General Information

Official language

The official language of the Conference is English. Working language of the Conference (presentations and discussion) is English.

Responsibility - Insurance

The Organizing Committee will not assume responsibility for any personal injury, damage or loss of property, which may happen in connection with the Congress. Participants should secure appropriate insurance coverage.

Getting around

The central area of Sofia is not huge and is easily reachable within walking distance. Public buses and yellow cabs are the most prevalent modes of transportation. Public bus tickets cost 1,60 BGN (single ride) while an average taxi ride within the city is likely to costs ca. 7 BGN.

Passports & Visas

Bulgaria has the European Union's Common Visa Policy as a member country accepting European citizens freely. All non-EU citizens are required to have a passport to enter the EU with the appropriate visas. You can find out more about visas at http://mfa.bg/en/pages/109/index.html. If you need an invitation letter, please send an e-mail to mb2017@cim.bg.

Shopping

Items made of leather and fur are very popular on the local markets. Here you can find clothing by local manufacturers, and by famous Italian trademarks. Items made of silver, as well as traditional clothes and handmade tableware is the most popular souvenirs that travelers buy.

Most shops open at 9:00 and accept visitors till 19:00. Large shopping centers may work until 22:00 while smaller supermarkets and food stores often work around the clock.

Money

The national currency is the Bulgarian Lev. Bank notes of the following denominations are in circulation: 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 Levs. 1 Euro = 1,95583 BGN.

There are numerous foreign exchange offices and ATMs around the city centre. It’s always prudent to carry a little foreign cash, however, in case you can’t find an ATM or bank office nearby. You can always change cash at the hotel, though the commission will be high.

Make sure you have enough of the national currency when you plan to visit local markets and shops.

Tipping

When a gratuity is not included in your bill, which is usually the case, 10% is customary. If service is outstanding, you could go as high as 15%. With taxi drivers, you usually just round up the sum if you have been happy with the ride or for the sake of convenience.

Climate

The climate in Bulgaria is moderate continental with beautiful blooming spring, dry and hot summer, long and pleasant autumn, and mild winter with lots of opportunity for skiing. The weather at the middle of November is cold and windy and you may expect some rain. Daily temperatures usually range from 10 to 15 oC.

Time

Winter time: GMT + 2 hrs (October through April)

Electricity

220 Volts, 50 Hz, 2 pins plug-in system