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. 

     
  • tony Tang From united kingdom
    Sent on 19 December 2010
    Dear sir: I went to Brovets ski at 15 years ago with my children, and this year my children want to go back there to ski again, and I found I had some old bank note which I had 15years ago, but the bank say they are not going to exchange for me because they are old bank note, any sauce I can get this exchange to the new bank note so we can use it. I had some is 2000 and 5000 in one note. Please advise Kind Regards Tony
  • sakis From saloniki
    Sent on 05 March 2008
    how cost the lift pass for 3 days?how for 1day?
  • Gemma From Cumbria UK
    Sent on 22 February 2006
    I'm travelling to Borovets on 25th February, and i need to buy 2 lift passes when i arrive, does anyone have any advice? Will sterling be accepted? or am i best changing my money before i travel? I'd be really grateful if anyone can advise me Thank You
  • kevin crowe From England
    Sent on 04 January 2006
    Can someone please tell me if im better off taking Euro's or English pounds to exchange into Levs? Im going to Borovets in Feb 06.
  • Peter Caldwell From UK
    Sent on 11 January 2005
    Didn't take any currency with us apart from sterling. Don't change at airport - poor exchange rates. We stayed in the Samokov, they offer a reasonable exchange rate but you can get better from exchanges up the street. You can also get cash from the ATM by the gondola using your Switch card.
  • Gary From UK
    Sent on 08 February 2003
    Take Sterling, Euros or US Dollars. Ensure that they are clean, un-marked & not torn. Do NOT exchange them at the airport, as they were only offering about 2.5 leva to the pond. The best place we found was the Bank in the bottom Gondola station. It looked like a real Bank and was offering 2.9 to the pound at one point. Make sure you only change what you need as you have to change it back when you leave the country, and they sting you on the exchange rate again. If you intend spending a lot of cash at once, the one bureau on the main street offered a better deal for 100.00 plus (2.87 instead of 2.85 to the pound). The exchange rates for exchanging "Travellers Cheques" is a lot less than any of those quoted above. Hope this helps.
  • Nigel From UK
    Sent on 22 January 2003
    Personally, I would take cash, but please make sure your notes are clean and not torn in any way or else they won't accept them. We took cash and were getting 2.90 lev's to the pound. We would recommend you either carry your cash with you at all times or put it in a safe deposit box. The exchange booths do not charge commission, but always check what rate you are getting, and get them to show you on their computer/calculator before exchanging. We did see some signs in shops which accepted credit cards, but were warned that they would charge an extra 5% for the transaction. This we cannot verify as we did not use our cards. Basically we spent 300.00 in one week for a family of 3. We ate out for breakfast, lunch and evening meal, eating and drinking as much as we wanted, plus all the necessary drink stops whilst on the slopes of course! Happy skiing! :D
  • Grant From UK
    Sent on 21 January 2003
    One of the ATMs is down the side of the gondola station, it lets you take out 200 lev at a time. I returned from Borovets on the 11 Jan and it showed up on my bank statement with days. Cost me 1.75 for each transaction(HSBC) and I got an exchange rate of 2.85lev to the pound, about average. At the internet cafe by the Hotel rila they exchange sterling (zero comission) for 2.95, works out to be 1.2pence difference in a pound. You decide!
  • Sune From Germany
    Sent on 08 January 2003
    originally sent on 04 Mar 2002 ...all I can tell you, is change only in hotels or in bars with small offices, because the bars they change money, change the levs which they earn in the changing offices into hard money, as pound, dollar or euro, so they can't cheat you because then they will lose there guest, so looking for these bars and have a nice time...
  • Bob From n.a.
    Sent on 08 January 2003
    originally sent on 04 Mar 2002 You can change money in the Rila reception at any time - although it is a relatively poor rate of exchange (2.7 levs when I was there 2 weeks ago) You can also change money in the bars - I changed some in the Kareoke bar opposite the Rila and got 3 levs to the pound It wont be a problem - everyone is anxious to get you to spend your money.
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