The currency in Bulgaria is lev (1BGN), meaning “lion” in Bulgarian. It has been used since 1881. One lev is divided into one hundred stotinki (1BGN = 100 stotinki).
As for banknotes, in Bulgaria they are issued in denominations: 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 lev, and coins are minted with the values: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 stotinki.
There is also a coin with a value of 1 lev.
The text on banknotes and coins is written in Cyrillic letters, however their numerical value is written in Arabic numerals.
Current Bulgarian Lev (BGN) exchange rate
The exchange rate of the Bulgarian lev is unchanged against the EU currency, i.e. it is rigidly linked to it and amounts to 1 euro = BGN 1.95583. This was top-down imposed by the state to curb currency scams. Secondly, Bulgaria is seeking to adopt the euro in its country as an official means of payment. In previous years, the same theme was used with Deutsche Mark.
What currency should I take on holiday to Bulgaria?
First of all, there may be a problem with buying lev outside Bulgaria, especially if we want to do it off-season. Secondly, due to the fixed and constant exchange rate of the euro against the Bulgarian currency, it is worth taking the EU currency on holiday.
Then we will exchange the money we need on the spot.
Importantly, while prices in Bulgaria are sometimes given in euros, the seller is obliged by law to accept payment in lev, be it souvenirs from Bulgaria or other goods.
But compliance with this rule varies, but then you have to reckon with the fact that the exchange rate will be rounded in favor of the seller.
In Bulgaria, we can easily exchange US dollars or British pounds.
However, be very careful when exchanging, unless you do it in the bank. Then we only need to remember to bring an ID document. Banks in Bulgaria are open approximately 8-9 to 16-17 on business days.
The exchange rate in them is at the officially given value.
It is much simpler to exchange money at one of the numerous exchange offices in Bulgaria. Only in this case are certain dangers awaiting us – and they are dishonest sellers and combinators.
Beware of fraud!
They tempt with signs with a very favorable euro rate to the left, but once we decide on the transaction, it turns out that we exchanged money very unfavorably, because the advertisement was about selling the euro, not buying it. However, after signing the sales receipt, nothing can be done. You just have to ask before buying how much exactly is the euro against lev and how much money we will get.
Secondly, hotel exchange offices and those located at the airport usually do not have very favorable rates. It is better to make an exchange in the city, not just on the beach, because there are also the odds not very good. It is important to ask about the lack of commission, or choose exchange offices with a sign – no commission and not be fooled by 1 euro = 1, 49BGN (so-called Czech error) because the exchange rate is fixed at 1 euro = 1.95BGN. And above all, do not exchange money on the street from random people. We will only lose money – because either we will get a bundle of chopped newspapers or old banknotes removed from circulation, or after conversion the exchange rate will be very bad.
What and how to pay best in Bulgaria?
Another way is to take your currency card and withdraw money from ATMs, which are not lacking in Bulgaria. However, it should be remembered that banking institutions are not charitable and fees (commissions) are charged for converting euro to lev. Most ATMs may also have a restriction and we will withdraw from them no more than 400 lev. Debit and credit cards (such as Visa or American Express) are also widely accepted means of payment in Bulgaria, but we will not pay everywhere for them.
What does the Bulgarian lev look like?
Below are Bulgarian banknotes: