Planning a trip to Bulgaria for one week? One of the most common questions travelers ask is how much money they should budget for their stay. Bulgaria offers a range of experiences, from low-budget backpacking to luxurious stays. In this guide, we’ll break down the expenses you might encounter for a week and provide a comprehensive overview to help you plan your budget, whether you’re on a tight budget or looking to splurge.
Bulgaria, with its rich history and diverse landscapes, offers a plethora of accommodation options to cater to every traveler’s needs and budget. Bulgaria has something for everyone, whether you’re a backpacker looking for a cozy hostel or someone seeking the luxury of a five-star hotel.
If you had a low-budget
- Hostels: These are perfect for solo travelers, backpackers, or those on a tight budget. They often come with shared rooms and facilities, fostering a community atmosphere. Cities like Sofia, Plovdiv, and Varna have a good number of hostels, with prices ranging from 20 to 50 lev per night. Some popular hostels even offer free walking tours, events, or communal dinners.
- Guesthouses: A step above hostels, guesthouses, or “pensions,” provide a more private and homely experience. They are often family-run establishments offering a more personalized touch. You can expect to pay slightly more than hostels, but you will enjoy better amenities, especially if you want to stay a week. Sometimes even a home-cooked Bulgarian breakfast.
- Boutique Hotels: Smaller hotels offer a unique and often luxurious experience without the hefty price tag of high-end resorts. They might be located in historical buildings, offering a blend of modern amenities with traditional charm. Prices vary, but you might spend anywhere from 70 to 150 lev per night.
- Bed and breakfasts: These establishments provide both lodging and breakfast, making them a convenient option for travelers. They are often located in scenic areas or quaint towns, providing a serene environment for relaxation for a week.
If you had a maximum budget
- Luxury Hotels: Located primarily in major cities and tourist hotspots, these hotels offer top-notch amenities for your weekly accommodations, from spa services to gourmet dining. Brands like Hilton, Radisson, and local luxury chains are in Bulgaria. Prices for these establishments can range from 150 to 500 lev per night, depending on the location and the season. If you want to stay a week, you can get a preferential offer;
- Resorts: Bulgaria’s coastline and mountainous regions boast several high-end resorts. Whether you’re looking to ski in Bansko during the winter or sunbathe along the Black Sea coast in the summer, there are resorts catering to every need. These establishments offer comprehensive packages, including activities, meals, and entertainment, ensuring a hassle-free vacation. This is a very popular choice for weekly vacation.
Dining and Cuisine
Bulgarian cuisine is a delightful mix of flavors, and dining out can be quite affordable.
- Street Food and Local Eateries: A typical Bulgarian dish at a local eatery might cost between 10 and 20 lev;
- Fine Dining: Upscale restaurants, especially in touristy areas, can charge upwards of 50 lev for a meal;
- Local Cuisine: Don’t miss out on trying traditional dishes like kavarma, banitsa, and shopska salad.
Getting around in Bulgaria is relatively affordable.
- Public transport: buses and trams in cities like Sofia might cost around 1.60 lev per ride;
- Taxis: While taxis are more expensive, they’re convenient. A typical ride within city limits might cost between $10 and $20.
- Renting a Car: If you’re planning to explore beyond the cities, consider renting a car. Prices can vary, but expect to pay around 40 lev per day.
Sightseeing and attractions
Bulgaria is rich in history and natural beauty. For a week, you can see the most interesting places:
- Museums and Historical Sites: Entrance fees for museums and historical sites like the Rila Monastery and National Historical Museum might range from 5 to 20 lev;
- Natural Attractions: Bulgaria’s national parks and natural attractions often have minimal entrance fees, usually under 10 lev.
Day trips and excursions
Exploring Bulgaria’s countryside and neighboring towns can be a highlight.
- Organized Trips: Many companies offer day trips to places like the Seven Rila Lakes or Plovdiv. Prices can range from 50 to 150 lev, depending on the trip’s length and inclusions.
- DIY Trips: If you’re more of a DIY traveler, transportation and entrance fees for attractions might total around 30 to 70 lev for a day.
Always set aside some money for unexpected expenses.
- Souvenirs: Bulgaria offers a range of unique souvenirs, from rose oil products to traditional crafts. You might spend anywhere from 10 to 100 lev depending on what you buy.
- Emergencies: Having some extra lev on hand for unexpected situations is always wise.
For a week in Bulgaria, a traveler on a low budget might spend around 500 to 700 lev, while someone on a maximum budget might spend upwards of 2000 lev or more. Remember, these are just estimates, and expenses can vary based on individual preferences and choices. Regardless of your budget, Bulgaria offers many experiences that promise a memorable week.