Local timeBulgarian Local time is GMT +2 HOURS
The official language in Bulgaria is Bulgarian. The Bulgarian language belongs to the group of
the Slavic languages and it is very close to Russian, Macedonian and Serbo-Croatian languages. The majority of people speak Russian, basic
English, German and French.
Attention: Bulgarians shake their heads from the left to the right to
express "YES". However, this stands for "NO" in the rest of the world.
VoltageAttention! All electrical appliances work on ~ 220V.
Money & currency ExchangeMany local and international banks and currency exchange offices
function in the capital and around the country. Bank working hours are: 9 a.m. - 3 a.m., Monday to
Friday. Currency exchange offices are open to 6 p.m., some work 24 hours a day.
Currency exchange is available also at the airport on arrival or departure, and
in the big hotels.
Exchange rates for 1 LEV :
| 1 US
|| 1.53 LEVA
| 1 EURO
| 1 CHF
| 1 GBP
Monetary Units :
The official monetary unit is called "LEV" (plural "LEVA").
The banknote denominations include 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 LEVA, as well as coins
- 1, 2, 5,10, 20, 50 called "stotinki" ("stotinka" for singular).
1 LEV coin is also available.
TrasportationPublic transport in the big cities : tram, trolley bus and bus.
Inter-city transport : plane, train, coach.
Local and long distance bus services cover 90% of Bulgaria's settlements.
Tickets can be purchased from travel and tourist agencies or at the bus stations.
Taxi service : available at Sofia Airport and in every larger city.
Car rental : You can rent a car from international rent-a-car companies such as
AVIS, Hertz, Budget , Eurocar, etc. We offer discount car rentals and to
see our rates please click
CustomsCommon custom declarations and restrictions are applied for import and export
of currency, food, alcohol and goods. There is a special custom regime for
antiquarian objects, historic and cultural treasures, medicines,
narcotics, weapons, ammunitions.
Custom offices :
| Central office (02) 931 1512
| Sofia Airport (02) 717 051
| Plovdiv (032) 220 130
| Burgas (056) 4 23 01
| Varna (052) 225 532
| Ruse (082) 449 998
| Sofia (02) 315 152
Religion90% of Bulgarian people
are Orthodox Christians and celebrate the traditional Christian holidays
- Christmas, Easter and the name days of Bulgarians named after
Archangels, Saints and Martyrs. About 8% are Muslims and a few are gypsies. As
a whole Bulgarian people are very obliging and hospitable.
Food & drinksBulgarian food is close to the traditional European cuisine. Traditional
Bulgarian menu includes bread, yogurt and fresh milk,
cheese, tomatoes, paprika, potatoes, onions, beans and fruits, grappa and
red or white wine.
Food specialties :
Shopska salad -
||prepared from diced tomatoes, fresh cucumbers, green peppers, topped with feta cheese and seasoned with olive oil and
| Mlechna salad -
||prepared from strained yogurt seasoned with
olives, crashed walnuts, finely diced garlic and parsley
| Tarator -
served soup from yogurt, fresh cucumbers, seasoned with walnuts, garlic and
| Sirene po Shopski -
||feta cheese, diced tomatoes and onion
topped with egg and cooked in pottery
| Kebapche -
||minced meat rolls seasoned with
traditional spices and fine herbs and barbequed
| Kuyfte -
||minced meat balls seasoned with traditional spices and fine herbs and barbequed
| Shish Kebab -
||grilled skewered meat, onion and paprika
| Banitsa -
||baked pumpkin pastry filled with cheese or meet
| Crème Caramel -
||delicious dessert prepared from fresh
milk, eggs and caramelized sugar, similar to the classic French crème
Restaurants : Wide
variety of cuisines is offered. Along with traditional Bulgarian dishes,
many restaurants offer Italian, French, Greek, Chinese, German, Arabian,
Hungarian, Latin American, Indian and Russian food.
Drinks : You can buy alcohol from any local store or pavilion on
the street. some of them work 24 hours. Here are some prices from a local
store price list:
| Beer / bottle 0.5L
| Wine / bottle 0.7L
| BG Grappa / bottle 0.7L
| Whiskey / bottle 0.7L
Phone, internet & postal
servicesLocal and international telephone services are covered through automatic
street telephones operating with tokens and calling cards. Tokens for local
calls (0.20 leva) and calling cards are available for purchase from any post office.
You can also make a phone call from almost every post
office on the territory of the country. Postal services don't differ particularly from the ones in Europe or North America.
Internet services are offered in Internet clubs and cafes in
most of the cities.
Passports & visaTourists to Bulgaria from many countries do not need visa - a valid
passport is required only. All visitors, however, are themselves
responsible to go through a visa application if a visa is required. To see
the list of countries that don't need visa to Bulgaria click here.
Credit cardsVisa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club, Access, Airplus.
They can be used for payment of all standard services in hotels,
restaurants, night clubs, shops, car rentals, travel agencies, etc.
AccommodationBulgaria has an extensive accommodation network ranging from luxury
five-star to unpretentious two-star hotels, meeting all modern requirements. Reservations
can be made through tourist agencies or local accommodation offices.
EntrertainmentOne can enjoy a wide variety of fine dining almost everywhere - from the
small country villages to the high-volume resorts. In addition, the
numerous night clubs and theatres can delightfully compliment your visit
to Bulgaria making the most of it.
Important telephone numbers
Emergency medical aid