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I picked up this book purely out of curiousity while browsing in the bookstore. The only exposure I'd had to Bulgaria as a tourist destination was the show from Rick Steves, which whetted my appetite but didn't leave me compelled to go. Then I picked up this book expecting a ho-hum response (after all you hear so little about it) and instead Bulgaria has shot to the top of my list of most desirable destinations. I'm working on going next year and am learning some of the language now. After viewing the amazing photos in this book, it compelled me to do further research online for more photos and information and I now realize what an underrated gem Bulgaria is. Black and white words in your ordinary travel guide can't do it justice, and I would never have realized what I was missing without the gorgeous full color photographs and architectural cutaways of this book. I wouldn't rely on the hotel and restaurant listings in the DK Eyewitness guides because I would want to use a guide that is more frequently updated and budget minded (I recommend Rick Steves Eastern Europe), however, this book cannot be beat for the armchair traveller, someone deciding where they should go (the pictures really help), or someone inspired by beautiful photos. It covers a lot of the countryside and small towns as well as big cities.
As a native Bulgarian living in the US for 15+ years, I can tell you that you won't find a better travel book about Bulgaria. I go back home every year and continue to discover unknown local gems thanks to this book. Well done DK!
Compared with other guidebooks, this is the best, when it comes to useful information for individuals visiting Bulgaria without an organized trip.
Mr. Bousfield book covers extensively history, customs, geography, and, above all, all necessary information which helps the reader to get the best travel experience. It is also brilliantly written, very well researched and beautifully illustrated.
As a cultural tourism travel consultant, I have to research a lot of guidebooks about the region of my specialization - South Eastern Europe.
With its reliable information, useful tips, and overall responsible approach to travel writing, this book is an exception from the bunch of poorly researched, trashing the country or full with factual mistakes "guidebooks" out there.
Eyewitness Travel guides are the best around. The difficulty is that they are bulky and heavy. Too much to lug around on a foreign trip. I cut out the relevant pages, or scan them to my laptop. Otherwise, these books are indispensable for foreign travel and I don't even bother with the rest, which have recommendations that always seem out-of-date. This Bulgaria edition is thorough and absolutely beautiful - I hate to cut it up!
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I always buy Eyewitness travel guides before my trips. I find the mix of history, geography, cultural advice and tips, and practical information to be invaluable. I use them when I return to help identify pictures and places I cannot remember in the pictures I took. The books are quite heavy, so I do not travel with them. Their reviews of restaurants and hotels seems spot on.
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