Bulgaria accommodation pretty much offers every kind of you can think of, from cheap hostels to the most opulent 5-star hotels. The quality to price ratio isn’t as firmly set as it is in the rest of Europe, which means that you can find amazing hotels at rock bottom prices, but also that you can get charged the earth for a two-star accommodation.
It is worth reading independent reviews before booking a place to stay. Of course, if you’re traveling around Bulgaria, it can be hard to find time to do your research, so your first port of call in any city should be state tourist information offices who will be able recommend suitable places to stay.
Categories of Accommodation
As with most countries, Bulgaria accommodation is most expensive in the big cities such as Sofia, Plovdiv and Varna. If you are an independent traveler, you will find the prices in the Black Sea resorts, such as Albena, Sunny Beach and Golden Sands, the most expensive during peak season.
Bulgarian peak season is similar to that of Western Europe, which typically runs from early May until early September. This is the time to get the best weather, but you’re unlikely to find a bargain in the popular tourist destination in these months. Everywhere else you will find prices cheap by comparison to Western European standards.
Bulgaria accommodation is typically divided up into three categories:
• Budget – For a double room in the budget range you can expect to pay 50 lv (25 Euros) per person per night. Budget accommodation is usually very simple and includes private rooms, hostels and guesthouses. Normally, the less expensive lodging is without air-conditioning and with shared bathrooms. These hotels will generally be in a less desirable part of town, or quite far from the city centre.
• Mid range – A mid range room will typically cost you up to 100 lv (50 Euros) per person per night. Choosing mid range Bulgaria accommodation offers a much higher standard and will almost always include private bathrooms and extras such as TVs and refrigerators. The hotel will also offer simple services such as a locked safe for valuables and a taxi service to transport hubs.
• Top end – Top end accommodation in Bulgaria costs as much as 2000 lv (1000 Euros) per person per night. At this point, you’re looking at the Bulgarian branches of the big luxury hotel brands, offering the usual range of swimming pools, saunas and gyms. The big resorts out in Golden Sands and Sunny Beach have suites that would rival their counterparts in any Mediterranean resort. However, away from the sea, finding high quality five star accommodation can be hard, and you can pay a lot of money for a hotel that doesn’t go above and beyond.
There is also the option of booking longer-term stay at charming country houses.
Some of these will be booked per week, some per month and others per night, but it’s certainly worth enquiring as you may be able to pick up a bargain. This may work in your favor if you’re going to be in the country for longer as you could use Sofia as a base to explore the central part of the country or Varna to travel around the Black Sea region.
If you are able to book Bulgaria accommodation from abroad, it’s worth making the phone calls yourself. Any website that has a website in English will have someone who will speak the language, and by making contact yourself, you remove the middle man who will increase the price of your room with his cut. You can also negotiate upgrades and discounts for longer stays when you call in person, as the Bulgarians like to haggle and will be keen to get your business.