Bulgaria is a popular travel destination for those seeking to discover its stunning Black Sea coastline, high mountain peaks, and ancient history. Unfortunately, determining how much a trip to Bulgaria will cost can be challenging if you are on a tight budget.
Luckily, traveling through this Balkan country can be done on a tight budget without breaking the bank. Here’s an overview of the average prices for essential expenses you may encounter while visiting this captivating nation.
Which country is cheaper?
Greece is an idyllic country, boasting stunning beaches, majestic mountains and a bustling nightlife scene. However, Greece can be quite pricey; so if you’re searching for an affordable European destination to visit, why not consider Bulgaria instead?
Bulgaria has consistently topped InterNations Expat Insider’s cost of living rankings, and for good reason: its capital, Sofia, is 62% cheaper than London and housing and transport costs are half as expensive.
Students in Bulgaria have plenty of options when it comes to affordable accommodation. Whether you prefer living in the city or rural areas, there’s plenty of choice available to suit any budget.
For digital nomads and remote workers, Lisbon is an ideal home. It’s affordable enough to serve as a base for work or study, with plenty of in-demand professions available.
Food and drink prices in Bulgaria and Greece can vary significantly, depending on where you go. But if you do your research and plan your meals ahead of time, you can save money without compromising quality.
In Greece’s capital of Athens, a simple meal of souvlaki with soda can cost around 6 EUR. Meanwhile, an elaborate dinner at a mid-range restaurant could range anywhere from 30-35 EUR.
Greek wine is an affordable option, with most taverns serving house wine by the carafe for only 8 EUR. In clubs, drinks tend to be pricier with beers costing 6-7 EUR and cocktails around 10-12 EUR.
Bulgaria’s food prices can be quite high, particularly in touristy cities like Sofia or Plovdiv. To reduce costs, cook your own meals in your accommodation or shop at local supermarkets for your daily essentials.
If you’re thinking about purchasing property abroad, it’s essential to comprehend the average costs involved with owning a house. Doing this will enable you to make an informed decision about whether it’s worthwhile purchasing abroad and how much money should be budgeted for each element of your purchase.
House prices in Greece remain well below 2010 levels and are being affected by the country’s debt crisis, Eurostat reports. Nonetheless, there is some hope for the housing market as there has been significant progress made recently.
Bulgaria has experienced an uptick in real estate sales, particularly the northern regions of Kavala and Halkidiki, according to brokerages. Many Bulgarians are looking for cheaper properties to renovate, while others invest in villas on the beach or private hotels.
Home prices in Greece are relatively affordable, with a two-bedroom apartment costing around EUR630,000 in central Athens and EUR190,000 on Crete. However, some parts of the country offer higher rental yields than others. Investing in property can be an excellent way to increase your income but it’s essential that you do your due diligence and seek professional advice before doing so.
Food affordability is a major issue for many in Greece. While some are able to manage it well, others still face hardships when trying to feed their families.
According to Ipsos’ survey, most consumers expect to pay more for food shopping in the second half of 2022. They ranked an increase in food prices as their top concern that would negatively impact their quality of life.
Consumers in Greece often express concern over the price of fresh fish. This problem is especially prevalent during summer and can often lead to complaints.
Bulgaria is renowned for its traditional food, such as fried sprats. This snack has a similar taste to English fish and chips.
Black Sea mussels are a widely sought-after seafood in Bulgaria, often served in soups or salads. Their taste and texture resemble abalone and they have long been a traditional delicacy along the country’s coastal regions.
When considering whether to travel to Greece or Bulgaria, transport costs will be an important factor. Prices for bus, taxi and rail journeys are much more reasonable in Bulgaria.
Bulgaria has an institutional framework that promotes competition between businesses and provides a strong basis for price setting. Furthermore, essential services like energy, water and pharmaceuticals are regulated at set rates.
The country’s economy has remained steady and its budget surplus high in recent years, but was severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic of 2019 which required government cuts in spending. Nonetheless, GDP growth is forecast at 3.1% for 2018 and 3.7% in 2019.
The country boasts a vibrant stock exchange and commodity exchange that was acquired by the state in 2016. Additionally, its banking system boasts sound capital positions that make it resilient to shocks; however, reform is needed in order to comply with EU rules regarding central bank independence and monetary financing prohibition.
For a budget-conscious traveller in Greece, taxis are your go-to solution. Not only is it cheaper than public transport, but there are always plenty of cabs available at all times.
To avoid scams, it’s best to book a taxi ahead of time. Doing so guarantees you a dependable driver and an agreed-upon price.
Taxi prices can be tricky to estimate, but Numbeo makes it easy by using your pickup and destination as inputs for an estimated price estimate.
You could also ask your accommodation for advice. They’ll be able to give you a list of local taxi companies and their contact info.
If you’re searching for an economical way to get from the airport to city center, taxis are a great choice. Yellow OK Supertrans cabs can be found outside both terminals.
Greece boasts some of the highest petrol prices in Europe, leading to many residents from Greek border communities crossing into Bulgaria to fill up their tanks.
Every day, cars and trucks cross the border to buy gas in Greece’s eastern province of Thrace and capital Thessaloniki. Here, the average price per liter of petrol has reached an all-time high of $2.20 a liter – nearly double what customers are charged in neighboring Romania or Promachona, Serbia, according to Greek state television.
If you’re planning a road trip, it’s worth comparing petrol prices across countries. Here, we have estimated average fuel prices in each nation at the start of February 2023 as well as trends over the past three years.
This table is updated twice a month and should only be used as a guide. It does not guarantee to be completely accurate as fuel prices within countries can fluctuate drastically.
Bulgaria is one of the cheapest destinations in Europe, making it an ideal choice for budget travelers. Whether you’re searching for accommodation in Sofia’s capital or a cottage in the countryside, Bulgaria offers plenty of options at various price points so that you can find something to fit within your budget.
Traveling during the off-season from November to April can be a great opportunity to save on accommodation costs as rates drop and availability increases. Furthermore, you have access to an array of tours and activities tailored towards your interests – such as hiking, river rafting, rock climbing, ice climbing and cycling.
Food costs in Greece can be an issue, particularly if you’re travelling on a tight budget. But if you plan to cook some of your own meals and buy groceries at the supermarket, you can significantly reduce food expenses.
Bulgaria is an attractive destination for travellers interested in discovering its vibrant cities, majestic mountain peaks, ancient history and stunning Black Sea coastline. Although it’s one of Europe’s cheapest countries to live, some aspects of its infrastructure and living standards could be improved upon.