Immigration. Travel. Living.

Bulgaria: living as a foreigner

Flag of Bulgaria

Bulgaria is a beautiful country that appeals to most ex-pats that want to live a life filled with culture, beauty, charm, healthy food, and friendly people.

Since it joined the EU in 2007, it introduced a lot of immigration options to help foreigners and tourists fast track their residency program.

Bulgaria aims to gain capital and grow its population; most foreigners in Bulgaria can easily obtain permanent residency and even citizenship without going through any rigid and complicated procedure.

Just in case you are interested in a laidback lifestyle and moving to Bulgaria to obtain EU citizenship or a comfortable retirement, we’re going to reveal everything you should know about living in the country.

Life in Bulgaria

The quality of life in Bulgaria is simply amazing. You don’t know what true relaxation means until you visit Bulgaria and experience the Bulgarian lifestyle. Before you know it, you will adapt to the culture and realize what you’ve been missing out on your whole life.

Most of the ex-pats that relocated to the country often come looking for a way out of the fast-paced life, turmoil, hustle, and bustle in their home country. Since properties in the Balkan republic are dirt cheap, they usually take advantage of the fact and get great value for their money.

The best thing about this European country is that it is super safe and has very low occurrences of violent crimes. In the 2019 Global Peace Index report, Bulgaria was ranked as the 26th safest country on Earth far above the UK, Spain, Greece, and France.

Plus the local cuisines here are healthy, tasty, and thoroughly appealing. To cap it all, there are hundreds of restaurants and fast-food chains across the country that serves both local and international dishes.

Bulgaria’s population is a little over seven million people. About 42% of the country’s residents are between the ages of 25 and 54. Turkish and Romani constitute the largest minority groups in this European country.

If you plan to relocate to Bulgaria, you should try to learn a bit of the local language since Bulgarian is the country’s official language and is widely spoken by the country’s residents.

Best Cities to Live

Like I said earlier, most of the foreigners in Bulgaria come to enjoy its simplicity, culture, and absence of tourist traps. If you want to enjoy life in Bulgaria, we’d advise you to live in any one of these cities.

Woman holding bulgarian flag outdoors Free Photo


Sofia is not just the capital of Bulgaria; it is one of the cheapest cities to live in Western Europe. This fact makes it a hot spot for ex-pats immigrating to the country since you can get a spacious one-bedroom apartment in the city center for less than €400/month.

The climate in this city is also perfect for people that want to enjoy different seasons since you’ll experience cold snowy winters and hot summers. If you are moving with your family, you should know that Sofia is home to some of the best schools and businesses in the country.


Varna is another recommended place to live in this European country if you don’t like the idea of living in Sofia. There are lots of beaches and fun urban centers that would make your vacation worth it.

Varna is a popular tourist destination and resort town in Bulgaria; it is also home to lots of Bulgarian businesses, schools, hospitals, and shopping centers. What makes living in Varna even better is that the cost of living here is super affordable.

You can get a good-sized three-bedroom apartment inside the city center for less than €600.


Bansko is another gorgeous area for ex-pats, tourists, and foreigners. It is filled with mountains, lakes, and pine forests which make it perfect for people that enjoy camping and other outdoor activities. That means, even in the summer there is plenty to enjoy outdoors.

Three miles away from Bansko is a village called Banya, this place is popular for having 27 thermal springs and other gorgeous springs for tourists. You can find a comfy three-bedroom suite here for only €400 per month.

houses near body of water during daytime

Healthcare System

National Health Service is available for everyone living in Bulgaria including foreigners and tourists. Everyone working here is required to make health insurance contributions and register with any doctor of their choice.

Most of the doctors, nurses, and other medical staff working in the public health service are well trained and capable of delivering first-class medical care. If you’re not comfortable with public health care, you can also opt for private care.


All modes of transportation are well developed, making traveling to any city or country of your choice super easy. Trains are the most common means of transportation and are very well developed.

Working in Bulgaria

Bulgaria is not the worst place to start a business, most of the ex-pats that relocate to the country usually set up their own companies, restaurants, bars, hotels, or agencies while others prefer to create a viable business that provided services to people in the ex-pat community.

If you are a well-trained professional that is not interested in starting a company, there are lots of jobs in the manufacturing sector, IT, banking and insurance, and business management sectors.

Cost of Living

Expats can easily enjoy a high quality of life and standard of living without even breaking their bank. The cost of living here is very low, living in Bulgaria is 53% cheaper than living in the UKThis makes the country perfect for people that want to have a fun time in Europe on a budget.

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