Cost of living 2018 in Bulgaria

Hello everyone,

As per our annual tradition, we invite you to share your experiences and tell us more about the average prices of products and services in your town/city/area, so that we have updated information regarding cost of living and inflation in Bulgaria.

Thanks to your contribution, future expats in Bulgaria will be more informed and will be able to refine their budget and better prepare for their big move.

How much does it cost to rent an apartment or a house in Bulgaria?

How much does it cost to buy an apartment or a house in Bulgaria?

How much do you pay on average for public transportation (bus, subway, train, tram, taxi)?

How much do you pay for basic food items such as rice, bread, and pasta?

What is your monthly budget for groceries?

How much does it cost to see a doctor/dentist/physician/specialist in Bulgaria?

How much do you pay for health insurance per month?

How much does childcare cost on average per month?

What is your child's schooling budget per month?

How much does it cost to fill up your car’s fuel tank?

How much do you pay for electricity/gas/water etc., per month?

How much do you pay for your internet and phone subscription?

How much do you pay for your lunch pack on weekdays?

How much do you pay for an espresso coffee?

How much do you pay for a cinema ticket?

How much does a gym membership cost in Bulgaria?

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Priscilla

These answers are for Gabrovo, a medium-small town in the center of Bulgaria with a lower cost of living than the bigger cities.

How much does it cost to rent an apartment or a house in Bulgaria?

We pay 260 bgn/month for 110 square meters, which is a little under the average. More usual is around 300 bgn/month for around 90 square meters. Newly renovated and in the center are obviously more expensive and unrenovated or towards the outskirts of town can be cheaper.

For us it was difficult to find a larger apartment, as most apartments for rent are smaller (and a bit cheaper).

How much does it cost to buy an apartment or a house in Bulgaria?
In Gabrovo 50,000-100,000 bgn for around 120 square meter house (not new builds, and the 50,000 will need significant renovations/modernization). New apartments run around 80,000-100,000 bgn for around 90 square meters- these are usually unfinished apartments at akt 16.

In the villages around the city, houses can be had for 20,000-50,000 with moderate renovation necessary, up to 500,000 for luxury homes in the villa areas. 

How much do you pay on average for public transportation (bus, subway, train, tram, taxi)?
Buses- 1 lv each direction. Mini-buses .70 lev each direction. Children under 7 are free, but you need to get a bus card for them or you will be required to pay.

How much do you pay for basic food items such as rice, bread, and pasta?

Rice- 2-4 bgn a kilo, depending on the type
Bread- 1-2 bgn a loaf
Pasta- 2 bgn 500 grams
Milk- 2.20 bgn a liter
Eggs- .34 bgn an egg (they are expensive this year!!!)

What is your monthly budget for groceries?
300-400 bgn for a family of four, not including the cost of eating out 2-3 times a week. (Also, the preschooler gets breakfast and lunch in kindergarten for basically free)

How much does it cost to see a doctor/dentist/physician/specialist in Bulgaria?
With insurance- 2 bgn/ visit
Without insurance- 20 bgn for a gp, 40 for a specialist. (If you bypass your gp, you pay 40 bgn for a specialist even with insurance).
Dentist- 50 bgn for a cleaning, around 20-40 bgn for a filling, 40 per root for root canals.

How much do you pay for health insurance per month?
17 bgn, taken out of my pay.

How much does childcare cost on average per month?
45 bgn for public preschool or kindergarten, full time.
3-5 bgn /hour for private care (either in a center or with a nanny), 5-6 bgn / hour for evening care.

What is your child's schooling budget per month?
Besides the childcare tax, about 15-20 bgn for random things (wet wipes, diapers, pencils, notebooks etc.)

How much does it cost to fill up your car’s fuel tank?
Unsure- I don't drive in Bulgaria.

How much do you pay for electricity/gas/water etc., per month?
Electricity = 30-40 bgn during summer, 100-200 during fall and spring (before central heating gets turned on). 30-40 during winter.

Water- around 10-15 bgn

Central heating- 250-350 bgn, but we keep our home pretty toasty.

How much do you pay for your internet and phone subscription?
Bundled internet and television- 25 bgn/month (100 mbps, around 6 selection of english channels)

Two cell phones (on leasing- Lenovo k5 and Lenovo p2) with unlimited minutes between them, one with 4 GB internet and 250 minutes talking, the other with 20 GB internet and not sure how many minutes talking 87 bgn/month. (Worth noting that unlike in the US, in Bulgaria only outgoing calls count against your minutes, so you can accept unlimited incoming calls and not be charged).

How much do you pay for your lunch pack on weekdays?
4-10 bgn/day depending on where I order it from and whether we get it delivered or go get it ourselves. (Children's kitchen is about 2bgn a day).

How much do you pay for an espresso coffee?
I drink espresso with honey and whipped cream around 1.20-1.80 per coffee.

How much do you pay for a cinema ticket?

I don't.

How much does a gym membership cost in Bulgaria?
Unsure these days.

Thankyou very much for the info

very informative.. Thanks...

I live in Sofia so the following are for the city center:


How much does it cost to rent an apartment or a house in Bulgaria?
1050lv a month, with underground parking, center of the city, 2bdr, 2bath 100sqm

How much does it cost to buy an apartment or a house in Bulgaria?
Varies a lot

How much do you pay on average for public transportation (bus, subway, train, tram, taxi)?
Taxis usually run me 5-10lv but I rarely use them as I have a car

How much do you pay for basic food items such as rice, bread, and pasta?
Groceries are pretty cheap here
Rice - 2-3lv
Bread - .75-2lv
Pasta - 2-4lv

What is your monthly budget for groceries?
I spend about 400lv a month but I do eat out 3-4 times a week

How much does it cost to see a doctor/dentist/physician/specialist in Bulgaria?
Dunno, haven't had the need for a doctor

How much do you pay for health insurance per month?
Don't have any

How much does childcare cost on average per month?
N/A

What is your child's schooling budget per month?
N/A

How much does it cost to fill up your car’s fuel tank?
200lv 85 liters diesel (usually last me about a month but I don't drive a lot since I like walking everywhere)

How much do you pay for electricity/gas/water etc., per month?
Electricity - 60lv wither, 150lv summer (A/C on) on average
Water - 20-30lv
Central heating (winter months) - 180lv

How much do you pay for your internet and phone subscription?
Internet and cable TV 60lv (with HBO, Cinemax) + 20lv for Netflix

How much do you pay for your lunch pack on weekdays?
Lunch depending on where I go 10-30lv

How much do you pay for an espresso coffee?
5lv with tip

How much do you pay for a cinema ticket?
10-15lv depending on time of day (they have discounts on tuesdays and thursdays)

How much does a gym membership cost in Bulgaria?
86lv a month

Car insipurance
2000lv a year for full coverage and liability

My biggest expense is going out witch is around 3000lv+ a month (including restaurants)

Thank you for the information.
Vonnie 75

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