Pleasant holidays in Bulgaria don’t consist of only the sun, the beach and the sea. Great food and irreplaceable Bulgarian wine are a part of the experience! Check the current prices of food, drinks and alcohol, see how much do you need to pay in an average restaurant in Bulgaria and learn how to choose the best deals. All you need is here!
Everyone planning to spend the holidays in Bulgaria wants to get at least general information about the current prices there. We will answer the question of how much money do you need to take with you on a trip to Bulgaria.
Some people are interested in the basic prices of everyday food products, because they will eat independently on the spot, while others are more interested in prices in restaurants or other gastronomic establishments in Bulgaria, because they simply want to take a break from their daily kitchen duties. Below you will find detailed information about both! But before you get to know the price information in Bulgaria, we’ll tell you a little about currency and payments.
What is the currency and how do you pay in Bulgaria?
Let’s start with the information that lev is the official currency in Bulgaria. Lev has a fixed exchange rate with euro, at the rate of 1.95583 lev being 1 euro. On the spot, as in most countries, you can pay by card and withdraw money from an ATM. The latter can only be a problem in tiny towns and villages. Of course, you should take into account the commission that your bank can charge you. Generally, wherever tourists appear, there are also local exchange offices. However, you need to be particularly vigilant while exchanging money in them, so as to exchange at a favorable course. In Bulgaria, you can also pay with the generally accepted European currency (euro), however, it may inflate the prices.
Let’s get to the details now and see if Bulgaria is expensive!
Food prices in Bulgaria
It may be surprising for some, but Bulgaria is not cheap at all. There is a common misconception that the country is cheap. While it is true when compared to other countries that are popular holiday destination, such as Spain, Portugal or Italy, prices in Bulgaria are not that much different from those in other Central European states. The Bulgarian prices of individual food products will naturally differ between small shops and the supermarket chains, in favor of the latter. However, nothing can be bought for pennies.
Sofia and popular Black Sea resorts such as Slanchev Bryag or Zlatni Pyasatsi are the most expensive places in Bulgaria. Prices are usually higher there than in other parts of Bulgaria, often by ten to twenty percent. As for well-known stores or supermarket chains, prices will be the same in the whole country.
Average prices of basic food products in stores in Bulgaria are as follows:
1. a bread roll – 0.35 BGN
2. 10 eggs – 2.50BGN
3. a block of butter – 2.90BGN
4. 1 kg of ham – 13,50BGN
5. 1 liter of milk – 2BGN
6. a small cup of yogurt – 0.70BGN
7. a loaf of bread – 2BGN
8. 1 kg of cheese – 9BGN
9. 1 kg of potatoes – 1BGN
10. 1 kg of chicken breast – 8.50BGN
11. 1 kg of tomatoes – 1.95BGN
12. a packet of pasta (400gr) – 1,40BGN
13. 1 liter of oil – 2.4BGN
14. 1 kg of sugar – 1.90BGN
15. 1 kg of oranges – 2.80BGN
16. a pack of cigarettes – 5BGN
Below you can find approximate prices of sweets and drinks in Bulgarian stores:
1. 1 liter bottle of mineral water – 0.90BGN
2. a carton of juice (1l) – 2.45BGN
3. 2 liter bottle of cola – 2.40BGN
4. 500g packet of coffee – 8BGN
5. a box of tea (20 teabags) – 2BGN
6. a large packet of potato chips – 2.5BGN
7. a candy bar – 1,20BGN
8. a bar of chocolate – 1.75BGN
9. a donut / croissant – 0.65BGN
10. a packet of chewing gum (10 pieces) – 1.20BGN
Alcohol prices in Bulgaria
The good news is that alcohol in Bulgaria is available at lower prices compared to some other Central European countries such as Poland. There are places where a half-liter glass of beer can even be purchased for only 1BGN. Especially in Slanchev Bryag or Zlatni Pyasatsi, where promotions are organized often to attract customers and tourists to the premises. In turn, drinks in Bulgarian bars cost about 10-15BGN per glass.
In an average Bulgarian store, alcohol prices are as follows:
1. 500 ml bottle or can of beer can cost as little as 1-2BGN
2. a pack containing 2 l of beer costs 2.80BGN
3. a bottle of wine can cost as little as 4BGN
4. price for 1 l of vodka starts from 10.80BGN
5. 1 l of Ciociosan costs 6.50BGN
6. rakija prices start at 5BGN per bottle
Of course, it all depends on what quality of alcohol you want to buy. For example, the original Whiskey Baileys Original with a capacity of 700 ml costs 26BGN, while a liter of Johnny Walker costs 29.50BGN. Those are prices from supermarkets rather than small seaside stores though.
Prices in restaurants in Bulgaria
Prices in restaurants, as is everywhere in the world, vary in proportion to the touristic attractiveness of a given place. The more tourists, the higher prices. This is normal, as is the increase in prices the closer the location is to the sea. There is also a price difference between a small bar, a well-known restaurant, and a fast food bar.
As for the dishes, seafood and fish are the most expensive. In a cozy pub you will eat a meal for 7 to 20BGN. However, in a better restaurant, close to the shoreline, you will spend from 10BGN onwards. In the well-known fast food chain, you can get a set of sandwiches with fries and drinks for 7BGN.
Average prices of dishes in restaurants in Bulgaria are as follows:
1. shopska salad 4-5BGN
2. soup 3-4BGN
3. French fries 2BGN
4. plate / meat board 22-26BGN
5. kebab 10-14BGN
6. pizza from 6,50BGN
7. spaghetti from 6BGN
8. dinner set (meat, potatoes plus vegetable) 7-9BGN
9. fish (salmon) with vegetables 29BGN
10. breaded cheese 3-4BGN
11. grilled chicken 4-7BGN
12. stuffed peppers 4-5BGN
13. breaded shark 15BGN
14. squid 10BGN
1. a scoop of ice cream 1,50BGN
2. ice cream dessert with nuts and fruit 6BGN
3. tiramisu from 2-3BGN
4. a piece of cheesecake 2-4BGN
5. a piece of baklava 2-4BGN
Drinks in restaurants:
1. half-liter bottle of mineral water 1,2-1,3BGN
2. half liter bottle of cola 2BGN
3. half liter bottle of juice 6.50 BGN
4. ajran (0.5l) 3BGN
5. coffee 1-2BGN
6. half-liter bottle of beer 2-3BGN
7. a bottle of wine from 9BGN
A cheaper and quick option is to eat in fast food restaurants or simply from street booths.
The prices of such fast food items are as follows:
kebab in a bread roll / pita 3-5BGN
a piece of pizza 3BGN
double burger with additions 4.50BGN
meat wrap 5.50BGN
chicken nuggets (6 pieces) 4,50BGN
chicken wings (5 pieces) 4,50BGN
large fries 2.70BGN
set (bread roll + French fries + drink) from 6 to 9BGN
large milkshake 3,15BGN
ice cream in a wafer 2.30 BGN
hot cake 1.30BGN
half-liter fizzy drink 2,90BGN
Prices in Slanchev Bryag
Slanchev Bryag is one of the more well-known holiday destinations in Bulgaria, and therefore clearly more expensive than other parts of the country.
When it comes to grocery shopping, as we mentioned earlier, the rule is that the closer to the sea, the more expensive it gets. Differences can range from 50 to 200%, from the normal prices in Bulgaria. Among the seasonal markets, also present in Slanchev Bryag, the best option is the ALDO chain. Lidl and Janet are cheaper, but they are located on the outskirts of the city and there may be a problem with reaching them (no public transport in these areas).
As for the prices in bars and restaurants of Slanchev Bryag, the situation is very similar – city center and area along the promenade are the most expensive. In turn, on the other side of the main street and smaller side streets the prices can be cheaper even by half. So it’s best to go to the left of the main street for a meal. You can also do somewhat cheaper shopping there than in shops near the sea.
The regulars of Slanchev Bryag recommend especially a pub near the bus station. The cost of an exemplary meal with grilled pork shoulder, beer and additions will be around 15BGN there.
Prices in Zlatni Pyasatsi
Zlatni Pyasatsi is another very popular resort crowded in the summer. Thus, prices are among the highest in Bulgaria. Here, the principle that the closer to the beach, the higher the prices, works again. This applies to both grocery stores as well as restaurants and other eateries. In both cases, it is best to follow the rule, the farther from the sea the cheaper.
Example prices in stores in Zlatni Pyasatsi are as follows: a bottle of cola is 2BGN, half a liter of water is 1BGN, while a loaf of bread costs about 1BGN. Smokers will pay 5BGN for a packet of cigarettes, while decent wine is 10BGN per bottle. Half-liter bottle or can of beer costs 1,50BGN in the store. While staying in or visiting Varna, it is worth going shopping in the Varna Mall.
When it comes to prices in restaurants in Zlatni Pyasatsi, the cheapest ones are away from the center of the resort. Average price for a meal in them is 9BGN. A small serving of soft serve costs 1BGN. Coffee is 2-3BGN, beer 5BGN, glass of rakija 5.45BGN, and cocktail from 5BGN. Fish set costs 10BGN, shark 18BGN, and pizza is a 3BGN expenditure.
You can check out fast food and pay 5-6BGN for a kebab, or 4BGN for a hot dog. For children you can order pancakes in Zlatni Pyasatsi, their cost is 5 BGN for two pieces.
Primorsko, Sozopol and other towns
In the seaside resort of Primorsko a pint of beer costs about 2BGN, popular shopska salad 4BGN, cold soup 2-3BGN, and dinner dish 5-8BGN.
Eating out is a little cheaper in a different place – Sozopol. The whole dinner with soup, second course and dessert can only take us up to 5BNN. Prices in stores are at a level such that for half a liter of water we will pay less than 1BGN, and for a liter of juice 3BGN. What’s more, 1.5 l water bottle costs only 0,60BGN in a supermarket.
When it comes to prices, the situation is similar in other Bulgarian cities such as Burgas, Varna, Kavarna and Tsarevo. It is true that it is difficult to say how much dinner costs in Bulgaria because it obviously depends on how many people will eat, how many dishes will be ordered and whether the meal will be consumed in a restaurant, hotel or nearby bar.
We will be happy to hear your opinions about current prices in Bulgaria, especially in places less popular than Zlatni Pyasatsi, Burgas or Slanchev Bryag. Let us share our experience in order to learn the prices of everyday products such as food, drinks, vegetables, fruits, clothes, gifts, alcohol, cigarettes (we suggest to abstain from the last two though!).
Current map of Bulgaria
See where Zlatni Pyasatsi, Burgas, Primorsko, Sozopol, Varna or Slanchev Bryag are located and plan your holidays in Bulgaria. You already know the current prices so now can just plan your route:
So, is it expensive in Bulgaria?
In our opinion, not yet.
Therefore, it is worth using promotional prices and spending cheap holidays in Bulgaria before they start matching those of countries more crowded by tourists. It is also worth visiting the official website of Bulgarian tourism where you will find other information about prices and more.
We hope that thanks to our guide Bulgaria has become much more affordable to you! Have a nice holiday trip!