Going to a new country, many tourists are interested in how much money they should take with them, in what currency, what is better to spend their savings on and how not to let themselves be deceived at local exchange offices.
Bulgaria is also no exception. This is a country that has changed a lot in the past few years. Instead of the expected “ghost of the USSR,” we were met by very modern and European infrastructure as well as well-groomed and clean resorts, some of which are really chic and even offer some “wild” kind of nightlife. On the other hand, Bulgaria is also rich in history, as it offers a vast number of ancient ruins.
This article attempts to briefly describe the currency of Bulgaria, food prices, souvenirs and other small things, excursions, transportation and other important nuances. If you need more detailed information, we recommend you to read some articles dedicated to this topic. In each section there will be links.
A very short note about the resorts of Bulgaria
Prices for different resorts in Bulgaria are different depending on the town or city. Sometimes, they can differ up to 5 times. And this is only if you consider the seaside towns during the tourist season.
The most expensive resorts in Bulgaria are Sunny Beach and Golden Sands. There are many first-class hotels, good beaches, but there is absolutely nothing to do to inquisitive tourists.
A very nice resort, in our opinion, was Nessebar – the city itself is beautiful and it located close to the main attractions. But the prices here are high.
In our opinion, such resorts as Pomorie, Burgas, Ravda, Balchik, Obzor and many others pass for budgetary rest. Inexpensive also in Varna, but the sea there is pretty dirty.
Check it out: review of the main resorts in Bulgaria, resorts of Bulgaria and their attractions.
What is the currency in Bulgaria and how to change money?
Currency of Bulgaria – the currency of Bulgaria is lev. An approximate course of the lev can be seen if you point at any price on our website. This course takes into account all commissions and shows how much money you will get “in your hands” if you simply change money in the bank (they are in every popular resort town).
It is better to take dollars or euro with you. The exchange rate of the euro is a little more advantageous than dollars. Buy euro at home and change them in Bulgaria – that’s better than to hand over a country-specific currency, such as krone or pounds.
With the exchangers you have to be very careful, some of them will try to deceive you. The easiest way is to change currency in the bank – there is a commission, but the course is better and everything is honest.
If you change your own currency in the exchanger – just specify how much you will give and how much you will get. Often there are cases when an excellent course on the billboard is not true, there are hidden commissions, etc. In some exchangers even give out “old money”, that is no longer used – this is the most unpleasant kind of deceit of careless or inexperienced tourists.
Do not allow yourself to be cheated: All about the exchange of currencies in Bulgaria – protection against basic deceptions.
Food in Bulgaria – how much to take for food, restaurants and snacks?
Food prices in Bulgaria are not very high. Especially if you buy food in the supermarket and choose restaurants far away from the central tourist streets.
For example, we managed to spend on food only 75 $ for two. And this is for 14 days, with a bunch of trips to unfamiliar resorts.
In Sunny Beach, on the central street, the same amount can easily be given for one single lunch for two with alcohol.
Bulgarian fruits deserve special mention. Well, where else can you eat great peaches for 1 lev or grapes for 1,5 levs ?
There are Bulgarian restaurants for every taste and budget – from very cheap, available to each snack bars, to very beautiful and expensive restaurants by the sea. There are also “exotic” restaurants, decorated under the grotto with pouring water on the walls (Restaurant “At Michael” in Nessebar), restaurants in the old Bulgarian houses of the 18th century, restaurants on the schooner or ship …
Portions in Bulgaria, of course, depend on the restaurant and the resort, but mostly quite large. If necessary, one dinner can be divided into two without problems.
It is interesting: good article about food prices in Bulgaria, when to choose a tour with food, and when – without.
Souvenirs from Bulgaria – what can you bring and how much will it cost?
There are a lot of souvenirs in Bulgaria, but you should know what you really want and you really need to take home. For example, if you buy a souvenir magnet (which approximately costs 3-5 levs), make sure you only buy one or two, and nothing more.
We advise you to take a closer look at the cosmetics made from Bulgarian Rose (7,5-10 levs for a set of shampoo, soap and hand cream), slightly cheaper silver and spices (see salt soren).
In detail: A separate article about souvenirs from Bulgaria: what to buy, prices, advice.
A brief overview of prices in Bulgaria – which is expensive, and what is cheap?
In general, Bulgaria is not a very expensive country. Really a lot of money here goes only to purely touristy areas: lunches in beautiful restaurants, taxi rides, sea recreation like renting a scooter, parachuting, riding a banana, visiting water parks, etc.
Prices for everything else, even for car rental, are quite affordable.
Find out for sure: what and how much it costs in Bulgaria – all prices.
Excursions in Bulgaria – which ones to choose and how much money to spend on them?
Tours in Bulgaria are worth buying only if you are going to go deeper into the country: see the Rila and Bachkovo monasteries, go to Veliko Tarnovo or Sofia. Also, excursions to neighboring countries can be interesting: Turkey (Istanbul), Romania or Greece.
What to read: prices and schedules of excursions in Bulgaria, sea trips in Bulgaria, excursions to neighboring countries from Bulgaria, entertaining excursions in Bulgaria – allow yourself a little adventure.
Maybe you want to save money and travel alone instead of excursions?
If you want to ride along the coast and see only the most beautiful, we recommend you to use public transport. This will be not only twice cheaper, but also more convenient – you will not be driven by anyone.
For independent travelers we have some articles:
- Public transport in Bulgaria: how it works, how much it costs, schedule.
- What should you see in Bulgaria in the summer. Our list.
- Main sights of Bulgaria.
- Self-tourism or excursions – how to choose right?
- A selection of beautiful photos of Bulgaria – when one time to see better than 20 times to read.
Transport in Bulgaria – how much is it to get from the resort to the resort
Transport in Bulgaria is very convenient. Even in the smallest towns there is one or two stops, on which display routes and approximate schedules. Comfortable buses are not expensive and in most cases are ideal for low-income tourists.
If you want to see the sights outside the resorts (Aladzha Monastery, Cape Kaliakra, Broken Stones, Ravadinovo Castle) or in the center of the country (Rila and Bachkovo Monasteries, Veliko Tarnovo, Rose Valley), we recommend car rental. This will be much cheaper and more convenient than a taxi.
Taxis are the worst option of transport in Bulgaria. It is expensive, and some taxi drivers are also trying to deceive inexperienced travelers. Often one long trip by taxi costs as much as renting a car for 1-2 days.
Public transport in Bulgaria – prices for comfortable international buses
We have already prepared many good articles about public transport in Bulgaria. There is also a schedule of routes from the main Bulgarian resorts, and ticket prices, and advices to self-travelers.
In short – the buses run regularly between the major seaside resorts. In each city there is at least one, and usually several bus stops. At bus stops, look for an approximate schedule (some firms indicate only the time of departure from the destination, but not the time of arrival at your stop) and indicative prices (basically, prices for the whole route). The buses have a conductor who accepts payment and issues tickets.
In our opinion, public transport is the best option for traveling along the Bulgarian coast. It is convenient, interesting and not too expensive.
We would be looking for: how is public transport organized in Bulgaria?
Taxi in Bulgaria and the prices for it are expensive, but convenient
As we have already said, a taxi in Bulgaria is quite expensive. Average price per kilometer of travel: 2-3 levs. At the same time, in some taxi drivers, the counter turns almost faster than the wheels of the car.
Find out more: Taxis in Bulgaria: everything from prices to taxi drivers’ tricks.
How to save on transfer from the airport to the hotel and back – spend money wisely
There are situations when it is cheaper or more convenient to come to rest by yourself: buy tickets, choose a hotel, apply for insurance. this case, you will need to somehow get from the airport to the hotel and back.
If you are planning to rent a car, you can simply ask to drive it to the airport – this is the cheapest and easiest option.
If a car is not needed – book a transfer service. It will cost two or three times cheaper than a taxi caught at the airport.
What else can help for holidaymakers in Bulgaria:
- Beaches of Bulgaria – what are they, where to find the best, paid or free?
- What are the prices in Bulgaria? How much does goods costs?
- What kind of sea in Bulgaria – our impressions, reviews and photos.
- Is the sea clean in Bulgaria? An analysis of the EU’s report on the purity of water on Bulgarian beaches.
- Which Bulgarian resort to choose and why?
- Photos of the main Bulgarian resorts – choose by the picture you like.
- Should you take a ticket with meals on vacation in Bulgaria?
- What kind of people live in Bulgaria? All about the Bulgarians.