Money and Banking in Bulgaria

The local currency is called the lev (official abbreviation BGN). The plural of lev is leva and the abbreviation V is normally used on price tags. 100 stotinki make up 1 lev. Coins are issued in denominations of 1,2,5,10,20 and 50 stotinki and 1 lev. Bank notes come in denominations of 2,5,10,20,50 and 100 leva, the size of the note increasing with value. A word of warning: the 1 lev coin and 100 leva note look very similar to their euro equivalent, so be very careful when receiving euro currency that you are not given leva (the lev is worth approximately half the euro).

Cost of Living in Bulgaria

Pounds sterling go a long way in Bulgaria, where native products and services are often less than a third of the price of western European countries. Perhaps the most notable area where prices are lower is in the bar and restaurant sector -even McDonald’s and KFC have prices around half those in the UK. Not everything is cheaper, however, particularly among imported products. Many electrical appliances, including certain newer models of white goods, cost at least as much as in the UK.

Buying materials and furniture in Bulgaria

Building Materials and Electrical Appliances

Bulgaria is now well served by shops selling building materials and electrical appliances. A number of foreign hardware superstores such as Mr Bricolage (French-owned) and Praktiker (German-owned) have appeared on the fringes of the larger cities in competition with smaller pre-existing shops and yards (many of which remain hidden to foreigners). These carry a comprehensive selection of DIY tools, tiles, light fittings, garden equipment and so on. Technopolis and Technomarket provide a full range of electrical appliances.