Bulgaria: As Cheap as it Gets
Stroll through the Byzantine city of Sofia, maybe around the markets or into Battenburg Square. The food specialities often have a Greek influence. Bulgaria offers sublime sun and sea opportunities…on the coast, it boasts increasingly popular resorts where you can bask under the sun and enjoy incredibly low prices as well.
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- Population: 6,981,642
- Capital City: Sofia
- Climate: Temperate, cold, damp winters, hot, dry summers
- Time Zone: GMT+2
- Language: Bulgarian (official)
- Country Code: 359
- Location: Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea between Romania and Turkey
Zero. Zilch. Nothing. Often that’s what I pay for accommodation when I travel. But I’m not roughing it. I’ve been in unique and unforgettable places around the world. I’ve made friends, met interesting people and learned new skills. Sometimes I feel as if I’ve cheated the system. But it’s entirely above board.
I wake up and glance over at my wall calendar—no deadlines for the rest of the week. Time for the beach! Or maybe I could work on my novel. But it’s such good weather, what about another day trip? Welcome to the life of a freelance writer where every day is wide open, and every day is yours.
Looking for an “off-the-beaten-path” adventure? Try Bulgaria. Despite its low costs, fantastic, fresh cuisine, and lush green landscapes, it’s one of Europe’s most overlooked destinations. And that’s part of its allure… Start your trip in the capital, Soﬁa. Today a modern city with a sleek international airport, Soﬁa has a checkered history—it’s been ruled by Romans, Ottoman Turks, and Russia, as well as Bulgaria.
You may do little more than double check that the oven is off before you go on a trip, but in other parts of the world, travelers can get mighty superstitious.
I’ve been in hot water in so many countries now that I’ve lost count.
I’m talking of hot thermal waters, of course. There’s no better way to soothe an aching muscle or take the chill off. And there’s no better place for a long, hot soak than in a series of mineral-water pools carved into the side of a volcano.
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Bulgaria joined the EU in January and Sofia, its capital, is ready for visitors. It may not be as glamorous as those favorite eastern European capitals, Prague and Budapest, but this city of just over a million, surrounded by snow-covered peaks, is a pleasant surprise.
With its history of hard-core Eastern Bloc communism, Bulgaria may sound an unlikely vacation spot. But with soaring prices in Europe’s traditional sunshine resorts, the country’s Black Sea Riviera has become this year’s destination of desire. For the sun-starved and cost-conscious, it’s far cheaper to vacation here than Spain.