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Cost, renting private room from locals, villages and cities?

Posted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 9:16 pm
by reiver
Has anyone done this when travelling, and how much does it now cost? A room offered by local people at train stations, for example. I have done this before a few times when travelling in Bulgaria, but it was awhile ago.

Just wonder how widespread this in Bulgaria, and the approximate cost for a solo traveller for a room now? I only really saw people offering these rooms in Burgas and Varna, at the train stations. It's tricky negotiating prices without much knowledge of the language.

Also, would it be easy to find this type of budget accomodation from local villagers?

It seems to work well both ways - you get a basic room for a fair price, and the locals, usually pensioners, get some extra income.

Posted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:15 pm
by gimlet
In Yugoslavia in the early 1970s every other house in the countryside had a sign saying "Zimmer Frei". But then that was a fairly liberal communist economy.

I have not seen such signs in Bulgaria and I suspect that the need for licences, invoices, taxes etc, etc may be the reason. They may still be available though.

Personally even if I am in a hotel I want to see the room before taking it and would normally expect to be shown it without asking. That's a bit difficult at the local railway station and touts may lead you somewhere where you get biffed over the head. It's better to approach people than have them approach you. Ask at a cafe or something. Even a taxi driver, but note his number!

Posted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:25 pm
by BG9374
Travel to a strange city, see a stranger and then bargain for a room for a night or few? That is a brave set of feet you have to accomplish that, meeting strangers for payment of a room while standing on a street corner or at a railway station?

Must share more of your traveller tales.

What about if you arrive at night, many not get the wrong idea 8O

Posted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 7:55 am
by leedarkwood
Often see signs saying rooms for let in tourist areas. Would think you would be fine as long as you have some basic Bulgarian.

Posted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:46 am
by atticjon
Hi Reiver, the best thing you can do is (in my opinion) pick up a copy of Lonely Planet Bulgaria (or perhaps they have a webpage you can use) I have a friend who did exactly this in Burgas, the name and location of an agency that deals in private rooms was listed and he had no problems. I dont think it was that much cheaper than a cheap hotel room though, and in this economy I think there will be bargain rooms available. Have a good trip!


Posted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:46 pm
by geocyd
The best thing in my opinion...... is go to this web site and join.... Thousands of free... yes free .... couches rooms info meals etc all over the world..... .......Enjoy

Posted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:54 pm
by mihangel
Most villages in Bulgaria have houses with vacant rooms to let out to passing strangers, for very little money. The main problem is the lack of customers, so you will take them by surprise and the room will be unprepared, and perhaps even occupied by a family member, but they will soon sort it all out for you, and you will be made very welcome. If you have some basic Bulgarian, or perhaps with the help of a phrase book, just ask at the local shop or pub and you will be guided in the right direction.

Some will be more prepared than others. A family I know of in my village have the two rooms in their upper story beautifully furnished and vacant. They affectionally refer to it as the “hotel” and sleep downstairs (downstairs is warmer) on iron framed beds that are used as seats during the daytime. As far as I know they rarely, if ever, get any guests, but they hope that one day they will.

As Gimlet's post points out, these rooms are never advertised. To find them you have to ask around.

Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:41 pm
by spantrout
If you intend to do this why not publish your itinerary here and see who may or may not be able to help you, at least u may have a heads up on a few places before u arrive