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Money & Costs

Currency: Bulgarian leva

Relative Costs: Meals

  • Budget: US$1-4
  • Mid-range: US$4-10
  • Top-end: US$10 and upwards


  • Budget: US$8-16
  • Mid-range: US$16-40
  • Top-end: US$40 and upwards

Despite a 22% value-added tax, you'll probably find that souvenirs, admission prices, food and drink, and all forms of transport (including taxis) are cheap. Anything you can get for the same price as a Bulgarian will be cheap, but when there's a higher tourist price (as there is for almost all accommodation) things can get expensive. You can get by on a budget of US$20-40 a day, depending on the level of comfort you require.

Cash is easily changed at numerous small exchange offices, usually for no commission.Traveller's cheques are more of a hassle as many banks do not accept them, and those that do will charge a commission of around 5%. ATMs are a common sight in Sofia and at Black Sea resorts, and cash advances on credit cards are also available in these areas. Still, it's best to bring plenty of cash to Bulgaria.

Waiters and taxi-drivers expect the bill to be rounded up to the nearest convenient figure. With non-metered taxis you needn't add a tip to the fare you agreed on beforehand.

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