Information & Facts
Off the ski slopes Borovets has all the usual amenities of a
winter holiday resort, and many hotels offering indoor swimming
pools, saunas and gyms. Night skiing is also available from 5pm to
10pm. Visitors can also take excursions to nearby resorts or places
of interest, like the Rila Monastery. Ice-skating and skidoos are
also an option for chilly fun in the sun.
Bulgarian is the official language, which uses the
Cyrillic alphabet, but English, German and French is spoken in
resorts, hotels and restaurants.
The official currency is the Lev (BGN), which is divided into
100 stotinki. The Lev is tied to the Euro at a fixed rate of EUR1 =
1.955 lev. Bulgaria has strict currency regulations. If you enter
Bulgaria with cash of any currency amounting to the equivalent of
8,000 leva or more, you must declare it to customs officials.
Foreign currency may be exchanged in banks, hotels or at one of the
numerous bureaux de change, however due to a common practice of
misleading rates of exchange it is better to go to banks or hotels
to change money. A receipt called a
bordereauxis issued when exchanging currency, indicating
the amount that will be given, and it must be kept until departure.
Not all banks accept travellers cheques and those that do usually
charge a 5% commission. Major international credit cards are
increasingly becoming accepted by tourist hotels, upmarket shops
and restaurants, travel agents and car rental agents, but Bulgaria
is still largely a cash economy. There are ATMs in the main cities
and at Black Sea resorts.
The resort is quite dated and basic. It can appear almost
abandoned in the summertime, though there is good hiking.
Every night is party time when it comes to Borovets' nightlife,
as it has a reputation for being one of the hotspots on the
European ski circuit and a popular destination with holidaymakers.
The fun is fuelled by the fact that drinks are cheap, there are
long happy hours and sometimes drinks are even offered for free.
All the bars, clubs and discos serve well-known international
brands as well as local beers like Astika, Zagorka and Kamenitza.
Beware the national drink, rakia: it is a rather strong variety of
plum brandy not for the faint of heart. Recommended party palaces
are Club Slide in the Hotel Mura, the renowned Buzz Bar (favoured
by Brits) and the Black Tiger bar.
Eating out in Borovets is very good value, as prices are much
lower than other parts of Europe. The number of taverns, eat-in
pubs, take away joints and outdoor restaurants is growing in
Borovets every season, and holidaymakers can take full advantage of
the diverse dining scene. The choice has become very eclectic, from
Kentucky Fried Chicken and pizza to traditional Bulgarian food.
Establishments like The Hungry Horse cater deliciously for British
tastes. Other recommendations are Mamacita's on the main shopping
street where the steaks are legendary, and White Magic, opposite
the Samokov Hotel, with good food and a great atmosphere. Visitors
should not forget to indulge in some of the Bulgarian fine wines
along with their dinner.
Shopping in Borovets has improved greatly in recent years as a
burst in popularity as a winter sports wonderland has meant a boom
in the town's retail industry, as well as an influx of visitors
doing holiday shopping. The busy shopping street in front of the
Rila Hotel is a beehive of open-fronted small shops, with a
colourful market atmosphere, selling all sorts of goods from ski
gear and souvenirs to cigarettes and cheap CDs. Most visitors find
prices here much lower than elsewhere in Europe.
Local time is GMT +2 (GMT +3 from last Sunday in March to
last Sunday in October).