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Happy Bulgarian Journey – Tips and Information!

Bulgaria is an amazing place, and to enoy it to the fullest, here is some information that may help you in your next (or first) visit to this interesting country.

Bulgarian Money

The Bulgarian Lev (BGN) is the currency of Bulgaria – they are part of the EU, but have not adopted the Euro.  A similar situation existed in the UK prior to Brexit, where the UK was part of the EU, but retained the British Pound as the currency.

Each lev (meaning ‘lion’) can be divided into 100 stotinki. The plural of lev is leva.

$1.00 USD is approximately $1.60 BGN.

Bulgarian Alphabet

The Bulgarian alphabet is very similar to the Russian Cyrillic alphabet.

Аа (a) Кк (kuh) Фф (fuh)
Бб (buh) Лл (luh) Хх (huh)
Вв (vuh) Мм (muh) Цц (tsuh)
Гг (guh) Нн (nuh) Чч (chuh)
Дд (duh) Оо (o) Шш (shuh)
Ее (e) Пп (puh) Щщ (shtuh)
Жж (zhuh) Рр (ruh) Ъъ (er-gol-yam)
Зз (zuh) Сс (suh) ь (er ma-luhk)
Ии (ee) Тт (tuh) Юю (yoo)
Йй (ee krat-ko) Уу (oo) Яя (ya)

Bulgarian yes = no, and no=yes!

When in Bulgaria, it is important to use the words yes and no, not rely on the movement of one’s head to indicate the answer.  Why?

In Bulgaria, shaking your head side-to-side means ‘yes’, while moving it up and down means ‘no’!!!

Encountering gypsys with guns

It’s not as challenging as it sounds…  Gypsy youths no more than fourteen years of age roam the areas armed with rifles – but I am assured that as long as one doesn’t stare them down and merely continues on confidently, as though a local, one will not be approached.  This strategy has worked well thus far…  Apparently, they mostly use them as intimidation weapons…  It makes me want to simply show them some love because obviously something beautiful is lacking in their world for them to feel the need to resort to such measures to feel important.

Useful Bulgarian phrases

Hello = Dobar den! (Добър ден!/Doh-bur dehn!)

Goodbye = Dovijdane! (Довиждане!/Doh-veezh-dah-nay!)

Excuse me = Izvinete (Извинете/Eez-vee-neh-teh)

Please/You’re Welcome = like the double usage/meaning of ‘bitte’ in German, Molya (Моля/Moh-lya)

One large red wine, please! = Edno golyamo cherveno vino, molya! (Едно голямо червено вино, моля!/Eh-dna goh-lya-ma chur-vey-no vee-no moh-lya)

…and “thank you“?  Merci!  Well, the Bulgarian word is blagodarya (благодаря), but many people simply use merci instead.

Oh, and a word one will hear a lot…  dobre (добре) – meaning “good“, but also a way of simply acknowledging something someone said.

Name Day is a Huge Deal in Bulgaria!

Today, I learned about one’s “name day” – not to be confused with one’s “birthday”.

Apparently in several countries, Bulgaria being one of them, a person’s “name day” is celebrated in a very big way – even more so than their birthday!

Name day in Bulgarian is imen den, and the person celebrating their name day is called imenik.  On their day, people will greet them by saying “Chestit imen den” (Chess-teet ee-men den).

As opposed to the tradition of friends throwing the birthday guy/girl a party, on their name day, the imenik is the one who throws the party for their friends and family.

To look up your “name day” date, I have included a link here:  http://happynameday.com/query.php

Bulgaria landscape – from beaches to mountains to ski resorts to forests…

Bulgaria has it all!


There is so much more to tell, but I recommend you visit for yourself.  It truly is a fascinating country…

~ Bella

...continued... ...and a gelato - just what was needed! A snail house?     This was once the Communist leader's beach retreat area... ...and this is Sophia, the rose bush I bought.  She now lives on my balcony, we chat each morning when I give her a drink... ...and back…
Friday, I headed about one and a half hours north to the UNESCO world heritage site - the ancient city of Nesebar. There is a massive seawall that was constructed at the end of the 19th century. According to my driver, this tiny little boat and its owner sailed solo…

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