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Currency Exchange

The lev (plural: leva; code: BGN) is the Bulgarian currency. It was revaluated in 1999. 1.000 old leva = 1 new lev. The old leva are no longer valid! The new notes are of: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 leva and all of them have a security strip on their left side.

Since June 1997 the lev is tied to the German mark, so that 1 lev equals 1 mark. Currently, the exchange rates of the US dollar and the British pound are approximately as follows:

1 EUR = 1.95 BGN
1 USD = 1.52 BGN
1 GBP = 2.37 BGN

You can change cash at any Bulgarian bank or exchange office. It's a good idea to ask the clerk beforehand whether they charge any commission or hidden fee!

You wouldn't want to change your money at a hotel since the rate will be lower.
In Bulgaria, you pay cash for almost everything. Credit cards are accepted only in some of the biggest hotels and resorts.
Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are already a common sight in the cities and the most populous towns, so you can withdraw unds with your card, be it VISA, MasterCard, Cirrus, Plus, AmEx or else.

Bulgarian Visas

(As stated on www.bulgaria-embassy.org - the web site of the Bulgarian Embassy in U.S.A. The information might change without previous notice.)

A Bulgarian visa (entry or transit) may be obtained at the Bulgarian Embassy in the US, the Bulgarian Consulate in New York City or at any other Bulgarian Embassy or Consular Office in other countries. Citizens of the United States and Canada, the European Union, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Israel traveling on regular passports, are NOT required visas for stay in Bulgaria not exceeding 30 days. A border tax (of approx. $20) will be collected from such individuals when entering the country. If planning to stay more than 30 days, or traveling on diplomatic or official passport, a visa is required and must be obtained in advance.

Non US citizens are expected to provide an invitation from a Bulgarian host or business partner and a letter from their company or institution in the US if they are traveling for business purpose.

Multiple entry visas may be granted to individuals whose business in Bulgaria requires frequent visits. Multiple visas are subject of prior approval and delays in their issuance may be anticipated.

Transit visas grant stay in Bulgaria of 24 hours or less. Airline tickets and evidence of right of entry into the next country of travel will be required.
Possession of airline tickets does not guarantee the granting of an entry visa. Travel arrangements and costs are solely at the applicant's risk. Individuals who do not possess national passports may travel on INS-issued re-entry permits and refugee travel documents. Possession of a valid visa is mandatory for such nationals for entry in Bulgaria. "Green cards" are not considered travel documents. Citizens of countries not listed above may not apply for overnight issuance of an entry visa. Visa requirements are subject to change. Incomplete applications, absence of photos or inadequate payment result in return of application to sender without further action.

If you are traveling with pets you should have a certificate of veterinarian examination carried out within one week before departure as well as certificate of rabies shot made during the last six months.


Valid passport or Travel Document (at least 6 months remaining);
Visa Application Form, fully completed;
One passport size photo;
Copy of the Green Card;
Self-addressed stamped envelope;
Visa fee - fees are collected at the time of application.
(Personal checks and credit cards are not accepted)


Single entry visas:
Issuance after 10 working days $53
Issuance after 5 working days $68
Overnight issuance (only for US citizens) $88
Multiple entry visa $123
Transit visas $43
Double transit visa $63
Diplomatic and official visas are free of charge.
Visas are valid for entry within 3 months of the date of issue. For motorists a national driving license is required. Motor vehicle insurance can be arranged at the Bulgarian border point of entry.

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