The Bulgarian lev is the official currency of Bulgaria, a country in Southeast Europe that borders the Black Sea, Romania, Serbia, North Macedonia, Greece and Turkey. The lev has been in use since 1880, when it replaced the Ottoman Turkish kurus. The word “lev” means “lion” in old Bulgarian, and the lion is a national symbol of Bulgaria that appears on many historical monuments and coins.
The lev is divided into 100 stotinki, which means “hundredths” in Bulgarian. The currency code for the lev is BGN, and the symbol is Ð»Ð². The lev is pegged to the euro at a fixed rate of 1.95583 leva per euro, and it is expected to join the eurozone by 2025. The lev is issued by the Bulgarian National Bank, which also mints coins at the Bulgarian Mint.
The lev has undergone several changes throughout its history, reflecting the political and economic transformations of Bulgaria. The first lev was equal to the French franc and was backed by gold until 1916. After World War I, the lev suffered from hyperinflation and was replaced by a second lev in 1952 at a rate of 100 to 1. The second lev was also subject to high inflation and was replaced by a third lev in 1962 at a rate of 10 to 1. The third lev was revalued in 1999 at a rate of 1000 to 1, creating the current fourth lev that is still in circulation today.
The lev has a variety of banknotes and coins in different denominations and designs. The banknotes range from 5 to 100 leva and feature portraits of prominent Bulgarian figures, such as writers, poets, revolutionaries and saints. The coins range from 1 stotinka to 2 leva and feature images of animals, plants, buildings and symbols related to Bulgarian culture and history.
The lev is a currency that reflects the rich and diverse heritage of Bulgaria, a country that has been influenced by various civilizations and empires over the centuries. The lev is also a currency that represents the strength and resilience of Bulgaria, a country that has overcome many challenges and hardships in its quest for freedom and democracy.
Tourism in Bulgaria: A Land of Wonders
Bulgaria is not only a country of ancient history and culture, but also a land of wonders that attracts tourists from all over the world. Whether you are looking for sun and sea, mountains and forests, or cities and nightlife, Bulgaria has something for everyone. Here are some of the reasons why you should visit Bulgaria and discover its beauty and diversity.
Sun and Sea
Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast is a popular destination for beach lovers, offering long sandy beaches, warm weather, and crystal-clear water. You can choose from lively resorts such as Sunny Beach, Golden Sands, and Albena, where you can enjoy water sports, entertainment, and nightlife, or quieter places such as Primorsko, Sozopol, and Nesebar, where you can relax and explore the historical and natural attractions. You can also visit the cities of Varna and Burgas, which have their own charm and cultural heritage.
Mountains and Forests
If you prefer nature and adventure, Bulgaria’s mountains and forests will amaze you with their stunning scenery and wildlife. You can hike, bike, ski, or snowboard in the seven mountain ranges that cover the country, such as the Balkan Mountains, the Rila Mountains, and the Pirin Mountains. You can also admire the glacial lakes, waterfalls, caves, and rock formations that dot the landscape. Don’t miss the Rila Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a masterpiece of Bulgarian architecture and art.
Cities and Nightlife
Bulgaria’s cities are full of history, culture, and fun. You can visit the capital Sofia, which has a mix of ancient and modern buildings, museums, galleries, parks, and monuments. You can also explore Plovdiv, the second-largest city and the European Capital of Culture for 2023. Plovdiv has a charming old town with Roman ruins, colorful houses, churches, and museums. You can also enjoy the vibrant nightlife in both cities, with plenty of bars, clubs, restaurants, and festivals to choose from.