We recently began our nomadic adventures in Bulgaria. A country we’d heard little about, but went on to love. We spent 15 days exploring as much of this beautiful country as possible including; Sofia, Plovdiv, Sunny Beach & Varna.
It, therefore, seemed only fitting that we put together our guide to Bulgaria;
Before you go anywhere you’re going to need travel insurance. Travel insurance covers you for small things such as loss of baggage or larger things such as illness of death abroad.
Whilst it isn’t compulsory I personally wouldn’t go anywhere outside of the UK without it. I have travel insurance as part of a service with my bank. If you don’t have travel insurance already then I recommend using a comparison service such as Go Compare to find the cheapest / most suitable insurance policy for your needs.
For the purposes of this study let’s say that you don’t have travel insurance but you manage to pick up an annual worldwide travel insurance policy for £10.
Because we were getting a one-way flight we opted to fly from Doncaster Airport being one of the easiest and cheapest airports to get to using public transport from our hometown of Wakefield.
The cost of the train to Doncaster and then the bus from the station to the airport came in at £7.50.
We flew with Wizz Air (an airline we’d heard very little about) direct from Doncaster to Sofia, Bulgaria. The cost of the flight one way was just £9! A return could be bought from £18.
This was a very basic ticket and included no luggage, just small hand luggage (in our case a 20l backpack)
Over the course of 15 days, we travelled from the capital Sofia to Plovdiv, then onto Sunny Beach and then up to Varna. The cost of this travel alongside additional travel around the city cost us £20 each for 15 days!
In the city, we travelled by metro, and between cities within Bulgaria, we travelled by bus that we booked at the local bus station.
I recommend checking out the website GoEuro for transfers between cities within Bulgaria. The website compares different bus routes across different locations and over different periods of time. It’s also all in English giving you confidence when booking.
The amount you spend on internal travel is going to depend on;
1. The different cities you want to travel to within Bulgaria
2. Where you stay when at your particular destination
In Sofia and Plovdiv, we stayed outside of the city centre and saved ourselves more money because the cost of the commute into the city was approximately £0.40 each, each way. In Varna and Sunny Beach, we were able to walk to all the attractions we wanted to visit.
If you’re planning on only visiting one destination within Bulgaria and simply want a way of getting from the airport to your hotel then I’d consider looking into a private transfer with Hoppa. These transfers are super affordable and convenient. Especially for families or those looking for a little extra luxury.
The total cost of our accommodation for 15 nights in Bulgaria was £86.50 each. That averages out around £5.76 a night.
In Sofia, we stayed in a shared dorm at 10 Coins Hostel. In Plovdiv, we stayed in an apartment that was just £34 for 3 nights!
In Sunny Beach, we stayed in a self-catering apartment Aparthotel Cote D’Azure and in Varna, we spent two nights at Gagarin House.
If you’re looking to stay somewhere specific or for more inspiration on where to stay during your trip to Bulgaria check out the Booking.com search tool below;
Our time in the capital of Bulgaria, Sofia was spent eating, drinking and learning the history of both the capital of Sofia and the country of Bulgaria on a free walking tour.
If you’re thinking of doing a little travelling in and around Bulgaria then be sure to head to Nessebar for the day. This UNESCO World Heritage site is absolutely stunning. The European capital of the culture 2019, Plovdiv is also a must. In fact, I think if we had to pick our favourite place within Bulgaria, Plovdiv would be it! Being just a couple of hours by car from the city, day trips are available if you don’t feel you quite have the time to spend a night or two here…
We decided where to stay during our time in Bulgaria based on the kitchen facilities available. This in turn really helped us to keep our food costs down. However, Bulgaria is a VERY cheap travel destination. You can easily eat out in a restaurant for under £5!
I’ve made guides as to my favourite places to eat, drink and work in both Sofia & Varna.
As always we opt not to purchase souvenirs. Our trip to Bulgaria on a budget was no different. As with all of our budget trips we instead put the money we would have spent on another trip, and the chance to make even more memories.