Bulgaria was definitely not on the original plan, so I didn’t initially budget for it. It was on the list of countries that I was using to replace the three weeks of trekking I’d planning in Nepal, so I was hoping it would be less than $50/day (which was what I’d originally earmarked for Nepal).
In all, in 6 days in Bulgaria, I spent $259.79.
How did that work out?
I took the train in from Thessaloniki. I honestly have only a few flights left in the trip – most of the rest of the transport will be trains or busses!
Bulgaria has a free visa on arrival for US citizens.
Accommodations were certainly cheaper in Bulgaria! I still stayed in hostels and hostel dorm rooms, so that’s what kept the costs super low. I will say – Bulgaria was where I was least impressed with the hostels so far! Part of it is the people in them. I think Europe in August attracts an entirely different crowd than the other places I’ve been. And by “entirely different” I mean “young, loud, and inconsiderate.”
And I’m officially old.
Bulgaria was, by and large, a place where the entertainment was the cities themselves, so I didn’t spend a lot extra on activities and tours. This spend was for the Seven Rila Lakes excursion and the trip to Balchik Botanical Gardens.
Shockingly, this includes the train from Greece, the train from Sofia to Plovdiv, the train from Plovdiv to Varna, and a few cab rides. It was definitely a cheap place to get around!
I went to the grocery store in Plovdiv to get dinner and ended up getting a whole lot of food – I ate on that for the rest of the time in Bulgaria, while intermittently going to restaurants. All of the hostels I stayed at had a free breakfast, so that also helped.
I am very tired of a lot of my clothes! So this was a new shirt at Benetton and a new swimsuit at H&M (both on great sales!). I also found contact solution, and then once I had to pay to use the restroom.
Ultimately, it came out to an average of about $43.10 per day. I was happy with this six days being quite an even trade with what I’d planned for Nepal (and was glad I planned Nepal at the higher end of Nepal’s expected costs!).
Bulgaria was absolutely beautiful – it’s not a country you frequently hear about for natural beauty, but in each city I went to, I was just struck by the sheer abundance of nature all around.