Bulgaria Expat Forum - Bulgaria Expatriates by Allo' Expat Bulgaria


Share your experiences about restaurants, shopping and Leisure & attraction in Bulgaria. Special outlets and shopping places, or best hangout joints are welcome.


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Postby Bulgaria Info » Wed May 16, 2007 8:08 am



Sofia’s smartest shops – including any number of international designer outlets - jostle for attention along either side of bul. Vitosha, the city’s main north-south artery. Mainstream clothes, domestic and electrical stores can also be found in abundance along consumer-clogged streets like ul. Graf Ignatiev and ul. Pirotska.

Other interesting purchases are handicrafts, wines, spirits and confectionery. Ploshtad Aleksandur Nevski is an open-air bric-a-brac market offering communist-era medals, stamps, postcards, junk from granny’s attic, and some genuine antiques. Lace-makers and embroiderers sell their wares at the eastern end of the strip on the corner of pl. Aleksandur Nevski and ul. 11 August.

Shopping hours

Shops and stores are generally open Mon-Fri 1000-2000, Sat 1000-1400.

Banking hours

Mon-Fri 0900-1600.


Lev (Lv) = 100 stotinki. Notes are in denominations of Lv50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1. Coins are in denominations of 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 stotinki.

(a) The Lev is tied to the Euro at a fixed rate; &Euro;1 = Lv1.955.
(b) Notes dated 1997 and earlier are now out of circulation.

Currency exchange

A bordereaux receipt indicating the amount of currency exchanged will be given, and must be kept until departure. Visitors are advised to exchange money at banks and at large hotels. Travellers should not change currency on the black market, and they should exercise caution when exchanging money in bureaux de change since some have been known to dupe customers with misleading rates of exchange. No store, bank or change bureau will accept mutilated, torn or excessively dirty foreign currency. ATMs are widespread, although it is best to check with the relevant bank/card provider prior to travel.

Credit & debit cards

American Express, Diners Club, Mastercard and Visa are accepted in large cities, in larger hotels and car hire offices, and in some restaurants and shops, mainly in Sofia. Check with your credit or debit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services that may be available. However, Bulgaria is still a country that operates mainly on currency, rather than credit cards.

Travellers cheques

Accepted in major hotels and restaurants. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take travellers cheques in US Dollars or Pounds Sterling.

Currency restrictions

The import and export of local currency is prohibited. The import of foreign currency is unlimited, provided declared on arrival. The export of foreign currency is limited to the amount declared on arrival. Local currency can be exchanged at the airport on production of a bordereaux.

Note: Travellers should check the currency regulations just prior to departure, as they may change.
Bulgaria Info
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