Situated at the crossroads between Europe and the rest of the ancient world Bulgaria can be discovered as a land of many ancient civilizations with turbulent histories. A place of respite as well, for the curative properties of the Bulgarian mineral waters were known and used from antiquity the area is rich in cultural history.
Every town takes pride in its colorful annual holiday where visitors are welcome. Among the quaint villages is a wealth of folklore waiting to be told through song and dance at cultural events.
In 2004, Athens, Greece  hosts the Olympic Games and Sofia, Bulgaria will host the XXIV International Convention of Carnival Cities.
 The International Fair of the Masquerade Games
every even year the Kulari and other international Carnival groups gather in Pernik in mid January following the traditional 31DEC/1JAN Year ending processions in Cities like  Razlog, Sandanski,  and Petrich as well as Pernik
Kulari: Myth & Mystery

Orpheus& Eurydice

the great Bulgarian Carnaval love story reclaimed
Pernik || Sofia || Plodiv
Bulgaria Travel Tools
Click for our foto link guide to Bulgaria
 The International Festival of Masquerade Games in Pernik is carried out each January of every even year. Organized under the patronage of the Ministry of Culture it is the greatest exposition of Eastern Europe's deeply engrained ancient tradition of masking. Here the prehistoric archetypes of the collective unconscious are given shape and consciousness through one of humanities oldest art forms, the mask.
Pernik's favourable climate combined with vast semi-mountain pastures have nurtured successful cities  since ancient times including the Thracians whose influence on Greek culture may have been greater than even Egypt.Today Pernik is once again being discovered as a land of opportunity  more
 Pernik is a member of the Foundation of European carnival cities (FECC) and host with Sofia of the 2004 Carnival Cities Convention.
fficial IVXX FECC Carnival City Convention Web Site  event web site. In English français & deutsch.
Bulgaria FECC Pages  what's new including latest event news or home page

Bulgarian Coat of Arms

The final version of the national emblem, adopted in 1AUG-1997, came at the end of a 7-year long debate. The symbol consists of a rampant golden lion on a burgundy shield, with a crown similar to the crowns of the Tsars of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom, five crosses and a separate cross immediately above the crown. The shield is supported by two golden crowned lions, standing on crossed oak branches with fruits. Under the shield, on a white bow contoured by the national tricolour, stand the words Union Makes the Strength." more

Predating the Greeks as the most important early European civilization is the Thracian ethnos which comprised not only the territory of present-day Bulgaria but also the land of present-day Romania, Eastern Serbia, Northern Greece and Northwestern Turkey. According to the 5th century BC Greek historian Herodotus,  the Thracians were the most numerous people in Europe numbering around one million or about 4 to 5 times the total population of the Greek City States.

Communist domination ended in 1990, when Bulgaria held its first multiparty election since World War II and began the contentious process of moving toward political democracy and a market economy while combating inflation, unemployment, corruption, and crime. Today, reforms and democratization keep Bulgaria on a path toward eventual integration into NATO and the EU - with which it began accession negotiations in 2000. The visitor industry, while still undeloped away from the Black Sea is booming as much of Europe discovers this least populated country which has charmed it crossroads visitors warily for over 6,000 years.


Pernik region is located in Mid West Bulgaria, on a territory of 20 269,8 m2 and includes six municipalities –

Palace of Culture, City of Pernik  with an area of 4250 square meters there are a Dramatic Theatre, Universal Library of Sciences, “Orpheus” Chamber Orchestra, United School of Arts, Intelligentsia Club

Pernik, Radomir, Breznik, Tran, Zemen and Kovachevtzi and 20+ villages The City of Pernik's population is about 110,000 and situated primarily in the lowlands along the Struma River.
DownloadPernik Towns & Village
official site in English with zoom map

There are hotels in Pernik and Radomir, as well as tourist lodges in the region.
Pernik has a temperate climate. The summer average temperature is only 19.9C/  There is rain most months of the year.  A typical year will be foggy just 28 days. There is a generous amount of rain with average yearly precipitations amount 580  mm which keeps the atmosphere clear. more

Coal is currently mined by the Mini Pernik” Stock Co which exploits the brown coal from the Pernik coal basin. The average yearly output is 1 950 000 metric tons. There is also mining of  non-metalliferous minerals, inert materials, limestone and granite are mined in Pernik Municipality. The limestone, which can be found in large quantities, is suitable for the production of cement and lime. The the Pernik Region in the last half century has  established itself as a heavy industry region. Black metallurgy, production of electrical and thermal energy, machinery construction, metal processing, coals mining, etc., play the leading part. Coal is mined in Pernik, high-quality steel is produced, as well as rolled iron and products made of it, shaped steel and iron for construction purposes.

Map of town of Pernik Administrative map of Bulgaria

Pernik supports two daily newspapers today: "Com-pe(rnik)-titor" and "Town newspaper". There is a municipal cable radio station. There are three private radio stations - "Mila", "Rarnik FM", and "Kiss FM". There are regular 24-hour emissions of the "Krakra" private cable television channel.Download


The town of Pernik || The first record ||  Culture
by who provide Pernik Internet Services and links


The town of Pernik is situated along both banks of the Struma River in the hollow of the same name, between the mountains of Vitosha, and Ljulin and the Golo bardo Ridge. Pernik is a successor of the medieval town of Krakra. In the IV century the Thracians built a fortress there. Bulgarians took advantage of the fortified spot and built one of the mightiest Bulgarian strongholds – Pernik. This name was first mentioned in the IX century. It is associated with the Slavic god Perun. At the beginning of the XI century the settlement was a fortress, impenetrable to the Byzantians. It was the seat of the legendary chieftain Krakra of Pernik, who played an important role in the time of the First Bulgarian Kingdom.
In the time of the Ottoman occupation Pernik lost its significance as a fortress because it was located deep in the interior of the Empire. During the Liberation Pernik was a small stockbreeding village, consisting of several scattered hamlets.
The beginning of Pernik's most modern history is set in the last century with the development of the rich coal-beds of the region.

The sights of the town are the historical museum, the art gallery, the recovered Krakra fortress and many monuments. The Stoudena dam suitable for fishing, swimming and watersports is also in the vicinity of Pernik. Close to the international road to Greece. Pernik is known for its fortress which was defended by the bollyar Krakra in the 11th century. Pernik lies 30km from Sofia on one of the oldest trade routes on the Balkans,Sofia - Salonika - Scopje, which is the shortest route connecting the Dunabe and the Aegean Sea

Pernik is in the picturesque valley of the Struma river, between the mountains of Vistosha, Golo Bardo and Ljulin. The long river flows from its Vitosha mountain source. The region is mostly known for its January masquerade games in Pernik but it also has much potential for the development of eco, cultural and outdoor tourism.

The 28 Community Centers of Pernik 
The community center seeks to allow everyone to express themselves. The community centers preserve and develop the nation's traditions and customs.  popularize folklore, They support the sources of creativity in every amateur musician, actor, dancer, artist, poet, and seek to develop enriched citizens with an appreciation for local and international arts

Light of Bulgaria - Saint John of Rila    
The most beautiful stucture in Pernik is named after the founder of the
most sacred shrine of Bulgaria

MUSEUM OF MINING The museum was opened in 1981. It is managed by Mini-Pernik. It is dedicated to the coal mining in Pernik and has original exhibits set in an authentic environment.

Museum of History - Pernik

Address: 2 Fizkulturna str.; 2300 PERNIK, Bulgaria;
Phones: : (+359-76)-603118; 603737;
The Museum building is situated in the centre of city, opposite the city-hall and Mines headquarter. The large Museum of History in Pernik possesses well formed collections of Prehistoric pottery, marble votive reliefs of Thracian horsemen, culture of the Mediaeval town, and ethnographic materials of the traditional Bulgarian culture. The principal exhibit fund has 17.085 exhibits items and 37.833 subsidiary fund items in over 1200 square meters.

  • Thracian, Roman, Byzantine and Medieval fortress in the town of Pernik on the hill Krakra  
  • Roman sanctuary of Aesculapus, quarter Tsarkva/Daskalovo, city of Pernik (on highway E 871)    

IN The  PERNIK Region
Cultural and Historical Monuments by
Funeral Mounds

  • Zemen monastery "St. Joan Bogoslov" with wall paintings of 11th-14th century (40 km SW from Pernik) is an important mediaeval monastery
  • Medieval Churches in Zemen
  • Bilintsi monastery " Archangels St.Gabriel and Michael" of 15th-16th century, near the village of Bilintsi, Breznik area (36 km NW from Pernik)
  •  Thracian megalithic well-sanctuary near the village of Garlo, Breznik area (31 km NW from Pernik)
  • Thracian fortress near the village of Bosnek in locality ‘Golemija krast’, Vitosha mountain, Pernik area (21 km SE from Pernik)
  • Roman production and trade centre, quarter Arbanas, city of Radomir (above highway E 871, 6 km W from Pernik)
  • Rock Church 'St Petka' in Tran
  • Roman country house - villa rustica, in the village of Kralev dol (9 km SE from Pernik) The village and the "Kralev dol" chalet afford easy access to the Golo burdo mountain.
  • The "St. Nicolas" monastery is in the vicinity of the village Kladnitsa . Some of the monastery's murals were painted by Mr. Konstantin Gerov about 1885. This is a good starting point to explore the Vitosha mountain
Natural Attractions in Pernik  
  • Bosnek Caves: Cave Duhlata near the village Bosnek at 17,500 km  is the longest cave in Bulgaria, 15 kilometers of it have been explored. More than 50 halls have been discovered. Eash has an area of more than 50 square kilometers.
    In the Bosnek Karst Region containing the  Struma River there is also
     Vreloto is the second longest cave there (5 280 m.) The deepest cave in the range is PPD near Bosnek, Vitosha Mt.(-125 m. with total length 1020 m.)/ for FOTOS BULGARIA CAVES LIST || Google Search Bosnek+Caves
  • Ostritza Reserve National Park Five kilometers to the south of the town of Pernik is the Ostritsa Reserve, situated in the central part of the Golo Bardo Mountain. It has an area of 134.6 hectares and includes the Ostritsa Peak (1146 meters above sea level) and its slopes - the ravines Belite kladentsi, Shiroki dol and Ribna voda. In the reserve, sprout plantations of two subspecies of hornbeam, and manna-ash. The flora consists of 358 species and 4 subspecies, belonging to 212 genera and 56 families. Despite its small area, the reserve contains one tenth of Bulgaria's floral richness. It is spared the City pollution by its airyness” of the reserve and its height 1100 meters above sea level
  • The National Ecology Children Complex – Kovachevtzi
  • Vitosha” national park spreads over a territory of 26 577 hectares, 9988 of which are on the territory of Pernik Municipality. In the Pernik part of the Vitosha Mountain there are 32 rare, endangered plant species, which vere included in The Red Book of the Republic of Bulgaria.
  • The total area of the municipality's forest  is 174 866 decares. Here you will find mammals like roe deer, red deer, fallow deer, wild boars, bears, wolves, foxes, hedgehogs etc. Bird species include swallow, partridge, jay, white stork, skylark, domestic sparrow and field sparrow. The white stork and the hedgehog are protected species
  • Struma River "Working thermo-mineral and balneo-therapy establishments are included, in the Struma valley such as those in Kjustendil, Nevestino, Sapareva Banja, Rudartsi, Pernik, Knjazhevo, Sofia, Chepintsi, Birimirtsi, and others. The thermomineral springs are phenomena of an extreme national and international significance and they deserve care for preservation and enrichment."
    Dr. Rossitsa Veleva Spring 2000
    The sad 20th century story behing the name Struma
  • The "ZHIVATA VODA (live waters)" karst spring is in the vicinity of the Vitosha village of Bosnek. A 17th century legend has it that the village's Brink of Happiness would give water to the pious only, "running dry for the sinful".
  • Rudartsi mineral springs, whose temperature is 28° C- Located in the village of Rouratsi the facility has two indoor swimming pools and an outdoor one. Its capacity is 10.3 liters per second and an exploitation reserve of 33 000 cubic meters. The mineral water at the village of Rudartsi is used for balneal - prophylactic purposes. It is also sold as table water in the country and abroad.
PERNIK on the Net  
 by English   internet services
Political Organizations [1] || Public Resorts [4] ||  Media [9] ||Firms [30] || Organizations [31] || Schools [31] || Personal Pages [18] 

Schedule of trains and busses  by

Simeon Radev" language school in Pernik   
 2304 Pernik, 17 Blagoi Gebrev Str. 
Dimiter Deliisky is a Bulgarian artis in the field of landscape painting 
Export of Metals, Hot Rolled Plates, Calibrated Round Steel , Agency, Engineering
Palace of culture  bulgarian only
Tennis club "Elizabeth" is  in the town of Pernik. 
Pernik Links by


znak_ptpp.gif (3324 bytes)
The official site of Chamber of Commerce and Industry - Pernik
 Tel. +359 76 603356; Fax: +359 76 601879
challenge for the entrepreneurs
Restructuring an 80% industrial and 70% state owned economy to a more diversified privately owned center of commerce which acts as Gateway between the capital and the nearby countries of Greece, Macedonia and Albania and realizes new opportunities in the fast expanding tourist sector
Discover the upside of the region of Pernik

Real Estate for Sale in Pernik and Sofia by
"properties in Sofia feature the highest price increase. For example the average prices of apartments in the ideal centre of the city have increased with 70-80 % for 18 months (from August 2002 till February 2004) and with 40 % for 6 months (August 2003-February 2004). Now (Feb 2004) the average price of Sofia central apartments is 700 EUR per sq. m floor area."
Pernik by Bulgarian Foreign Investment Agency
Pernik region is located in Mid West Bulgaria, on a territory of 20 269,8 m2 and includes six municipalities – Pernik, Radomir, Breznik, Tran, Zemen and Kovachevtzi.
In the Nort-East it borders Sofia region, the south border is the region of Kiustendil and the western border is the state border with the Republic of Serbia.
The region center Pernik is located 30 km South-West from the capital Sofia. The distance to the border point Giueshevo is 81 km, 172 km to Kulata, 83 km to Kalotina, 347 km to Capitan Andreevo, 243 km to Vidin and 70 km to Strezimirovtzi.

is one of Europe's oldest Cities and the second largest city in Bulgaria. Situated on the Maritsa River it has many archeological treasures including the well preserved Ancient Theatre built by the Romans with 7,000 seats, it is often used today for music festivals and events.
Plovdiv is located in the Southern/Central part of Bulgaria. Being the second largest city in the country, it has a population of 350'000.
The capital of Thrace during Roman times it was a contemporary of Troy and may be as old as 8,000 years.In the year 342 B.C. the town was conquered by Philip II of Macedonia and was called Philipopol. During the Roman times it was given the name of Trimontzium ("town on three hills"). 
The present-day downtown section of Plovdiv lies on the ruins of an enormous Roman Stadium, which had a length of 180 m and was intended for 30 000 spectators. The contests held here were similar to the Greek Olympic Games and dated back to the rule of Emperor Septimus Severus (193 - 211 AD).
Plovdiv`s famous seven hills have likely been spots of inspiration for 8 millenniums.

Plovdiv ||Plovdiv Attractions  by 

Plovdiv Attractions by
official tourism site Art & Culture in Plovdiv
Museums in the Plovdiv district, Plovdiv Art Galleries, Plovdiv Cinemas, Plovdiv Cultural Institutes, Plovdiv Libraries, Plovdiv Museums,
Theatres in Plovdiv
Air-flight Reservations in Plolvdiv
, Bus Ticket Reservations in Plovdiv, Tourist, Travel and Info sites about Bulgaria, Travel Bureaus and Agents
Lots of links well categorized with descriptions and well as a comprehensive directory of businesses

Plovdiv   || The Old Quarter,
Many of the houses in this nineteenth-century quarter of town have been restored, with exquisitely carved wooden ceilings and fanciful wall paintings inside
"A contemporary of Troy and having survived Mycenae, Plovdiv is a city upon layers of cities and an epoch upon layers of epochs. Plovdiv is all in one: a Thracian and classical Greek polis, the pride of Philip of Macedon, the capital of Thrace under the Roman Empire, a centre of Byzantinism, a stronghold of the Bulgarians, a dream of the crusaders -- a magnificent, wealth and most important city."


Maritsa local newspaper


The best known festivals are two music events the international chamber music festival  (mid-June), and Trakiisko Lyato  (early Aug)

"Koukove" International festival of kouker and masquerade games - Rakovski The first international festival Koukove Rakovski was held March 1, 2003 Sekirovo Residential Area, Rakovski, Plovdiv District
Rakovski Municipality and St. St. Cyril and Methodius Community Centre Rakovski Municipality - tel. 03151/2369, fax 03151/2361, Community Centre Petar Bogdan Bakshev - tel. 03151/2359, Community Centre St. St. Cyril and Methodius, tel. 03151/2142 Exhibition center hosts a huge international annual trade fair and events throughout the year


The capital of Bulgaria, situated at 350m above the sea level just at the foot of Vitosha. Sofia has both hot mineral springs and skiing within minutes of the city center.

"with an educated populace and a strong desire to see justice and democracy won, once and for all, Bulgaria is slowly but surely regaining credibility and economic stability. The city’s motto, ‘Ever growing, never old’, is as true today as it ever was.
Sofia by Coumbus Guides

Today, visitors to Sofia will find a typical Balkan mix of Orthodox and Muslim cultures amid a crumbling Eastern Bloc society with an uncertain future. Mass privatisation has come hand in hand with a decline in living standards and initial optimism has been tempered by extreme and growing poverty cityoverview.asp# 
columbus content

Sofia is dramatically ringed by the Balkan Mountains to the north and the Vitosha Mountains to the south, the capital stands on an open plain 550m (1804ft) above sea level in western Bulgaria. Owing to its altitude, the summers are moderately hot and the winters cold and snowy, making spring and autumn the best times in which to visit. The town centre is dominated by neo-classical Stalinist architecture and is surrounded by a sprawling periphery of bleak, Socialist-era block housing – a formidable greeting for the first-time visitor. However, a peek through the side streets and century-old commercial quarter reveals the true magic of Sofia – a very European city of tree-lined boulevards and balconied buildings by 19th-century Russian and Viennese architects.

From the earliest times, Sofia’s main attraction has been its thermal springs, which are still in public use today, as a water source. Its strategic location on military and trade routes made it an important administrative centre in Roman times, reaching its grandeur as an early centre of Christianity during the reign of Constantine in the fourth century. Two significant Byzantine churches remain. In 1382, the Turks conquered the city but when they were ousted, in 1878, Sofia became the capital and its grand boulevards were constructed, cutting through the grid-plan quarters that had grown up around the oriental nucleus. Ottoman-imposed mosques were torn down, as the Orthodox Church was reinstated.

Bulgaria || Where To Go And When || Getting Around || Holidays, Festivals And Entertainment || Outdoor Activities And Eco-tourism || Museums, Churches And Mosques || Books || Communications || Eating And Drinking || Best Of || Explore Bulgaria featuring the following Sofia Hotels
Sofia by,
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Culture|| Activities || Events ||Getting There and Away ||Economic Facts ||Recommended Reading ||When to Go ||Getting Around ||Environment ||Relative Costs ||Travel Facts ||Money Advice ||Offbeat Attractions ||Offbeat ttractions ||
Sofia's city centre is an eclectic mix of architectural styles, largely rebuilt after WWII bombings and complete with a yellow-brick boulevard. The city's compactness and diversity make it a great place to get your bearings before heading off to discover the real Bulgaria
Sofia Attractions
Aleksandâr Nevski Church
Sofia’s most photographed monument, Alexander Nevski is a magnificent neo-Byzantine cathedral-sized church, topped by copper and golden domes. Considered the heart of the city, it was built between 1882 and 1912, in honour of the Russian soldiers, who fell when the Russian army helped liberate Bulgaria from Ottoman rule in 1878. The church takes its name from Alexander Nevski, credited with saving Russia from Swedish troops in 1240

Standing next to St Aleksander Nevski, this early Byzantine brick church dates to the fifth century, although there were several churches here before it, as well as the pre-Christian Serdica city necropolis. The present church still follows the classic Byzantine plan of a regular cross with a central dome. The city took its name from the church in the 14th century, which was converted to a mosque under Ottoman rule, when the original 12th-century frescoes were destroyed and minarets added. During the 19th century, the building was abandoned, following damage caused by an earthquake. After the Liberation in 1878, it was restored and reinstated as a church
Boyana Church
a tiny village just outside Sofia, outwardly unassuming Boyana Church houses a spectacular set of medieval frescoes.
The National History Museum
The National History Museum is a treasure house of ancient Thracian gold and silver, apocalyptic Bulgarian icon paintings and colourful frescoes lifted from the country's monasteries.
Zlatni Mostove
Scramble around the huge boulders of the so-called Stone River, or launch an assault on the Cherni Vrâh peak.
Mount Vitosha
An easy bus ride from Sofia, the mountain is mobbed at weekends by city folk, who come to hike the dense forests in summer, or ski the slopes in winter.
Sofia Synagogue
Standing next to St Aleksander Nevski, this early Byzantine brick church dates to the fifth century, although there were several churches here before it, as well as the pre-Christian Serdica city necropolis. The present church still follows the classic Byzantine plan of a regular cross with a central dome. The city took its name from the church in the 14th century, which was converted to a mosque under Ottoman rule, when the original 12th-century frescoes were destroyed and minarets added. During the 19th century, the building was abandoned, following damage caused by an earthquake. After the Liberation in 1878, it was restored and reinstated as a church

Zhenski Pazar
Browse through a vastly popular central market, where you can pick up everything from fresh vegetables to the kitchen sink.

Tours of the City

Walking Tours
Many private travel agencies organise walking tours with English-speaking guides, as well as excursions out of town, including
 Balkantourist, 1 Vitosha Boulevard (tel: (02) 875 192; website:,
Balkantour Ltd
, 27 Stambolijski Boulevard (tel: (02) 988 5543; e-mail:,
Tourist Service
, 127 Rakovski Ulica (tel (02) 988 8108, e-mail:, and
 LYUB Travel, 11 M Kamak Ulica (tel: (02) 963 4427), which specialises in weekend getaways for ex-pats.

the historic sights are all concentrated around Ploshtad Sveta Nedelya and are well marked, making a self-guided tour the easiest and cheapest option.

Bankya.Spa Resort
just 17 km away is Bulgaria's most famous spa resort
The town is situated 160 km south of Sofia and is regarded the entrance to the most beautiful Bulgarian mountain and National Park - Pirin. If you add to this its architectural and historical value, Bansko is connected with the Bulgarian Renaissance On your way back to Sofia stop at the place where 3 mountains meet: Rila, Pirin and the Rhodopes.
RILA MONASTERY A combination of nature, history, art and tradition just a few hours drive from the capital city. This is the most visited place in Bulgaria Founded 11 centuries ago in the highest mountain on the Balkan Peninsula - Rila.
Rila Monastery

Koprivshtitza is a town-museum and unique settlement in Bulgaria, which name is hard to pronounce, but even harder to forget, preserving over 250 patterns of the Revival period architecture with colorful houses and carved ceilings, courtyards surrounded with high stone walls, disorderly built curved and cobblestone little streets.
DownloadJAN:  The International Fair of the Masquerade Games  every even year mid Januaryin Pernik
FEB: Marenitsa, the coming of spring is celebrated by wearing red and white tassels, Feb-Mar, throughout the city
St Trifon’s Day, a vine growing and wine making festival, 14 Feb, villages outside the city
MAR: Liberation Day,national holiday celebrating liberation from Ottoman rule in 1878, 3 Mar, throughout the city
LazaruvaneSt Lazarus's Day (the day before Palm Sunday) sees young girls dressing up in folk costumes to perform dances in honour of the coming spring.
Orthodox Easter Apr, throughout the city A rewarding time to be in Bulgaria: after midnight Mass on Easter Sunday, celebrants flood out onto the streets bearing candles symbolizing the Resurrection, before smashing specially painted eggs.....Restaurants in the village of Bansko  cater to crowds of Sofia folk at Eastertime and in high summer, with their famous grilled food and live folk music
MAY Labour Day, national holiday, 1 May, throughout the city
St George’s Day, Orthodox festival and official holiday, also agricultural celebration heralding the end of spring and beginning of summer, 6 May, throughout the city
Culture and Education Day, national holiday honouring Saints Cyril and Methodius for devising the Bulgarian alphabet, 24 May, throughout the city
Sofia National Book Fair, organised by the Association of Bulgarian
Publishers, late May, NDK
Sofia Music Weeks - The famous Bulgarian Music Festival. festival of classical and contemporary orchestral repertoire, May-Jul, Bulgaria Music Hall and NDK
JUN Festival of European Co-productions, international annual non-competitive feature film festival, early Jun, Lumičre Cinema, NDK
AUG Birthday of St John of Rila, 18 Aug, Rila Monastery
Folk Music Festival, first weekend Aug, Koprivshtitsa
The Feast of Assumption at Dragalevtsi  monastery of Dragalevtsi on Aug 15, for processions and services marking the Feast of Assumption ( Golyama Bogoroditsa ).
International Folklore Festival, last week Aug, Plovdiv
SEP Day of Unification, national holiday, 6 Sep, throughout the city
Independence Day, national holiday, 22 Sep, throughout the city
OCT Feast Day of St John of Rila, 19 Oct, Rila Monastery
Kinomania, three-week film festival, showing the newest and best international and Bulgarian films, Nov, NDK
NOV International Jazz Festival, second week in Nov, various venues
DEC Music Evenings, featuring classical music, early Dec, various venues
Sofia National Book Fair, organised by the Association of Bulgarian Publishers, mid-Dec, NDK
St Nicholas’ Day, 12 Dec, throughout the city
Christmas, national holiday – most families celebrate Christmas on 25 Dec, although traditional Orthodox Christmas is 7 Jan, 25-26 Dec, throughout the city
New Year’s Eve, festivities, 31 Dec, throughout the city

The city’s official arts centre, Natsionalen Dvorets na Kulturata or National Palace of Culture (NDK), 1 Ploshtad Bulgaria, Yuzhen Park (tel: (02) 9166 2300; website:, is a colossal modern structure incorporating concert halls, exhibition spaces, congress facilities and the Lumičre Cinema. Most major cultural events take place here. The box office is to the left of the main entrance.

Tickets to cultural events are available from the National Palace of Culture (NDK), for all major venues, or from the individual venue box offices. The English-language weekly Sofia Echo supplement, Culture Shock, and the monthly Sofia City Info Guide can provide details of ‘what’s on’.

The main shopping area of Sofia is the Vitosha Boulevard. Bulgarian products, handicrafts, wines, spirits and confectionery can all be purchased. Shopping hours: Shops and stores are generally open Mon-Fri 1000-2000; Sat 1000-1400.
Business Etiquette by Columbus Guides
"Due to their long legacy of occupation by foreign powers, Bulgarian
business people are reserved and often highly suspicious of an outsider’s intentions until the proper introductions and contacts have been established. Business visitors should request meetings well in advance –
 It is important that visitors should note that that nodding of the head means ‘no’, while shaking the head means ‘yes’. "

 in writing or by fax – and arm themselves with documents detailing interest and position. People in the higher ranks are likely to be former Communist party members and thus stiff officiousness should be prepared for. Bulgarians also pride themselves on their IT development and visitors will be expected to scrutinise the company’s website before questions are entertained.

 Dress code is standard suit and tie for men, while women are allowed to dress more daringly– short skirts and plunged necklines are not thought ill of. English is generally well understood, although employing an interpreter will help business visitors minimize the risk of misunderstandings." || Sofia|| ||  was inspired by our Bulgarian web search