currency is used in Bulgaria?
The Leva is the national currency. It
is pegged to the Euro at a rate of 1,95583 Leva to €1. This provides a high
degree of currency stability for foreign investors wishing to invest in the country.
are the country's key statistics?
Bulgaria has a population of just
over 7.5 million people. Unemployment is at 7% nationwide (August 2007). The Bansko area boasts zero unemployment. Bulgaria is a member of NATO and a full member of the E.U. since January 2007. GDP Growth exceeds 5%,
p.a. and this looks set to continue. GDP per capita is 8,200 Euro and the average
industrial wage is 179 Euro per month. While its exports of clothing, footwear,
machinery, steel and iron have underpinned its economic success, its future economic
stimulus will come from tourism at its magnificent mountain ranges and at its
450 km of beautiful unspoilt coastline along the Black Sea.
Is it easy
to acquire Property?
Yes. Foreigners can purchase property (without
land) with the same level of ease as exists in Western countries. The purchase
of land (or property with land) requires the formation of a Bulgarian company
which can be fully owned by foreigners. A law passed in February 2005 has eased
this restriction, but a seven year transition period will apply.
title deeds formally registered and recognised?
Yes. Bulgarian law
requires all property transactions to be recorded and registered before a Government
appointed Notary. Such transactions are then filed in the Land Register.
additional costs exist when purchasing a property?
A Property Transfer Tax between 2% and 4% is payable, depending on where you buy. VAT in Bulgaria is chargeable at a rate of 20%. Purchasers need to determine if quoted prices include or exclude VAT. Notary fees are also payable on contract completion.
Are funds free and easy to withdraw from Bulgaria?
can request their bank to transfer funds out of the country, but must provide
appropriate certification that all local taxes have been paid before the transfer
can occur. From 2007 onwards, current E.U. norms will apply.
a market for property rental?
Yes, this is a very fast growing service
sector within the economy. Today's investors in prime locations in Bulgaria could
reasonably expect 15% capital growth p.a. and rental income of not less than 10%
p.a. Ardmore Properties will be happy to arrange and advise clients on such issues.
Bulgarian retail prices attractive?
Absolutely. A pint of excellent
Bulgarian beer will cost between €0.45 in a friendly tavern to €1.5
in a top-grade hotel. Eating-out is similarly priced. The cost of living is much
cheaper than in Ireland or the UK.
What are the Bulgarian people like?
as warm, generous and friendly as one will find anywhere in the world.
love of song, dance and music rivals even that of Ireland!! Most taverns and restaurants
in the resort areas have live music.
is the local cuisine?
is a renowned producer and exporter of wine to more than 70 countries in the world.
In Bulgaria there are lots of wineries producing a variety of excellent wines.
Bulgarian food is close to traditional European cuisine. A traditional Bulgarian
menu includes bread, yogurt and fresh milk, cheese, tomatoes, paprika, potatoes,
onions, beans and fruits, grappa and red or white wine.
salad - prepared from diced tomatoes, fresh cucumbers, green peppers, topped with
feta cheese and seasoned with olive oil and parsley
Mlechna salad - prepared from strained yogurt seasoned with olives, crashed walnuts,
finely diced garlic and parsley
- cold served soup from yogurt, fresh cucumbers, seasoned with walnuts, garlic
po Shopski - feta cheese, diced tomatoes and onion topped with egg and cooked
Kebapche - minced meat rolls seasoned with traditional spices and fine herbs and
Kuyfte - minced meat balls seasoned with traditional spices and fine herbs and
Shish Kebab - grilled skewered meat, onion and paprika
Banitsa - baked pumpkin pastry filled with cheese or meet
Crème Caramel - delicious dessert prepared from fresh milk, eggs and caramelized
sugar, similar to the classic French crème brulee.
I need a passport and visa?
to Bulgaria from many countries do not need a visa - only a valid passport is
At present, E.U. Citizens can travel to Bulgaria for up to
90 days without a visa. Should you need to stay longer than this,
you can apply for a long-term visa, which depending on the category, can permit
you to stay up to one year. Up-to-date information on visa requirements and prospects
for longer-term residency can be found at the Bulgarian Embassy, London. website:
are the climatic conditions like?
Bulgaria has a variety of terrains
with different climates. Generally, the summers are very hot with temperatures
over 30 degrees Celsius and winters can be very cold, especially in the mountains,
where temperatures can plunge to -20 degrees Celsius. Along the Black Sea coast,
winters are usually mild without great extremes. The areas close to the Greek
border can have almost a Mediterranean climate. In Bansko the average winter temperature
is about -5 degrees C (in January). The summer temperatures are usually between
18 and 28 degrees C.
The actual snow forecast for Bansko can be found at www.snow-forecast.com
webcams from the ski pists and weather conditions are at www.banskoski.com
time is GMT +2 (GMT +3 from April to September).
current is 220 volts, 50Hz. European two-pin plugs are in use.
is the official language, which uses the Cyrillic alphabet, but English, German
and French is spoken in resorts, hotels and some restaurants.
better to change my money at home before travelling?
No. There are
lots of change bureaus everywhere. Most of them have extremely competitive rates.
To make sure just read their currency table which is required to be displayed
outside. ATMs, where you can draw local currency, are also widely available.
there any "unusual" customs ?
Foreigners should be aware
that a shake of the head means 'yes' and a nod means 'no', although allowances
are often made for visitors!!!!