Bulgaria at a glance   
 
                                                                                                          < Map of Bulgaria

 bgcolorNational Flag of BulgariaNational Emblem of BulgariaArea: total: 110,910 sq km; land: 110,550 sq km; water: 360 sq kmLocation:Bulgaria is situated in the central part of the Balkan Peninsula in South-Eastern Europe. Bulgaria borders Romania to the North, Black Sea to the East, Turkey and Greece to the South, Macedonia and Serbia to the West. 

Relief:most diverse. Average height above sea level - 470 m. Some 31.5% of the country's territory is plain (up to 200 m above sea level), 41% are lowlands and hilly regions (from 200 to 600 m above sea level), and 27.5% are mountains (from 600 to more than 1,600 m above sea level).
Waters:rivers (main rivers are Danube, Maritsa, Mesta, Strouma, Iskar, Yantra); warm and cold mineral springs (more than 600) lake
s, coastal (some with curative mineral mud) and of glacial origin (in the Rila and Pirin mountains).

Plant and animal world:extremely diverse. An Act on the Protected Territories is operating in Bulgaria, aimed at the preservation of the country's flora and fauna. It has specified the following categories in the country: a national and nature park, a reserve and a tended reserve, a natural sight, a protected locality. A lot of relict and endemic species exist as well as rare and endangered species.
Climate:Continental to Mediterranean in the South parts of the country. Average temperatures during January vary from -2 to 2 degrees centigrade in the valleys to – 10 degrees centigrade in the mountains. Average temperatures for June vary from 19-25 degrees centigrade in the valleys to 10 degrees centigrade in the high mountains. Rainfalls are 450-600 mm in the valleys to 1300 mm in the mountains.
Time zone:EET (UTC +2)
Type of government:Parliamentary republic
International affiliations:Bulgaria is NATO member (since 2004) and European Union (EU) since 2007.
Population: 7,262,675 (July 2008 est.)
Capital city:Sofia (1.6 million est.)
Official language:Bulgarian
Alphabet:Cyrillic
Religion:There is freedom of religious confessions. Traditional religion in the Republic of Bulgaria is Eastern Orthodox Christianity
Economy:Bulgaria has experienced strong growth since a major economic downturn in 1996. Successive governments have demonstrated commitment to economic reforms and responsible fiscal planning, but have failed so far to rein in rising inflation and large current account deficits. Bulgaria has averaged more than 6% growth since 2004, attracting significant amounts of foreign direct investment, but corruption in the public administration, a weak judiciary, and the presence of organized crime remain significant challenges.

Entrance in the country:Most of the foreign citizens entering Bulgaria don’t need visa but they must carry their valid Identity card or international passport. The list of the countries which citizens need visa, when entering Bulgaria, can be found at:
http://www.mfa.bg/en/pages/109/index.html
Custom’s formalities and limitations:Upon crossing the state border of the Republic of Bulgaria passengers may import and export duty free commodities that in type, quantities, and value are not of a commercial nature and personal belongings. Common custom declarations and restrictions are applied for import and export of currency, food, alcohol and goods. There is a special custom regime for antiquarian objects, historic and cultural treasures, medicines, narcotics, weapons, ammunitions.
Money exchange:The Bulgarian Lev is pegged to the Euro.1 EUR = 1.955 BGN.
You may exchange money in banks and in any of the numerous exchange offices. Some of those offices are opened during the holidays. Euro-checks may be cashed on a lot of banks.
Transport:railway, automobile, air and water.
Taxi-cabs: In towns and resorts there are taxi-cabs situated in the respective taxi ranks. People can take a taxi by calling a taxi company or in the street. Normaly price - around 0.50 EUR per km
International automobile sign:BG
International telephone code:+359
Electricity:220 V, 50 Hz