Money: Credit/Debit Cards are accepted, mainly in popular areas of the Country and in Hotels, Shops and Restaurants. It is advisable before entering such places to check with members of staff to ensure they accept Credit Cards, or alternatively ensure you carry sufficient cash to cover what you wish to purchase. There are plenty of ATM Cash machines at Banks, on the high streets, and Petrol stations. Credit/Debit Cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard, JCB, Diners Club and American Express. History: Founded in the year 681, Bulgaria has linked the East and West, controlling the key land routes from Europe to the Middle East and Asia for millennia. Bulgaria is a land of crossroads and remembers many ancient civilizations such as Thracian's, Slavs, Romans, Byzantines and the great people who wrote the pages of its remarkable history. Nature: Bulgaria is distinguished by its generous and varied natural environment. It offers great beaches in summer and great skiing in winter, as well as cultural, eco, rural and spa tourism, natural mineral springs and spas, diverse flora and fauna, small picturesque villages with living traditions and folklore. Food: Because of its geographical position and long tumultuous history, Bulgarian cuisine has evolved as a blend of the most enjoyable Slavonic, Greek and Turkish dishes. The harvest of the Black Sea brings nets full of fresh seafood, the fertile farms grow organic fruits and vegetables and local vineyards produce golden grapes and high quality red and white wines. Drinking Water: Tap water is safe to drink in Bulgaria. There are also a lot of mineral water suppliers like Gorna Banya, Devin, Bankya and more. Refreshing and affordable mineral water is available in 0.5 litre, 1.5 litre, 5 and 10 litre bottles. Electrical power: (220 V.A.C., 50 Hz) is supplied through a 2-pin connecting plug which is similar to that used in most European countries but it is different from those used in the US, UK and Japan. Cargo companies: DHL, UPS or TNT are all reliable international express freight carriers in Bulgaria. DHL have an express centre inside The Plovdiv Fair administration building, and the main Plovdiv office at 9 Svoboda Boulevard. TNT’s office is also close to the Plovdiv Fair grounds, at 52 Tsar Boris III Obedinitel Blvd. The staffs are extremely courteous and speak good English. Time: Bulgaria abides by the East-European time, 2 hours ahead of universal GMT time (the time of Greenwich Observatory in Great Britain). Daylight saving time is used from 0 hours on the last Sunday of March, till 24 hours on the last Saturday of October. Telephones in Bulgaria: International dialling code for Bulgaria is +359; the Sofia city code is 2, Plovdiv is 32 when dialled from abroad (if you already happen to be in Bulgaria, the city codes all acquire a 0 in front: Sofia 02, Plovdiv 032, etc). Coin and card phones are available both for local and long distance calls at hotels, phone boxes and Post Offices. Currency exchange advises from: The ministry of finance General Tax Directorate It is important that the currency is exchanged either in banks or in currency exchange offices announcing the exchange rates. Do not change currency in the streets, because you take the risk of being deceived. According to the Bulgarian tax legislation no taxes or fees are imposed to transactions with foreign currency. Currency exchange offices announce their exchange rates on special boards. Please read the details on the board before you exchange your money! Make sure that the amount you receive corresponds to the exchange rate announced on the board. If you agree to the terms and conditions of the exchange, please sign the receipt issued by the cashier. The currency exchange transaction is considered finalized only after you put your signature. On the board you may also find the telephones of a representative of the owner of the currency exchange office and of the local tax office. Please note that tax authorities cannot break the currency exchange deal that you have made. Shopping Clues: Do not purchase golden jewellery from traders in the street. Golden jewellery must be sold in shops having an explicit license for trade with precious metals like gold and silver. Golden jewellery must have the hallmark distinguishing it from any possible imitation jewellery. Please consider that all traders are supposed to issue cash receipts. That is why the Tax Administration checks whether cash receipts are issued for the goods sold and services provide in shops, restaurants, cafes and on the beach.