which is a December 2018 estimate.

What is the capital of Bulgaria?

Bulgaria’s capital and largest city is Sofia with 1.3 million citizens.Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Which countries are the neighbors of Bulgaria?

Bulgaria is bordered by Romania (to the north), Serbia (to the west and northwest), North Macedonia (to the southwest), Greece (to the south) and Turkey (to the southeast).

What is the area size of Bulgaria?

110,993.6 km² which makes it the 10th biggest country by area in the EU.

What is the calling code of Bulgaria?


In which time zone is Bulgaria located?

Bulgaria is in the Eastern European Time (EET) (UTC+02:00) zone, which is 2 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The country observes daylight saving time, so it uses UTC+03:00 during the summer.

What is the electric voltage and socket type used in Bulgaria?

Bulgaria uses 230 V voltage and the standard European type E/F plugs.

What are the speed limits in Bulgaria?

For cars: 50 km/h in built-up areas, 90 km/h outside built-up areas, 120 km/h on expressways and 140 km/h on highways (130 on some sections).

Are the highways paid in Bulgaria?

Not only all highways are paid, but basically all roads are paid in Bulgaria. The country uses an e-vignette system. Vignettes can be bought online, at the borders or at several kiosks in the country. For more information, visit our page about driving in Bulgaria.Motorway in Bulgaria

What’s the emergency telephone number in Bulgaria?

112, which is the emergency number in all the EU member states for police, fire and ambulance services.

What is the international vehicle registration code of Bulgaria?

Bulgarian license plates have the code “BG”.

Is Bulgaria a safe country?

Bulgaria is generally a safe country. It ranks among the top 30-40 safest countries in the world and is considered a low risk destination. The U.S. Department of State lists Bulgaria as Level 1 (the lowest risk category) country where “exercising normal precautions” is advised. However, just like anywhere else, pick-pocketing and purse snatching may occur in crowded places and touristic areas.

What are the national holidays in Bulgaria?

• 1 January: New Year’s Day
• 3 March: Liberation Day (from the Ottoman Empire)
• 1 May: International Workers’ Day
• 6 May: Saint George’s Day (Day of Courage and the Bulgarian Army)
• 24 May: Bulgarian Education, Culture and Slavic Script Day
• 6 September: Unification Day
• 22 September: Independence Day
• 24 December: Christmas Eve
• 25 & 26 December: Christmas Day (both called the same)
• Varying dates: Orthodox Easter (Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Monday are non-working days)

Orthodox Easter date is calculated based on the Julian calendar, therefore it always falls after the western (Gregorian) Easter (except some years when they share the same date). The difference between the two Easter dates varies between zero and five weeks. The next year when eastern and western Easter fall on the same date will be 2025.

Is Bulgaria a NATO member state?

Yes, Bulgaria is a member of NATO since 2004.

What is the domain code of Bulgarian websites?

Bulgaria’s country code top-level domain (TLD) is .bg. Since 2016, Cyrillic .бг can also be used.

What is the Black Sea coast like?

Bulgaria’s 378-km-long, picturesque Black Sea coastline is dotted with beaches of golden sand, river valleys, estuaries and ancient towns. All major resorts have large sandy beaches which are ideal for watersports and for families with small children. The largest one is Sunny Beach with its 8-km-long continuous sand beach.Bulgarian seaside at Sinemorets

What is the highest mountain in Bulgaria?

Musala is the highest peak of Bulgaria and the whole Balkan peninsula with an altitude of 2925 m. It’s located in the Rila mountains in the southwestern part of the country.Panorama of the Seven Rila Lakes area