What are the best currency exchange tips in Bulgaria ?
The national currency in Bulgaria is the LEV. The name of the Bulgarian currency means lion and has the same origin as the Romanian LEU and the Moldovan LEU.
Foreign credit cards are accepted by some major hotels or stores. But paying in cash that is the most common option.
Checks are non-existent in Bulgaria, only traveler’s checks in euro or dollars (Travelers checks) can be changed.
Official language: Bulgarian
National Anthem: Mila Rodino
Currency: New Bulgarian Lev (BGN)
National Day: 3 March
Border countries: Romania, Greece, Serbia, Turkey, Macedonia
How much does it cost to travel?
Accommodation - the hostel dorms range in price from 12-18 BGN, while soldiers are usually between 27-36 BGN for a single or double room. A budget hotel really varies depending on what you are looking for and location, 36-70 BGN. Renting a room in a private home is your best value for as cheap as 26 PGN for a nice, legitimate place.
Food - You can buy a hamburger for about 2.5 BGN or have a Mac menu for 9 BGN. If you want to eat something more local, try the banica (made of dough, cheese and butter) for only 1.3 BGN or a little bit of bread with weenie named krenvirshka.
There are plenty of street lodges where you can buy a döner, a Turkish sandwich with chicken, vegetables and sauces, for 5.4 BGN. There are also many places where you can buy a slice of pizza for a dollar or less.
Transport - Public transports in Bulgaria are extremely affordable. A local bus will cost between .45-1.3 BGN. Rail transport varies in price - for example, it would cost about 12.5 BGN to travel from Borgas to Sofia. Taxis have a starting price of 1.25 BGN, and are an affordable way to get around in a pinch.
Activities - Bulgaria is a very cheap country to visit. Many museums and attractions offer a free entry day during the week but even regular admission prices normally around 7-18 BGN.
Is it better to buy Lev in your home country or directly in Bulgaria?
Whether in your home country or Bulgaria, there are competitive and less competitive currency exchange.
Indeed there are currency exchange offices that charge commissions or exchange fees in addition to the margin they make on the rate.
If you buy Bulgarian Lev before you go, you can spend some time at home to compare the exchange rates applied by the different exchange offices. You know the language, the area, the culture.
If you buy Bulgarian Lev in Bulgaria: Avoid train stations and airports because the exchange fees are often high!
There are many very competitive currency exchange, but finding them might not be easy. The language barrier and the time devoted to this research can discourage more than one who unfortunately turn to easy solutions: railway stations and airports...
If you need to use your credit card, you should prefer payments to withdrawals because the commissions charged by your bank are lower when you make payments.
If you have to make a withdrawal, prefer banks that have a partnership with your bank because the exchange fees are lower and some banks do not take commission more. You may also prefer the automatic withdrawal terminals, because when you make a withdrawal at the cashier, additional charges will often be applied.