The local currency in Bulgaria is Bulgarian Lev (shortly: Lv.; bank convention: BGN). One Euro is approximately 1.95 Lv. Most of the hotels, big stores and restaurants accept VISA and Mastercard credit cards; some also accept American Express. Small restaurants and shops seldom accept such cards; therefore one should have Leva in cash. There are ATM machines in many places. Many exchange offices charge no commission fees and offer good rates for the major foreign currencies (EUR, USD, CHF, GBP). Avoid changing large amounts of money at the airport because, as usual, the rates there are among the worst.
How to reach Sofia
There are daily flights to Sofia from all European capitals and major cities and by all European national air companies (some of them with more than one flight per day). Sofia Airport (www.sofia-airport.bg) has two terminals: Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. From nearby countries (Greece, FYR of Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Turkey) Sofia can be also reached by train or bus.
How to travel in Sofia
– By bus, trolley or tramway, operated by Sofia Public Transport Company (www.sofiatraffic.bg). The ticket costs 1.60 Lv and can be bought in advance from the kiosks near the bus stops. The ticket must be punched after getting in. Each ticket is valid only for one travel. A peace of luggage exceeding 60/40/40cm needs a separate ticket punched.
– By Sofia metropolitan (www.metropolitan.bg/en/). The single trip card costs 1.60 Lv. The card is issued by Transport Documents Machine at the entrances of the metro or by a cashier at the cash-desks of “Metropoliten” JSC and is validated at the validator located on the barriers to the metro entrance. The card can be used for entrance to the metro up to 30 minutes after its issuance. There are electronic cards for 10 single trips, which costs 12 Lv (plus 1 Lv for the e-card itself).
– By taxi: for those who arrive at the airport we strongly recommend arranging a car at the desk of the taxi company “OK Supertrans” (www.oktaxi.net), which is at the arrivals hall. You will be directed to a taxi by the person from the desk. The cost in Sofia is about 0.80 Lv./km (0.40 EUR/km) daytime rate and about 0.90 Lv./km (0.45 EUR/km) nighttime rate plus some initial costs. When you are taking a taxi, please, look carefully at the prices posted on the front window of the cab and make sure they are close to the ones quoted above.