Tourism in Bulgaria

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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, Greeks, 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 2015 Bulgaria was visited by 11 million tourists. Tourists from four countries - Greece, Romania, Turkey, and Russia - account for nearly 50% of all visitors.[1] The sector contributed to 15% of GDP and supported 150 000 workplaces in 2014.[2][3]

Tourist attractions[edit]

UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Intangible Cultural Heritage List[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.

Surva, Masquerade games 

Ethnic, 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 and sites[edit]

Shumen fortress 

Museums[edit]

National museum "Vasil Levski", Karlovo 
Dorkovo Museum 
Agushevi konatsi, Mogilitsa 
Museum of the rose, Kazanlak 
Varna dolphinarium 
Mining museum, Pernik 

Thracian treasures[edit]

Golden mask of Teres I 
Bronze head of Seuthes III found in Golyamata Kosmatka 
Letnitsa treasure 
Yakimovo Thracian Treasure 
Ravnogor Thracian Treasure 
A thracian golden necklace found in Arabadjiiska Mogila 
Sinemorets Gold figurines 
Thracian helmet found in Pletena 
Vazovo Thracian Pegasus 
Kralevo Treasure 
Golden treasure found in the Sveshtari Mound 
Odrysian Wreath of Cersobleptes, Zlatinica-Malomirovo 
Mogilanska Mogila funeral offerings 

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—e.g. in the villages of Arbanasi, Leshten, Kovachevitsa, Melnik—have been preserved to the present day.

Lovech, Varosha 

City tourism[edit]

Monasteries[edit]

Cherepishki Monastery 
Shipka Monastery 

Festivals and events[edit]

Epiphany's horo in Kalofer 
Festival of the rose, Kazanlak 
Paneurhythmy dances at the Seven Rila Lakes 

Resorts and 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 and skiing[edit]

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

National and 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 and waterfalls[edit]

Nature landforms and formations[edit]

Stob Pyramids 
Ritlite 
Melnik Pyramids 
Rock wedding, Kardzhali 

Top 10 sources of international visitors to Bulgaria[edit]

Most visitors arriving in Bulgaria on short-term basis as of 2015 came from the following countries of nationality:[6]

Rank Country Number
1  Romania 1,499,854
2  Turkey 1,237,841
3  Greece 1,024,527
4  Germany 826,142
5  Macedonia 506,052
6  Serbia 501,091
7  Russia 493,989
8  Ukraine 310,777
9  Poland 285,455
10  United Kingdom 250,038

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bulgarian Tourism in Facts and Figures (January–December 2014) 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. ^ Arrivals of visitors from abroad to Bulgaria by months and by country of origin