The official currency and legal tender of Bulgaria is the Bulgarian lev
Bulgaria joined the European Union alongside Romania when the EU expanded in 2007. However, it has never joined the Eurozone; the countries using the Euro, so Bulgarian currency remains the LEV (shorthand BGN) it is sub-divided into 100 stotinki. Many traders will display prices in euros for visitor information but only Bulgarian Lev will generally be accepted.
Bulgaria is enjoying an increase in tourist numbers and is a great place to visit. Bulgarian currency is a very popular purchase in the UK and Compare Holiday Money has 23 suppliers offering exchange rates for the British pound to Lev.
The word 'lev' means 'lion' in the old Bulgarian language. It became the official currency of Bulgaria in 1881 when 6 coin values were struck, banknotes were not produced until 1885 when 20 & 50 Leva notes were introduced followed later by 100 and 500 Leva.
The Lev has seen two major redenominations, the first in 1952 caused by inflation from the war years then again in 1962. Bulgarian money has had a rollercoaster ride in recent history due mainly to political circumstances and has been pegged to German, Russian and US currencies.
It is now stable and supported by the Bulgarian National Bank. Various dates have been suggested for Bulgaria to adopt the Euro but to date various factors have prevented that. A lot of analysts believe that eventually the Euro will become official Bulgarian currency.
If you are travelling to Bulgaria and looking to buy Bulgarian currency at a location near you then you can use our Bulgarian lev store finder. Alternatively, you can order Bulgarian lev online for free home delivery.