Exchange rates and exchange offices

The national currency in Bulgaria is Bulgarian Lev (BGN) and it is divided in 100 stotinki (cents). The word lev means lion in Bulgarian, since it’s the national symbol of the country. The banknotes are in 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 leva (the 2-lev notes are being replaced with coins) and the coins (stotinki) are in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, as well as 1 lev and 2 leva.

It is good to know where to go when you need to exchange some money, especially when you are a foreigner. Usually there are a lot of exchange offices in every Bulgarian town, but have in mind that in the resorts or in some places on the seacoast, the rates might not be very good. We don’t mean scams, it’s just more expensive to buy and sell some of the most demanded currencies. It’s also a good idea to ask for a receipt, just to check if everything is okay. Since the Bulgarian lev is currently pegged to the euro at the rate of 1.95583 leva = 1 euro, you can have that in mind when you go to an exchange office.
Also, have in mind that in some summer resorts you might meet people who would agree to exchange currency on the street, without a cash register or a receipt – don’t do it! Even if the rates are far better than in the offices, they might be scammers and give you obsolete banknotes.

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