Nowadays, Bulgaria is actively developing their tourism. That’s why prices at the resorts here are relatively cheap compared to other European resorts. The service is just commensurate to the price — typical and decent. The locals are quite friendly, accommodating and always ready to help. We also found other advantages there, such as sparsely crowded beaches, warm sea and clear water and unrivaled natural beauty.
The currency of Bulgria
The currency of Bulgaria is lev. Its cost can be found almost on any page of our site. It is enough to point at the inscription “lev.” At the same time, if the price is specified, for example 4.5 levs, you can immediately find out how much it costs in dollars or euros. In our opinion, this is convenient.
Where to exchange your dollars or euros to levs?
The exchange rate of other currencies to the BGN in Bulgaria is quite stable. The euro has already been around 5-7 years for about 1.90-1.97 levs.
The idea of swapping your dollars or euros at exchange offices is often very tempting, but there is a high likelihood that you’ll be deceived: hidden commissions, rates that are suspiciously different from the official rates, old banknotes that are no longer legal tender. There are exchange offices in hotels, but this is not going to be advantageous for you. The best option for exchanging your own currency to levs is at banks. They follow the official exchange rates, and give you banknotes that are still in circulation. You will not be cheated when you do that in banks.
Approximate prices in Bulgaria for food and restaurants
The prices for food in Bulgaria depend heavily from the resort. To expensive resorts in Bulgaria we include Sunny Beach, Golden Sands and Nessebar, In Ravda and Aheloy, the prices are average. In Pomorie, Balchik, Varna and Burgas you can count on low prices.
Prices for food and products in supermarkets and markets of Bulgaria
The prices in supermarkets from one resort to another do not differ that drastically much. But the prices at restaurants is another story. In Pomorie (the cheapest resort), prices in stores are about 50%-60% lower than in Sunny Beach (expensive resort).
In Bulgaria, the costs of the products are almost the same as we have back home, even slightly cheaper. But despite the rather low cost (in comparison to other countries in Europe), the food is of high quality and at par with European standards, so you don’t have to worry. If ever you are coming to Bulgaria, no need to take your own food and water with you because the food here is cheap and easily accessible.
Exact prices for food and products can be found in food in Bulgaria and its price.
Food prices in Bulgarian restaurants
We’re talking, at least, the restaurants at Bulgarian coastal towns and resorts. Prices in restaurants differ, and they depend on the resort that you choose to spend your holidays.
For instance, in Sunny Beach you are expected to pay dinner which costs 5 to 10 times higher to a dinner of pretty much the same quality (and quantity) in Pomorie.
To make it easier for you to understand, we set an example featuring two menus from Pomorie and Sunny Beach. Let’s calculate how much the average restaurant billing will come out, if you have lunch together at a small cozy restaurant overlooking the sea in Pomorie resort (the prices are valid at the beginning of the 2016 season).
So in this example, a dish consisting of 400 grams of pork costs 4.40 lev for a man, and a dish of 200 grams of squid in oil costs 6.70 levs for his lunch date. There are also chicken sticks with sesame seeds that cost 6.50 for 200 grams. You can also have 250 grams of scrambled eggs and drinks for 10 levs.
After dinner, the guests will ask for a bill, which totals their entire meal for 30.4 levi. In fact, there is a little more in it, because there’s a small change that’s usually left to the waiter. The dishes in this example are the cheapest ones, but they are of good quality and have great portions.
Over time, we will try to write a separate detailed article about prices in restaurants in Bulgaria. In the meantime, we advise you to look at the article with prices in Pomorie, there are exact prices for about 20 dishes.
Prices for souvenirs and purchases in Bulgaria
To be honest, you can’t buy anything much in Bulgaria. Except cosmetics, the Bulgarian rose, slightly cheaper silver, knitted tablecloths and delicious honey, nothing immediately comes on mind.
Of course, the shelves are full of various purely tourist things: magnets, shells, T-shirts and mugs, shawls, trinkets and even fur coats from Greece. But buying all this (especially not very cheap) somehow does not pull at all – it’s a waste of money.
Souvenirs in Bulgaria are not so expensive as in Europe, but still they don’t come cheap, even to foreign standards.
Recommend you to read: exact prices for Bulgarian souvenirs and ideas what to bring from Bulgaria for gifts.
In what city of Bulgaria better shopping?
Burgas is heavily advertised by the country’s tourism sector as the “shopping mecca” of Bulgaria, promising good wares of affordable prices. But the fact is the opposite: almost everything is expensive in Burgas; plus, there were many fake knock-offs of designer goods.
We would advise you to go shopping in Varna or immediately to Istanbul (which is not too far from Bulgaria) – the choices of wares are good and the prices are not so high.
If you just want to buy all kinds of purely tourist things, you can safely buy them at the resort you’re staying – the savings are not that significant from the prices of souvenirs that you can find in the cities, but still that’s a fair difference.
For comparison, a set of cosmetics Bulgarian rose in Pomorie (the cheapest city on the coast from all where we were) costs 7.5 levs, and in Nessebar (expensive city) you can find it for 10-12 levs . Tickets from Nessebar to Pomorie and back will cost 7 levs per person.
That is, if you want to go for buying only souvenirs, you have to collect a lot of them. Especially if you are traveling alone.
Prices of transport and taxi in Bulgaria
Public transport in Bulgaria goes regularly and is not very expensive. For example, to Varna it goes about 2 hours. For the ticket we paid 12 levs . The bus was comfortable, the air conditioner worked well.
Taxi in Bulgaria is quite expensive. It costs from 2.5 levs per kilometer in Pomorie to 4 levs in Sunny Beach. At the same time, tourists are often deceived – we saw how for 2 kilometers from Sunny Beach to Nessebar payed 35 euros …
We can give only one advise – do not hesitate to bargain with taxi drivers and try to at least a little navigate the distances on the map.
And what about the prices for car rental in Bulgaria?
Car rental in Bulgaria is a separate topic. Local companies actively offer to rent a car from $ 10 per day, write it on a signboard, etc. It is clear that in fact the price will be 2-3 times higher. To inexperienced tourists to rent a car on a place is not very profitable option – it will be more expensive.
Search for cars on the sites of local companies is quite difficult – there is rarely relevant information, some do not support English versions, and many companies you simply will not find. Therefore, we advise you to use meta-search engines that compare the offers of leading companies and select the most favorable options for you.
Looking on the Internet, we picked up for you the two best, in our opinion, the search engines with low prices for car rental in Bulgaria:
- Rentalcars.com – a reliable and proven search engine that works only with the largest international companies.
Based on our own experience, we can say that these prices are fairly honest – you will pay exactly how much you saw in the search, the price includes insurance, and if necessary change the reservation date or even cancel it – it can be done for free.
We recommend you to choose this service.
- Rentalcars.com – offers the lowest prices on the Internet for car rental, works with a huge number of local companies.
In this there are also disadvantages – the dispersion of the level of service can be very large, local companies do not always work honestly and punctually.
Also, this service is “famous” for the desire to set a low initial price, and then demand an additional payment for additional services.
In spite of the fact that the affiliate program of the second service is more generous (we will get more money for the recommendation), we still advise you to choose the first one – in our opinion it works more honestly, there are no problems with it.
Prices for gasoline in Bulgaria:
- 95 gasoline costs about 2,19 levs per liter
- The price of diesel fuel, too 2,19 levs per liter
- Gas for the car will cost 0,98 levs per liter
- But household gas, which is also sold at gas stations, is worth 2,60 levs per liter.
Prices for excursions and travelling in Bulgaria
Excursions around Bulgaria were surprisingly expensive. For example, prices for excursions in Bulgaria were comparable to prices in Montenegro, but their quality is much lower. Why it is so is not clear.
From the excursions we advise you to choose only those that occupy the whole day and take you deep into the country.
Coastal resorts are much easier and cheaper to look independently, having traveled by public transport.
More information: What to choose in Bulgaria: self-tourism or excursions?
Prices for individual excursions in Bulgaria
Unfortunately, Bulgaria is a country in which tourism has just begun to develop. Individual excursions here are not so much offered, and their price is high. Nevertheless, we advise you to take a closer look at these two sites:
- On this site you can found inexpensive tours, which are definitely more profitable than from the tour operator (more time, the car instead of the bus, and the price is the same).
- And here there are a lot of expensive excursions that you can not buy in any agency. By the way, they can got you to Western Europe, Rumunia, Istanbul.
Other links with prices and tips for tourists:
- How to go to Bulgaria on your own: where to buy tickets, insurance and rent a hotel?
- What you need to know about Bulgaria – our advices to tourists.
- Food in Bulgaria – how much does food cost and where to buy it?
- Souvenirs from Bulgaria – what to bring, where to buy and how much will it cost?
- Prices for excursions in Bulgaria – what do they offer and how much does it costs?
- Currency in Bulgaria – what course, how to change and how not to let yourself cheated?
- Choosing the best resort in Bulgaria – sharing first impressions.
- All about the beaches in Bulgaria – what to expect and where to sunbathe?
- Selection of the most beautiful pictures of Bulgaria.