How To Visit Bulgaria On A Budget

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 of how to visit Bulgaria on a budget;

Travel Insurance – £10

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.


Airport Transfers – £7.50

Because we we’re 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.

If you’re looking to park your car at the airport then check out my review of Looking4Parking.

Flight – £9.00

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)

I recommend using the free flight aggregator website SkyScanner to find the cheapest airline to fly with on your selected dates.

Internal Travel – £20.00

Over the course of 15 days we travelled from the capitol 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 we’re 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.

Accommodation – £86.50

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.


Attractions – £0.00

Absolutely EVERYTHING we did in Bulgaria was free and we did A LOT! Here’s just one of the videos highlighting the best of free in the capitol, Sofia.

Food – £50

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

Souvenirs – £0

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.

An so, there we have it, my complete guide to how to visit Bulgaria on a budget. If you are planning a trip to Bulgaria, or have recently come back then be sure to let me know in the comments where you stayed, what you did, and if you feel comfortable enough, how much it cost you.


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