50 Facts About Bulgaria That Are Worth Knowing

Last updated on March 10th, 2020

Bulgaria facts for Kids

36. It might take some time for visitors from other countries to grow accustomed to, but in Bulgaria, the people shake their head for “yes” and nod their head for “no”, opposite of many other cultures.

37. Bulgarian folk song sung and played with bagpipe accompaniment, was included on the Voyager Golden Record, the music which was sent into outer space on the Mars Voyager by NASA.

38. Bulgaria is home to the world’s largest IMAX three dimensional cinema.

39. The Bulgarian army has never lost a single flag in battle throughout the history of the country and all its wars and battles.

Bulgarian Yoghurt Dessert.
Bulgarian Yoghurt Dessert.

40. Bulgarians claim to have invented yoghurt, and its yoghurt has a unique flavor not found in any other country because of Lactobacillus Bulgaricus, the bacterium responsible for that flavor and consistency, It can only be found in the air of Bulgaria.

Bulgaria on the map

Interesting Facts

41. The Bulgarian Air Force developed the first air-dropped bomb in military history during the first Balkan War. Lieutenant Radul Milkov and Lieutenant Prodan Tarakchiev used it on October 16, 1912.

42. The Bulgarian Air Force pilot Rayna Kasabova was the first woman ever to participate in a military flight in the history of the world.

43. Bulgarians take their first name, traditionally, from their paternal grandfather. Their surname comes from their father’s name, with the suffix changing depending upon gender (-ova for girls and –ov for boys). Depending upon your generation, you might be named the same name for both name and surname: i.e. Ivana Ivanova.

44. Other notable Bulgarians include FIDE World Chess Champion Veselin Topalov and Bulgarian-born writer Elias Canetti, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1981.

45. Human trafficking is a problem in Bulgaria, both as a source of adults and children who are subjected to conditions of forced labor and women and children who are forced into prostitution within the country in the border towns and resort areas. Roma women and children account for around 15 percent of these victims. The victims of forced labor are sent to Italy, Greece, Spain, and the UK. Some children are forced into street begging both in Bulgaria and Greece.

Bulgarian rose valley near Kazanlak.
Bulgarian rose valley near Kazanlak.

46. The Bulgarian government has worked to make significant progress in efforts to prevent trafficking, arresting many who prey on the services of those forced into prostitution. However, they still battle corruption among some trafficking-complicit government officials.

47. The roses grown in the “Rose Valley” Kanalak region of Bulgaria produce most of the world’s rose oil (70-85 percent), a component in most perfumes. It takes 1,000 rose blossoms to produce one gram of rose oil, which is used in making some of the world’s most expensive and popular French and other perfumes.

Beautiful view of the Orthodox Rila Monastery, a famous tourist attraction and cultural heritage monument in the Rila Nature Park mountains in Bulgaria.
Beautiful view of the Orthodox Rila Monastery, a famous tourist attraction and cultural heritage monument in the Rila Nature Park mountains in Bulgaria.

48. The Rila Cross is a carved wooden cross with 140 microscopic Biblical scenes on it featuring more than 1,500 figures. Even the largest of them is no bigger than a grain of rice.

49. In 1976 UNESCO declared the calendar of the ancient Bulgarians to be the most accurate in the world.

50. Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007, Cyrillic became its third official alphabet.

Bulgaria facts – country at a glance

Capital CitySofia
(42°41′N 23°19′E)
Largest CitySofia
(42°41′N 23°19′E)
Areatotal: 110,879 sq km
land: 108,489 sq km
water: 2,390 sq km
Population6,873,253 (2022 est.)
Official LanguageBulgarian
BordersRomania, Serbia, Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Turkey
Literacy rate98.4%
CurrencyLev (BGN)
ReligionsBulgarian orthodox
Government typeparliamentary republic
President Rumen Radev
Prime MinisterKiril Petkov
Life expectancy at birth75.57 years (2022 est.)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
Climatetemperate; cold, damp winters; hot, dry summers
Terrainmostly mountains with lowlands in north and southeast
Mean elevation472 m
Lowest pointBlack Sea 0 m
Highest pointMusala 2,925 m
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Natural resourcesbauxite, copper, lead, zinc, coal, timber, arable land
Agricultural land46.9%
Birth rate8.05 births/1,000 population (2022 est.)
Death rate14.41 deaths/1,000 population (2022 est.)
Sex ratio0.95 male(s)/female (2022 est.)
Independence9 May 1877 (independence proclaimed from the Ottoman Empire; independence recognized on 13 July 1878 by the Treaty of Berlin); 26 March 1881 (kingdom proclaimed); 30 December 1947 (republic proclaimed)
National symbolclion
National anthem"Mila Rodino" (Dear Homeland)
National colorswhite, green, red
National holidayLiberation Day, 3 March (1878)
Industrieselectricity, gas, water; food, beverages, tobacco; machinery and equipment, base metals, chemical products, coke, refined petroleum, nuclear fuel
Exports$39.27 billion (2020 est.)
refined petroleum, packaged medicines, copper, wheat, electricity (2019)
Imports$38.07 billion (2020 est.)
crude petroleum, copper, cars, packaged medicines, refined petroleum (2019)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$22,400 (2020 est.)
Time ZoneUTC+02:00
Internet country code.bg
Calling Code+359
Drives on theRight
Table last updatedAugust 01, 2022