Hi all, I am very interested in visiting both Romania and Bulgaria, but only have 15 days this year, and would rather focus on one and get a better idea of the place than rushing through both. I have done pretty extensive research on both, and am truly torn about which of the two to visit this year.
For those of you which have visited both places, I would love to know which you enjoyed most, and why. I realize that this is different for everybody, and does not mean that it will be the case for me, but i just enjoy hearing other peoples experiences and opinions.
I plan to split my time pretty evenly between larger cities (sofia or bucharest included even though i know they get mixed reviews, but I would still like to spend at least a day or two in either), midsized cities, and small villagas in the mountains and or by the sea, so comparisons of those in both countries would be greatly appreciated.
Any other opinions, ideas, suggestions, etc. would also be very appreicated.
Thanks very much!
I have only been to Bulgaria, but had the best time ever there! Watch out though if you go to the coast: Varna is very attractive, has beautiful beaches, nightlife and people, but some other tourists have discovered that too, if you know what I mean.
Not that I don't think they should be there, everybody should have the chance to enjoy Bulgarian Black sea hospitality, it's just a warning that it can be a bit crowded. (a lot of german and russian tourists)
I have to admit that I was there some three years ago, so things might be different now.
If you have the chance: go from Sofia (where you'll probably touch ground and háve to stay for a few days) to Melnik in the south, a small mountain village with the best wines. Stop in the Rila mountains to visit the Rila monastery.
From there, cross the mountains to Plovdiv, more in the centre of the country (about a day's drive, with bulgarian roads and motorists...). From Plovdiv you can leap to Varna, or other black sea towns. The beaches just north of Varna are (were) great!
From Varna, you can either go up to Romania, or first to the beautiful mountain city of Veliko Tarnovo, where the old emperors had their palaces and fortresses.
Enjoy the (planning of the) trip!!
Actually, I have only been in Romania. 2004 I spent a month in Romania travelling with public transport. Bucharest has some nice sites, but it is possible to visit those in 2 days (people's palace is pretty impressive). Otherwise, I did not think Bucharest had much charme. I liked Brasov though, there are many things to do. (castles, hiking, bear watching). Sighisoara was beautiful. In Moldova I went to visit the wooden monastries, which were very impressive with their paintings.
Language wise, Romania is pretty easy to travel in, if you speak any roman language you will understand quit a bit. If not, specially young people speak English very well and they are very helpful.
Overall, I think, if I visit Romania agian, I will rent a car, as it is sometimes very hard to visit castles and remote places only with using public transportation. But on the other hand I think that was also one of the interesing parts, to figure out, how to get to a place.
Please let me know if you need more information.
[ Edit: Edited at Aug 14, 2006 8:00 AM by aleah ]
Romania is my favorite country in Europe! I love Transylvania and find the country there fantastic. Iv been a few times to this region as well as Bucharest. The train trip from Cluj - Sigisoara -Brasov is stunning (if you come in from Hungary). And the people are very friendly and welcoming, just watch out for Roma, esp around the trainstations. Bucharest is not so nice, but still worth seeing as its a cultural significance for Communist history -and youll probably be flying into the city as well.
Bulgaria - only been to Varna and hated it! Terrible touristsic seaside town.
hey!i'm from romania, and of course that i think this is the place to come...i'm from bucharest, and i think that it's a great city once you get to know it. if you decide to come here, i think you will have a great time and meet great people...(of course that is a realy subjective oppinion but...)