Bulgaria has a range of versatile landscapes and both historic and modern urban areas, which can be effectively used to substitute a variety of different countries and cities around the globe. This is highly attractive to filmmakers who seek to keep costs down.
During the warmer months of late spring, summer and early autumn, Bulgaria’s mountains, forests, lakes and wide valleys resemble American states such as Northern California and Colorado, or even New Zealand and South America.
In the winter months the landscape becomes snowy, making low lying areas look similar to areas of Russia, and mountainous regions like the French Alps or even the Canadian Rockies.
The Black Sea coastline can easily be transformed on film to resemble the French Riviera or coastal areas of the Mediterranean.
Many urban areas in Bulgaria contain housing and architecture which is very similar to Moscow and other Russian cities. Since filming in Moscow can prove to be expensive and troublesome to organise logistically, this is a particular attraction for many filmmakers.
The capital city of Sofia has also been used to mimic Los Angeles, as was done in the 2006 American feature film Black Dahlia. It is also said to be able to pass for Vienna.
The country also contains many ancient ruins and buildings from the age of the Roman Empire, for example the Plovdiv Roman Stadium that can seat 30,000 people.
On top of all this, there are also numerous sites such as religious buildings, bridges, air fields (both abandoned and fully-functioning), industrial areas and railways. There’s even areas of the country which can be used to film desert scenes