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

Should you visit Saint Petersburg or Sofia?

Should I visit Saint Petersburg or Sofia? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

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.

Sofia

Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria and also its largest city. Some people have tried to compare it to Budapest, but the cities are actually quite different. In Sofia you will find wonderful European style architecture intertwined with Communist style buildings. It's fascinating to see the two dramatically different building styles immediately next to each other. There are also many Orthodox Churches around town, with their beautiful domes and intricate details.

Which city is cheaper, Sofia or Saint Petersburg?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Saint Petersburg is $65, while the average daily cost in Sofia is $57. 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 city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Saint Petersburg and Sofia in more detail.



Accommodation

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $74 in Saint Petersburg For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

For a normal double-occupancy room in Sofia, $72 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Sofia, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $36, such as in a hostel.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Saint Petersburg $37
    Sofia $36
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Saint Petersburg $74
    Sofia $72

Food

Food in Saint Petersburg costs travelers about $19 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.

The price of a meal in Sofia can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $16 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $6.40 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Saint Petersburg $19
    Sofia $16
Typical Food prices in Saint Petersburg

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


  • Lunch for Two
    $5.88

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Saint Petersburg

For Saint Petersburg, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Enjoy Russian Delicacies in St Petersburg: Cooking Demo and Meal with a Local: $80
  • Private Dining: Russian dinner in a traditional St. Petersburg apartment: $91
  • Cooking Class and a Dinner with a Local Family (8 people max): $92
  • Off-the-tourist Path Food Tour: $103
  • Local Market Tour and Cooking Demo with a Homemade Russian Meal in St Petersburg: $107
  • Borscht and cabbage pie cooking class and dinner for small private groups: $109
  • FOOD TOUR. St.Petersburg: $150
  • Private Cooking Class: Learn the secrets of Borsch and Beef Stroganoff: $166
  • Private Cooking Class: Russian Blini with Red Caviar and Shchi soup: $179
  • Private Cooking Class: Russian Shchi soup and Blini with Red Caviar: $187
  • Private Cooking Class: Hands-on Siberian Pelmeni Making Workshop: $188
  • Private Cooking Class: Siberian Pelmeni, Stolichny salad and Borsch: $212

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Sofia

For Sofia, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Online Traditional Bulgarian Cooking Class: $36
  • Market Food Tour: $44
  • Private Sofia Night Tour with Bulgarian Folklore Show & Dinner: $73
  • Sofia by Night Panoramic Tour with Dinner and Folklore Show: $75
  • Private Bulgarian Cooking Class in Sofia with a Local with Hotel Transfers: $92
  • Private Traditional Bulgarian Cooking in Central Sofia: $98
  • Hiking The Seven Rila Lakes with option for dinner: $111
  • Market Visit and Private Bulgarian Cooking Class in Sofia with Hotel Transfers: $117
  • Private Sofia Evening Tour with Folklore Dinner: $137

Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Saint Petersburg than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $7.43 on transportation in Saint Petersburg on average per day.

To get around in Sofia, the average visitor spends $7.45 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Saint Petersburg $7.43
    Sofia $7.45
Typical Local Transportation prices in Saint Petersburg

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


  • Metro Passes
    $1.71

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Saint Petersburg

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

  • St Petersburg Airport Transfers : St Petersburg to Airport LED in Luxury Car: $103
  • St Petersburg Airport Transfers : St Petersburg to Airport LED in Luxury Van: $89
  • St Petersburg Departure Private Transfers from St Petersburg City to Airport LED: $84
  • Departure Private Transfer St Petersburg City to Pulkovo Airport LED - LuxuryCar: $80
  • St Petersburg Transfer from city hotels or Cruise port to Pulkovo Airport (LED): $68
  • St Petersburg Airport Transfers : St Petersburg to Airport LED by Business Car: $63
  • Departure Private Transfer St. Petersburg to Pulkovo Airport LED by Business Car: $61
  • Departure Private Transfer St Petersburg City to Pulkovo Airport LED - LuxuryVan: $39
  • Private Transfer from St. Petersburg City Center to Peterhof Palace: $37
  • Private Transfer from Peterhof Palace to St. Petersburg City Center: $36
  • St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport (LED) to hotel - Arrival Private Transfer: $36
  • St. Petersburg to St.Petersburg Pulkovo Airport - Departure Private Transfer: $36

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sofia

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

  • Wheelchair Accessible Airport Transfer: $37
  • Transfers Bulgaria: $75
  • Transfers: $106
  • Transfer to Bucharest from Sofia: $149
  • Transfer from Sofia Airport T1 to Bansko: $116
  • Sofia to Sunny Beach Passenger Transfer: $263
  • Sofia to Stara Zagora Passenger Transfer: $151
  • Sofia to Sozopol Passenger Transfer: $263
  • Sofia to Plovdiv Passenger Transfer: $93
  • Sofia to Pamporovo Passenger Transfer: $159
  • Sofia to Nessebar Passenger Transfer: $263
  • Sofia to Golden Sands (Zlatni Pyasatsi) Passenger Transfer: $319

Is it cheaper to fly into Saint Petersburg or Sofia?

Prices for flights to both Sofia 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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in Saint Petersburg, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $18 per day, per person.

In Sofia, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $5.26 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Saint Petersburg $18
    Sofia $5.26

Tours and Activities in Saint Petersburg

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

  • 1-Day Visa-Free Tour in St Petersburg with Faberge Collection: $265
  • 1-day private Visa-Free tour in St Petersburg with Peterhof: $257
  • 1.5-Hours Saint Petersburg's Metro Tour Hidden Treasures: $25
  • 2-Day Small-Group Visa-Free Tour - Top Highlights of St Petersburg: $20
  • 3 Hour Photo Shoot Tours St. Petersburg, Russia: $564
  • Basic 2-day tour in St Petersburg for cruise passengers: $425
  • Catherine Palace and Park: Private tour to Tsarskoe Selo: $120
  • Classic 2 Day Tour of St Petersburg Russia.No hidden costs.9 years of experience: $349
  • Daily Canon Shot at Peter and Paul Fortress + Museum of Revolution Private Tour: $162
  • Essential 2-Day Visa-Free Tour for Cruise Ships in St Petersburg: $465
  • Evening River and Canal Cruise Visas Included: $86
  • Guided Tour Peter and Paul Fortress, Cathedral and Prison: $56

Tours and Activities in Sofia

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Sofia.

  • 10 Days Bulgaria Round Tour - Urban & Sea Experience: $895
  • 11 Days Bulgaria Round Tour - Stunning Big Voyage: $932
  • 12 days Balkans Guided Tour from Sofia to Budapest: $2,488
  • 17days Balkans Tour from Sofia to Bucharest: $3,484
  • 2 Day Private Adventure Tour in Vitosha mountain from Sofia: $288
  • 21 Days Small Group Balkans Tour from Sofia: $4,354
  • 3 Caves tour - Saeva dupka , Eyes of God cave & Devetashka Cave: $93
  • 3-Day Bulgaria Private Mountain Biking Tour from Sofia: $438
  • 3-Hour Private Bulgarian Food Tasting Tour of Sofia: $56
  • 4 Balkan Countries and 3 Nights Cruise in Greek Islands from Sofia: $2,725
  • 4 Days Natural and Historical Wonders of the Rhodope mountain Motorcyle tour: $695
  • 5 Days Guided Motorcycle Tour Wine, Nature and Traditions: $621

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Saint Petersburg spend on average $9.88 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Sofia, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $7.46.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Saint Petersburg $9.88
    Sofia $7.46

Sample the Local Flavors in Sofia

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Sofia:

  • Sofia Pub Crawl Tour of The Hidden Unique Bars: $19
  • Tipsy Pub Crawl Sofia: $23
  • An amazing 3 hours of painting and wine tasting: $35
  • Sofia Bar Crawl: $42
  • Sofia Exquisite Wine Tasting: $47
  • Hisarya, Starosel, and Wine Tasting Tour from Sofia: $60
  • From Rozhen monastery and Melnik with wine tasting: $75
  • Rila monastery- Wine tasting - Boyana church: $75
  • Plovdiv and Thracia Valley with Wine Tasting: $81
  • Plovdiv and Perushtitsa Day Trip with Wine Tasting from Sofia: $81
  • Plovdiv, day tour from Sofia and Wine tasting: $87
  • Private Food and Wine Tour - Sofia: $91


When comparing the travel costs between Saint Petersburg and Sofia, we can see that Saint Petersburg is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

Budget Your Trip

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Saint Petersburg vs. Sofia Travel Comparison

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