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Travel & Tourism . Tourist Guide to the Country

Bulgaria Travel Requirements

Travellers Essentials

A passport with at least 3 months validity after day of departure is required by all.

Visa's is required by all except the following for a single entry only and for stays of up to 30 days:
a)Nationals of Andorra, Estonia, Iceland, Israel, Liechtenstein, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and Vatican City.

b)Nationals of Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Georgia, Hungary, (Rep. of Korea), Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Ukraine, Tunisia and Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro.

Getting There
By Air:
Bulgaria's national airline is Balkan-Bulgarian Airlines (LZ).

By Sea:
The main international ports are Varna and Bourgas.

By Rail:
There are no direct rail services between Bulgaria and Western Europe although there are frequent services between Sofia and Yugoslavia (Belgrade), Romania (Bucharest), Greece (Thessaloniki) and Turkey (Istanbul).

Social Conventions
Normal courtesies should be observed and handshaking is the normal form of greeting. Dress should be conservative but casual. If invited to the home, a small souvenir from one's homeland is an acceptable gift. Do not give money. Remember that a nod of the head means 'No' and a shake means 'Yes'.

Until recently tipping was not applicable, but 10-12% is now customary.

Getting Around
By Air:
Balkan-Bulgarian Airlines operates eight domestic services connecting Sofia with the coast and main towns. Air travel is comparatively cheap, and is only slightly more expensive than rail travel.
By River:
Regular boat and hydrofoil have services along Bulgaria linking many centers. The official crossing points into Romania are by ferry from Vidin to Calafat and by road bridge from Ruse to Giurgiu.
By Rail:
There are over 6500km of railways in the country. Bulgarian State Railways connects Sofia with main towns
By Road:
There are over 13,000km of roads linking the major centers and in general the quality is good. Traffic drives on the right. Speed limits are strictly adhered to: 50kph (31mph) in built-up areas, 90kph (56mph) outside built-up areas and 120kph (75mph) on motorways.

a)Taxi: Available in all towns and also for intercity journeys. Vehicles are metered, unless they are privately owned.
b)Car hire: Self-drive cars can be hired through hotel reception desks. There are no fly-drive arrangements through the airlines. Most transactions are in hard currency. An international driving permit is required.

Lev (Lv) = 100 stotinki. The plural of Lev is Leva. Notes are in denominations of Lv20,000, 5000, 2000, 1000, 500, 200 and 100. Coins are in denominations of Lv50, 20, 10 and 5. Stotinki are not presently in circulation.

Currency exchange
A bordereaux receipt indicating the amount of currency exchanged will be given and must be kept until departure. Visitors are advised to exchange money at bureaux de change and not on the black market.

Credit cards
Major international credit cards are accepted in larger hotels, car hire offices, restaurants and shops.

Travelers cheques
Accepted in major hotels and restaurants. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travelers are advised to take travelers cheques in US Dollars or Pounds Sterling.

Currency restrictions
The import and export of local currency is prohibited. There are no restrictions on the import of foreign currency, though amounts over US$1000 have to be declared. The export of foreign currency is limited to the amount declared on import. Local currency can be exchanged at the airport on production of a bordereaux.


Acknowledgements: ASIATRAVELMART.COM

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