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Good to know

Credit cards

In large stores, hotels, and catering and entertainment establishments, the following credit cards are generally accepted: Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Diners Club. In smaller stores, hotels, and catering and entertainment establishments, it’s cash only.


At present, only BGN (lev) is accepted. The official currency of the country is the lev, which is equal to 100 stotinki.

Currency exchange

All banks and licensed exchange offices are suitable for exchanging currency.

Mobile operators

Vivacom, Telenor and A1. They cover the entire territory of the country. They maintain 2G, 3G and 4G networks and GSM 900/1800.

Speed limits for motor vehicles

50 km/h in populated areas; 90 km/h outside populated areas; 140 km/h on limited-access motorways.

Emergency telephone number


Time zone

Bulgaria is located in the Eastern European Time Zone, which is GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) +2 hours.

Electric voltage

220 V, 50 Hz. European 2 round pin plugs. Need a power plug travel adapter? Check here.

Car Rental

Visitors can hire motor vehicles from one of the international rent-a-car companies such as Hertz, Budget, Eurocar, and others. Nowadays, many hotels also offer this service through licensed Bulgarian car rental companies.


The climate in the country is temperate continental, with Mediterranean influence in the southern parts. The Black Sea influences the climate in the eastern part of the country. There are about 2,000 sunny hours from May to October.

Sea resorts

Sunny Beach, Golden Sands, Albena, Dyuni, Elenite, MMC Primorsko, St. Konstantin and St. Helena and the cities of Varna and Burgas.


You can find restaurants of any cuisine in Sofia. Travelers can enjoy local eating places at attractive prices. Bulgarian cuisine is rich in flavours, variations, colours and forms and is strongly influenced by the Middle East.

Bulgarian food often incorporates salads as appetizers and is also noted for the prominence of dairy products, wines and other alcoholic drinks such as Rakia. The cuisine also features a variety of soups, such as the cold soup tarator, and pastries, such as the filo dough based banitsa, pita and the various types of börek. Main courses are very typically water-based stews, either vegetarian or with lamb, goat meat, veal, chicken or pork. Deep-frying is not common but grilling - especially different kinds of sausages - is very prominent. Pork is common, often mixed with veal or lamb, although fish and chicken are also widely used. While most cattle are bred for milk production rather than meat, veal is popular for grilling meat appetizers (meze) and in some main courses.

Working Hours


Mon – Fri: 8:30 am – 5 pm (with some branches staying open until 7 pm)
Bank offices in shopping malls are open until 10 pm Mon to Sun.


Mon – Sat: 10 am – 7 or 8 pm (no lunch break)
Sun: Most shops close early.
In shopping centres, the stores stay open until 10 pm Mon to Sun.

Open-Air Markets

Close before dark; Saturday is the busiest market day.


It is common practice to leave a tip between 8-10 % of the bill when eating out in restaurants. 

Some restaurants that cater to tourists often add on a service charge of about 10 %, so it is worth checking the bill if you don’t want to tip twice.

In cafés, your bill will often be rounded up to the nearest lev. You can leave an extra lev or two, but only if you are happy with the service.

Hotels in Bulgaria do not charge an extra service fee but hotel porters/bellhops will expect about 2 lv per suitcase if they help with your luggage.

It is common in hotel restaurants and bars to tip at 10 %, as you would in any other restaurant or bar.

For room cleaning staff, you can leave an amount of your choosing on departure. 

Tips for other hotel staff such as front desk, concierges and doormen are discretionary.

Taxi drivers will round up the fare to the nearest 50 stotinki or 1 lev. In the rare occasions when you are exceptionally happy with the service, you can leave an extra lev.

Learn some key phrases!

Hello. - Здравейте. (zdrah-VEY-teh)
Hello. (informal) - Здравей. (zdrah-VEY)
Hello. (informal, to close friend) - Здрасти. (ZDRAHS-ti)
How are you? - Как сте? (KAK steh?)
How are you? (informal) - Как си? (KAK see?)
Fine, thank you. - Добре, благодаря. (dob-REH, bla-go-da-RYAH)
What is your name? - Вашето име е? (VA-she-toh e-meh e?)
How do they call you? (informal) - Как се казваш? (KAK seh KAZ-vash?)
My name is ______ . - Моето име е ______ . (MO-eh-toh e-meh eh _____ .)
Nice to meet you. - Приятно ми е да се запознаем. (pree-YAT-noh me eh dah seh zah-poz-NAH-em)
Please. - Моля. (MO-lya)
Thank you. - Благодаря. (bla-go-da-RYAH)
You're welcome. - Моля. (MO-lya)
Yes. - Да. (dah)
No. - Не. (Neh)
Excuse me. (getting attention) - Извинете. (iz-vi-NEH-teh)
Excuse me. (begging pardon or formal) - Моля да ме извините. (mo-lya dah meh iz-vi-NI-teh)
I'm sorry. - Съжалявам. (su-zhah-LYAH-vahm)
Goodbye - Довиждане. (doh-VIZH-dah-neh)
Goodbye (informal) - Чао / Ciao (Italian). (CHAH-oh)
I can't speak Bulgarian [well]. - Не говоря български [добре]. (neh goh-VOH-ryah BUL-gar-ski [DOB-reh])
Do you speak English? (polite) - Говорите ли английски? (goh-VOH-ri-teh le ahn-GLIY-ski?)
Do you speak English? (informal) - Говориш ли английски? (goh-VOH-rish le ahn-GLIY-ski?)
Is there someone here who speaks English? - Има ли някой, който да говори английски? (e-mah le NYAH-coy COY-toh dah goh-VOH-ri ahn-GLIY-ski?)
Help! - Помощ! (POH-mosht!)
Look out! - Внимавай! (vni-MAH-vay!)
Watch out! - Пази се! (pah-ZEE seh!)
Good morning. - Добро утро. (doh-BROH UH-troh)
Good evening. - Добър вечер. (doh-BUR WEH-cher)
I don't understand. - Не разбирам. (neh raz-BEE-ram)
Where is the toilet? - Къде е тоалетната? (KU-deh eh to-ah-LET-na-ta?)

Information provided by

For more detailed information please see the official website of the Sofia Con vention Bureau


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