The national currency is Bulgarian Lev (BGN), or Leva (plural) one lev is made up of 100 ‘stotinki’.
The following coins are available: 1, 2, 5,10,20,50 stotinki and 1, 2 leva.
The following notes are available: 2,5,10, 20, 50, 100 leva (BGN).
Although Bulgaria is part of the EU, it is not part of the Eurozone (the group of counties that use the euro as their currency). Some prices are often published in euro, but this is simply to make things easier for visiting foreigners. Transactions are always done in Leva/BGN/. Hotels, restaurants, taxi drivers and shops accept payments in Bulgarian Leva only. It is easy to make a calculation, because the local currency is pegged to the EURO at a fixed rate 1 EUR = 1,955 BGN.
Cash machines are easily accessible in the big cities and larger towns. You can get up to 400 BGN at a time from one cash machine.
All major European, North American and Japanese debit and credit cards are accepted. Money can also be exchanged safely at exchange bureaus, or at most banks. We would advise you to use banks first, or reputable exchange bureau, which must display clearly exchange rates on large tables, with the sign “No Commission”. Exchange bureau are no longer allowed to charge a commission for money exchange, so it is always better to check first. Airports and hotels also offer money exchange, but they usually tend to give less favorable rates. We strongly advise you to do not exchange money at the airport upon arrival unless you need it, simply because you can get more for your money in banks or exchange bureaus elsewere.
NEVER change money with anyone who stops you in the street, offering a better rate. Although money exchange scams are not as common as they were before, we would advise you to exchange money only in reputable places. Such places are the “Crown” exchange bureaus. It is always better to familiarize yourself with the local currency prior to arrival to Bulgaria. Please use the link to the Bulgarian National Bank official site.
Bulgarian Lev is pegged to the Euro and the exchange rate is fixed at 1 EUR = 1, 95 BGN. For orientation purposes you can assume the following: 1 US Dollar = 1.75 BGN, Pound Sterling = 2.5 BGN, but please note exchange rates fluctuate on a daily basis.(April 2016)
Credit Cards: Better hotels, shops and restaurants in Sofia accept credit cards, but this is not so in smaller villages in the country. Cash is widely accepted form of payment in Bulgaria and it is always better to keep some bills on you. Don’t forget to call your credit card companies to let them know you’ll be using your cards in Bulgaria. Sometimes a card company will see charges on your card in a different place and freeze your account.
Travellers’ cheques: We would advise you to go to a bank for cashing your cheques. Banks charge a small commission. (min.1%).
Recomended Partner for exchange at the Black Sea coast: http://crownchange.com/en
For exchanging money in the winter resorts or in other cities besides the Black Sea Coast, we advice the largest bank in Bulgaria, United Bulgarian Bank https://www.ubb.bg/eng