National currency and exchange

The Bulgarian national currency unit is the LEVA. The official exchange rate is 1 EUR = 1,95583 leva


The official language is Bulgarian, which uses only the Cyrillic alphabet. To make tourists movement easier, the signs are usually written also with Latin letters. But outside of the urban zones you need to understand the Cyrillic alphabet.

Business Hours

The banks usually open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Most stores open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The business offices generally work till 6 p.m. They do not close at midday.

Meals Served

In Bulgaria the breakfast is usually served at 8:30, lunchtime is at 12:30 and the dinner is at 19:30.

Zone Times

Winter: GMT +2 hours (from October to March). Summer: GMT +3 hours (from April to September)


220 V in all of the country.

Phones for emergency calls

Police - 166
Ambulance - 150
Fire station – 160
Traffic assistance - 146

Credit cards

Diners Club, American Express, Mastercard, Visa, Eurocard, etc. They can be used for payments at travel agencies and hotels, although, only in the luxurious restaurants and shops are credit cards accepted. They are still not so commonly used as in some other countries.

Nonverbal language

First, it is very important to know that the physical gestures with the head to say YES and NO are totally opposite to the way people use it in the rest of the countries. So, to say YES in Bulgaria you must move your head from the left to the right, and, to say NO is necessary to nod your head from up to down.

• It is important to bring always change. A lot of the public bathrooms request paid admission.
• Buy a bus or a tram ticket before you get on it.
• Tips are given directly to the waiter.