Here is what I have to say when it comes to using money in Sofia:
The most common way of payment is in CASH . The local currency is called lev (singular) / leva (plural). Probably some merchants could agree to accept foreign currency but I highly doubt about that. So, make sure you have some leva in your pocket :)))
Currently the lev is pegged to the euro. The official rate of the Bulgarian National Bank is 1.95583 per 1 Euro. So, if you want to avoid fluctuation of the amount you get against, for example USD 100, better bring EUR instead of USD :))).
You can withdraw cash from ATMs without a problem. Once it was not that common to see ATMs around but now you can find them everywhere. Especially in the city centre. (Note: this is valid for Sofia, I am not quite sure it is true for the rest of the country).
Payments via POS in shops and restaurants is becoming more and more popular but still is not that common as a way of payment. You will know if you can pay with a card when you see the sticker of VISA, MasterCard or whatever you use on the door. Most of the hotels accept cards.
Cheques are not used as a rule. You can cash them in a bank but it is a hassle. Believe me, you don’t want to be bothered with that.
Fondest memory: If you want to have an idea about the official exchange rates of the Bulgarian National Bank click here.
Please remember that tipping is acceptable and expected in Bulgaria.
Restaurants: 10 - 15%
Taxis: Round up to the nearest whole number
Hotels: 5 - 10 %
Fondest memory: Fondest Memory: So many...
The willingness of Bulgarians to accept 'others'.
The kindness of the people.
The sense of humor.
arrange a price in euros with the taxi driver , some accept such deals, I wouldn't advise you to change money at the airport, they have a very unprofitable rate. In worst case , change a small amount , good to pay the taxi. There is a 24h change bureau at the "Popa". You can ask the driver to take you there so you can change money on the way. it's in the center ,all roads lead to "Popa".. hahahaha
Enjoy my hometown