Europe's best kept secret

There is a pretty good reason why Bulgaria is not one of the first destinations that come to mind when planning a Euro trip, when it fact it SHOULD BE! It is Europe’s best kept secret and one that might be getting out soon. In the past few years, Bulgaria has steadily increased in popularity among young and adventurous travelers, and is quickly becoming the new hot spot east of Prague. 

As the oldest state on the old continent and one that has kept its present-day name and place on the Balkan Peninsula for over 1,300 years, it is a real wonder how Bulgaria has successfully managed to stay off the mass tourism radar. If you have always wanted to be a modern day Magellan, Vasco Da Gama, or Marco Polo, listen up because this might just be your last chance to explore a little known piece of Europe. Plus, that many years of history and culture are bound to have left plenty to discover.

So if your appetite for travel adventures has been sufficiently whetted and you are ready to take on a challenge that will earn you real bragging rights as a 21st century explorer, join me in counting down the TOP 5 reasons why Bulgaria is Europe’s best kept secret and a study abroad destination that should NOT be missed!

Why Bulgaria:

Set on the crossroad between Europe and Asia, Bulgaria is a rapidly emerging destination that not only offers a superb and diverse product in terms of holidays, meeting and incentives planners, but also exceptional experience for nature lovers, sports enthusiasts and visitors interested in the cultural setting.

Feel the fragrance of roses. Listen to the bagpipe players in Rhodope Mountains. Taste the famous Bulgarian yoghurt and green cheese.

Welcome to a land of vineyards, abounding in a myriad of quaint local traditions

Pay less enjoy more

Europe can be quite expensive and you are probably wondering: “Would I be able to afford Bulgaria on a rather small travel budget?” Let’s get the money question out of the way first. After all, isn’t that what decides where you go, how much you do, and what you see? In this case, you are in luck! Bulgaria is a great value destination. Seasoned world travelers, such as Wandering Earl who has been on the road for 5,026 consecutive days (as of this Halloween) and has visited 87 countries to date, write that Bulgaria might even be the best value destination on Earth! 

After all, there might be something true to that. Take for example Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital and most expensive city. It ranks in the top four most impressive, yet affordable European cities and received Trip Advisor’s most affordable European city award for 2013, which easily makes it EU’s most affordable capital by far. Did you count how many times the word “affordable” was used in the previous sentence? That’s because it really IS, but certainly that is not all. To put things in concrete terms, while studying in Sofia students can easily live on under $25 per day (lodging and meals included). In short, you can afford studying abroad in Bulgaria. Add her to your itinerary and she will make great friends with even the tiniest of travel budgets.

Cool fact: Bulgaria’s capital is the only place in Europe where right in the center of town you can see a Christian Orthodox church, a Catholic cathedral, a Synagogue, and a Mosque forming a rectangle of tolerance that takes up an area of less than 1,100 sq feet /100 sq meters. Now, how is that for impressive?!

Pure nature beyond belief

If you are the type of traveler who goes abroad in hopes to find the authentic spirit of a place and to have a true local experience, then welcome to Bulgaria. Authenticity matters and for better or worse, Bulgaria has plenty of it. Some find it exciting, others not so much. Either way, navigating through a country like Bulgaria, where the language is Slavic and the alphabet Cyrillic can be a bit of a challenge, but as the saying goes “no pain, no gain”. So do your homework before you leave home. 

Grab a dictionary, get a map, learn a word or two, and don’t forget to pack your best manners. Authenticity awaits you as soon as you set foot in Sofia International and there is no need to stress. Keep in mind that you wanted an adventure and this is your chance to be a true explorer. When you lose your way (that is known to happen) just ask for help. Bulgarians are known for their hospitality and willingness to lend a hand. And although they might not speak English, they will make sure you find your way, even if that involves personally walking you there