Austin vs Bucharest vs Istanbul vs Lviv vs Sofia

Austin ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ
Bucharest ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ด
Istanbul ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ท
Lviv ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ
Sofia ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฌ
Population 926,426 1,830,000 15,520,000 731,387 1,270,169
Official language(s) English (de facto) Romanian Turkish Ukrainian Bulgarian
Level of English Very high High Low Low High
Main airport Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) Henri Coanda International Airport (OTP) Istanbul Airport (IST) Lviv Danylo Halytskyi International Airport (LWO) Sofia International Airport (SOF)
Most common months to visit March - May, September - November April - October April - June, September and October May - September April-June, September-October
Currency USD - US Dollar ($) RON - Romanian Leu (L) TRY - Turkish Lira (โ‚บ) UAH - Ukrainian Hryvnia (โ‚ด) BGN - Bulgarian Lev (ะปะฒ)
Credit cards Accepted almost everywhere Accepted almost everywhere Accepted in most places Accepted almost everywhere Accepted everywhere
Remote worker visa No No No No No
Average monthly costs $3484 $1351 $659 $922 $1289
Rent $1650 $615 $354 $400 $567
Groceries $243 $114 $44 $91 $10
Dining out $396 $165 $81 $151 $227
Cafe $66 $38 $18 $21 $27
Coworking space $331 $133 $49 $79 $140
Mobile internet $40 $7 $3 $4 $10
Public transportation $110 $21 $6 $5 $30
Taxis $73 $9 $6 $12 $12
Shared bicycles and scooters $96 $25 $2 $16 $40
Sport and cultural events $54 $29 $11 $13 $18
Museums and sights $11 $29 $15 $9 $12
Nightlife $124 $45 $22 $43 $82
Gym $62 $30 $9 $22 $23
Yoga $139 $59 $23 $30 $62
Massage $89 $31 $15 $27 $29
SIM card options AT&T, T-Mobile. Vodafone, Orange Turkcell, Turk Telekom Vodafone, Kyivstar A1, Telenor, Vivacom
Tipping 15-20% at restaurants, 1USD or more per drink at cafes and bars 5% - 10% at restaurants, 5% - 10% tip for services is appreciated but not expected, round up for taxis Tip 5-10% in restaurants, cafรฉs and bars 10% in restaurants, not expected elsewhere 10% in restaurants, 1-2 BGN at bars and cafรฉs
Taxi apps Uber, Lyft Star Taxi, Uber BiTaksi Uber, Uklon TaxiMe, TaxiStars
Tap water Drinkable Not drinkable Not drinkable Not drinkable Not drinkable
Overall cuisine Emphasis on barbecued meats (beef and pork) as well as corn-based dishes and tex-mex, and rich American-style desserts. Wide range of meat and fish dishes, soups, salads and cheeses influenced by German, Hungarian, Turkish, Greek and Ukrainian cuisine. A fusion of cultures creates diverse dishes with bulgur, koftes, stews, eggplants and fish Slavic. Emphasis on frilled meats combined with potatoes, carrots, pickles and cabbage. Creamy deserts often elaborated with cottage cheese. Lviv enjoys culinary influences from Kiev (traditional with an emphasis on chicken) and Odessa (various seafood dishes). Vegetables and mild spices are often mixed with dairy products to create rich chicken and pork products. Seafood dishes also popular in some regions of the country, making them popular in the capital.
Local food specialities Frito pie, queso, apple pie, kolaches, BBQ ribs, tacos Sarmale, mฤƒmฤƒligฤƒ, mici, ciolan cu fasole, ciorbฤƒ de burtฤƒ, covrig, papanasi Dรถner, ฤฐรงli Kรถfte, Dondurma, Karnฤฑyarฤฑk, Turkish delight Lviv cheesecake, fish Zupa, Tsivikli, Karmanadli, Banosh, Borscht, Salo, Syrnyky Kebapche, Bulgarian musaka, lyutenitsa, shkember chorba, kyufte, kavarma, banitsa and tarator
Eat like a local Local tex-mex restaurants, lunch BBQ joints, taquerias, food trucks, local breweries Set lunch menus, cafe terraces, cofeterias Traditional breakfasts, street stalls for simit, lahmacun and kokorec, Turkish coffee Local grills, themed taverns, local breweries, small bakeries Taverns, local BBQ restaurants, local markets and smaller eateries in residential and university areas.
Vegetarian / vegan options 30 options on HappyCow 33 listings on Happy Cow 59 listings on Happy Cow 9 options on HappyCow 20 options on HappyCow