Language

The official language in the country is Bulgarian. Russian is widely spoken by the older generations, while English is popular among younger people.

Visa

For more information regarding visa regime in Bulgaria and visa services, please visit the page – Visa Services.

Currency

The national currency of Bulgaria is the Bulgarian Lev (BGN). It has been tied to the Euro by a currency board since 1997 (1 Euro = 1.956 BGN).
If you plan on using your credit card in Bulgaria, it is recommended that you bring your pin code with you as it happens some of the companies nowadays to ask their clients to type in their pin codes in order to authorize transactions and minimise fraud. ATMs are available for cash withdrawals throughout the whole country. Of course you can get cash from any local bank branch as well.
Exchange rates by the Bulgarian National Bank –  bnb.bg/

Tipping

Tips are almost never included in the price of goods and services in Bulgaria so if you feel satisfied with what you get, don’t hesitate to add an extra buck. Normally, we would advise you to leave a tip that is somewhere in the 10% range.
Oh, and one more thing: the prices of all goods and services in Bulgaria include 20% VAT.

Time

Local time in Bulgaria is +2 (GMT)

Business hours

The official business hours of most companies and administrative institutions in Bulgaria are from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. This includes banks, ministries, post offices, libraries, etc. However, 99% of the supermarkets, shops and bookstores have longer business hours and are open on weekends as well. Restaurants, bistros and pubs are usually open seven days a week from say 11am until midnight (at least). And please don’t expect the night clubs and discotheques to close before dawn.

Safety

Bulgaria is a reasonably safe country. It is recommended to take normal precautions as everywhere else when travelling.

Water

The tap water in Bulgaria is drinkable and tastes fine. We do realize, however, that taste is a highly subjective thing so if you don’t feel absolutely sure about this, you can just opt for one of the many different brands of mineral water sold in the nearby supermarket. Bulgaria’s got hundreds of mineral springs that produce high-quality bottled water, so it is pretty safe to say that you will get the taste you want. We promise.

Electricity

All power outlets in Bulgaria provide 220 V (50Hz) AC and the Schuko AC power plug and socket system is regarded as the standard one in the country. It is compatible with europlugs.

Telecommunications

Phones:
Country Code: 00359
Area Codes: 00359+
Sofia – (0)2
Plovdiv – (0)32
Varna – (0)52
Burgas – (0)56
Ruse – (0)82
Stara Zagora – (0)42
Veliko Tarnovo – (0)62
When calling from abroad, dial the country code first and then the area code. If you are in the country and you wish to make a long-distance phone call just pick the relevant area code and add a 0 in front of it.

Mobiles

There are three major mobile phone network providers operating on the territory of Bulgaria: A1, Yettel and Vivacom.
They all provide decent services but due to their affiliations to different international telecommunication groups the price at which you will get them may vary substantially. So if you intend to use your own cell phone during your stay in the country, make sure you are well aware of the roaming fees you are charged and always pick the cheapest option. This will surely prevent you from getting extremely upset at the end of the month when the mobile phone bill arrives.

Attractions

The free English language sightseeing walking tour of Bulgaria’s capital, organized by a non-profit organization. freesofiatour.com

The Free Sofia Tour expects its guests twice a day every day. The best attraction in Sofia according to TripAdvisor users. Approved by Tourist Service Municipal Company at Sofia City Municipality. The sightseeing tours of Sofia are organized by guides from a non-profit organization. Every tour is both fun and educational, the perfect introduction to the city and its thousands of years of history.
The route is indicative. Tours run all year long despite the weather.
Every day, twice a day
Mon-Sun: 11 AM & 2 PM
No reservation required!
Duration: around 2 hours
Start: Palace of Justice

1 Sveta Nedelya Church
2 Theology Faculty of Sofia University
3 Coat of arms of Sofia
4 Saint Sophia Statue
5 Saint Joseph Catholic Cathedral
6 Church of St Petka of the Saddlers
7 Central Department Store
8 Banya Bashi Mosque
9 Sofia Synagogue
10 Central Sofia Market Hall
11 Mineral Water Springs
12 Central Public Bathhouse
13 Council of Ministers
14 Communist Party Headquarters
15 Ancient Serdica Open Museum
16 Rotunda of Saint George
17 National Archaeological Museum
18 Bulgarian National Bank
19 National Art Gallery (Former Royal Palace)
20 Ethnographic Museum (Former Royal Palace)
21 Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum
22 City Garden
23 Ivan Vazov National Theatre
24 Bulgarian Broadway
25 Stefan Stambolov Monument
26 Museum of Natural History
27 Russian Church and Military Club
28 Hagya Sophia Church
29 Synod Palace
30 St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
31 National Library
32 Sofia University
33 Monument to the Tsar Liberator
34 National Assembly (Parliament)

Food & Beverage


Restaurants

Traditional Bulgarian Cuisine
Hadjidraganov’s Houses Restaurant
75 Kozloduy str., phone: +359 899 917 837
Working times: 11:30-23:30

Chevermeto
Sofia, 1 Bulgaria Sqr. NDK – PRONO, phone: +359 2 963 03 08, chevermetobg@gmail.com
Working times: 12:00-23:30

Mediterranean cuisine
Restaurant San Remo
89B Vitosha Boulevard, Grand Hotel Millenium, Sofia, phone: +359 02 488 4 999, sanremo@palmsroyalesofia.com
Working times: 12:00-00:00

Asian cuisine
888 Taste Show Asian Cuisine
89B Vitosha Boulevard, Grand Hotel Millenium, Sofia, phone: +359 2 444 0 888 , 888@palmsroyalesofia.com
Working times: 11:00 – 23:00

Bars

Black&White Club
89B Vitosha Boulevard, Grand Hotel Millenium, Sofia, phone: +359 88 533 8697, events@palmsroyalesofia.com
Working times: 10:00 – 02:00

Night Clubs

Megami Club
1407 Sofia, 100 James Bourchier Boulevard, phone: +359 879 333 999
Working times: Thursday – Saturday: 23:30 – 04:00