Using money in Borovets
Using money in Borovets
LOCAL CURRENCY The local currency in Bulgaria is called LEV. This currency is used for payments in this country. Since 2002, LEV is equalised to EURO currency and the rate of exchange is 1 EURO = 1.95583 LEV, also this rate never changes. When looking for good rate to exchange your EURO into levs, it is advisable to look for a place where for 1 EURO they will give around 1.95 LEVS.
CASH OR CREDIT CARD? Credit cards are accepted in Bulgaria, but not popular everywhere yet. All bigger shops (especially in the capital Sofia) accept Visa and Master Card, but the in the smaller shops, bars, restaurants, credit cards are not accepted. This is also valid for Borovets. Be ready to pay cash in most places there. Some of the exchange offices in the resort give cash for credit card, but they charge between 5 and 6 % commission for this service. We recommend you bring enough amount of cash and leave it on the safe deposit boxes on the hotel receptions. You can take some everyday. Never leave any cash in your hotel room, as it may be stolen from there. If you run out of cash you can always take some from the ATMs. The most popular credit cards in Bulgaria are Visa and Master Card. The other cards are not widely accepted.
WHAT CURRENCY TO BRING? People coming from the countries which joined the EURO can bring this currency. People coming from the UK can bring Sterling. People from the other countries it is recommended they bring US Dollars or Euro. These 3 type of currencies are mostly accepted in the exchange offices of Borovets. Other currencies are also accepted, but the exchange rate of them is relatively low. When paying in the shops, bars or restaurants of Borovets you should pay in the local currency LEV. Some of the shops will accept Sterling, Dollars or Euro, but the small places will not have from this currency to give you change, so you will have to pay in LEVs anyway.
WHERE TO EXCHANGE MONEY? Exchange offices are everywhere in Borovets. Unfortunately not all of them are giving good rates. Be extremely careful when exchanging money in Borovets, not to be ripped off. According to the new law in Bulgaria, they are supposed to give exactly what is written on the sign of their window, and the deal is not closed if you have not signed the receipt. Remember to always ask for receipt! Just in case, before you exchange your money ask the person behind the desk "How much money will I get for 100 (of your currency)?". Also, please never exchange money on the street!
In all cases we highly recommend you always use any of the bank offices in Borovets. They give very good rate and there is no possibility of frauds. Here is a list of the banks in Borovets: - Economic & Investment bank: Located in the station of Gondola. Very good rates! Most currencies are accepted and also traveler cheques are exchanged for cash at 2 % commission. ATM for Visa and Mastercard. - Biochim bank: opposite the Gondola, next to Peter's bar. Money exchange, ATM, etc. Bulgarian Post bank: located on the ground floor of hotel Ela, opposite hotel Samokov. Money exchange, Visa and Mastercard accepted, Western Union money transfer, etc. When withdrawing money from ATM the bank will charge the usual 0.5 to 1.5 % commission. It will give you the local currency LEVs and not the currency of your bank account. Therefore it is good to check what rate of exchange YOUR CURRENCY-LEV will be used, because sometimes it is relatively low.
ATMs IN BOROVETS There are 2 ATMs available in Borovets, one in Economic & Investment bank located in the station of Gondola and one in Biochim bank, opposite the Gondola. There is also one ATM available in the near town of Samokov. You can use your credit card to withdraw cash from these ATMs. They will accept Visa and Master Card as well as debit card issued by Bulgarian banks. You can also receive cash against your credit card in some of the exchange offices of the resort, but they will charge between 5 and 6 % commission for this service.
SAFETY To reduce the risks of thefts and pick-pocketing we recommend you never leave any cash in your hotel rooms and just in case when going out be careful and keep your wallets into inside pockets.
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