A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Saint Petersburg vs. Plovdiv for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Saint Petersburg or Plovdiv?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Saint Petersburg or Plovdiv? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Saint Petersburg or Plovdiv?

Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg is a beautiful city that sits on the eastern edge of the Baltic Sea. Its historical city center is threaded with canals and architecturally impressive buildings, leaving little doubt as to why this city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the second largest city in Russia, but perhaps a favorite among travelers. The metropolitan area has a population of over 5 million as well as an impressive culture with fascinating museums, restaurants, and architecture. The city has no shortage of sights and attractions, and many days can be passed while you wander its intricate streets.


Located in a large, hilly plain between the Rhodope Mountains in the south of Bulgaria and the Balkan Range in the central part of the country, Plovdiv sits uniquely spread across six hills. It is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world, dating back roughly 8,000 years. Some of its best features are its ancient ruins and historic architecture.

For some great organized tour ideas, see Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in Bulgaria, and The Best Adventure Tours to Bulgaria.

Which place is cheaper, Plovdiv or Saint Petersburg?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Saint Petersburg is $66, while the average daily cost in Plovdiv is $80. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Saint Petersburg and Plovdiv in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Saint Petersburg $38
    Plovdiv $44
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Saint Petersburg $76
    Plovdiv $88
Compare Hotels in Saint Petersburg and Plovdiv

Looking for a hotel in Saint Petersburg or Plovdiv? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Saint Petersburg

Hotels in Plovdiv

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.

Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Plovdiv Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Saint Petersburg $7.66
    Plovdiv $22
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Saint Petersburg

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Saint Petersburg:

  • Metro Passes

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Plovdiv

Also for Plovdiv, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Varna: Private Transfer from Varna to Plovdiv: $175
  • Transfer from Plovdiv to Sofia: $104
  • Transfer from Plovdiv to Burgas city/airport with sedan/minivan/minibus: $191
  • Transfer from Plovdiv to Borovets: $104
  • Transfer from Plovdiv to Bansko: $134
  • Transfer Plovdiv to Sofia airport/city with a car 3+1: $98
  • Sofia: Private transfer from Sofia to Plovdiv: $82
  • Private Transfer from Pamporovo to Sofia (SOF) Airport: $160
  • Private One-way Transfer Plovdiv Airport to Hotel or vice versa: $43
  • Private Transfer from Plovdiv to Varna: $175
  • Private Transfer from Plovdiv to Sunny Beach: $150
  • Private Transfer from Plovdiv to Sofia: $82

Is it cheaper to fly into Saint Petersburg or Plovdiv?

Prices for flights to both Plovdiv and Saint Petersburg change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Saint Petersburg $19
    Plovdiv $21
Typical Food Prices in Saint Petersburg

For Saint Petersburg, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:

  • Lunch for Two

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Saint Petersburg $19
    Plovdiv $15

Tours and Activities in Plovdiv

For Plovdiv, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Eastern Rhodopes Day Tour from Plovdiv - Thracian Tombs, History & Wine Culture: $168
  • 2 Hour Private Superb Buggy Adventure: $195
  • 5-Day Guided Tour to Sofia, Plovdiv and Istanbul: $611
  • 7 days Bulgarian Thracian Civilization Tour: $1,461
  • Audio Guide for All Rhodope Mountain Sights, Attractions or Experiences: $43
  • Bachkovo Monastery & Asen's Fortress - day tour from Plovdiv: $82
  • Communist Heritage Tour- Buzludzha and The Might of the East Block Aviation: $98
  • Day Tour Rose Valley from Plovdiv - In the Footsteps of Rosa Damascena: $162
  • Day Tour from Plovdiv full with History, Nature & Forgotten Village Experiences: $144
  • E-Motorcycle Tour in Rhodope Mountains to a Beautiful Canyon View: $82
  • Exclusive Private Tour in the Thracian Valley from Sofia: $94
  • Food Walk: Bulgarian Food and Culture Tour in Plovdiv: $38

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Saint Petersburg $10
    Plovdiv $9.61

Sample the Local Flavors in Plovdiv

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Plovdiv:

  • Bulgarian Wine Tasting Experience in the Center of Plovdiv: $19
  • Old Town Exploring Guide Roman Ruins & Wine Tasting: $80
  • Thracian Valley wine tasting - private day tour from Plovdiv: $92
  • Private Day Trip From Plovdiv To Wine Cellars And Wine Tasting: $108
  • From Sofia: Plovdiv and Perushtitsa Tour With Wine Tasting: $134
  • Half-Day of Horseback Adventure with Wine Tasting: $168

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Saint Petersburg and Plovdiv, we can see that Plovdiv is more expensive. And not only is Saint Petersburg much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Saint Petersburg would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Saint Petersburg and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Plovdiv would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Plovdiv than you might in Saint Petersburg.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Saint Petersburg Expensive? and Is Plovdiv Expensive?.

Which is Bigger, Saint Petersburg or Plovdiv?

Saint Petersburg has a larger population, and is about 10 times larger than the population of Plovdiv. When comparing the sizes of Saint Petersburg and Plovdiv, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.