Austin vs Istanbul vs Lviv vs Madrid vs Sofia

Austin ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ
Istanbul ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ท
Lviv ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ
Madrid ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ
Sofia ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฌ
Population 926,426 15,520,000 731,387 6,578,0179 1,270,169
Official language(s) English (de facto) Turkish Ukrainian Spanish Bulgarian
Level of English Very high Low Low Moderate High
Main airport Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) Istanbul Airport (IST) Lviv Danylo Halytskyi International Airport (LWO) Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD) Sofia International Airport (SOF)
Most common months to visit March - May, September - November April - June, September and October May - September March - May, September - November April-June, September-October
Currency USD - US Dollar ($) TRY - Turkish Lira (โ‚บ) UAH - Ukrainian Hryvnia (โ‚ด) EUR - Euro (โ‚ฌ) BGN - Bulgarian Lev (ะปะฒ)
Credit cards Accepted almost everywhere Accepted in most places Accepted almost everywhere Accepted everywhere Accepted everywhere
Remote worker visa No No No Yes No
Average monthly costs $3484 $659 $922 $2498 $1289
Rent $1650 $354 $400 $1174 $567
Groceries $243 $44 $91 $175 $10
Dining out $396 $81 $151 $313 $227
Cafe $66 $18 $21 $51 $27
Coworking space $331 $49 $79 $196 $140
Mobile internet $40 $3 $4 $10 $10
Public transportation $110 $6 $5 $78 $30
Taxis $73 $6 $12 $44 $12
Shared bicycles and scooters $96 $2 $16 $49 $40
Sport and cultural events $54 $11 $13 $54 $18
Museums and sights $11 $15 $9 $20 $12
Nightlife $124 $22 $43 $82 $82
Gym $62 $9 $22 $44 $23
Yoga $139 $23 $30 $142 $62
Massage $89 $15 $27 $64 $29
SIM card options AT&T, T-Mobile. Turkcell, Turk Telekom Vodafone, Kyivstar Orange, Movistar, Vodafone A1, Telenor, Vivacom
Tipping 15-20% at restaurants, 1USD or more per drink at cafes and bars Tip 5-10% in restaurants, cafรฉs and bars 10% in restaurants, not expected elsewhere Not customary or expected but small tips are appreciated. 10% in restaurants, 1-2 BGN at bars and cafรฉs
Taxi apps Uber, Lyft BiTaksi Uber, Uklon Uber, Cabify, MyTaxi Free Now TaxiMe, TaxiStars
Tap water Drinkable Not drinkable Not drinkable 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. 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). Fresh, regional produce accentuated with garlic and olive oil and mixed with various meats and seafoods. Influenced both by Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern flavors. 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 Dรถner, ฤฐรงli Kรถfte, Dondurma, Karnฤฑyarฤฑk, Turkish delight Lviv cheesecake, fish Zupa, Tsivikli, Karmanadli, Banosh, Borscht, Salo, Syrnyky Paella, tapas, tortilla, gazpacho, pulpo a la gallega, callos a la madrileรฑa, churros 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 Traditional breakfasts, street stalls for simit, lahmacun and kokorec, Turkish coffee Local grills, themed taverns, local breweries, small bakeries Have some tapas and sangria at a tasca and paella at an authentic eatery. Keep an eye on the time and visit a cafeteria for a mid-afternoon merienda and some churros! Taverns, local BBQ restaurants, local markets and smaller eateries in residential and university areas.
Vegetarian / vegan options 30 options on HappyCow 59 listings on Happy Cow 9 options on HappyCow 85 listings on Happy Cow 20 options on HappyCow