Talk:Bulgaria

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Formatting and language conventions

For articles about Bulgaria, please use the 24-hour clock to show times, e.g. 09:00-12:00 and 18:00-00:00.

Please show prices in this format: лв100 — not BGN 100.

Please use American spelling.

For future reference the Project:CIA World Factbook 2002 import can be found at Talk:Bulgaria/CIA World Factbook 2002 import.


Watchlist Tab bug[edit]

I'd like to add the Bulgaria page to my watchlist, but there's not "watch" tab at the top-why not? (I am logged in.) (WT-en) AHands 03:14, 13 Dec 2004 (EST)

I think you can't add a page to your watchlist in this wiki without editing it (no idea why). --(WT-en) Logixoul 16:02, 1 Sep 2005 (EDT)
The lack of a watch list tab is caused by the way this wiki caches pages. You can view the watch tab if you click on the history or edit tab because that serves the database page rather than the cached page. -- (WT-en) Huttite 16:18, 16 Jan 2006 (EST)

Contributor links[edit]

The following external links may assist contributors to find information about Bulgaria. -- (WT-en) Huttite 16:14, 16 Jan 2006 (EST)

More links Jjtk (talk) 10:33, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Vagabond [1] a magazine in English that will tell you a lot about politics, going-ons and especially travel in Sofia and Bulgaria, is available at newsstands and online.
  • TheTravelBug [2] concentrate on the Stara Zagora and central region of Bulgaria but also provides video and photographs of many tourist spots around Bulgaria and advice on what to visit.
  • Discover Bulgaria via [3]. The Insiders Guide covering each corner of Bulgaria.

Kirilov's Taxi[edit]

I just didn't know what to do with the Kirilov's taxi advertisement. We don't usually have individual taxi companies listed in "Get around" (although we often have private or public bus companies), especially at the country level. Maybe this could go into Sofia? --(WT-en) Evan 09:48, 12 May 2006 (EDT)

Major clean up[edit]

I think somebody needs to go through this article and sort out the terrible English. I would but I don't really have the time.

Gabrovo[edit]

Guys, I'm doing the Sheki, Azerbaijan page and I would like to see the development of Gabrovo, because of the Soviet Humor Sister City connection. Could be good for eclectic travelers! (WT-en) Cupcakecommander 10:22, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

Section 4.4 - Iron Curtain[edit]

The sentence "...was a favorite destination for travelors behind the Iron Curtain...": being "behind" the Curtain depends on which side you are looking from, and is not good style. I suggest changing to "...was a favorite destination for travelers from former communist states in Central and Eastern Europe..." --(WT-en) Martin.letis 14:19, 7 August 2007 (EDT)

Wild Dogs[edit]

This section needs amending, mainly because at the moment it is just scary and in no way informative. Perhaps someone has information on how to know which beaches are infested with wild dogs? Any more helpful info on this would be an improvement, believe me.

Regions[edit]

Don't you think it's time for Bulgaria to have regions? We already have a(n empty) Northern Thrace article, which can be used for southeastern part of the country. We may also have a Bulgarian Black Sea Coast (or Black Sea Coast (Bulgaria)). But I'm afraid I can't be much of help for the rest of the country.

  • Speaking of Black Sea, I think we really need a disambiguating page which will provide links for parts of other countries that lie on shore of the Black Sea. I find it quite unacceptable to have Black Sea Coast with no disambiguations added assigned to Romania.--(WT-en) Vidimian 10:01, 21 November 2008 (EST)
Plunge forward! (WT-en) Jpatokal 01:18, 22 November 2008 (EST)
Does Bulgaria really need 9 top level regions?. --(WT-en) Burmesedays 13:10, 15 April 2010 (EDT)
Although never been to the country, here is my two cents about Bulgarian regional hierarchy.
Sofia Province and Northwest (2 and 4 linked articles each respectively) can be reasonably merged into Northwest. Northeast and Central Northern (2 and 3 linked articles respectively) can be merged into Northeast. Southwest (3 articles and some more info on cities and ODs without articles), one of the most well-travelled Bulgarian regions due to the skiing resorts there I guess, can stay as its own top level region. Central Southern (5 articles) and Southeast (one article) can be merged as Southeast, or better as Upper Thracian Plain, also known as Northern Thrace (and that would parallel already existing Western Thrace (of Greece) and Eastern Thrace (of Turkey) articles nicely). Black Sea coast (which I think should be renamed as more grammatically correct Bulgarian Black Sea Coast—am I right?) can turn into a well-written region article in the future, as that's a coherent region, so it should stay as is. And Bulgarian mountains is more of a travel topic or OD disambiguation kind of article, rather than about a contiguous region. So that may better be accordingly re-shaped. This will cut number of regions down to 5. – (WT-en) Vidimian 14:58, 15 April 2010 (EDT)
Ludogorie can also make sense as a name for current Northeast (without Central Northern merged). Central Northern, then, can be merged into Northwest. I'm proposing this because having a "Northeast" inland, while country's northeastmost sections located in another region (the Coast), may look silly. – (WT-en) Vidimian 15:18, 15 April 2010 (EDT)
Proposed regional scheme for Bulgaria - for discussion only

Many thanks Vidimian. Something like this perhaps:--(WT-en) Burmesedays 23:13, 16 April 2010 (EDT)

Looking deeper I am unconvinced with need a second level of provincial articles. Currently for example it goes: Bulgaria -> Southwest Bulgaria -> Blagoevgrad -> Bansko. Do we need the provincial level (Blagoevgrad in this case) of sub-regions?--(WT-en) Burmesedays 23:28, 16 April 2010 (EDT)
Yeah, the map seems about right, but I think it needs a couple of alterations:
  • If we are to avoid a "Northeast" region due to the reason in my last post above, the brownish/reddish region should be divided in two: make the oblast (or whatever they call the administrative units over there) of Ruse and the western half of the oblast of Varna into Ludogorie, and attach the oblast of Lovech to Northwest.
  • Plovdiv and the surrounding region should really be in Upper Thracian Plain, since the area is well known for ancient Thracian artifacts. In fact, I'd suggest putting all of the oblast of Plovdiv into Upper Thrace, except its southmost reaches around Smolyan, which I think better fits with Southwest due to the wintersports resort there.
I also think it's a great move to divide the northern regions from southern ones by the administrative boundaries, since they seem to follow the Balkan Mountains, the most prominent geographical feature of the country.
Regarding the provinces, I think they are residual from the time when there were no traveller-friendly regions for the country, even not in its current form. And I think they are useless, at least until when the region articles overflow with information—which I don't expect any time soon, given the current level of expansion of our Bulgarian coverage. So any bit info at those provincial articles can and should be moved to relevant region articles and they should be redirected.
I'd be glad to help with re-sorting cities into new regions and updating the breadcrumbs once the hierarchy is implemented, though that may take a couple of days to finish.
And a last minor note, the "credit" and "source" links at the image description of the discussion map on Shared both have one http// too many. I've just gone ahead and fixed this, which I should have done in the first place instead of quibbling here. :) – (WT-en) Vidimian 09:07, 17 April 2010 (EDT)
On a second thought, if we make Ludogorie its top-level region, there would be very little on that article. I'm still inclined to avoid a "Northeast" region, so if Central Northern Bulgaria sounds good enough in English, let's keep Lovech+Ruse+western half of Varna together and call that region Central Northern. If it does sound wierd, then I guess we have no other choice but to give the scheme of a seperate Ludogorie region and Lovech attached to the Northwest region a try. – (WT-en) Vidimian 09:35, 17 April 2010 (EDT)
Central Northern Bulgaria sounds fine to me, and your logic more than stacks up. The north/south admin boundaries are indeed convenient - I was also referring to a topo map yesterday, and you are dead right about the Balkans. All understood on Plovdiv and I totally agree that the province articles should go. I have just finished the Belize map, and Bulgaria is next on my list, so I will turn my mind to it over the next few days. If you could crack on the with work required to implement the new regions scheme, then that would be great.--(WT-en) Burmesedays 11:18, 17 April 2010 (EDT)
Map of Bulgaria

Here we are. Very much open to comment on the region boundaries, omissions etc. --(WT-en) Burmesedays 04:24, 18 April 2010 (EDT)

I think this is a pretty good map. – (WT-en) Vidimian 05:00, 18 April 2010 (EDT)
I don't really have a reason to think you will, but if you know anything about Albania, please comment at Talk:Albania#Regions. There are very few European countries left without Wikivoyage maps, and it would be good to get them all knocked off.--(WT-en) Burmesedays 05:46, 18 April 2010 (EDT)
One minor fault I've just noticed on this map: There is no longer (since 2006) a "Serbia and Montenegro", it should be just Serbia. – (WT-en) Vidimian 09:12, 18 April 2010 (EDT)
Oh my. That's embarrassing. Will put it right immediately. Bizarrely, the United Nations Cartographic Dept still use the Serbia and Montenegro terminology. See this map for example. That's a 2004 map but it really should have been updated. --(WT-en) Burmesedays 10:23, 18 April 2010 (EDT)
Bulgarian Regions

I have just recently made changes to the regions as a whole. The changes are provoked by, in my view, the generalisation of some regions. The previous regions combined parts of the country that are nowadays too economically different (such as the area around Sofia compared to the Northwest), or have too different terrain (such as the towns in Northern Thrace such as Plovdiv and Stara Zagora compared to Kurdzhali), or are culturally distinct (such as the provinces of Smolyan, Kurdzhali and the towns of Asenovgrad, Batak that can form one region The Rhodopes, which is culturally distinct from say the region around Blagoevgrad, or around Plovdiv and Haskovo). The nine new regions can be distinct (not only geographically in terrain but also) economically, historically and culturally. What this means for tourists is that across the nine different regions they can observe variations in architecture, the regions have their own distinct sounding of music and region-specific dances, they vary in traditional clothing, and there are some rituals specific for some regions. Also the traditional cuisine varies with the nine regions and there is a large number of specific meals cooked only in regionally. -- DrSmislov (talk) 20:29, 21 June 2013 (UTC)


Unfortunately, none of the conversations in this thread ever mentioned administrative districts, such as Bulgarian oblast's, so it is hard to understand now how the borders are drawn and what belongs to what. I am going to come up with a couple of suggestions/clarifications:

  • Veliko Tarnovo would be a lot more natural in The Balkan region because the city is on the northern slopes of the Balkan mountains, and it is not far from Gabrovo.
  • Sliven is not far from Yambol. Both cities have pretty similar Turkish histories, and it would be natural to have them in the same region, Northern Thrace
  • I am not sure whether Strandzha qualifies as a separate region. The article is nearly empty, and it is unclear which cities should be featured in this region. It may be better to consider Strandzha as one of the Other Destinations within the Black Sea Coast.

--Alexander (talk) 22:08, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

Other destinations[edit]

There are none listed in the main article. There is a note saying - see region articles - but there are none in any of those either. Can somebody please put together a list of Bulgaria's top other destinations and place them in the main article (maximum of 9). Thanks. --(WT-en) Burmesedays 13:13, 15 April 2010 (EDT)

From what I gather from region articles, the ODs that could be featured on country article (and map) can be Risa Monastery (a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it has no article yet, but listed and described a little at OD section of Southwest Bulgaria), Pirin (a national park currently listed at Bulgarian mountains), and Kamen Bryag of the coast (although it seems it is a village, its hippy-ish atmosphere may qualify it as a borderline OD?). And I can add Madara to that (no article yet, currently only displayed at Shumen#Go next), which is known for its medieval rock relief, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (though no idea if it's a village or not. It can, however be pipelinked as [[Madara|Madara Rider]], so that makes it qualified to be listed as an OD). – (WT-en) Vidimian 15:11, 15 April 2010 (EDT)

Camping[edit]

In the "Sleep" section no mention is made of camping so I'm wonder how easy it is to find campgrounds and whether there are places where it's OK to camp for free. — (WT-en) Hippietrail 06:04, 31 August 2011 (EDT)

New "Politics and administration" section[edit]

Re: this edit:

I appreciate the effort, but this is way too detailed and encyclopedic. Could we please have a summary that's one paragraph long, with 2-3 sentences at most? Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:36, 30 August 2018 (UTC)

National and religious holidays, tradition etiquette etc.[edit]

  • I'm moving here from the main article a long and detailed list of national holidays and etiquette customs that seem too detailed and encyclopaedic to fit our regular tone. The discussion is welcome, whether to keep or edit the info contained here. Ibaman (talk) 12:31, 31 August 2018 (UTC)
    • The holidays and dates are absolutely useful for travellers, and shouod have a brief explanation of how they are celebrated. These are included in other countries' articles, like United States. The history of them, however, is not needed. The traditions and etiquette stuff is also appropriate for inclusion, but could be more concise. I Ground Zero (talk) 12:51, 31 August 2018 (UTC)

The official holidays are non-working days. Most of the restaurants and some shops could work, but do not expect to find an open bank or office.

  • Orthodox Easter (Bulgarian: Великден, Velikden), floating.

Over 60% of the Bulgarians are Orthodox Christians. The Bulgarian Orthodox Church follows the Eastern (Gregorian) calendar. The Friday and Saturday before the Orthodox Easter, and the Monday after it, are official non-working days in Bulgaria.

Easter eggs, prepared in Bulgaria
Year Orthodox Easter holidays
2018 6-9 April
2019 26-29 April
2020 17-20 April
2021 30 April - 3 May
2022 22-25 April
  • Labour Day (Bulgarian: Ден на труда), 1 May.

An international annual holiday to celebrate the achievements of workers (the "blue collars"). This day, in Bulgaria, is especially appreciated by the socialists and the communists. On this date, you can see meetings and marches with red flags, bringing flowers to the monuments of the working movement and socialism.

  • Saint Georges' Day (Bulgarian: Гергьовден, Gergyovden), 6 May.

St. Georges' day is a holiday of courage and day of the Bulgarian army. There is a military parade in celebration of courage.

  • Day of Bulgarian Enlightenment and Culture, and The Slavic Alphabet (Bulgarian: Ден на българската просвета и култура и на славянската писменост), 24 May.

The day of St. Cyril (827-869), and St. Methodius (826-884), who created the Glagolic - a precursor to the Cyrillic - alphabet. A beautiful holiday - with lots of flowers, music, and joy. Celebrated for the first time in 1851 it is known as the holiday of students and teachers.

  • Reunification Day (Bulgarian: Ден на Съединението), September 6.

The day the two parts of Bulgaria - the Principality of Bulgaria and East Rumelia (autonomous in the Ottoman Empire) - were reunited.

  • Independence Day (Bulgarian: Ден на Независимостта), 22 September.

Bulgaria's de jure declaration of independence was declared on 22 September 1908 in Veliko Turnovo

  • Day of the National Leaders (Bulgarian: Ден на народните будители), 1 November.

The country celebrates the leaders of the Bulgarian National Revival in XV-XIX centuries. It is a non-working day only for the schools and universities, all other companies and government offices work on this day.

  • Christmas (Bulgarian: Рождество Христово), 25 & 26 December.

Religious and Other Holidays

Although they are not official public holidays, these events are celebrated by large groups of the Bulgarian population.

  • Bango Vasil (Bulgarian: Банго Васил, meaning The limping Vassil), 1 January.

This is the most important holiday for the Roma people in Bulgaria. It is also known as "The Gypsy New Year".

  • The Great Epiphany of Waters (Bulgarian: Богоявление, meaning The Manifestation of God), 6 January.

On this day, the Easter Orthodox Christians celebrate the Baptism of Jesus. In the cities and villages of Bulgaria, a wooden cross is thrown by a priest into the sea, river or lake and young men race to retrieve it. As the date is in early January and the waters are close to freezing, this is considered an honourable act and it is said that good health will be bestowed upon the home of the swimmer who is the first to reach the cross. In the town of Kalofer, a traditional horo with drums and bagpipes is played in the icy waters of the Tundzha river before the throwing of the cross.

  • Baba Marta (Bulgarian: Баба Марта, meaning Grandma Marta), 1 March.
Martenitsa

An ancient pagan holiday, celebrating the rebirth of life, after the end of the winter. People give each other martenitsa (Bulgarian: мартеница), a type of white-red yarn, as a symbol of health and luck.

  • The Assumption of Mary (Bulgarian: Голяма Богородица), 15 August.

There are big celebrations, especially in the main monasteries, with icons being paraded by the monks.

  • Ramazan Bayram (English: Eid al-Fitr, Bulgarian: Рамазан Байрям), floating.

This is the second of two Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide each year. It is Muslim religious Eid (festival) and only day in the Islamic month of Shawwal, during which Muslims are not permitted to fast. The holiday celebrates the conclusion of the 29 or 30 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the entire month of Ramadan.

  • Kurban Bayram (English: Eid al-Adha, Bulgarian: Курбан Байрям), floating.

This is the most important holiday for the Muslims in Bulgaria and the first of two Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide each year. It honors the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God’s command. But, before Ibraham could sacrifice his son, God provided a lamb to sacrifice instead. Yet not an official public holiday for the country, this day is non-working for the Muslims in Bulgaria.

Year Bayram
Islamic Gregorian Ramazan Kurban
1439 2018 15 June 21 August
1440 2019 5 June 11 August
1441 2020 24 May 31 July
  • Saint Nicolas' Day (Bulgarian: Никулден, Nikulden), 6 December.

The Orthodox Church commemorates St. Nicolas of Myra. This is a holiday of sailors, travelers, merchants and bankers. This event is during the Christmas fasting and it is celebrated with rich fish dishes and wine, but without other meats.

  • University Students' Day (Bulgarian: Студентски празник), 8 December.

On the 1 October 1888 was founded the first Bulgarian university - Sofia University. It is named on the Saint Kliment of Ohrid, who was one of the first students of Saints Cyril and Methodius. On 8 December the Bulgarian Orthodox Church commemorates St. Kliment. It is also a holiday of the Sofia University and all college and university students and graduates in Bulgaria.

Memorable Dates of the Bulgarian History

These dates are not official holidays, but it is quite likely to see young people, marching with flags and bringing wreaths to the monuments.

  • The Hanging of Vasil Levski, 19 February

The day that the Bulgarian people honour the life and the work of the revolutionary Vasil Levski - the Apostle of Freedom.

  • The April Uprising (Bulgarian: Априлско въстание), 20 April.

20 April 1876 was the official start day the greatest uprising of the Bulgarian people against the Ottoman rule.

  • Day of Botev and The Fallen for The Freedom and Independence of Bulgaria, 2 June.

Every year on 2 June at noon, sirens sound for one minute to honour the death of those who have fallen in pursuit of liberation and independence from the Ottoman Empire. On 2 June 1876 the poet and revolutionary Hristo Botev died in battle on mount Vola in the Stara Planina mountain.

  • The Defense of Shipka pass (Bulgarian: Отбраната на Шипка), 23 August.

21-26 August (9-14 August in the Julian Calendar) 1877, Bulgarians from the Bulgarian Voluntary Army (Opalchenie) and Russian soldiers defended the Shipka pass from the attacking Ottoman army. The most severe and blooded was the battle on 23 August.

Traditions and Etiquette[edit]

Bulgaria is a modern and secular, but yet an Orthodox Christian country. If you want to be accepted by the Bulgarians, you should follow or at least show respect to the most important traditions.

If you are a man, who likes a Bulgarian girl, you can give her flowers, without a special occasion, but only an odd number - 1,3,5,7,9, etc. 13 is also unacceptable, it is considered to be an "unfortunate" number. Giving flowers for a special occasion (birthday, 8 March, New Year, etc.) to women is a must. It is strongly recommended, the flowers to be decorated with ribbon, if not sure, you better buy a ready bouquet.

You can buy presents, including expensive ones, only to your girlfriend. Do not try to give a present to a girl, you barely know. It is an insult. You can give her an expensive bouquet and invite her to a good restaurant. If the flowers are accepted, but the invitation - not, do not be discouraged, you should endeavor more. If the bouquet is rejected, do not try further.

Bulgarian girls give flowers and presents to men only for a certain occasion, but not necessary. You better buy him a book, a belt, a parfum, a pen, etc. Giving flowers to a man, without a special occasion, is embarrasing. If you are not satisfied with your Bulgarian boyfriends' style, you can buy him some clothes or shoes. He will not like the gesture, but he will aquiesce it.

If you celebrate your Bulgarian friend in a company, than you can give him or her a bouquet (remember the odd number!) and a present. The flowers are given by a person from the opposite sex.

Do not give a knife (or scissors), a mirror, a soap, a Bible, a clock or flowers in a pot to a Bulgarian. You can give him/her a shaving set or a parfume.

If you are invited in a Bulgarian house, you should take flowers and chocolate, if you are invited by a woman, or a bottle of wine (or highly alcohol drink), if you are a guest of a man.

Do not enter a Bulgarian house in shoes. At least, ask the host, if you should take your shoes off. Do not put your feet on the furniture, especially on the table.