Countries such as Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and other locations in southeastern Europe may represent some of the best values for travel in Europe, but finding quality restaurants and businesses there may prove challenging if you are not familiar with the area.
Many might simply search on Google Maps to find something suitable, but there is another choice in local review-service Getlokal.
Back in 2007, New Europe Directories launched Golden Pages, an online business-directory in Bulgaria. As Golden Pages achieved a strong degree of success (it currently counts 400K monthly users), they decided to double down on the market by launching Getlokal.
Getlokal started small, content to focus on the Bulgarian, Romanian, and Macedonian markets. They have since expanded to Finland, Serbia, Montenegro, Hungary, and Sweden and have plans to launch in Sweden and Russia in the near future.
Visiting the Getlokal site, available in English or the local language for any of the countries, users will find ratings, reviews, articles on local attractions, and offers as you would find on many review sites. However, where it differs it that users, such as businesses, themselves have the ability to add locations for others to find.
In addition to offering reviews and articles, the site attempts to engage visitors by posting videos involving a host travelling around and trying out different activities.
Mihai Dragomirescu, who manages Getlokal operations in Romania, tells me that they are drawing in more than 500K monthly active users and list over 370K businesses. The business is backed by approximately 1.5 million Euro in funding from SEEF II, which is an equity fund managed by Bedminster Capital Management and Dragomirescu says that they are actively seeking new funding.
Getlokal currently focuses on southeastern Europe, but they are not sitting still. At the beginning of this year, they entered into a partnership with FCR Media, an Estonian firm that helps companies with ad campaigns. Dragomirescu says that Getlokal aims to further expand within the region and a partnership with FCR Media, which operates in 11 European countries, seemed to be a natural fit.