But then again, perhaps it’s not. From our contacts and from forums, the answer is yes: you can still open a Bulgarian bank account as a non-resident (although one Bulgarian, who had helped a non-resident Greek contact open an account recently, told us it was a “challenging task”). It has its challenges like anywhere else in the world. Living in Bulgaria is very safe, contrary to the perception created by the media. The areas where we sell property in the South East are known as the warmest parts of the country. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages cost on average 65% less, and clothing costs are 75% less than the European Union average. For others, schooling children locally will be the only option. Expats living in Bulgaria often flock to its capital city of Sofia. Many people commute to Sofia from here. Try living on £95 a week - it will go three times further in Bulgaria! Overall I'm very happy here. Built on seven hills, it has a partially restored Roman stadium and an open-air Roman theatre, now used to stage open-air concerts and plays. The British government advises that you should register as a resident in Bulgaria, review your healthcare cover, check your passport is valid for travel and exchange your UK driving licence for a Bulgarian one. Prices in the UK are 82 percent higher than in Bulgaria, according to Numbeo – 214 percent including rent. The capital and largest city of Bulgaria is Sofia. Living in Bulgaria. 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. Once you have your certificate of residence you need to apply for a Bulgarian ID card or lichna karta. Bulgarian hotel and restaurant prices are apparently below half the average for the EU. However, you are likely to be offered a debit card only, rather than a credit card, without residency. The largest community is in the capital, Sofia. It is full of useful information and step-by-step guides on how things work and how to survive in Bulgaria… If you have not worked in Bulgaria, you should claim your UK State Pension by contacting the International Pension Centre. 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? List of prices in Plovdiv (Bulgaria) for food, housing, transportation, going out, and more on Dec 2020. Living and working in Bulgaria and COVID-19. Eurofound has taken a multipronged response to the pandemic, adapting its research focus in a variety of ways. Coffee costs: $1.56. If you go through Paris and Barcelona, of course you will see the sights that made these top destinations. Food 28% less and amazingly housing 69% less. Compare the Cost of Living in Plovdiv with any other city in the world. 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) Healthcare in Bulgaria is universal and financed by compulsory health insurance contributions. Bulgaria: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages The minimum wage in Bulgaria has climbed in the recent years and it has reached $300 nowadays. READ MORE. Share your experiences about living, working and studying in Bulgaria! The city of Sofia is warm, historic, inviting – and cheap! Most services are connected to the Bulgarian bank system and especially for payments such as social security, taxes … *Please Read This Group Info Before Posting* This group is for people interested in Bulgaria, perhaps already maybe living in Bulgaria, considering living in Bulgaria, simply interested in living in Bulgaria and learning about Bulgaria. The cost of living in Bulgaria is very small. Late EastEnders actor Leslie Grantham had to learn Bulgarian to star in Bulgarian TV series The English Neighbour in 2010, about a retired British chemist who sets up home in the fictional village of Plodorodno. You will have to renounce UK citizenship if you apply for Bulgarian citizenship after Brexit. Bulgaria: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages. 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. The ski resort of Bansko (and nearby spa village Banya) has obvious charms. You need to contrast the cost of living with what you can expect to earn in Bulgaria. There is a lot of emigration – The aging population is one of the reasons for the 12 percent decline … Swissemigration. This allows expats living in Bulgaria to enjoy a European lifestyle at a cheaper cost. Once you have been resident in Bulgaria for five years, you can apply for Bulgarian citizenship. Join hundreds of expats who've already benefited with our free guides. You won’t get far without at least elementary Bulgarian and you should familiarise yourself with the alphabet. Bulgaria had expected to join the ERM-2 mechanism – the ‘waiting room’ to full euro membership – in 2020, and adopt the euro in 2023, but has now said it is “obliged to slow down the tempo” because of concerns about the exchange rate to the common currency and opposition within the country. You may need to provide a clean UK criminal record certificate. As an EU country, standard EU rules apply to removals; do note you may need to list serial numbers and brands for all electrical appliances. The benefit of having two such divided camps of opinion is that we can bring you both the positive and negative aspects of living in Bulgaria. Bulgaria is an Extremely Safe Country . All rights reserved. Many of those who arrived on the back of the positive promotion of the nation’s benefits at the time, (and its particularly cheap property prices), have subsequently fallen out of love with their dream. 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. A basic plan from Uniqa for a couple under 70 years old will cost 330 BGN (£145) a year. If you are trying to familiarise yourself with the country, it’s worth watching some episodes. However, many expats already discovered working and living in Bulgaria. Expat Health Insurance . Living in Bulgaria doesn’t cost nearly as much as living in the UK. 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. This will give you access to a GP, referrals to a specialist, and medicines at reduced prices or for free. Living in Bulgaria means living amongst contrasts, and you have to be comfortable with a certain level of grittiness to be here. 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. Also, note that most banks will not offer joint accounts. 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! Yet Bulgaria is still a relatively unknown country to visit or more to expats. Retirees may find that their pension income goes far further in Bulgaria – and they could benefit from a move as they will not be dependent on the local economy to provide them with a living. 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. Bulgaria has been chosen by a number of Britons who wanted to get home or Internet-based businesses off the ground for the specific reason that their tax burden would be low. 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. The Cost of Living in Varna is low. The city centre is small enough that no car is required if you live downtown: taxis are cheap and there are plenty of trams. The cost of housing in Bulgaria is equal to Bulgaria average and earns a score of 4 out of 10. Try living on £95 a week - it will go three times further in Bulgaria! Where are Expats Living in Bulgaria? Bulgaria’s second city and Europe’s 2019 capital of culture. Especially relevant to the low threat of violent crime. Safety and Security in Bulgaria For many people, the lifestyle that comes with living in Bulgaria is the biggest attraction. Renting a good two-bedroom apartment in a nice neighbourhood of Sofia will cost you around 700 – 800 BGN (Bulgarian Lev), about £300 – £340. The average salary after taxes in Bulgaria is $611, which is enough to cover living expenses for 1 months.. But to settle well you must truly integrate into the community – and learning the language properly is a must. Cost of Living in Bulgaria Access data about cities and countries worldwide. Some less than positive aspects of living in Bulgaria. 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) It is thought that up to a fifth of the 30,000-strong population is foreign. The Mercer Cost of Living report for 2019 ranked Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital, as the 177th most expensive city in the world out of 209 cities, indicating that Bulgaria is a relatively inexpensive country for expats to live in. 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. It is the cheapest city to live in … This means that it’s an authentic country, where you really will experience a totally different way of life. You are welcome to experience it for yourself! Forget those Iron Curtain images of cigarette-smoking politburo-dispatched spies in Bulgaria trailing you through dark, winding alleys, bugging your room and confiscating your papers. … 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. To enrol in the Bulgarian healthcare system, you must first get your residency. Of those who most vociferously complain about living in Bulgaria, a high percentage bemoan the lack of decent employment opportunities. Transportation in Bulgaria. If you decide to drive, you may use your domestic driver’s license in combination with an international driving permit for up to one year. Bulgaria’s biggest city, Sofia, is also the cheapest capital in Europe in which to retire. Living In Bulgaria hat 2.310 Mitglieder. Air Cargo. Understand your retirement income and pension options. There are certainly those Brits who have made a very positive life change by moving to Bulgaria. Forum and message board for Bulgaria. Life outside of the capital is even cheaper. 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. Contrast Bulgaria with somewhere like southern Spain or Cyprus for example, and you’ll know what we mean! You can ship your belongings to Bulgaria by sea, air or land; it’s close enough to drive your stuff over – and pets – yourself too. Leslie Grantham: Bulgaria’s most famed Briton? So, what are the pros and cons of living in Bulgaria? The existing rules, agreements, and arrangements between Bulgaria and the UK will change after Brexit. Possibly because their dream had no basis in reality in the first place. 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. 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. In discussing the Bulgarian people, their country and their acceptance of foreigners – once again opinion is wholly divided. Naturally enough a low cost of living is a massive draw. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Let’s discuss Living in Bulgaria. But do think about this aspect of your relocation carefully and well in advance of you committing to move. Search. But, you’ll also see many museums, restaurants, tours, etc. 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. 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. The rate of home ownership in Bulgaria is high, at close to 90 percent, with many Bulgarians inheriting land and even a second home. 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.. Living in Bulgaria. Introduction to Bulgarian Food. You will need a Bulgarian bank account in order to buy property, residents told us. Pre-order your FREE Expat Retirement Income Guide 2021. 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. Read more in our full article, Bulgaria: The pros and cons. Finally, Bulgarians can be very friendly and welcoming, and they can adjust well to having foreign residents within their community. Country is a place to live with minimal costs. Over-sold as a location after its entry into the European Union in 2008, a real estate bubble quickly formed and burst in Bulgaria, which has left some out of pocket, particularly if they invested in big new tourist developments on the coast or in the ski resorts. Considering its small size, Bulgaria has a great variety of geographical features and is divided … BANKING IN BULGARIA. It features links to official resources containing major Brexit information. This allows expats living in Bulgaria to enjoy a European lifestyle at a cheaper cost. 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. The cost of living in Sofia Bulgaria is cheap. Your private pensions can of course be paid to you wherever you are living. Emigrating. Swissemigration provides you with documentation and general advisory services on individual countries and specific topics Your stay abroad. Bearing that in mind it is obvious that the accommodation costs should not exceed that amount. Road Cargo. Bulgaria has been a member of the E.U since the 01st of January 2007. Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Bulgaria. It will require more work to settle down than, say, Spain, but that work could pay off with a whole new lifestyle. Expats living in Bulgaria can have all kinds of experiences while living abroad there. The British Embassy holds regular outreach meetings for UK nationals across Bulgaria. Who can live in Sofia Bulgaria. Expatra is published by Expatra Ltd. UK © 2020. There is also a tax-free allowance of €4,050 (£3,460) per year. Bulgaria can provide you with very different experiences depending on whether you live in one of the cities, or in smaller towns and villages. However, many expats already discovered working and living in Bulgaria. You will need to present proof of your income or pension and that you have a bank account in Bulgaria. Live in Bulgaria Accommodation The minimum wage in Bulgaria has climbed from 170 euros when we did this post originally to 261 per month today. Discover best places to live in Bulgaria. Now that Bulgaria is in the European Community, you can have your pension - currently £95.25 per week - sent out to Bulgaria. The cost of living is also one of the most relevant factors for those willing to move or relocate overseas. So what is it like to live in Bulgaria and how do you go about moving and settling down there? Are you an expat living in Bulgaria? This number is set to increase quite dramatically through 2009 as more and more people adopt the country as their new home. > Living in Bulgaria > Banking in Bulgaria. Corruption. Meanwhile, the UK capital is at number 19 with higher monthly and daily expenses.¹ . I'll outline the pros & cons below. Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007. Upon your arrival in Bulgaria you will need a bank account for organizing your finances, therefore a comprehensive introduction on Banking in Bulgaria. that are catered to the American tourist. DSK Expressbank and Postbank were both recommended as Bulgarian banks for foreigners. Basically tourist traps, KFCs and Pizza Huts ruining the vibe. 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. If you’re earning less than the accepted monthly minimum amount to enjoy a ‘normal’ standard of living, you’ll struggle to meet rental costs on decent accommodation. COVID-19 continues to have a profound impact on people’s lives across the globe, with major implications for quality of life and work. Get information on cost of living, employment, tax and crime. Joe and Jess were very welcoming and knowledgeable about the area they are living in and put together a portfolio of 6 properties for us to visit at very short notice. Alcohol and tobacco are 43% lower in Bulgaria than the E.U average. 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. 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. 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