What is it like to live in Bulgaria?
Bulgaria is a country in southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the North, Serbia and Macedonia to the West, Greece and Turkey to the South, and the Black Sea to the East. It has a territory of 110,994 square kilometres and a population of nearly 7 million people. Bulgaria is the oldest European state, with more than 1,300 years of history. Therefore, it’s not surprising that the population is characterized by its unique, one of a kind spirit, whose power can be still felt in every part of Bulgaria. The life in Bulgaria is characterized by affordable way of living, Eastern European culture and architecture as well as great student night life. Also, the fairly cold winter and hot summer offer plenty of leisure activities in must-visit resorts.
Living costs in Bulgaria
Living in Bulgaria is as affordable as you can imagine. In 2013, The Telegraph found Bulgaria “to be the cheapest European destination”. To illustrate that, we provide you with a small table which shows the average prices in Bulgaria (as of 2016) for various goods and services. It is important to point out that the Bulgarian currency is lev(a) which equals 0.51 EUR, 0.57 USD and 0.41 GBP.
- Meat at a restaurant – around 10 leva.
- Domestic bear – around 2 leva.
- Water – around 1 lev.
- Milk – around 2 leva.
- One-way ticket for the public transportation – 1.60 leva.
- Monthly pass for the public transportation – around 50 leva.
- Taxi 1 km – around 0.80 leva.
- Fitness club, monthly fee – around 40 leva.
- Flat in the city centre (1 bedroom) – around 450 leva.
For more information, you can check out the prices in Bulgaria by choosing any city in the country in the right upper corner on the website http://www.numbeo.com/.
Tourism in Bulgaria
Bulgaria offers excellent conditions for tourism. The Black Sea Coast has become world known for its wonderful geographical and climatic conditions: a warm sea, with almost imperceptible tides, well-wooded shores and vast beaches covered with fine golden sand. Modern resorts offer excellent conditions for rest and recreations, such as Zlatni Pyassatsi (the Golden Sands), Drouzba, Slunchev Bryag (the Sunny Beach), Rousalka, Albena, Duni, Elenite, St. Constantine and Elena, motels, camping sites and summer camps. Each of the Bulgarian mountains has a charm of its own - their snow-capped peaks sparkling in the sun, covered with thick pine or deciduous forests interspersed with fragrant alpine meadows. There are numerous cosy chalets and pleasant holiday houses, snuggling in the mountains folds. The mountain and ski resorts of Borovets, Bansko, Pamporovo, Malyovitsa, Velingrad, Yundola and many others are equally attractive in summer and in winter.
Bulgaria is also famous through its mineral springs (more than 500) and many of them are used for balnetherapy. Health resorts (Spa) were built in Kyustendil, Vurshets, Sandanski, Pavel Banya, Hisar, Bankya and in many other places of Bulgaria. There are 2000 explored and unexplored caves in Bulgaria. In one of them, the Magoura Cave, the unique rock drawings made by people from the pre-historical time can be seen. The Belogradchik rocks, the natural pyramids at Melnik, the Pobiti Kamuni (Stone Forests) near Varna, the Er Kyupria (Devil's Bridge) in the Rhodopes are some of the most curious sights of Bulgaria.
Beside the natural beauties of Bulgaria there are countless historical and cultural monuments. The Thracian tumulus (burial mound) near Kazanluk and the Proto-Bulgarian Madara Horseman near Shoumen are two of them. Entire towns and villages in Bulgaria are nominated as museum towns -Turnovo, Koprivshtitsa, Old Plovdiv, Melnik, Zheravna, Kotel, Tryavna, Nessebur and many other places where memories of the past still linger.
Demographic diversity in Bulgaria
Bulgaria has rich demographic diversity - 85% of the population is Bulgarian, with other ethnic group representations being Turkish (8.8%), Roma (4.9%) and about 40 small minority groups, including Jews, Armenians, Russians and Greeks. The only official language is Bulgarian and is spoken by most of the population. The main religion is Eastern Orthodox (59.4%), but there is also a significant percentage of Muslim (7.8%) and others, including Catholic, Protestant, Armenian Apostolic Orthodox, and Jewish.
In general, life in Bulgaria is easy and great for international students - the demographic diversity and the amount of tourists make Bulgaria a multicultural destination. Also, the affordable living costs and tuition fees are suitable for students who wish to study abroad without having to apply for a student loan in Bulgaria.