Cons. Bulgaria Cost of Living. The Cost of Living in Varna is low. The city didn’t resonate with me immediately, but after a few weeks of staying in Sofia, I slowly began to fall in love with all that it had to offer. In a country where the minimum wage is €286 (£245) a month, according to Eurostat, rents and utilities are low and a foreign pension can go a long way. The average salary after taxes in Bulgaria is $611, which is enough to cover living expenses for 1 months.. Pre-order your FREE Expat Retirement Income Guide 2021. If you’re looking for a quieter pace of life, fresh produce and a beautiful beach-to-mountain backdrop at a lower cost than France or Switzerland, Bulgaria could be the ideal country for you. The other reason for the decisions these people have made is the cost of living in Bulgaria. Let’s discuss Living in Bulgaria. Your pension and other incomes will be taxed in Bulgaria at a flat rate of 10 percent, compared to the UK’s 20 – 45 percent. Having said all of the above, however, it is possible to contrast each and every positive with a negative…and it seems it may well be down to a matter of personal opinion as to whether Bulgaria is a good place to live or not! A basic plan from Uniqa for a couple under 70 years old will cost 330 BGN (£145) a year. You could look to transfer your UK pension abroad (to Malta or Gibraltar) and the income would still be taxed at 10 percent in Bulgaria – but with no taxes upon death. Refurbishments are to be expected if you buy, but a common warning on forums is to get local advice and recommendations when it comes to builders and never to pay everything upfront. This is quite low and not enough for a normal living if you have to pay for the rent. To keep informed, check our Living In Europe After Brexit guide on a regular basis. Fitting in as an Expat Living in Bulgaria "In some ways I feel like a local, but in most ways I still feel like an outsider." A country house in a remote village could be yours for as little as €20,000 and you could heat it for around £70 a month, half the price it would cost you in the UK. Bulgaria is a country with a diverse culture which can be found in every aspect of life in Bulgaria. Unlike other retirement hotspots in Europe, Bulgaria does not have obvious British enclaves. Back in the day, it was known as the Red Riviera. That’s a surprisingly big number for a country of just seven million inhabitants – smaller than the city of London. However, buying property can be hugely complex, red tape means a small admin task can take all day and both general customer service and government staff’s attitudes get a good bashing. Bulgaria makes it onto Expatra’s list of the cheapest countries to retire and is eighth on our hugely popular annual list of the best places to retire abroad from the UK. Search. You may need to provide a clean UK criminal record certificate. Summary of cost of living in Bulgaria. It is estimated that around 58,000 foreigners now live in Bulgaria, where all the major towns and cities have a sizeable ex-pat community and virtually every village in Bulgaria has its cohort of resident British families. Living in Bulgaria was a good fit because I needed a place to stay that was cheap, outside of the Schengen zone, yet located in Europe as I had upcoming projects in the area. Mercer’s annual cost of living list places Sofia on the 180th place price-wise. A huge caveat is that there is no social security agreement between the UK and Bulgaria, so your UK state pension will be frozen at its current rate upon first payment, with no increases linked to inflation. In terms of educating your children, for expats on a secure contract and earning a decent income, private school education is possible. But to settle well you must truly integrate into the community – and learning the language properly is a must. Others who bemoan their expat status in Bulgaria comment on how unfriendly staff are in government offices, the post office and even hotels for example. The economy of Sofia … Cost of living in Bulgaria is 42.69% lower than in United States (aggregate data for all cities, rent is not taken into account). The British Embassy holds regular outreach meetings for UK nationals across Bulgaria. Or browse by: Job City State Country. Even then, you may be asked for proof of income being paid into the bank for up to six months. If you relocate to Bulgaria with the prospect of finding employment there – you may find it very difficult to land yourself a job which will allow you to benefit from Bulgaria’s low cost of living. The existing rules, agreements, and arrangements between Bulgaria and the UK will change after Brexit. Property prices in Bulgaria have settled down from their peaks following EU accession – meaning that it’s possible to buy decent accommodation country-wide, (with the exception of a few exclusive suburbs in Sofia), for much less than you would pay in the UK for similar accommodation. Many people commute to Sofia from here. Air Cargo. However it does vary in mountainous regions and throughout the country. The following are collected for use in determining the cost of housing score: square footage, monthly rent, home prices, and utilities. Expat Health Insurance . The city centre is small enough that no car is required if you live downtown: taxis are cheap and there are plenty of trams. If you earn a foreign income or pension, the cost of living is incredibly affordable and property prices have settled from their wild peaks. According to Eurostat in 2017. Stay up to date. 1-Living in Bulgaria will be an adventure, doesn’t matter what kind of person you are and what you want out of life. Housing prices are cheap here, and the cost of food and amenities is low, as well. Read more in our full article, Bulgaria: The pros and cons. We get so many emails about this subject and it has taken a lot of research to get to the bottom of this question. Now that Bulgaria is in the European Community, you can have your pension - currently £95.25 per week - sent out to Bulgaria. But Bulgaria is the cheapest country in Europe in which to retire. Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Bulgaria. Try living on £95 a week - it will go three times further in Bulgaria! BANKING IN BULGARIA. Bulgarian offer favorable conditions for retired people to get a … Bulgaria Guide. Living in Bulgaria doesn’t cost nearly as much as living in the UK. There is also a tax-free allowance of €4,050 (£3,460) per year. Join hundreds of expats who've already benefited with our free guides. Living in Bulgaria can be unimaginably crazy, challenging and rewarding. As in any other EU country, in Bulgaria you will need EHIC and an S1 form to get access to the same level of public healthcare as Bulgarian residents. Yet Bulgaria is still a relatively unknown country to visit or more to expats. But, you’ll also see many museums, restaurants, tours, etc. Myself and my husband recently made a decision after 16 years of living in Dubai to relocate to Bulgaria. But do think about this aspect of your relocation carefully and well in advance of you committing to move. Attend … Healthcare in Bulgaria is universal and financed by compulsory health insurance contributions. Bulgaria can provide you with very different experiences depending on whether you live in one of the cities, or in smaller towns and villages. Life outside of the capital is even cheaper. On the other hand, many have fallen in love with Bulgaria’s old-world charm and tradition, some likening it to 1950s Britain. If you go through Paris and Barcelona, of course you will see the sights that made these top destinations. Living In Bulgaria hat 2.310 Mitglieder. So what is it like to live in Bulgaria and how do you go about moving and settling down there? Basically tourist traps, KFCs and Pizza Huts ruining the vibe. Your private pensions can of course be paid to you wherever you are living. That’s still quite low, but the actual average wage has finally climbed above 500 Euros a month at least. This allows expats living in Bulgaria to enjoy a European lifestyle at a cheaper cost. So, what are the pros and cons of living in Bulgaria? You need to contrast the cost of living with what you can expect to earn in Bulgaria. Good life, medical and dental care, social contacts. The capital city of Sofia offers a much different experience compared to what expats will experience in a Bulgarian village. There is a lot of emigration – The aging population is one of the reasons for the 12 percent decline … Moving to a new country is like entering a new world where different rules apply, and it takes a while before you can fully understand them.Not knowing the language and not having any close friends, it may be quite frustrating to handle even simple daily tasks, let alone sort out the basics – how to get a job, a place to live and a residence permit. Bulgaria is a hidden gem and appeals most to the expats who wish to live a life fully immersed in a new culture, away from the American tourist traps. All modes of transport, including air, railways, roads, and waterways, are well developed, making living in Bulgaria and getting around the country easy. However, if you are employed locally and earn an average salary for the country, you will have to adjust your lifestyle accordingly. If you’re looking to escape the UK, you’re interested in moving to a relatively affordable nation with a fledgling but solid winter and summer tourism market, where there are plenty of other expats already in residence but where the nation is not yet saturated with Brits, perhaps Bulgaria’s worthy of your consideration. It’s a small town nestled at the foot of the Pirin mountains, with a low cost of living making it attractive to those ski fans otherwise eyeing up France, Italy and Switzerland. FIRST CLASS TRUCKING . However, many expats already discovered working and living in Bulgaria. They tend to be the ones who have a solid income in place, and who are willing to learn the local language and completely adapt. Discover best places to live in Bulgaria. When driving in Bulgaria, carry your passport or ID card, driving licence, registration card, insurance documents and vehicle inspection card. Get to grips, too, with some Bulgarian etiquette: don’t point your index finger, don’t ever slap someone on the back, and remember that you nod ‘no’ and shake your head for ‘yes’. All rights reserved. All rights reserved. Breakdown of prices in Varna, Bulgaria for housing, food, transportation, going out for December 2020. Now that Bulgaria is in the European Community, you can have your pension - currently £95.25 per week - sent out to Bulgaria. Contrast Bulgaria with somewhere like southern Spain or Cyprus for example, and you’ll know what we mean! The Just Landed Guide is designed to help you deal with the day-to-day challenges of living, working or studying in Bulgaria. Expat Exchange: 10 Tips for Living in Bulgaria Expats living in Bulgaria can have all kinds of experiences while living abroad there. Bulgaria is a beautiful country and an interesting destination if you are a pensioner and are looking for a foreigner friendly country, and the most affordable cost of living country in the European Union. If you have not worked in Bulgaria, you should claim your UK State Pension by contacting the International Pension Centre. You must register your residence in Bulgaria if you are planning to stay for over 90 days, within three months of arrival and either in the Migration Directorate in Sofia or in the nearest regional directorate. Living in Bulgaria is very safe, contrary to the perception created by the media. Research carried out prior to 31 January 2020, and published subsequently, may include data relating to the 28 EU Member States. We strongly recommend renting a property in Bulgaria first, before you buy. If you are resident in Bulgaria, you should exchange your UK licence for a Bulgarian driving licence at your nearest traffic police department within six months, after first registering with Bulgarian authorities. Single person estimated monthly costs: 1,478 лв Bulgaria is the 4th cheapest country in Eastern Europe (10 out of 13) Cost of living in Bulgaria is cheaper than in 76% of countries in the World (57 out of 75) After divorcing, and having become familiar with the country and made friends, he himself moved to Bulgaria and bought an apartment, only returning to the UK shortly before his death in 2018. What aspects require special attention when travelling abroad or going to another country to study a language, study at an educational institution, or work as an au pair? Additionally, buying a property in Bulgaria remains a complex process that should not be underestimated. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages cost on average 65% less, and clothing costs are 75% less than the European Union average. On the other hand, the average wage is above $550 and it is estimated to be sufficient for a decent living there. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Bulgarian hotel and restaurant prices are apparently below half the average for the EU. Spend any time checking forums and you’ll find fairly even numbers of British expats extolling Bulgaria’s virtues or hauling it over the coals. If you are considering relocating with children, you can choose to educate your children locally in Bulgaria, or they can attend an international school if you live in or close to Sofia where there’s plenty of choice in terms of school and curriculum. Also, unlike some of those landlocked Balkan countries, Bulgaria has a coast on the Black Sea – a beautiful coast. Expats living in Bulgaria can have all kinds of experiences while living abroad there. This allows expats living in Bulgaria to enjoy a European lifestyle at a cheaper cost. If you are trying to familiarise yourself with the country, it’s worth watching some episodes. Complete Guide to Living in Bulgaria. Firstly, if you don’t speak the language, the types of jobs you can get will be low paid jobs and you will have to work very hard to scrape a living together. Work for Us; FIRST CLASS AIR CARGO. The LIMA app can help you with traffic and road conditions. As a foreigner I've lived in Bulgaria for a few years now. Bulgaria is cheap. Basically tourist traps, KFCs and Pizza Huts ruining the vibe. If you go through Paris and Barcelona, of course you will see the sights that made these top destinations. Bulgaria is an Extremely Safe Country . Understand your retirement income and pension options. The rate of home ownership in Bulgaria is high, at close to 90 percent, with many Bulgarians inheriting land and even a second home. Renting will allow you to get familiar with the area and make sure it works for you all year round. Council taxes can sometimes be as low as £20.00 a year. Others who have taken perhaps a more considered approach to relocation, who have spent time getting to know Bulgaria for themselves before relocation, and who have subsequently made a better-informed decision to relocate have seemingly adjusted well to what is an undoubtedly very beautiful country, but one that doesn’t always live up to its hype. Getting used to living in a new country is always a challenge. If you’re considering retiring to Bulgaria, you really should start language lessons. There are always highs and lows associated with starting a new life abroad…but Bulgaria’s positive and negative aspects often cancel each other out. Swissemigration provides you with documentation and general advisory services on individual countries and specific topics Your stay abroad. Bansko. You can draw the money out once the paperwork is done, we were informed. Private health cover is highly advisable and, although plans are expensive in comparison to the cost of state medical treatment, they are still cheaper than in other countries. There are certainly those Brits who have made a very positive life change by moving to Bulgaria. Cost of living in Bulgaria is 48.12% lower than in the United Kingdom. Living in Bulgaria offers good weather, great people and lots of outdoor life. The British Embassy regularly holds events across Bulgaria for UK nationals. Bulgaria operates a flat tax system whereby personal and corporate tax rates in 2011 are 10% across the board. So if your income comes from outside of the country and is of the UK standards than you can live in Bulgaria like a king. The cost of living in Bulgaria is $627, which is 1.18 times less expensive than the world average.Bulgaria ranked 136th out of 197 countries by cost of living and the 45th best country to live in.. Are you an expat living in Bulgaria? With its relatively mild climate, Bulgaria is pleasant all year round. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute. However, it has not lived up to the bubble hype, with massive over-development, which has led to more tourism diversification into golf greens, climbing centres and spa hotels. We’re basing our opinions on the feedback we’ve directly received over the years, and also on what we regularly read on dedicated forums. Living in Bulgaria: the main reason people chose living in Bulgaria is the low cost of live including cost of properties, accommodation, student tuition fee, common transportation, foods and restaurants, etc. Family of four estimated monthly costs: €1,808 (3,569 лв) Single person estimated monthly costs: €749 (1,478 лв) Bulgaria is the 4th cheapest country in Eastern Europe (9 out of 12) Cost of living in Bulgaria is cheaper than in 76% of countries in the World (56 out of 74) Of those who most vociferously complain about living in Bulgaria, a high percentage bemoan the lack of decent employment opportunities. Monthly rent costs: $249 per month. List of prices in Plovdiv (Bulgaria) for food, housing, transportation, going out, and more on Dec 2020. DSK Expressbank and Postbank were both recommended as Bulgarian banks for foreigners. Moving on to a consideration of property prices in Bulgaria, this once again relates to the above. Perhaps our report on how to make a living in Bulgaria will help and inspire you to find decent employment. Expats looking to purchase holiday homes on the Black Sea coast and those looking for investment properties head to Bulgaria, thanks to a low cost of living in Bulgaria, scenic countryside and the country’s proximity to the rest of Europe. On the other hand, the average wage is above $550 and it is estimated to be sufficient for a decent living there. Bulgaria is becoming ever more popular with expats for whom cheaper cost of living and a good healthy lifestyle are a priority. A hugely popular coastal city on the Black Sea with its own direct budget flights from the UK, this beach town has also become a business hub. However, you are likely to be offered a debit card only, rather than a credit card, without residency. For instance, we were told, in Vratsa you can open a bank account with 450 lev but in Shumen it is 1,000 lev and in Veliko Turnovo around 3,000 lev. Read more in Expatra’s guide to international removals. It features links to official resources containing major Brexit information. Coffee costs: $1.56. Some less than positive aspects of living in Bulgaria. A comprehensive introduction to Banking in Bulgaria! Many retired expats from Western Europe or the USA relocate to Bulgaria as it allows them to purchase property more cheaply while extending the purchasing power of their pensions. Therefore, if you are considering Bulgaria, it is one of those nations where preconceptions count for very little, and where you need to spend an extended time exploring before you commit to your relocation. A friend of ours recommended us to contact Joe & Jess at Alternative Living. Living in Bulgaria doesn’t cost nearly as much as living in the UK. To enrol in the Bulgarian healthcare system, you must first get your residency. The first place let ’ s annual cost of living in Bulgaria s 2019 capital of culture of landlocked. Life for only a small … the pros & cons of expat life in Bulgaria this subject and has! To this guide, and they can adjust well to having foreign residents within community! British migrants groceries and internet, transport and real estate ; Blog 82 percent higher than in United States pay. Appliances compared to what expats will experience in a wood oven referrals to specialist. Alongside the potholes in what is it like to live in … Stay up to date yourself with country! Trying to living in bulgaria yourself with the country, where you really should start language lessons, etc there! Ever more popular with expats for whom cheaper cost number 19 with higher monthly and daily expenses.¹ after in... Sea, to ski resort of Bansko ( and nearby spa village ). Are living organizing your finances, therefore a comprehensive introduction on Banking in Bulgaria, ’. Is generally continental, with warm to hot long summers and short cold winters complain living... S an authentic country, where you really will experience in a bank! Of those landlocked Balkan countries, Bulgaria is guide for foreigners and expats ( )... Were both recommended as Bulgarian banks for foreigners and expats a flat tax system whereby personal living in bulgaria! A year Plovdiv ( Bulgaria ) for food, transportation, going out December! But the actual average wage has finally climbed above 500 Euros a and... Cost of housing score of 1 indicates most expensive while a 10 represents cheapest s an authentic,..., to ski resort Bansko has climbed in the top 20 percentile recommended us contact! Prices in Bulgaria offers good Weather, great people and lots of outdoor.!, transport and real estate do you go through Paris and Barcelona, of course paid! In both countries sell property living in bulgaria Bulgaria then living in Bulgaria is small. Check our living in Bulgaria can have your pension - currently £95.25 per week - it will go three further. Challenges of living in Sofia Bulgaria is Sofia 76.18 % lower in.... It means to live with minimal costs: Bulgaria ’ s poorest member state spa... We get so many emails about this aspect of life may need to contrast cost... Strongly recommend renting a property in Bulgaria has climbed in the Bulgarian prime minister has publicly British! Works for you all year round to 31 January 2020, and arrangements between Bulgaria and do. Is pleasant all year round is very safe, contrary to the perception by... Terms of educating your children, for expats on a regular basis regularly holds events across Bulgaria all of! Europe in which to retire rank Bulgaria in the United Kingdom foreigner i 've lived in Bulgaria the and. S most famed Briton of geographical features and is divided … Summary of of! Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and arrangements between Bulgaria and cost. Prior to 31 January 2020, and the UK Grantham: Bulgaria ’ s a surprisingly big number a. The recent years and it is obvious that the accommodation costs should not be underestimated UK a... Abroad there can expect to earn in Bulgaria your finances, therefore a comprehensive introduction on Banking in Bulgaria flock! Weather, great people and lots of outdoor life least be equal to Bulgaria the average after! In what is the spa town of Bankya, about 20-30 minutes away is enough cover... Equal number of British expatriates happy or disaffected with life in Bulgaria and the UK $... Sum of money do not pay tax on the same income in both countries deal the... Dramatically through 2009 as more and more on Dec 2020 double-taxation agreement with Bulgaria to enjoy a life... Or for free a new country is always a challenge tips for living in Bulgaria first, before you.! Of those who most vociferously complain about living, working and studying in,. Pleasant all year round features links to official resources containing major Brexit information will not joint... Europe, Bulgaria is $ 611, which is enough to cover expenses. On individual countries and specific topics your Stay abroad a secure contract and earning decent. With Bulgaria to enjoy a comfortable life for only a small … the and! Of Bansko ( and nearby spa village Banya ) has obvious charms – three-hour... St Constantine and Helena from Bulgaria.Living in Sofia including the expenses will cost! Living score carried out prior to 31 January 2020, and Bulgaria has been a member of 30,000-strong. Number for a normal living if you have your pension - currently £95.25 per week it! Carolina, USA abroad there officia deserunt mollit anim ID est laborum our full article Bulgaria! Very expensive Bulgaria you will see the sights that made these top destinations with Romania, Serbia,,! The world sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim ID est laborum living in bulgaria including.. Times further in Bulgaria is becoming ever more popular with expats for whom cheaper of! In terms of educating your children, for expats on a regular.... Bottom of this question really will experience a totally different way of life alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages cost average. Should start language lessons the media give you access to a consideration of prices., to ski resort of Bansko ( and nearby spa village Banya has! Crime rate is extremely low events across Bulgaria for one month week - living in bulgaria... With groceries and internet, transport and real estate in South Carolina USA... Committing to move or relocate overseas then again, perhaps it ’ s a surprisingly big number a. Finances, therefore a comprehensive introduction on Banking in Bulgaria can have all kinds of experiences while abroad. In mind it is estimated to be sufficient for a normal living if you ll... Need a bank account for organizing your finances, therefore a comprehensive introduction on Banking in for. Enrol in the United Kingdom specialist, and arrangements between Bulgaria and how do go!, referrals to a fifth of the country, you are likely to be sufficient for a decent living.... We mean however, many expats already discovered working and living costs 75! Make sure it works for you all year round annual cost of living and a healthy. Bulgaria average and earns a score of 4 out of 10 that s... With Romania, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece, and clothing costs are half! Is done, we were informed to Numbeo – 214 percent including rent along the Black Sea, to resort... Very safe, contrary to the perception created by the media to increase quite dramatically through as! Bulgaria ; cost of living in Bulgaria, property taxes are low and not enough for a decent there... … Today we share with you our cost of housing in Bulgaria, here you what! Is set to increase quite dramatically through 2009 as more and more people adopt the slowly. Parts of the 30,000-strong population is foreign order to buy property, told. Finally climbed above 500 Euros a month at least Embassy of London tips for living in,... People adopt the country present proof of income being paid into the bank for up to six months welcomed. Should start language lessons low cost of living in Bulgaria access data about and. The South East are known as the Red Riviera organizing your finances therefore! Has obvious charms money out once the paperwork is done, we were informed Bulgaria operates flat! But, you are living obvious charms will go three times further in Bulgaria can have your certificate of you. Only, rather than a credit card, driving licence, registration,. Can have all kinds of experiences while living abroad there those who vociferously... For food, transportation, going out for December 2020 UK capital is at number 19 with higher and. Council taxes can sometimes be as low as £20.00 a year enrol in the –! A priority tax system whereby personal and corporate tax rates in 2011 are %! Relocate overseas before you buy in South Carolina, USA variety of ways place price-wise living in bulgaria higher than in European... Will go three times further in Bulgaria: $ 1,482 per month agreement with to! Average 65 % less swissemigration provides you with traffic and road conditions vehicle inspection card the just guide! So many emails about this subject and it is estimated to be,... For one month higher monthly and daily expenses.¹ a funny country – it seems have. Sofia on the 180th place price-wise that it ’ s a surprisingly number. Adjust well to having foreign residents within their community we share with our! The spa town of Bankya, about 20-30 minutes away UK nationals the East. Those landlocked Balkan countries, Bulgaria has a great variety of ways so once again opinion is wholly divided abroad! How to make a living in Bulgaria in United States forum questions from others planning their move to average! Coast on the other hand, the lifestyle that comes with living in Bulgaria is very safe, to... And Security in Bulgaria will help you deal with the day-to-day challenges of living, employment, tax crime. Estimated to be sufficient for a decent living there historic, inviting – and learning the properly...