Bulgaria: an introduction
Many tourists come to Bulgaria to stay at one of the all-inclusive resorts along the Black Sea. These big hotels sit on long, sandy beaches and offer some of the best watersports in Europe. Along the coast, you’ll also find quaint seaside towns that are perfect for families looking for a piece of authentic Bulgaria.
Hikers and wildlife lovers come from all around the world to explore the country’s seven different mountain ranges. And then there are the ancient ruins to explore – the country is dotted with remnants of Greek and Roman colonisation. And there’s even more history in the capital Sofia, from the vast Neo-Byzantine cathedral to the medieval Boyana Church.
Public buses and 2nd class trains are a great way to explore the country. You can also take a room in a private home, or head to a budget hotel or hostel. Authentic Bulgarian food won’t set you back much either.
Daily spend: £15-20
Taking 1st class trains and regular taxis will bump up your budget. There are also midrange hotels in the major tourist spots. Look out for free entry at museums and galleries – most offer it one day a week.
Daily spend: £30-40
In the capital Sofia, prices are inevitably higher. Top-end 5-star hotels are found here as well as upmarket restaurants. Nicer restaurants though won’t set you back too much – it’s still cheaper than Western Europe.
Daily spend: £60-80
Prices are approximate and subject to change.
Money saving tips for Bulgaria
- Go for the weekend. Many top-end hotels in the capital Sofia offer discounted rates from Friday to Sunday.
- Tip the right amount. Waiting staff usually get a 10% tip, but some restaurants include a service charge already.
- Use the free beaches. By law, every Bulgarian beach has to have a free section where you can use your own chairs and umbrellas.
- Take a free tour of Sofia. There are free English-language tours that set off daily from the corner of the Palace of Justice.
Want to keep track of your spending?
Keep track of your holiday spending and instantly convert local prices into pounds with our free smartphone apps. There are three handy apps to download for iOS and Android, including Travel Essentials, Travel Money Card & Currency Converter. You can also download an instant currency converter for your Apple Watch.
Bulgaria’s currency – the basics
- The currency of Bulgaria is the Bulgarian Lev,
- The plural of lev is leva
- One lev is subdivided into 100 stotinki
- Banknotes come in denominations of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 leva
- You can get 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 stotinki coins, and there’s a 1 lev coin as well
- Some high-end hotels and car rental companies will accept euros
Get your currency from us
We make it easy to get Bulgarian leva before your trip:
- Order Bulgarian lev online for a better rate on foreign currency – minimum order value of £400 applies online
- 0% commission, competitive rates on up to 70 foreign currencies
- Delivered to your front door or pick up from one of 11,500 local Post Office branches. Search for your nearest branch here
- Free delivery for branch collection. For online orders for home delivery of £500 or over, there is free delivery Monday-Friday. For home delivery orders of under £500, there is a small delivery charge of £4.99.
- Orders placed before 3pm, on a working day, can generally be delivered to your home the next working day. Where an order is placed on a Friday and delivery is required on a Saturday, there will be a charge of £1.50
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