What is the currency in Bulgaria?
Despite the fact that in many shops and supermarkets in Bulgaria prices are indicated not only in levs, but also in euros and sometimes in dollars. The main currency of the country is Lev (BGN) . We have seen and heard from tourists that at the offices the sellers refused to take other types of banknotes.
Credit cards are not popular in Bulgaria (you can pay with them only at banks and large hotels). At smaller shops, markets and larger supermarkets, you can only pay in cash.
- Banknotes in nominal value: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 lv ;
- Coins in nominal value: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 stotinki and 1 lv (1 lv = 100 stotinki) .
The most common banknotes are 2, 5 and 10 lev .
As you have already noticed, when you hover the Bulgarian currency (lev), a hint pops up where showed its current rate.
What currency can I pay in Bulgaria?
Unfortunately, you will not able to pay in dollars in Bulgaria. An exception can be made for the euro, but most likely this will require a purchase for a big sum or at a large and popular supermarket. In the country it is customary to pay exclusively by levs (regardless of the fact that in most stores prices are also quoted in euros).
Can I pay with a credit card in Bulgaria?
It is possible, but as it was said above, you can pay with a credit card either in the bank or in an expensive hotel.
At small shops, markets and supermarkets, cards are not accepted, sometimes they do not have terminals yet.
In the country you can find ATMs for withdrawing cash. There is a pretty large ATM network not only along the coast but also at ski resorts. In the city of Nessebar, for example, we saw ATMs not only near banks, but also in some buildings.
It is worth to know that before going to Bulgaria, you need to consult with your bank’s staff and find out whether it will be possible to withdraw money abroad by using your own debit card and how large the commission will be.
How and where can I change money (buy currency) in Bulgaria?
It is more advantageous to exchange your own currency for levs at the bank. There is not quite a lot of banks in Bulgaria, but here is a list of the well-known and trusted local banks: CBM (United Bank of Bulgaria), UniCredit, Societe Generale, OTP, ProCredit Bank. But according to most tour operators and even most tourists, exchange offices are much more popular.
Banks in Bulgaria operate from 9 AM to 5 PM, with one-hour break from 12 NN to 1 PM. They close on weeekends and holidays. In larger tourist cities though, their operating schedules may change.
On some sites, there is an information that the passport is not required in a bank. Since we personally happened to face this, we inform you that a passport is needed when exchanging currency! We were asked not only for the passport, but also the address of the hotel we were staying. There is an exception, though: if you charge a small amount of cash, the manager can ask you to write you name and surname and charge your money without a passport.
Unlike ATMs, there are a lot of exchange offices in Bulgaria, literally at every corner. Do not be tempted by their high exchange rate, often this is the sales rate. In an inconspicuous corner of the sign, the real purchase price is written. Therefore, the phrase “no comission” though sounds tempting, can only concern sales.
The rate of the National Bank is displayed outside of the bank, and the rate of the exchange itself is actually inside of it. Be cautious and always ask how many levs you will receive for the amount you have given in the currency.
[the_ad id=”6262″] Always study carefully and check your banknotes — they must not be wrinkled and/or torn. Since 1881 there have been four issues of levs; another trick that con guys will do is to change the “old” banknotes (until 1999).
Important: you can find the most reliable exchange rates at the exchange offices of the country which are mostly situated in large cities (like Sofia, Varna and Burgas).
In Bulgaria, there is a strictest ban on the exchange of currency from hands. Nevertheless, such temptations are everywhere, because the course there is the most profitable. It is better not to be guided by such proposals, because you will certainly be deceived!
Unused levs can be re-exchanged for your own currency before departure. This can be done both at customs and, for example, at the airport.
After exchanging banknotes for Bulgarian levs, take checks with you as you leave, since there is a high probability that you may be asked for them in the reverse exchange.
Is it advantageous to change money?
As we were able to see, changing the levs to your own currency is not worth the while and trouble. It does not always work out for a long time. Thus the sum should be considerable.
In the end, it was rather easier for us to spend almost every lev you have (we left 1 lev for keepsake) than to have it converted to your own currency.
What is better to take with you to Bulgaria?
It is more advantageous for you to take euro or dollars and have them exchanged at the bank (other currencies are less valuable). Going to the exchange office will lead you to naught, despite the advertisement “without commissions.” To save yourself from a lot of trouble, you can take a credit card as well as the amount of commission for withdrawing cash.
Tips for tourists: everything you need to know about currency and money in Bulgaria.
Let`s make a summary and write the most important information about the currency of Bulgaria, currency exchange and purchases:
- The monetary unit of Bulgaria is the Lev (BGN) and you should use it for all purchases in the country;
- It is better to exchange banknotes in euros or dollars in any of the banks of Bulgaria;
- You can make your payments with your credit cards only at large banks and hotels;
- It is advisable to take a credit card, having consulted beforehand and making sure that the bank allows you to withdraw money abroad, and the amount of commission is not high;
- In Bulgaria, bills in cafes and restaurants are rounded to the full amount. Even if you did not like the service, it is better not to require a small change. It is more likely that an employee will give it away with small coins.
How much money can I import and export from the country?
Import and export of the national currency of Bulgaria is possible, but there are certain nuances (depending on the amount you may be required to fill out a customs declaration). Therefore, it is more recommended that you take euros or dollars.
The currency of Bulgaria (BGN) is considered one of the most stable in Europe, because its rate to the dollar has not changed much for many years.