The Bulgarian lev (bgn) is the local currency.
We have compiled some information about the good / bad practices and some sound advises for your trip to Bulgaria.
Let’s start with some quick facts:
1 lev = 0.51 Euro
Notes: 5,10,20,50, and 100
Coins: Stotinki (cents) – 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 / Leva – 1 and 2.
Currency code: BGN
How should I approach the currency exchange in Bulgaria?
- Some places will accept the euro, but it is not a legal tender and it is likely that you will pay an unfair exchange rate.
- You can exchange euro or other currency at banks or change bureaus.
- The best practice is to withdraw your money as local currency from an ATM.
- Another sensible approach is to carry a card such as Revolut in order to avoid high bank fees.
- Always check the currency rates online before exchanging money. Regardless if it is in a bank or exchange bureau. You can find the most up to date information on the bottom of the page.
What is the best way to pay in Bulgaria?
Most larger chains and stores accept credit or debit card. The associated fees in Bulgaria are paid by the merchant, however your bank can charge exchange fee and in some cases other additional fees. This is why it is always easier to have cash on you – just so you do not pay the high bank fees.
Having a Revolut card or a similar product can save you a some hassle and some hefty bank fees.
Bulgaria is a very safe country. The possibility of a fraudulent activity is very low, but keep in mind – never zero.
Which banks in Bulgaria are recommended?
All banks in Bulgaria are legitimate government back institutions, but as in every country the fees and services are better with the bigger banks. The best ATM remains the one of your bank of course.
Here are the locations of ATMs and branches for the largest banks in Bulgaria:
link – Bulgarian National Bank exchange rates (most accurate information)
link – Ministry of Tourism. We do not recommend calling them, but it is a good number to have in case you run out of options.
link – This is the European Anti-Fraud Office in Bulgaria.
112 – This number will connect you to the Police. Call them if you fill that you have been swindled.