Information & Facts
One of the main attractions of Sandanski is its proximity to the
beautiful Pirin Mountains, which offer a variety of activities
including hiking, visiting the numerous local wineries, and bathing
in thermal hot springs. Other sights worth visiting are the
sandstone pyramids in Melnik, the thermal hot springs at the Rupite
volcanic crater, and the Rila Monastery.
In town, you'll find an Archaeological Museum and a tranquil
park featuring a lake with paddleboats and outdoor theatre.
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.
Eating out in Sandanski is includes a range of sidewalk cafes
and outdoor restaurants. Many of the hotels in the city have good
places to eat, and most of Sandanski's restaurants are clustered
around the city centre, within easy walking distance.
Shopping in Sandanski is concentrated in the city centre, with a
number of shops, art galleries, and market stalls dotted around
Macedonia Avenue. Popular Sandanski souvenirs include wooden toys
and puzzles, local art, and clothes. There are also several
ateliers who makes custom suits at prices far below those in other
parts of Europe.
Local time is GMT +2 (GMT +3 from last Sunday in March to
last Sunday in October).