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Bulgarian Currency

The Bulgarian currency is the Lev, though be wary that as Bulgaria is part of the EU it is normal to really pay in Euros for big purchases including property or land used in day to day transactions.


Should you be going on vacation to Bulgaria then the money you'll need is the Lev. Where you'll get the most effective exchange rate you have generally four choices.

Your home country
Your departure airport
Bulgaria destination airport
Bulgaria (resort)

A bad rate is always offered by the airports. In a way they have you prisoner and as a badly-educated market on this. Some airports offer rates as inferior as 40% lower compared to the greatest rate offered which is clearly a massive difference. It will certainly make a tremendous impact in your spending power, and efficiently what you spend in your vacation.

That leaves us with one main alternative -

Nevertheless, before long you will discover that in the tourist areas there are all kinds of places offering you Bulgarian currency. From little exchange Booth's, banks, stores you'll see changing offers and exchange rates.
It's significant here in order to learn to work out the Bulgarian exchange rate. It is crucial that you simply examine the 'Buy' rate and never the 'Sell' rate. The largest scam would be to print the rate.

Should you be seeking to modify cash into Bulgarian Lev, e.g. you desire to modify Sterling into Bulgarian currency then you need the 'Buy' rate. The 'Sell' rate is only if you wish to change back your own Bulgarian Lev into your own money. Seeing as you're on vacation and are looking to spend your cash it's unlikely you'll ever need the rate.

The rate often appears quite appealing as it's often higher than many of the other rates you have seen offered, but the difficulty is that it's just the rate you'd get if you were likely to alter (or 'sell') your Bulgarian Lev back into your own currency and not the rate you will really get when altering your currency into Bulgarian Lev (which is what you are expecting). The rate you'll really receive is their 'Purchase' rate that's often massively lower than other places and up to 50% less compared to the going rate.

As it can appear quite complicating let me make it clearer using an example about what I have often seen:
Let us suppose the conventional exchange rate is GBP1 Sterling = 2.50 Lev
You suppose it is a reasonable rate but carry on to find if you're able to find a better rate.
You see another booth offering a rate as follows "GBP STERLING = 2.58"
You automatically presume this is really a better rate as it is higher compared to the first and consequently change your cash up here.

The difficulty is that the first was the legitimate place selling at a good rate and also the rate they printed was their 'BUY' rate. They thus were 'purchasing' GBP1 off of you for 2.50 Lev.
The 2nd place was the spot to avoid.

Legitimate booth offering a 'Buy' rate (the right and appropriate rate to shift your money INTO Bulgarian currency) of 2.37.
However, their 'Buy' rate which was unpublished was only 1.61 significance that GBP100 sterling would convert to just 161 Lev.

Despite believing you were getting a better rate this really represents a loss of 76 Lev, a considerable amount. This could amount to quite a significant loss, much less spending power and basically needing to change more cash, more commonly if you're changing considerable sums of spending money.

The 'scam' is legal as they're clearly saying this is the 'sell' rate. However, they know that many folks don't really know or look for whether it's a 'buy' or 'sell' rate or which each term means. They just presume that every rate printed on the boards outside is how much Bulgarian currency you'll get in exchange for your own home currency.

This is really a huge issue in Bulgaria and in my estimate at least 50% off exchange Booth's use this ploy. I've always found 'Crown' to become a trustworthy brand offering a reasonable rate and publishing their rates in an honest manner. When you can not locate a Crown exchange booth then the guidance is really straightforward:

Seek the 'BUY' rate and never examine the 'Sell' rate if you're not looking to SELL your Bulgarian currency back to switch into your own home currency.