What You Could Get in Sofia for $10 – How to Enjoy Life by Spending Bulgarian Lev in the Capital

Hi everyone!

It's been a while since the last time we covered a city around Slavic nations on our $10 series. This week, we've got Ciara of Wellness Travel Diaries to share with us how far $10 could get you in one of the cities.

It's our first time covering a city in Bulgaria, as we've only covered some places in their neighbor countries like Bucharest and Sibiu in Romania, Athens and Kalabaka in Greeece, or Izmir in Turkey.

So, what could you get in Sofia for $10?!

How to Travel Bulgarian Way in Sofia

Situated in the Balkan region is the lovely city of Sofia. Positioned as the capital of Bulgaria, this city is known for its charming green parks, abundant historic culture, and piquant milieu for a tasty Bulgarian food experience.

While Bulgaria is located within Europe’s borders, it has a different currency than countries within the European Union (EU). Bulgaria’s current form of currency is called the Bulgarian Lev. Comparatively, the Lev exchange rate is equal to about half the dollar—i.e 1 (lv) Bulgarian Lev converts to about 0.58 (USD) U.S Dollar.

If you haven’t already visited Sofia, you should definitely add it to your European bucket list. With an amazing exchange rate, relaxing grassy spaces, delicious food, and beautiful museums, what’s not to love?

Did you know?

The Cyrillic alphabet, the alphabet used in other languages like Russian and Serbian is originated from Bulgaria. Created in the 9th century at the Preslav Literary School, the alphabet is named after the Christian missionaries who founded it: Cyril and Methodius. Both missionaries have later announced as saints.

If you had $10 to spend for the day in Sofia, what could you get? Consider this list of “how much do things cost” to get your mind stoked for reasons to visit this off-the-beaten path destination.

Banitsa – 1 lv & up ($0.58 USD or more)

Banitsa is a traditional Bulgarian pastry that’s made with a light, flaky crust and filled with either juicy cabbage and feta cheese, or feta cheese and ham.

Each restaurant serves its own variation, but the flaky crust and feta cheese is a key component. The price is calculated by weight, so grab the amount that fits within your budget.

Stroll Down Vitosha – Free

Vitosha Boulevard is the most lavish street in the city, being jam-packed with chic boutiques, specialty shops that sell rose oils, and the highest amount of enticing vegan restaurants in Sofia with gluten-free options too.

While enjoying the street is free, shopping and dining at restaurants can cost 5 lv and up depending on the restaurant.

Ciara in Sofia.

Pizza Slice – 4.48 – 7.71 lv ($2.50 – 4.50 USD)

Pizza slices are extremely easy to find throughout Sofia with vegetarian options as well.

Lunch – 5 – 10 lv ($2.92 – 5.84 USD)

Not feeling pizza? Grab a local meal or sandwich from a restaurant.

Cup of coffee – 1-2.5 lv ($0.58 – 1.46)

In the same manner, an expresso is on the lower end of the price listed above, while a cup of cappuccino is on the higher end.

Opera & Ballet Performances – 20 lv ($11.68 USD) – (discounts for students and seniors)

While a visit to the opera, ballet and musicals barely trickles over $10, this price is great for anyone wanting to see an art performance.

If you’re a student or senior these ticket prices are further discounted than the prices listed above.

Liquor in Bulgaria.

Bottle of wine – 9 lv ($5.30 USD)

This is around the price of a medium priced bottle of wine.

Food tour – free

In Sofia, I highly recommend trying the free food tour. It’s a fun way to mingle with locals or tourist, and then take a deep dive into the delicious cuisine in Sofia.

Visit one of the fascinating museums found within Sofia – 2 – 10 lv ($1.17 – $5.84 USD)

The National Archeological Museum hosts a collection of exceptional artifacts, military equipment and more. It has an entrance fee of 10 lv ($5.84) for adults and 2 lv ($1.17) for students.

Another museum to consider visiting is the St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral Museum. This museum has free entry, but to enter the exquisite crypt icon museum, there is a small fee of 6 lv ($3.51).

Furthermore, Sofia is an excellent city to visit because of its affordability, rich history, and satisfying cuisine. Mix and match this list to create your personal list of “how would you spend $10” in this pleasant city.

Contributor: Ciara of Wellness Travel Diaries

Ciara is a SoCal native who loves traveling the globe with her husband, finding new ways to feel healthy and fit. Through a blend of fitness, nutrition, and personal development tips, her travel blog, Wellness Travel Diaries, helps others find a meaningful connection to their own health and travel journey. In her free time, you'll find her health coaching and exploring new cities while devouring a scoop of chocolatey ice cream.

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