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Billa Supermarket: Roman versus Cyrillic?
I had a unique experience while shopping in Sofiya, my first ever till receipt combining both Cyrillic & Roman script. So often have I been frustrated by computer keyboards incapable of dealing with more than Roman script, but in Bulgaria, even the humble cash tills can achieve this feat. In general, local goods are itemised in Cyrillic, with imports in Roman, but the name of the supermarket itself, BILLA, though not Bulgarian, was written in Cyrillic, BUT with the double L - something that if you are studying Bulgarian, you will know is a fundamental breaking of the rules, because even in foreign names, double letters are reduced to single. So, in correct Bulgarian, 'Cyrilic', the 30 letter alphabet of Bulgaria, is obviously under threat throughout the country, with western logoes everywhere in proud Roman, & I cannot help but think that there's some nationalist Bulgarian movement up-in-arms, not only at the dwindling use of Cyrillic in the marketplace, but also of the westernised (mis)use of the language, where it is...
What to buy: Top of the list has to be the local delicacy - 'lyutenitsa' - it's the Bulgarian equivalent to our tomato ketchup, but not so sugary, & with the unique ingrediant of red pepper puree, which makes it that more piquant...
Just dip in some locally made bread & that's lunch sorted...
As for bread itself, very similar to standard white Ukrainian or Polish, so cheap, if nothing remarkable, but a wholesome loaf, similar to home-baked, & best bought first thing in the morning when still warm, otherwise the crust sets too hard...
DOMA (means 'at home') make traditonal biscuits - I tried some that were like Viennese whirls, but with a soft brown centre, that I thought from appearance was chocolate, but when I tasted, it was rather strange - the Cyrillic small print on the box said 'marmalade' - I think it was fig jam(?)
0ther Bulgarian made cakes & biscuits from the supermarket were disappointingly lacking in flavour, & very similar to such cheapo products in UK...
ZAGORKA is the national beer of Bulgaria, & it's reallly cheap here 1litre for 2Lev (about 80p)...
GRANINI fruit juice is imported from France & also a bargain at 2.60Lev (about £1) per litre, & I found pink grapefruit or pineapple, absolutely addictive & preferable to alcohol, (so I'll never be no Keith Richards, but my teeth are suffering...)
What to pay: Food in Bulgaria is great value, but watch out for some imported brands, which ain't...Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Beer Tasting
- Study Abroad
Buying mountain equipment in Bulgaria
Most sport shops in Bulgaria are rather cheap. Please pay attention that there may be no sport shops in some regions at all. A good example is Rodopi. There're several small shops only and although prices are not high the choice is very limited.
If the region is known as sport center like Bansko there you'll find dozens of shops with good choice and very reasonable prices.
What to buy: Best of all is to buy off-season equipment and sport clothes. For example, in summer you can find excellent winter and ski jackets for about 1/3 of the usual US price.
But I'd not recommend relying on that too much. If you do need something for your sport activity in Bulgaria you'd better bring it. The shopping is not bad there but the specific model or size may be missing.
And in contrary. If you consider buying something for your further activity but you are not in hurry, just look for that in Bulgaria and probably you'll save on that.Related to:
- Adventure Travel
Denim Store: Cheap 'designer' goods
Unlike many touristy 'designer' shops this store was not filled with ugly, tacky clothing but stylish and unique designs.
What to buy: 'Designer' clothing for men and women; jeans, t shirts etc as well as accessories and French brands
What to pay: From their sale section jeans were £10, t shirt was £3. Most clothes were more expensive but still cheaper than UK in general.Related to:
- Women's Travel
stalls and shops: leather goods,t'shirts,jeans.
there are literally thousands of shops selling souveniers,gifts,leather goods,jewellry.and at very good prices,handbags for the ladies,belts,wallets,sweaters and t'shirts.don't be afraid to barter.
What to buy: my wife bought a nice fake d&g handbag,but for the equivilent of £10 it is a bargain.also we bought a diesel hoody for my youngest son,which is very good quality for about £10,enjoy your shopping.
What to pay: you can pick up a decent leather belt for around two pounds,a decent fake designer handbag about £10.
stores salespeople brandnames food: shopping here is interesting!
thus far i;ve come to the conclusion that if the shop is fancy or in a big city, the salespeople are rude...or at least this is the reaction i get...may be i don't look the "shopacholic" type. But then, i've never had troubles in smaller stores- groceries or clothings
one thing to keep in mind is that in bulgaria u cannot return stuff u don't like..or it might very very very hard...so think before buy
and if it's says "Prada" or something else..it's definitely not (unless the price is within prada price range)
but if u buy groceries u won't make a mistake...everything is so scrumptious!
Subway of NDK: Melchior Jewelry
I knew I had to have it the moment I layed my eyes on it.
Still not sure what are the black gems - onyx maybe? The metal is a non allergic thing called melchior over here...Any suggestion about the eglish equivalent?Related to:
- Luxury Travel
everywhere in the region Northeast
What to buy: Food
Markets are the best and low-budget, every time fresh vegetables for.... nearly nothing. To get other (good) food partially is difficult by shops.
But, they have some really good restaurants and so low priced that you could eat every day "outside". So take also the best hotels and restaurants there!
What to pay: very low pricedRelated to:
- Budget Travel
Clothes shops: Designer Dreams
Most shops in Varna and along the Black Sea coasts have fantastics fashion .
What to buy: Designer labels are everywhere and at a fraction of the price you would be expected to pay in the UK. Good quality and great fashion, a word of warning, I was told that sizing is a little different there. A size 8 is small, 10 is medium and 12 is large !!! As you can imagine the young girls are like models !!! I am a 10/12 and I felt huge at times.
What to pay: Less than in the UK
Metro: shop a holic
A huge supermarket, sister company to our Makro, here you can buy everything under one roof. We purchased a king sized quilt, duvet cover set, sheets, pillows, 5 pairs of mens socks, 2 beakers, instant coffee, bread, toilet rolls, butter, milk, cream cheese and the bill came to approx £30.00 WOW, is that cheap or what??
What to buy: Another thing that is worth to buy as a souvenir is one -or more – bottles of the famous Melnik wine. Note: you are only allowed to take 2 liters of wine out of the country duty-free. You can buy melnik wine everywhere around the country in supermarkets. Yet, its more interesting to buy them in Melnik self. This village is famous for its quality wine, which has been produced traditionally since the 15 th. Century. Several winegrowers offer wine tasting in order to sell their wine, and in this way you can have the opportunity to decide what bottle(s) you want to buy. The winebars are cut into the rocks along the cobblestone paths in the village and you can go there alone or by organisated tour, so that you get some explanation about the winegrowing-process and history. But if you go the alone you of course get all the info’s too that the owner tells the organisized group. Melnik offers different types of whines and a bottle of red or white wine cost about 5 lv. Next to wine two othet delicacies are the Bulgarian plum brandy and the feat. The first is a local brandy from Central Bulgaria, made with rich plums and is really a must-try. The latter is a delicate cheese and is perfect on schnizel. Its also often used inside pastries.
What to buy: What kinds of souvenirs to buy in Bulgaria and where? First of all, lots of things you can buy all over the country in Bulgaria, such as handicrafts, are cheaper when you buy them at the actual place area they are being made. So, a nice traditional made table cover f.e. must be bought in the village in question; if you buy it at the over-touristed Black-sea resort you will probably pay the double price! Typical things from Bulgaria are embroideries, paintings of traditional rural life, carpets, ceramics, weavings and woodcarvings. There should be somewhere in Bulgaria – I forgot the name of the place – a national fair, where you can buy all these things and have a wide choice of all kinds of types that are produces throughout the whole country. In the villages of Bulgaria, that are impotant touristic attractions, such as Etar, you can buy the wares produced by the local artisans, such as bakers, cartwrights, glassworkes, etc. It looks to me as if a village like Etar is more a mall than a museumtown! In the Valley of Roses you can also buy local products made from roses; such as oils, parfumes and shampoos. Other souvenirs, such as traditional costumes – I always wonder what tourists do with these – , jewellery or cd s with Bulgarian music (which are to be bought for some 10 lv) can be best be bought in sofia.
don't buy at the first price you see
any stalls or shops in the resorts in bulgaria tend to sell things for much dearer than in the main towns like varna, so when you go plan a trip to your nearest town at the start so you can see what the prices there are like compared to your resort, then plan another trip back near the end of your holiday to buy all your souviners and prezzies
Bulgarian currency - lev
What to pay: On the picture - 20 levs. 100 stotinki = 1 lev. 2 BGL = 1 USD
To have an idea about the prices - with 20 levs you can purchase approximately 6 kids menus in McDonalds or 3 movie tickets for a movie premiere.
Some typical prices:
- cup of coffee (espresso) 0.30 -1.50 leva,
depending on location
- cigarettes BG - 1.20 leva
- local beer 1.00 leva
- Big Mac 2.69 leva
- Burger BG 1.50 leva
- loaf of bread 0.60 leva
- litre of unleaded fuel 1.50 leva
Hidden Jewel: Plovdia, (Central) Bulgaria
Head into the interior. If you're seeking unique local wear then you'll be let down. The designs happen to be close to any other European country.
What to buy: Your choice.
What to pay: VariesRelated to:
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
- Road Trip
Everything is so cheap in Bulgaria!! U can find everything there and though it´s copies of real brands the quality is actually rather good.
The Grand is a great hotel. If you are looking for a quiet setting with all the comforts you need –...more
3 Musala Street, Varna, Varna, 9000, Bulgaria
Good for: Couples
this hotel is a part of famous Turkish hotel chain "Dedeman" They have many hotels in Bulgaria...more
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