Cost of Living in Bulgaria

Pounds sterling go a long way in Bulgaria, where native products and services are often less than a third of the price of western European countries. Perhaps the most notable area where prices are lower is in the bar and restaurant sector -even McDonald’s and KFC have prices around half those in the UK. Not everything is cheaper, however, particularly among imported products. Many electrical appliances, including certain newer models of white goods, cost at least as much as in the UK.

buzludzha landscape bulgaria

In 2007 the National Statistics Institute reported that the average Bulgarian annual household income was around 7,200 leva (£2,500). Even taking into account the low prices, this would seem too small to survive on, but real incomes may be as much as 50 percent higher because of undeclared earnings. Even so, it is not a lot of money.

So how much money will you need to get by on in Bulgaria? As a foreigner you are always likely to be at a disadvantage when you first arrive, because it takes time to find the best places to shop and you are likely to pay above the odds for various services and products because you are a’rich’westerner-an example is taxis, which often overcharge foreigners (as do many estate agents). Bulgarians also often supplement their food supplies from provisions given to them by relatives in the villages.

landscape bulgaria horseriding

A British family of four could live quite comfortably on just 1,450 leva (£500) per month (assuming no rent or mortgage), but what will happen in the future? People depending on fixed revenues will experience a decrease in standard of living, assuming that prices continue to rise, and people living on savings will suffer likewise if price rises continue to outstrip UK and Bulgarian interest rates. You therefore should not be lulled into thinking that life will always be cheap for you if you move to Bulgaria.

tsankov kamak Dam Bulgaria Mountain

The following table provides a snapshot of some typical prices in 2007. Prices are also given in euros so that you can compare with other European countries.

Item or Activity          Price (€)
Loaf of bread 500 gr.      0.40

Potatoes 1kg                       0.44
6 eggs                                    0.52
Minced meat 1kg              2.07
Natural yoghurt 400g    0.34
Chocolate bar40g            0.34

Restaurants and Bars
Espresso coffee                                         0.44
Bottle mineral water 500ml                0.44
Local vodka 50ml                                    0.59
Finlandia vodka 50ml                            1.62
Local beer 500ml                                    0.74
Portion of chips                                         1.48
Salad or starter –                                        2.21
Main meal-high                                          5-91
Dessert – high                                              2.21
Bottle of house wine 750ml                  4.43
Toasted cheese sandwich from stall  0.74

Intercity bus ticket 250km                   8.86
Taxi per km                                                  0.29
Petrol litre                                                    1.03
Diesel litre                                                     0.96

Belogradchik Bulgaria Landscape

Giving birth in private hospita                                   370.00
Teeth clean and check-up (private clinic)                15.00

Water boiler Bulgarian 50 litres                                  60.00
Washing machine Whirlpool AWE6317                275.00
TV Samsung PS42P5H – plasma 42″                     1,400.00

Satellite TV minimum monthly package                 12.00
International telephone call per minute                   0.15

Mobile phone Mtel Extra per minute
(domestic)                                                                             0.09
20 cigarettes                                                                        2.50
Cinema ticket                                                                       2.95

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