Tourism in Bulgaria

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Location of World Heritage Sites within Bulgaria

Tourism in Bulgaria is a significant contributor to the country's economy. Situated at the crossroads of the East and West, Bulgaria has been home to many civilizations - Thracians, Romans, Byzantines, Slavs, Proto-Bulgarians, and Ottomans. The country is rich in tourist sights and historical artifacts, scattered through a relatively small and easily accessible territory. Bulgaria is internationally known for its seaside and winter resorts.

In 2013 Bulgaria was visited by 9,2 million tourists. Tourists from three countries - Greece, Romania and Turkey - account for 40% of all visitors.[1] The sector contributed to 13.6% of GDP and supported 114 856 workplaces in 2013.[2][3]

Tourist attractions[edit]

UNESCO World Heritage Sites[edit]

There are nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bulgaria. The first four properties were inscribed in the World Heritage List in 1979, and the last in 1985. Bulgaria currently has fourteen additional properties on the Tentative List.[4] Nestinarstvo, a ritual fire-dance of Thracian origin,[5] is included in the list of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Ethno, cultural and historical tourism[edit]

The Bulgarian cultural heritage has many faces and manifestations - archaeological reserves and monuments, museums, galleries, rich cultural calendar, preserved folklore and magnificent architectural monuments.

Historical monuments[edit]

Shumen fortress 


National museum "Vasil Levski", Karlovo 
Paleontological Museum, Dorkovo 
Agushevi konatsi, Mogilitsa 
Museum of the rose, Kazanlak 
Rozhen Observatory & Planetarium 
Varna dolphinarium 
Mining museum, Pernik 
Museum of Socialist Art, Sofia 

Rural tourism[edit]

The Bulgarian town house is an embodiment of the owner's social status, craft and traditions. Many old buildings that demonstrate this type of architecture - in the villages of Arbanasi, Leshten, Kovachevitsa, Melnik, etc. have been preserved to present day.

Lovech, Varosha 

City tourism[edit]


Cherepishki Monastery 
Shipka Monastery 

Festivals & events[edit]

Masquerade games "Surva", Pernik 
Epiphany's horo in Kalofer 
Festival of the rose, Kazanlak 
Paneurhythmy dances at the Seven Rila Lakes 

Resorts & nature tourism[edit]

Seaside resorts[edit]

The Bulgarian Black Sea Coast is picturesque and diverse. White and golden sandy beaches occupy approximately 130 km of the 378 km long coast. The temperatures during the summer months are very suitable for marine tourism and the water temperature allows sea bathing from May to October. Prior to 1989 the Bulgarian Black Sea coast was internationally known as the Red Riviera. Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, however, its nickname has been changed to the Bulgarian Riviera.

Hiking & skiing[edit]

The country has several ski areas which offer excellent conditions for skiing, snowboarding, ski running and other winter sports.

National & natural parks[edit]

Rila National Park 
Vitosha Nature Park 
Sinite Kamani Nature Park 
Strandzha Nature Park 
Rusenski Lom Nature Park 
Shumensko Plato Nature Park 

Caves & Waterfalls[edit]

Nature landforms & formations[edit]

Stob Pyramids 
Melnik Pyramids 
Rock wedding, Kardzhali 

Top 10 International Visitors in Bulgaria[edit]

Data Source[6]

Rank country 2013
1  Romania 1 465 600
2  Greece 1 105 437
3  Turkey 1 053 046
4  Germany 812 189
5  Russia 695 853
6  Macedonia 429 008
7  Serbia 428 582
8  Ukraine 379 444
9  Poland 283 498
10  United Kingdom 269 656

External links[edit]


  1. ^ 2013 Tourism Highlights -National statistical institute
  2. ^ 2013 GDP -National statistical institute
  3. ^ Statistical references 2013 -National statistical institute
  4. ^ "UNESCO World Heritage Centre - Tentative List: Bulgaria". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 2009-03-27. 
  5. ^ MacDermott, Mercia (1998). Bulgarian Folk Customs. Jessica Kingsley Publishers. p. 226. ISBN 1-85302-485-6. Retrieved 20 December 2011. "While dancing round fires and jumping over fires forms part of many Slav customs, dancing on fire does not, and it is therefore likely that nestinarstvo was inherited by the Bulgarians from the Hellenized Thracians who inhabited the land before them." 
  6. ^посещения-на-чужденци-в-българия-по-месеци-и-по-страни