Buy Bulgarian lev online

Our currency calculator is a quick and easy way to check our latest foreign currency exchange rates.

Why buy Bulgarian lev from M&S Bank?

Planning a trip to Bulgaria? With scenic mountain views, sandy beaches and affordable food and drink, there's a reason why the Land of Roses is on so many bucket lists. As one of the cheapest holiday destinations in Europe, your money can go a long way here. But before you start spending, you'll need to convert your pounds to Bulgarian lev.

We offer a number of benefits when you buy Bulgarian lev with M&S Bank.

  • Our stores are open 7 days a week
  • Buy Bulgarian lev online and collect from your local Bureau de Change
  • Exchange any leftover currency when you return using our buy back service

Click and Collect Bulgarian lev

BGN Bulgarian lev exchange rate

The exchange rate may differ depending on the day you order your currency.

Find today's Bulgarian lev exchange rate here. Or use our Bulgarian lev converter to see how much you could get for your pound.

How to sell back Bulgarian lev

Do you have left over Bulgarian lev from your recent trip? We can buy back foreign currency from you.

How to order Bulgarian lev

Our online and in-store services make ordering your Bulgarian lev simple:

  • Order your Bulgarian lev online with our Click & Collect currency service. Choose your collection date and collect from your local Bureau de Change.
  • Or visit your local Bureau de Change to buy Bulgarian lev*. You can find our Bureaux de Change in M&S stores nationwide. Many are open seven days a week late into the evening, so you can buy your Bulgarian lev at a time that suits you.

Countries that accept Bulgarian lev

Bulgaria is the only country that accepts the Bulgarian lev. If you're visiting neighbouring countries like Turkiye or Romania, you'll need to exchange your lev for Turkish lira or Romanian leu to spend it.

Why visit Bulgaria?

As one of the cheapest countries in the European Union (EU), Bulgaria is a fantastic budget holiday destination. For sun-seekers, Bulgaria's Sunny Beach resort is the biggest on the Black Sea coast and just a boat ride away from Nessebar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Bulgaria also boasts a range of mountains and ski resorts, making it a great choice if you're looking for a more affordable skiing holiday. The ski resorts of Bankso and Pamporovo are the largest in Bulgaria, with different slopes for beginners through to experts.

You can check the latest Bulgarian lev exchange rate using our currency converter if you're planning to visit Bulgaria any time soon

Bulgarian lev facts and history

The Bulgarian lev is the official currency of the Republic of Bulgaria, first adopted in 1880 after gaining independence from the Ottoman Empire. The word “lev” actually translates to the old Bulgarian word for “lion”, one of Bulgaria's national symbols.

Similar to the British pound, the Bulgarian lev is divided into 100 stotinki. The word 'lev' is used to refer to the currency in singular form, while 'leva' is used for the plural form.

Bulgarian currency comes in both coins and banknotes. Coins include:

  • 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 stotinki
  • BGN1
  • BGN2

Banknotes include:

  • BGN5
  • BGN10
  • BGN20
  • BGN50

You can buy Bulgarian lev online using our Click & Collect service.

Frequently asked questions

Can I use my bank card in Bulgaria?

If you plan to stick to big cities like Sofia and Varna, or tourist-friendly areas like Sunny Beach and Plovdiv, you'll find most places will let you pay by credit or debit card. Your bank will normally charge you a fee for using your card abroad, so make sure you're aware of any potential charges.

Outside of major cities and tourist hubs, you'll need to bring some travel money. ATMS are rare in rural towns, and smaller shops usually prefer cash payments, so you'll need some lev to pay for your Bulgarian souvenirs.

Can you use other currencies in Bulgaria?

As you head towards the Turkish border, you may find a few petrol stations that accept Turkish lira. However, you'll need to pay in Bulgarian lev everywhere in Bulgaria.

If you're paying by card, some larger businesses may let you pay in British pounds (GBP) but always best to pay in Bulgarian leva. By paying in GBP, you may get hit with an unfavourable exchange rate that costs you more.

You can use our currency calculator to exchange your GBP to BGN.

Do you need a visa to visit Bulgaria?

In most cases, you won't need a visa to visit Bulgaria.

Whether you're there for a holiday or for business purposes, you'll be able to stay in Bulgaria for up to 90 days without a visa. You'll need to apply for a visa if you want to stay longer or if you want to work. If you're planning to visit Bulgaria from 2024 onwards, you'll need ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System) to travel. While ETIAS isn't a visa, it will be mandatory for entry into all EU countries - including Bulgaria.

Other passport holders should check the entry requirements with your country's embassy.

You should always research the most up to date visa guidelines before planning a trip.

Should I tip in Bulgaria?

Cash tips are quite common in Bulgaria, so make sure you have some spare lev on hand. In some restaurants, your tip will be included in the bill as a 10% service charge. For bills without a service charge, a tip between 10% and 15% of the total bill is acceptable.

It's also customary to tip taxi drivers and hotel cleaning staff, though the amount you choose to give is up to you. If you're unsure, most workers will appreciate a tip of about BGN10.

What languages are spoken in Bulgaria?

The only official language of Bulgaria is Bulgarian, with the majority of the country speaking it. Bulgaria has no official minority languages, but Turkish and Romani are fairly common. You'll likely hear Romani all across Bulgaria, while you'll hear Turkish the further south you are.

Bulgarian also has a high degree of mutual intelligibility with Macedonian. If you can understand Macedonian, you'll understand a lot of Bulgarian.

What is the latest government travel advice for Bulgaria?

Before going to Bulgaria, make sure you get some travel insurance. Bulgaria is fairly affordable, but you'll still have to pay for any medical treatments or hospital trips. Medical costs can set you back, so make sure you're covered if the unexpected happens.

You can also visit the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for the latest government travel advice for Bulgaria.

What is the best time of year to visit Bulgaria?

With stunning Black Sea beaches and ski resorts nestled in forested mountains, Bulgaria is quickly becoming a holiday hotspot all year round.

June to August is peak tourist season thanks to hot weather and long days. If you're a beach lover, this is the perfect time to head to the Black Sea to relax, swim, and sunbathe. Resorts like Sunny Beach are well-equipped for the tourist season too, and you'll find plenty of restaurants and hotels along the coast.

If you enjoy winter sports, visit Bulgaria between December and March. During winter, ski resorts such as Bankso and Pamporovo offer excellent conditions for skiing and snowboarding. Snow covers many of Bulgaria's mountains in winter as well, creating beautiful scenery for your outdoor activities.

Important documents

M&S Travel Money Terms and Conditions (opens in a new window)

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Other popular currencies

If you are planning a future holiday or a trip that takes in multiple destinations, these other currencies may be useful:

US dollar
Turkish lira

*Subject to availability

† Subject to store opening hours