Other tourist info
January 1st - New Year's Holiday
March 3rd - National Holiday
Easter, and the first Monday after Easter
May 1st - Labour Day
May 6th - Gergyovden (Saint George's Day), and the Day of the Bulgarian Army Day
May 24th - Cyril and Methodius Day
September 6th - Unification Day
September 22d - Independence Day
November 1st - National Day of the Bulgarian Revival Leaders
December 24th, 25th, and 26th - Christmas Days
Pharmacies / Medical services
Most pharmacies open from 08:00 to 20:00 h. and some are open 24 hours. Medical services - Each resort has a fully equipped state clinic. There are also private medical centres and services. Phone for emergency medical service - 150. Free First Aid and consultation in emergencies.
Most of the restaurants in resorts work from 10:00 h. - until customers are available, the rest work from 11:00 to 23:00h. The cuisine varies - traditional Bulgarian cuisine is served as well as Central / Western European, Chinese and Thai cuisine. Most luxury restaurants accept major Credit cards like Visa, MasterCard and Dinners Club. Menus are usually printed in both Bulgarian and English.
Important Phone Numbers
Police - 166
Fire Brigade - 160
Traffic Police - 165; 982 72 823
Emergency - 150
Road Help - 91 146
Over the last year or so there have been some dramatic changes on the shopping front and an ongoing influx of new and modern shops has made shopping a more pleasant all round experience. Many of the big western names in clothes, shoes, cosmetics and electronic goods are represented here and prices are on a par with the West. Bulgarian products such as textiles, wood, ceramic and leather products still represent value for money but are often more difficult to locate.
Vitosha boulevard is Sofia's major shopping area. Variety of shops also along Graf Ignatiev and Rakovsky streets. The Central Department Store is the biggest in the capital; it is situated in the central part of the city. Shops' working hours: 9 a.m. - 7 p.m., Monday to Friday; on Saturday to 1 p. m. Some supermarkets are open 24 hours a day. Fresh food products, fruit and vegetables can also be bought from market places open every day in the capital and the country.
Bulgaria's not too hot on customers' rights and whether or not you can return goods varies from store to store. If you're unsure check with the sales staff before you buy. Don't expect service with a smile - it'll be all the more of a surprise when it does happen.
In general you still need to carry cash, although some of the newer shops now accept credit cards such as Mastercard and Visa.