I love sharing all the positive stuff about Bulgaria because, to be honest, there’s a lot of good stuff to talk about! However, I think that it’s also helpful to point out some things that will perhaps help you to avoid being taken advantage of while you’re here too …
If you’re a foreigner in Bulgaria, you’ll know that the locals are so friendly and helpful. I appreciate this and I love the fact that people always make the effort to talk to me in English, even if I try speaking my broken Bulgarian! But, sadly, as with in any country, there’s always a few people around who may try to take advantage of you and usually they will do this by overcharging you in some way.
As you may have gathered, I go out in Sofia quite a lot! I’m often trying new restaurants and bars and I enjoy having a glass of wine with friends after work. One problem that I’ve only encountered when I’m with other ‘foreign’ friends is being overcharged for drinks.
The first occasion was when I ordered vodka and orange juice and the waitress assumed I wanted Grey Goose. I don’t drink much vodka but I’m definitely more of a Russian Standard kind of girl! Obviously, she assumed this because Grey Goose was 12 leva per shot and Russian Standard was only 4 leva!
The second occasion was when we ordered glasses of house wine and when the bill came we were being charged 12 leva per glass (house wine was 3 leva). Again, our mistake as we didn’t specify the exact wine we wanted and the waitress must have thought that we’d enjoy this rather expensive wine on a Monday evening!
I’m not going to name the two restaurants I’m mentioning because I’m not even sure if the owners know what their staff are up to and I want to give them a chance to fix it. I have been in touch with both of them so I hope something can be done. In the meantime, the best way to avoid this completely is to always check the menu when you’re ordering drinks. Specify the exact wine or vodka or whatever it is you drink and then you can be sure that there’s no misunderstandings. I’ve been caught a few times but from now on I will be definitely be more specific!