Bulgaria Business Travel Guide

Bulgaria Flag

The Bulgaria Business Travel Guide contains a number of business related resources to help assist business travellers. In the guide there are facts on the country, useful tips and business customs and visa information. Having an appreciation and understanding of other cultures, languages, customs and etiquette can be a good advantage for business visitors helping to smooth any cultural misunderstandings and increasing the chances of having a successful business trip.

Bulgaria has an upper middle income economy with a number of business opportunities. Major trading partners include Germany, Italy, Turkey, Greece and Russia. Bulgaria is located in Eastern Europe and shares borders with Romania in the north, Greece and Turkey to the south, Macedonia and Serbia to the west and the Black Sea to the east. The country has a variety of landscapes including beaches, valleys, the Balkan mountains and Danubian Plains.

Famous attractions include Sunny Beach, National Historical Museum, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and Russian Church in Sofia, Vitosha Mountains, Borovets, Seven Rila Lakes and Rila Monastery.


Bulgaria Guide

Quick Facts on Bulgaria
Bulgaria Travel Advice
Visa Requirements
Business Customs and Etiquette
Travel Advice and Tips
Public Holidays
Bulgaria Map
Bulgaria Weather & Climate



Quick Facts on Bulgaria

Country: Bulgaria

Capital: Sofia

Currency: Lev (1 lev = 100 stotinki)

Population: 7.4 Million (UN, 2012)

Area total: 111,000 sq km

Languages: Bulgarian

Time Zone: GMT (+1)

Daylight Saving Details: Starts in late March until late October

Electricity: 230V 50Hz

Dialling Code: 359

GDP: USD 53.01 billion (World Bank, 2013)

Religion: Bulgarian Orthodox, Muslim.

Political System: Republic

Internet Domain: .bg


Bulgaria Travel Advice

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office offers travellers useful advice when travelling to Bulgaria. You can find entry requirements for Bulgaria, advice on local laws and customs, some tips on safety and security and the address and contact details of the British Embassy in Bulgaria. The information is usually up to date and is a good place to check to travel information and advice prior to embarking on a business or leisure visit to Bulgaria. For more information please see: Bulgaria Travel Advice


Visa Requirements

No visa requirement for national of EU member states. No visa need for US and Canadian nationals for visits less than six months. Visa requirements are subject to change with changes in requirements and rules for further information please see: Bulgaria Embassy UK


Business Customs and Etiquette

Business meetings usually start and end with a handshake, people are addressed by their titles in a business context. Business meetings need to be booked in advance; meetings maybe followed by a lunch or diner. It is important to maintain eye contact to ensure trust is established. It can take time to get through business meetings and for deals to be done so patience is required. There is less emphasis on deadlines and more on thoroughly covering everything issues.

Business dress is the standard suit and tie for men; women are given a bit more leeway and may dress slightly less formally. English is spoken among Bulgarian business people but it ay also be convenient to have an interpreter. Visitors should note in Bulgaria, shaking the head usually means 'yes' whilst nodding of the head mean 'no'.


Travel Advice and Tips

Vigilance is needed against pick pockets particularly in crowded places, public places and tourist areas. Personal valuables and passports should be put in a safe place away from public view. Trips to Bulgaria for business and pleasure usually go ahead without any undue concern, but it worth remembering to be alert at all times to your surroundings and environment.

Travel Checklist: See our Travel & Packing Checklist containing useful tips and reminders to ensure you have everything you will need on your trip.

Travel Vaccinations: It is recommended you check with your GP to get the latest advice on whether you require any travel vaccinations up to eight weeks before you travel. For more information and advice on travel vaccinations please see the NHS Fit for Travel website.


Tipping: If service charge is not included usually around 10 to 15%

Hours of Business:

For Business: 08.30 to 18.00; For Retail: 09.00 to 18.00

NOTE: On Fridays some businesses close earlier in the afternoon.


Public Holidays

Public Holidays (2015):

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Mar 3: Liberation Day
May 1: Labour Day
May 3: Orthodox Easter
May 6: Army Day & St George’s Day
May 24: Saints Cyril and Methodius' Day - Education day
Sep 6: Day of the Union of Eastern Rumelia with the Bulgarian principality
Sep 22: Independence Day
November 1: Bulgarian revival leaders day
Dec 24: Christmas Eve
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 26: Second Day of Christmas
Dec 31: New Year's Eve


Bulgaria Map

Map of Sofia, Bulgaria


View Larger Map


Bulgaria Weather & Climate

Bulgaria's location in south eastern Europe gives it a temperate continental climate. The weather is characterised by long summers followed by long winters and distinct seasons. The mountainous regions in Bulgaria tend to get plenty of snowfall between December and mid March; the areas include a number of popular ski resorts. I general the north and mountainous regions are cooler than the southern regions that are next to the Mediterranean. Popular times to visit include June to September with long and sunny days. For skiing enthusiasts January is a popular month. Rainfall is more frequent during the spring and autumn.

Lightweight cotton and linen clothing can be warn for in the summer, rain coats are advisable throughout the year. Additional layers and warmer clothing is required in the winter with the cooler mornings and evenings and throughout the year in the uplands and mountains.










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