On a budget in Bulgaria? You'll love Sofia!
But shortly after my arrival in Sofia, all my worries were put to rest. This was a city filled with great deals and fantastic travel value! In fact, I think Sofia offers some of the best value of any destination I've visited. You can live large for very little and your money goes much further here than in most other European cities. Here's why I love it so much.
Nifty street food
Curiously, there was no butter (could it be that THIS is where Bulgarians draw the line when it comes to fatty dairy products?) I just had mine topped with salt. For about a dollar, it made for an oddly tasty snack. (You can find my favourite vendor, above, in Sofia's City Garden, the main park in the city center).
If walking around town clutching a cup of corn swimming in salad dressing isn't your thing, take heart. Food in Sofia is reasonably priced and, even in "touristy" areas, I never suffered from sticker shock. Finding a hearty meal for under 10 lev is easy.
Plenty of free tours
Other organizations also offer free cycling tours and free hiking tours (with a small surcharge to pay for transportation). Of course, free doesn't really mean FREE - if you enjoy your experience a donation is appreciated, sometimes even expected. But it does mean that budget travelers have flexibility and it makes for a very affordable travel activity.
It's walkable and beautiful
Sleep like a princess, pay like a pauper
A secret airport bargain
But in Sofia, taking the metro to the airport costs the same as any other metro ride -just 1 lev. This makes it the least expensive airport ride I've ever taken!
Bonus! Did I mention the awesome locals?
They're also lively - playing music in the park, hanging out in cafes, and sharing bottles of local beer. And they have a fantastic sense of humor, a dry wit that's not always evident but comes out after a few of those beers. You can't put a price on making new friends when you travel and that's something that adds value - and is invaluable - to all travelers.
We'd love to hear from you! What city has surprised you the most?
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