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Robust 2019

A six-week-trip with a few days in Budapest followed by four weeks in Romania and ten days in Bulgaria.

We learnt a lot about the history and culture of this part of Europe. Wonderful monasteries, Saxon villages, Roman ruins, three capital cities and pleasant towns, all this and much more contributed to make this trip a great experience.

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Trip Report and Budget



Itinerary and overall budget

Our itinerary (© MapTiler © OpenStreetMap contributors). Our itinerary (© MapTiler © OpenStreetMap contributors).Our code name for this trip, Robust19 stands for ROmania, BUlgaria and BudapeST in Hungary: three new countries which we explored using public transport exclusively. We started the journey in Budapest where we spent four days and were delighted by the city. We had booked a flat in the district of Ferencváros not far from the Central Market, a good location as we could explore the city on foot and enjoy Budapest by night every evening as we strolled along the Danube.

Then we left for Romania taking a bus to Oradea (a few kilometers behind the Hungarian-Romanian border), a smooth introduction to this new country. From there we headed North to the region of Maramureş, famous for its wooden churches and rural life. We based ourselves in Vadu Izei and explored the surroundings combining hitch-hiking and walking on country roads with hardly any traffic (we walked quite long distances, up to 30 km on one day!). We continued to Bucovina and toured the painted monasteries again combining hitch-hiking and walking. Northern Romania was definitely a highlight of this trip. Next was Transylvania with its Saxon towns and villages and Sinaia in the Bucegi mountains for great (and strenuous!) hiking. Finally we made a detour to visit the small town of Curtea de Argeş in Wallachia before heading to our last Romanian destination: Bucharest.

Our first stop in Bulgaria was Ruse, just across the border from Romania on the shores of the Danube. From there we moved to Veliko Tarnovo, a medieval city set in the picturesque bends of the river Yatra with an impressive fortress. Next was Plovdiv, European capital of culture for 2019, with Roman ruins, a charming old town and interesting museums. We ended our trip in Sofia, a delightful town with a compact and lively city centre, a great setting at the foot of the Vitosha mountains, a town which we will surely visit again as we fell in love with it.


Final budget for Budapest. There is not much to say about our budget in Budapest.

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We fared much better than we thought we would in Romania, mostly due to the price of accommodation (59% of our total budget). We reserved our rooms via Booking.com but as we wanted to stay flexible did only so one or two days in advance. This allowed us to stay longer in one place if we felt so inclined or to change the itinerary on a whim. Such short notice sometimes impacted the prices favourably particularly if we booked for the next day, on the other hand some flats or rooms we had pre-selected became unavailable if we waited too long… You cannot always win!

Final budget for Romania.

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Bulgaria is more touristy than Romania and this shows in our daily budget. However we still did quite well.

Final budget for Bulgaria.

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Want to read more? Go back to Introduction or go on to Maramureş on Foot or go up to Blog

$updated from: Blog.htxt Mon 03 May 2021 16:08:28 trvl2 (By Vero and Thomas Lauer)$