Ah, Bulgaria! Presented in multiple art exhibitions, articles and documentaries as “the toilet of Europe”, the small country is a wondrous place where expecting the unexpected is part of everyday life for its citizens. While it's political, economic and demographic situations are too complicated for a foreigner to truly grasp, what does this country has to offer for tourists and should it be on your budget travel list?
Old, Mesmerizing and Unappreciated
Founded as early as the fifth century and with cities older than Athens and Rome, Bulgaria is a place of true cultural virtue. With lands conquered and fought over by a number of ancient nations and empires, Bulgaria packs a truly mesmerizing experience for it's tourists. Beautiful mountaintops and breathtaking seaside resorts. Vibrant cities with night-life wilder than you could ever imagine. While these statement may seem exaggerated, Bulgaria truly is a gem in the rough, especially when it comes to tourism.
Behaviour of Citizens and Law towards Tourists.
One of the most controversial topics, when it comes to Bulgaria and tourism, is the behaviour of it's citizens and the law toward it's tourists. Even though it ranked 9th as a tourist unfriendly country in the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013 by the World Economic Forum (WEF), things are not as bad as they may seem. While some businesses, especially taxi services, do tend to charge tourists more out of pure greed, the citizens of Bulgaria are as a whole quite friendly towards tourists. Furthermore, as tourism is one of the main economic growth accelerators in a number of it's cities and locations, tourists are highly respected by law officers and district staff. While being careful when it comes to restaurants, taxi drivers and other businesses, if you want to be treated like a royalty, Bulgaria is the place to go.
A “Beat The Cost” Experience
Architectural, natural wonders and friendliness towards tourists aside, Bulgaria may be deemed as the ultimate winner of budget travel and a true “beat the cost” experience. When it comes to prices, even though you might pay a bit more because of the greed of some businesses and people, you can’t get cheaper than Bulgaria. Here you are able to go out to the cinema to watch the latest movie, have a tour of the city you are staying in, go to the finest restaurant and order whatever you please and finish the night off in wild nightclub, drinking whatever you please, and still have money to spare. Furthermore, if you want to go to a summer or a winter resort, discount and deals are available everywhere.
The Final Verdict
Yes, Bulgaria does have its quirks which are quite noticeable, but most citizens and the law are extremely helpful and truly do respect foreigners as if they were royalties. Presenting you with a huge variety of options, when it comes to what you want to experience, you can either live like a party animal or enjoy your time in comfort and calmness. At the end of the day Bulgaria is a true tourist gem when it comes to budget travel, and a definite recommendation for anyone wishing to enjoy first world comfort at a cheap and affordable third world cost.