Bulgaria is one of Europe’s oldest countries with an uninterrupted history of 1,100 years. It was already an important trade center for Ottoman Empire’s territories in Europe 200 years before its conquest by Russia in 1878. Bulgaria became known as an independent nation in 1908 after being occupied by many different empires throughout its history.
In 1944 Bulgaria was occupied by then Soviet Union and that led to a communist government that ran Bulgaria for 45 years. In 1989 there was a peaceful anti-communist uprising known as The Bulgarian Revolution which led to democratic elections.
The country is situated in a region with an ancient history. A crossroads of cultures, it has been influenced by waves of migration from different parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Bulgaria has a long and intriguing history. Read through our list for more insights into this fascinating country in Europe!
Interesting Facts about Bulgaria
1. Bulgaria’s economy is driven by machinery, iron and steel, tobacco, and fruits and vegetables.
2. Bulgaria joined the European Union in 2007, and they became members of NATO in 2004.
3. The Valley of the Roses us a famous area that sits in the middle of Bulgaria that is known for its export of rose oil – smells sweet to us!
4. Tourists visiting Bulgaria will often go to Kazanluk, Rila National park, and the Black Sea coastline.
5. After decades of communist rule, Bulgaria became a democracy in 1989.
6. The Russians also aided Bulgaria by opening up the steel, chemical, and machinery industries.
7. Due to their history together, Bulgaria is buddy-buddy with Russia, who helped them break free from the Ottoman Empire in 1878.
8. In Bulgaria, you can find fertile farmland, the coast of the Black Sea, and the Rhodope Mountain landscape.
9. An impressive 92% of Bulgarians are literate.
10. The majority of residents in Bulgaria belong to the Islamic and Orthodox faiths.
11. Bulgaria’s motto is “Unity makes strength.”
12. Back in prehistoric times, the first ancient civilizations of Bulgaria started forming. Before giving way to the Greeks and Romans, the Persians and Thracians lived there. The first Bulgaria Empire emerged in 681 AD.
13. In 1944 Bulgaria switched sides and joined the Allies against Hitler’s Germany.
14. Bulgaria is the only country in Europe that has Black Sea coastline.
15. Bulgaria is ranked 5th in Europe for its number of sunny days per year.
16. The capital city of Bulgaria is Sofia.
17.The Bulgarian flag consists of two horizontal stripes – white and green, with a red-bound golden yellow stripe in the upper part of it.
18. Bulgaria is a sovereign state in the Balkans, bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, and Montenegro to the southeast.
19. Bulgaria’s territory covers a surface of 110th km² and it has a population of 7.2 million people.
20. The country has only one time zone which is UTC+2 hours or UTC+3 during summer months.
21. The official language is Bulgarian but it also recognizes other local languages such as Turkish, Romani, Macedonian etc., while their status are not yet legislated.
22. The capital is Sofia
23. As of 2021, the population: 7.3 million
24. Surface Area: 111,002 sq meters
26. Bulgaria’s GDP per capita is $21,800
27. On the Balkans and southern Romania, Bulgaria is bordered by Serbia and Macedonia to the north and northeast, respectively; by Greece and Turkey to the south; and by Romania to the west.
28. Bulgaria is one of the most homogeneous countries in Europe—over three-fourths of its 9.8 million people identify themselves as ethnic Bulgarians.
29. Bulgaria is a country in southeastern Europe. It borders the Black Sea and Greece to the south, Turkey to the east, Serbia and North Macedonia to the west.
30. Bulgaria is a member of the European Union, NATO and it is a developing country with an upper-middle income economy.
31. Bulgaria is a European country that has been inhabited by humans for more than 7,000 years. It is the home of some of the oldest civilizations in Europe. The earliest settlements on the territory of Bulgaria date back to 6,000 BC.
32, The most significant event in Bulgarian history was the abolishment of slavery in 1878 with a decree from Tsar Alexander II.
33. The Kingdom of Bulgaria was formed after a series of military conflicts with Byzantium and Serbia and it gained its independence in 1908, when it became a Kingdom under Ferdinand I. In this period, Bulgaria was looking for an external ally, which led to closer relationships with Germany and Italy during World War I.
Video: Rick Steves Tour of Bulgaria
In this fun segment, Rick Steves takes us on a tour of Bulgaria which is so mysterious to most Americans, and has a vivid identity as a crossroads of the Balkans. Watch it to trace the country’s complex history, from ancient Thracian tombs to medieval Orthodox Christian monasteries to Soviet monuments.
In the video you will enjoy an intimate taste of contemporary culture: the yellow brick road of Sofia; the gregarious craftspeople of the medieval capital, Veliko Tarnovo; and the thriving pedestrian zones of cosmopolitan Plovdiv.
Hi I’m Jay. I grew up in Seattle, Washington and live in Los Angeles, California. I have travelled to 23 countries so far and planning to go explore more countries soon! My Favorite trips so far have been to Israel, Japan, Rome, Iceland and Australia. I started this site to share my love of travel with everyone and build a community of like-minded, free thinking, free exploring people.