12 Interesting Facts about Bulgaria

Coming from a small country can sometimes be frustrating. The answer of the most natural question when I first meet someone – Where do you come from? – can lead to all kind of awkward situations. The reactions following my “I’m from Bulgaria” depend mostly of how far I am from my homeland and includes replies such as:

  • Bucarest?
  • I was in Budapest last year
  • So you speak cyrillic, right?
  • Do you have dogs, cinemas, roads, internet there?
  • In which country is Bulgaria?

I absolutely get it that unless you live in the southeastern corner of Europe, you probably haven’t heard much about Bulgaria. That’s why I decided to share some interesting facts that you might not know.

  1. Founded in 681, Bulgaria is the oldest country in Europe that hasn’t changed its name since then.
  2. The country is one of the world’s biggest producers of wine with thousands-year-old winemaking traditions. The grape drink is so widespread that it even flows freely from the drinking fountains.

    Abundance of red wine during the celebration in the countryside.
    Abundance of red wine during a celebration in the countryside.
  3. Bulgarians shake their heads for approval and nod for no. In order to avoid confusing situations it is always a good idea to ask for a verbal confirmation.
  4. Bulgaria is the homeland of yogurt that dates back to 4000 B.C. Since ancient times it has been considered a food that sustains the human health and life longevity. The main bacteria, responsible for the fermentation, is called lactobacillus bulgaricus, which rather strangely seems to be present in natural conditions only on Bulgaria.

    Yogurt is always present in the refrigerator od every Bulgarian. As you can see the supermarket offers plenty of choice.
    Yogurt is always present in the refrigerator of every Bulgarian. As you can see, the supermarket offers plenty of choice.
  5. Some archeologists assume that the number of archaeological sites is the third-largest in Europe after Italy and Greece.
  6. On the 1st of March Bulgarians exchange Martenitsa – a small adornment made of white and red yarn, usually in the form of two dolls – a male and a female. The colors are associated with purity, health and fertility and it is our way to celebrate the upcoming spring. We should wear it until we see a blossoming tree or a stork.

    Martenitsa seller in Sofia
  7. Bulgaria produces about 70% of all rose oil in the world which is largely used in the fragrances industry.

    3,5 tons of rose petals go into the making of one kilogram of rose oil, which has the price of gold.
  8. The Bulgarian folk song Izlel e Delio haidutin ( Delio rebel has come out ) is travelling right now in the interstellar space on board of two Voygaer spacecrafts – the Earth’s most distant emmisaries. It is nice to know that, if intercepted by alien civilizations, Bulgarian music will become space famous!                                         golden_rec_sidebar
  9. Bulgaria is one of the richest lands of spas and wellness spots in Europe with more than 800 mineral springs.
  10. Folk dancing is still a popular entertainment activity among Bulgarians on weddings, country fairs and festivals. Bulgarian folk dances
  11. The menu in most of the restaurants will show the weight of the serving portions which will give you a good idea about the size of the dish.Bulgarian Menu
  12. Mark ZuckerbergJohn Atanasoff ( the inventor of the first electronic digital computer ) and Nina Dobrev ( the actress ) have one common denominator – they all have Bulgarian origins.
  • Nice post!! <3

    Have a great day!!
    xo – Susana

    • Thank you, Susana! Have a great one too!

  • After reading this, I did a bit of reseach and have added Bulgaria to my bucket list. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Wow this is great to hear! I’m happy that I can inspire someone. Looking forward to your visit ?

  • Wonderful insight about Bulgaria

  • Hey,awsome post !!! P.S. I’m from Bucharest-Romania !???

    • Thank you! Nice to meet you 🙂

  • Great write up and info!

    • Thank you ☺️

  • Very interesting post, I have to admit I didn’t know that much about Bulgaria!

    • Thank you, Sophia 🙂 Actually it is quite difficult hearing something about Bulgaria.

  • Wow! You really do learn something new every day. I’ve had very little interest in traveling to that area of Europe, but now that I know about the springs *and* wine … I’m good to go! Thank you for sharing and enlightening this homebody.

    • There are many interesting places around, you definitley have to visit ? and the food is very good as well ?

  • I loved Veliko Tarnivo and Rila Monastery when I visited. Golden Sands & Sunny Beach were fun too!

    • You travelled the whole country I see ? glad to hear that you liked it

  • Just stumbled upon this post. Those are very interesting facts, Gabi. I have to be honest, I didn’t know much about Bulgaria and I haven’t been to Southeast Europe except for Greece. But I absolutely want to travel this part of Europe as well. It seems so interesting. And just as Emma said…I think after reading this, I have to put it on my bucket list 😉

    • You totally have to! And what is more, last time I was in Sofia I saw some vegan eateries that I will check (at least one) next time I’m there. Since I started reading your blog I’m more and more attracted to the vegan phylosophy ( you are an influencer ❗️?) especially after all the yummy photos that you are posting!

      • No way?! That’s cool! You have to tell me about those places. I was looking at the photo with the menu and was wondering if they have something I would want to eat, but unfortunately I couldn’t read the menu 😉 I am glad to hear that you are enjoying vegan food and my photos. You are quite the influencer yourself…I already visited Milano because of your cool posts and now I wanna go to Bulgaria too 😀

        • Probably there will be something for you to try in this restaurant, even though the Bulgarian culinary tradition is all about yogurt and white cheese. We add them everywhere. But now that you make me think, we have lentils or beans soup the monastery way, made in a ceramic pot; or bakes mushrooms with garlic and parsley, baked rice with spring vegetables…hm, now I’m craving for Bulgarian food. For sure you won’t go back home hungry ?

          • I thought so, when I read the fact that Bulgaria is the homeland of yogurt. You already told me that you could not live without yogurt. Now I clearly know why 😉 But I think you are right…I wouldn’t go back hungry. Lentil soups, baked mushrooms and all the other dishes that you’ve described sound absolutely delicious!

  • That was a great read! I admit that I don’t know much about Bulgaria so it was really interesting! I understand your frustration, I’m from a small french Island in the Indian Ccean, called Reunion island and I get asked all kind of questions such as “do you have electricity?” … it can be frustrating haha