Budapest vs Istanbul vs Sofia

Budapest 🇭🇺
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Istanbul 🇹🇷
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Sofia 🇧🇬
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Population 1,768,073 15,520,000 1,270,169
Official language(s) Hungarian Turkish Bulgarian
Level of English High Low High
Main airport Budapest Ferihegy International Airport (BUD) Istanbul Airport (IST) Sofia International Airport (SOF)
Most common months to visit March - June, September - November April - June, September and October April-June, September-October
Currency HUF - Hungarian Forint (Ft) TRY - Turkish Lira (₺) BGN - Bulgarian Lev (лв)
Credit cards Accepted almost everywhere, cash needed for small shops Accepted in most places Accepted everywhere
Remote worker visa No No No
Average monthly costs $1476 $821 $1395
Rent $599 $441 $613
Groceries $129 $55 $11
Dining out $243 $101 $246
Cafe $35 $22 $29
Coworking space $144 $62 $151
Mobile internet $11 $4 $11
Public transportation $44 $8 $32
Taxis $33 $8 $13
Shared bicycles and scooters $16 $3 $43
Sport and cultural events $29 $14 $20
Museums and sights $9 $19 $13
Nightlife $51 $27 $88
Gym $45 $12 $25
Yoga $58 $29 $67
Massage $31 $18 $32
SIM card options Vodafone, Telenor Turkcell, Turk Telekom A1, Telenor, Vivacom
Tipping 10 - 15% at restaurants and bars Tip 5-10% in restaurants, cafés and bars 10% in restaurants, 1-2 BGN at bars and cafés
Taxi apps Bolt, Fotaxi BiTaksi TaxiMe, TaxiStars
Tap water Drinkable Not drinkable Not drinkable
Overall cuisine Magyar cuisine makes extensive use of creams, cheeses and sauces primarily in beef, chicken and pork dishes, mixed with seasonal vegetables, fruits and rich desserts. A fusion of cultures creates diverse dishes with bulgur, koftes, stews, eggplants and fish 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 Goulash, Fisherman's soup, Főzelék, Somloi Galuska, Pörkölt and Paprikás, Kürtös Kalács, Hungarian Lecsó, Lángos Döner, İçli Köfte, Dondurma, Karnıyarık, Turkish delight Kebapche, Bulgarian musaka, lyutenitsa, shkember chorba, kyufte, kavarma, banitsa and tarator
Eat like a local Local markets, cafés, taverns, street food, traditional restaurants Traditional breakfasts, street stalls for simit, lahmacun and kokorec, Turkish coffee Taverns, local BBQ restaurants, local markets and smaller eateries in residential and university areas.
Vegetarian / vegan options 47 options on HappyCow 59 listings on Happy Cow 20 options on HappyCow