21st OIDFA World Lace Congress and General Assembly 2025 – Bulgaria
Courses: 11-14 August 2025
National Lace Festival: 15 August 2025 – Kalofer
Congress: 16-18 August 2025 – Karlovo
Exhibitions, lectures, events, vendors, Congress
Tour: 19-23 August 2025 – Bulgaria

Congress Venue
Национално читалище „Васил Левски“ 1861, Tsentar, пл. „20-ти юли, 4300 Karlovo, Bulgaria. Copy this address into the map search.

How to reach Karlovo
— The central location of Karlovo and Kalofer makes them easily accessible from all corners of the country. Bulgaria has several international airports, the nearest to the Congress venue being – Sofia, Plovdiv and Burgas.
— Sofia Airport (SOF) is the busiest airport in Bulgaria, serving as the main international gateway to the country, but don’t underestimate the other two as they also offer a lot of charter flights especially if you are traveling from Europe.
— From the airport, transport to Karlovo and Kalofer can be carried out by train (https://www.bdz.bg/en), bus (https://union-ivkoni.com/en), rental car. From the Sofia airport it takes approximately 2-2.5 hours, 1 hour from Plovdiv airport, and 2.5 – 3 hours from Burgas airport. The Congress will also provide chartered busses so watch for more information.

Congress venue from Bus / Train stations
Karlovo Bus Station is an 8-minute walk from the Congress venue.
From the train station you can either walk or take a taxi.

Travel documents and Visas
EU citizens may enter and leave the Republic of Bulgaria with a valid ID card or valid passport. EU citizens and their family members do not need a visa to enter Bulgaria.
Non EU citizens wishing to visit or travel within the EU, will need a valid passport and possibly a visa.
For the exact requirements contact the Bulgaria embassy or consulate in your country or visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria.

Hotels
In 2025 special hotel rates will be posted on this website for Congress participants.
In Karlovo there are hotels and guest houses of different categories. Most can be found on websites like: https://booking.com/; https://www.airbnb.com/; https://vila.bg/en. In addition to Karlovo and Kalofer, search for hotels and guest houses in the surrounding towns and villages. These options are most suitable for people who will visit the Congress by car.

Moving around Karlovo and Kalofer
Both Karlovo and Kalofer are pedestrian friendly. The Congress venue is a short walk from hospital, medical centers, banks, pharmacies, shops, museums, restaurants and local attractions.
For those who prefer, taxi services are also available in Karlovo.

Opening hours in Bulgaria:
Opening hours of grocery stores vary but most are open from Monday to Sunday from 8.00/9.00 to 20.00/21.00. Other shops are usually open from Monday to Saturday from 9.00/10.00 to 17.00/18.00. Restaurants and coffee shops are open throughout the day till late in the evening.
Tips for services
It’s normal to tip for service in restaurants, bars and cafes – especially in touristy or business areas.
Tips are not included in the prices. Tips are appreciated in restaurants, cafes, hotels, and serviced apartments, as well as in spas or salons. The amount you tip will depend on where you are and what type of services you’re buying. As a general rule, expect to tip around 10% of the bill. If you get exceptionally good service, say thank you with a tip closer to 15-20%.Drinking water
Tap water in Bulgaria is generally safe to drink, unless otherwise noted.

Money Matters
The monetary unit in Bulgaria is the lev (BGN). Since 1997, the country has been governed by a currency board. The value of the lev is pegged to the Euro, at a fixed rate of 1 EUR = 1.95583 BGN.
For other currencies exchange rate consult the Bank of Bulgaria website: https://bnb.bg/
There are 4 ATMs a few steps away from the venue.

Voltage
Bulgaria has two associated plug types, types C and F. Plug type C has two round pins and plug type F has two round pins with two earth clips on the side. Bulgaria operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz. Consider what to pack, to ensure you can use your personal electrical appliances safely.

Health and Pharmacies
Pharmacies are typically open from Monday to Saturday, and some of them even on Sunday.

Insurance
Please note that there is no insurance provided by the Congress organizers. We highly recommend Congress participants arrange their own insurance before leaving their country in case of injury or illness.

Emergency number
112 or +359800 20 112
The number is universal for health, police and fire emergencies. It can also be reached outside the range of your mobile network.

Language
The official language of Bulgaria is Bulgarian and is written using Cyrillic script. Google translate application works really well translating from and to Bulgarian language from image as well as by dictation, so it may be helpful to have it installed on your cell phone.

Tourist information
For more information about Bulgaria visit Ministry of tourism – https://bulgariatravel.org/.

Fun facts about Bulgaria
Bulgarians nod for no and shake their heads for yes.
Bulgarians celebrate name’s days just as much as their birthdays.
Bulgaria is the homeland of yogurt, which they call “sour milk”.

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