Tour Bulgaria on a Budget

While Bulgaria has always been known and celebrated as one of Europe’s cheapest travel destinations, there are a few important tips you might want to keep in mind. These pointers will help you make the most out of your Bulgarian travel for you to have the highest level of fun with no need to worry about running out of cash!

Ditch the Tourist Transfers

There is really no need for you to spend your money on tourist transfers unless you only got very limited time to stay in the country. Many of the nation’s iconic attractions can be accessed via public transportation. All you have to do is ask the personnel at your hostel or hotel for help with the timetables. The big cities are all linked with trains or buses or even both sometimes.

Bulgaria - Tramway
Tramway in Sofia, Bulgaria

Save Money on Tourist Attractions

The attractions and museums in the area rarely cost over $3. However, if you are planning several of them, you might want to check their websites if they have free days that are often once every month. All galleries and museums across the country are available for free during European Museum Night held annual on the Saturday after or before the International Museum Day on the 18th of May.

Bulgaria, Sofia - National theatre
National theatre in Sofia (Bulgaria)

There are also a lot of special events during this time. It is also free to visit the churches except when it is a national monument. This is also applicable for national parks. 

Monitor Your Food Expenses 

Cook and prepare your own meals and make the most out of the nearby markets offering fresh vegetables and fruits. Doing so will not only help you save money because you will surely be happy to learn that unlike most countries  where fresh produce is somewhat bland despite being able to last longer, produce in Bulgaria has a rich taste, although they tend to rot faster.

Video: Tasty Bulgarian food and market tour

Curb Your Entertainment Costs

Most bars in the area organize live concerts for free featuring young bands. Don’t hesitate to inquire at your hotel what they have to offer for the night. Most of the best festivals in Bulgaria are also free. The parks, specifically those in Sofia, also have a lot of scheduled free events during summertime. 

Save on Your Souvenirs 

No trip will ever be complete if you don’t buy souvenirs that you will bring back home. However, if you don’t want to break your budget, you might want to stay away from the tourist shops.

Video: Bulgarian lutenitza how to make Lutenitza

What you can do instead is to check out the nearby supermarket and buy sharena sol or mixed Bulgarian herbs and lyutenitsa, or the traditional Bulgarian spread prepared using peppers and tomatoes. You can then drop by at the pharmacy or beauty shop to purchase some cosmetic products that contain Bulgarian rose oil at a very affordable price. 

Spend Less on Public Transportation and Taxis 

You can enjoy the discounts courtesy of the national Bulgarian railway company if you purchase a return ticket that is a great option for day trips. Many bus companies also offer special return fares. In case you are staying in Sofia and you are planning to use public transportation for over thrice per day, you might want to get a daily pass or even a 30day pass. You can use these passes for all public transportation including trams, buses, and subway. You can also buy them at all ticket kiosks.

Bulgaria - Taxi
Taxi in Sofia, Bulgaria

Since there is no Uber operation in the country, cabs dominate in Bulgaria. All taxi companies in cities implement almost similar prices but expect that there might still be variations depending on the city. The best way to enjoy some savings is to avoid hopping in fraud cabs. Make sure that the fares are displayed on the sticker on the car’s window. Look for another cab if you don’t find one. 

Ideas for Your Bulgarian Trip Itinerary 

Did you know that you can visit all of the highlights of the country in just two weeks? But, if you don’t have a lot of time, you can just spend fewer days per place or fewer day trips. 

You can begin in Sofia with several days to visit the area’s museums and churches. You can also go to the stunning Rila Monastery for your day trip. Ride the bus or train to Plovdiv afterwards. Three days is enough to soak up the history of the town and visit its popular cultural attractions before you proceed to the mountains with Veliko Trnovo as your base or starting point.

Video: Top 15 Places to Visit in Bulgaria

You might also want to spend one day to visit the city sights itself, such as its amazing fortress before you head out for your day trips. Some of the best activities to try is going for an easy stroll through the hills leading to Arbanasi’s medieval village, waterfall-spotting and hiking in Emen Canon, or going to the majestic Troyan Monastery. It is recommended to spend a minimum of three days in Veliko although it might be better if you stay their longer. It is one of the most pleasant towns in Eastern Europe and also got the most number of the country’s top tourist attractions. 

Coming from Veliko, take a bus ride to Sozoopol or Varna to get to Black Sea Coast. You can spend the rest of your stay hitting the beach clubs, lounging on the beaches, or just getting lost amidst the Mediterraneanes-que city centers. This is the best way for you to conclude your vacation before you catch a bus back to Sofia before your flight home. 

Weather and Best Time to Visit 

The weather in the country is common for the region with cold and snowy winters, pleasant autumns and springs, and hot summers. 

The country’s peak of tourism and Black Sea beach season is from the months of June to August. These are times when beaches are crowded and thriving but it is also warm enough for you to enjoy a dip in the water. The weather can get too cold during mid-September that going for a swim might no longer be possible. 

Book your trip to Bulgaria today and expect for a frugal but exciting trip like no other!

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