Cost of living

Bulgaria flag Comparative analysis describes Bulgaria as relatively cheap and a much more affordable place to live when compared to most other countries in the European Union. However, the prices of some basic foodstuffs and electricity are constantly rising, which adds to the cost of living. Prices tend to vary from town to town, and the larger cities are more expensive to live in. The cost of living includes accommodation costs, as well as everyday costs such as food, transport, spending time outside home, etc. The largest amount that students have to pay is usually the rent for accommodation. Typically the price of renting an apartment ranges from €250 to €600 per month in the capital, depending on size and location. In total, basic monthly living costs range from €520 to €900.

Money and Banking

The official currency in Bulgaria is BGN Lev and it is the only currency used for daily transactions. One Lev equals 100 Stotinki. Coins with the values of one, two, five, ten, twenty, fifty Stotinki and one Lev are in circulation. Notes are denominated in 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 Leva.

Banks and the exchange offices are allowed to buy and sell foreign currency, although it is better and more secure to exchange money in a bank. Typically banks are open from 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. However, in the big trading centres, banking hours are from 10am to 9pm.

Most everyday purchases are made with cash or a debit card. In the larger stores, hotels, catering and entertainment places credit cards are accepted; while in smaller stores and hotels, it is necessary to pay in cash. Personal cheques are not used in Bulgaria and traveller’s cheques are not accepted for retail purchases.

Travelling Costs

There is a wide variety of public transportation modes in the capital, including buses, trolley buses, trams and subway. A single ticket costs 1 Lev (0.50 Euro), but tickets can be purchased in books of 5 or 10 tickets priced at 4.50 and 8 Lev, respectively.

Tickets for travel by bus, trolley bus or tram are all the same and can be bought from kiosks situated near the bus stops or from the driver, where a kiosk is not available.

More information about paper tickets and electronic cards is available here:

Don’t forget to validate your ticket when you get on the bus, trolley or tram, using the small machines to perforate your ticket.

Subway tickets are sold only at the metro stations and are different from the ones for buses, trams and trolleys.

If you are full-time student you can get a discount rate for public transport.

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