Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria. Sofia is the major economic centre of Bulgaria and home to most major Bulgarian and international companies operating in Bulgaria. Sofia is also the country's financial hub. Bulgaria is in South Eastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Romania and Turkey. The climate is temperate with cold, damp winters and hot, dry summers. The official language is Bulgarian. Many young people and business personnel speak English and other European languages. An interpreter is generally essential outside the capital Sofia and often useful within. Embassies or hotel business centres can usually recommend good interpreters. Bulgarian is a South Slavonic language closely related to Serbian and Macedonian (which Bulgaria does not recognise as a separate language) and to a lesser extent to Bosnian, Croatian and Slovenian. The Cyrillic alphabet is used in most public places, including on restaurant menus and road signs, though Roman letters are generally used alongside the Cyrillic on highways. Be advised to bring a small dictionary. The main religion is Christianity. The economy of Bulgaria is an industrialised, open free market economy, with a large, moderately advanced private sector and a number of strategic state-owned enterprises. Bulgarian society is relatively conservative, formal and patriarchal. Alternative lifestyles are generally not tolerated. Expatriate business dress tends to be formal and conservative. The security risk for expatriates in Bulgaria is low. Risks include petty, opportunistic street crime and pickpocketing, as well as racially motivated crime. The currency of Bulgaria is the Bulgarian Lev (BGN). There is a large network of ATMs that accept international credit and debit cards. Medical facilities are generally acceptable, although somewhat below international standards, and specialised equipment and treatment may not be available. Private medical facilities are generally better equipped and not as expensive as private healthcare in many other countries. There have been outbreaks of trichinosis. The population of Sofia is 1.7 Million (2017 est.), while the inflation rate is 3% (Nov 2017).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates / professional migrants in In Sofia, the cost of each basket, based on local prices, compared to the international average, is categorized follows (Exact cost of living percentages only available in personalised reports): Sofia as at 1 January 2018 is very low in comparison to other places in the world. 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: Very Low 2) Clothing: Average 3) Communication: Very Low 4) Education: Very Low 5) Furniture & Appliances: Average 6) Groceries: Very Low 7) Healthcare: Very Low 8) Household Accommodation: Very Low 9) Miscellaneous: Average 10) Personal Care: Average 11) Recreation & Culture: Low 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Low 13) Transport: Low Sofia is for example -11.1% cheaper than Houston TX for groceries, -38.6% cheaper for household costs than Kuala Lumpur, and 3.1% more expensive for transport costs than Dubai. The hardship premium for Sofia for an expat from Perth, is for example 20%, i.e. host location (Sofia) premium of 30% minus home (Perth) location premium of 10%. Sofia is ranked as a high degree of hardship location. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship (quality of living) or expat salary in Sofia? Register subscribe to your home location and Sofia and run your personalised reports.