Budget Traveling – Destination: Bulgaria

Beautiful mountain in Sofia. Check out my video of the trip on Youtube: https://youtu.be/YCuDGUNS8oE.

So Glamorous Sonia finally got out of Finland after sitting here alone for three years. I decided to go back to Sofia, Bulgaria. I worked there for a couple of months in 2016 and it’s a very pleasant and affordable destination from USD/ EUR currency perspective. Bulgarian leva is quite weak compared to USD and Euro, so that’s why it’s a cheaper destination than Paris for example. I would also say that it is more fun than many European cities and people are very respectful and polite towards tourists and foreigners. Though if you travel with a good looking man, Bulgarian women can be a bit intrusive. 😂😬 In any case, I had a very fun and social one week where I spent about one hour alone in seven days. Anyway, I calculated that I spent about 825 euros (1007 USD) in total from my pocket with some costs shared with my Italian friends, such as food. (Check out my Italian Food Culture video) Here’s the breakdown of my expenses:

  1. Airplane ticket with return, 271€ ($330). I flew from Helsinki, Finland via Frankfurt, Germany to Sofia, Bulgaria with Lufthansa.
  2. Airbnb apartment, 175€ ($214). The fee per night was only 20€ ($24). It was a big spacious apartment with two floors, a balcony and a mountain view. It was walking distance from Bulgaria Mall.
  3. Covid test in Finland, 0€. (For Finnish citizens, in private clinic it’s 150-250€/ $180-300) The good thing about Finland is semi-free healthcare. You have to pay some fees for basic treatments, but Covid tests have so far been free of cost and you get a certificate in English for traveling.
  4. Covid test in Bulgaria, 46€ ($56). I went to a private laboratory next to Bulgaria Mall. It’s called SMDL-Medilab and the address is Bulgaria boulevard 51 A 1404.
  5. Traveling to the airport and back in Finland, 69,80€ ($85). Well I got a friend to drop me to the airport when I left Helsinki and I paid 10€ ($12) for gas. On my return, I took a train to my friend’s house in Helsinki to pick up my cat and spent 2,80€ ($3,40) for the ticket. From Helsinki I took a taxi to my house (outside of Helsinki) with my luggage, cat and cat’s stuff, 57€ ($70). You can order online Kovanen taxi.
  6. Airport taxi in Sofia x 2, 25,60€ ($31). From Sofia airport to Bulgaria Mall area is about 12€ ($14,65) so this is what I calculated both ways with tips. Really something amazing compared to crazy prices in Helsinki!
  7. Car rental for 24 hours, 59€ ($72) + gas 41€ ($50). This was definitely luxury and not budget traveling, but it was a quick and easy way to see other parts of Bulgaria, such as historical city of Plovdiv and Starosel spa and winery area. We didn’t stay at the spa resort as it’s not budget traveling. Highways are good in Bulgaria for road trips.
  8. Cash for food, tram, nails, taxi etc. for the whole week, 292€ ($357). I really kept my budget to the minimum and avoided spending money on beauty and fashion even though I’m writing about fashion too. This time however, I focused on relaxing, food, socialising with my Italian friends and refreshing my mind and mental health. However, as an example, a tram ticket costs only 0,82€ ($1), where as in Helsinki it’s 2,80€ ($3,42)! A manicure with gel polish is 18€ ($22) in Sofia and in Helsinki you have to pay 45€ ($55)! No wonder I look like a cave woman in Finland lol. 😅
  9. Lunch, 5€ ($6,10). An average price of lunch for one person in Sofia.
  10. One beer/ a glass of wine, 1,50€ ($1,80)/ 2,50€ ($3). An average price for beer and wine in bars and restaurants in Sofia.

So in total I spent for a one week trip from Helsinki to Sofia after some shared Airbnb, food, taxi and car rental costs with my Italian friends, 824,80€ ($1007). I recommend to visit Bulgaria, an excellent destination for budget traveling, fun, peace and relaxing your mind. Please notice, however that more than half of my trip’s budget was spent in traveling from Finland, so if you travel to Bulgaria from some other country, chances are you’ll spend less money.

My trip to Sofia was so much fun with Italian friends! Check out Antonio tasting Finnish reindeer meat: https://youtu.be/3IerMvqwgl4

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