Living costs in Bulgaria

It is true that foreigners who live in Bulgaria are attracted by the low living costs. Of course, the highest bills and rent prices are in Sofia, Plovdiv and Varna. These three cities are the biggest ones in Bulgaria and attract many tourists throughout the whole year. Of course, it is also these three cities where you will find plenty of international restaurants, sightseeing places and things to do.

What we definitely recommend is travelling outside the main Bulgarian cities – to typical Bulgarian villages and beautiful nature spots where you will be amazed by the Bulgarian culture, spirit and … low prices! For instance, many summer (e.g. Sozopol, Balchik, Albena) or winter resorts (e.g. Panichishte, Uzana, Dobrinishte) that are not so famous among tourists often offer cheap accommodation and affordable services. Hence, make sure you check our travel map and discover some beautiful Bulgarian places that you didn’t know of!

To give you an idea of the living costs in Bulgaria:

  • Rent in Bulgaria: Of course, it depends in which city you live and how close it is to the city center. Depending on these factors, you should be able to find a really nice flat for about 200 to 350 EUR per month.
  • Meals in Bulgaria: Buying things in the supermarket and cooking at home is definitely the cheapest option. If you want to enjoy the lovely atmosphere at a nice Bulgarian restaurant, you should be able to order a nice meal for max. 10 BGN (around 5 EUR). This does not include drinks, of course.
  • Public transportation in Bulgaria: Public transportation is definitely very cheap! In Sofia, a one-way ticket costs 1.60 BGN (0.80 EUR) and a one-month transportation card that covers all lines is about 25 BGN (13 EUR) for students and 50 BGN for adults (25 EUR). In smaller cities the tickets and transportation cards are even cheaper.
  • Taxi service in Bulgaria: If you compare taxi services in Bulgaria and other countries, you will consider catching taxis more often as a more convenient and faster way to reach from point A to point B. To illustrate, a taxi ride in Sofia for about 15 minutes will cost around 10 BGN (5 EUR). In Plovdiv, Varna and Burgas it is even cheaper! One thing to keep in mind is that we have “fake taxis” (when taxi drivers charge more than they should – find more information here).
  • Gym and hobby membership cards in Bulgaria: Depending on the gym you choose and hobby you have, a monthly subscription may vary in terms of prices. Small gyms in your neighborhood may charge around 30 BGN (15 EUR) for a monthly card, whereas big famous gyms may charge you double or triple the price.
  • Hotel stay in Bulgaria: As you can imagine, the price for one night at a hotel varies according to the location of the hotel and what the hotel offers (e.g. SPA treatment, luxurious hotel rooms, etc.). This means that a hotel stay can cost 20 BGN (10 EUR) to 200 BGN (100 EUR). In any case, there are plenty of hostels and hotels in each Bulgarian city, so just make sure you compare the prices and what the different places offer!

Here are a few tips and tricks to save some money while you are in Bulgaria:

  • Ask a local for advice: If you have friends in Bulgaria (who are also Bulgarians), they will surely be able to give you recommendation for a place to stay or to visit where you won’t spend much.
  • Compare different companies and services: When looking for a nice apartment or a company that offers a specific price, make sure you don’t make quick decisions – maybe you will find something cheaper and better on Google! Of course, you should always check if the company has good reviews so that you are not disappointed.
  • Be careful with your bills: Bills in Bulgaria may be cheaper in comparison to other countries, but if you shower for 30 minutes every day or leave the AC/heater on even when you are not in your flat, you may be (negatively) surprised at the end of the month.
  • Check out the not so touristy places: Restaurants and hotels that attract many tourists are often overpriced. Cozy traditional Bulgarian pubs or guest houses are usually way cheaper!

I hope the article was useful for you!

Enjoy your stay in Bulgaria : ) !

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