Time zone: GMT + 2
Telephone services: Country Code: 359
Outgoing Code: 00, some calls go through the international operator.
Emergency telephone numbers: Ambulance – 150, Fire – 160, Police – 166
Passport information: A valid passport with at least 6 months remaining validity at time of departure is required. Requirements may change at short notice. Contact the relevant authority before finalising travel arrangements.
Visa information: Visa required by all.
Health information: No information available at present.
Food & drink: Water is untreated and not safe to drink.
Currency: Lev (Lv) = 100 stotinki. Exchange: A bordereau receipt will be given and must be kept until departure. NOTE: Import and export of local currency is prohibited. Amounts of currency over US$ 1000 have to be declared. Diners Club American Express and Visa have limited acceptance. Traveller’s cheques can be exchanged in major banks. US dollars and Pound sterling are the preferred currency.
ATM availability: Over 100 locations (MasterCard/Cirrus only).
Cost of living: Inexpensive when compared with Western Europe.
Languages: Bulgarian. English is spoken in resorts. Turkish, Russian, French and German may also be spoken.
Weather: Summers are the warmest with some rainfall. Winters are cold with snow. Rain falls frequently in the Spring and Autumn.
Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50 Hz. Plugs are 2 pin.
Post: 4 days to 2 weeks to Western Europe
Transport: FLIGHTS: Air travel is only slightly more expensive than rail and more convenient. RAIL: Reservations are essential, 1st Class is advisable. ROAD: Speed limits are strictly enforced as are drinking and driving penalties. CAR HIRE: Can be arranged through hotels. DOCUMENTATION: AN IDP should be obtained although foreign driving licences are acceptable for short journeys. A ‘Green’ card is compulsory.
Special information: A nod of the head means “No” and shaking the head means “Yes”. Dress should be conservative but casual. It is advisable to register with the police, a hotel or guest house within 48 hours of arrival. Do not accept food or drink from strangers. Exercise caution in Sofia particularly at night.