Sofia is a fast-growing, multi-cultural, and modern city. It has a rich history, an amazing street art scene, offers an abundance of delicious restaurants and fun bars, and on top of that is a very budget-friendly destination. The city is a wonderful travel destination and one of the best places to visit in Bulgaria, and to prove that to you, here are 10 reasons to visit Sofia on your next trip.
Sofia it’s easily accessible
Flights from many European capitals and big cities are available. Low-cost airline companies that offer flights to Sofia are Ryanair, EasyJet, and WizzAir. They fly between Sofia and Berlin, Budapest, London, Rome, Barcelona, Athens, and many more. Often, you can even find awesome deals such as a 5 EUR flight between Sofia and Milan or a 7 EUR flight between Sofia and Berlin.
Located in the north part of the city, Sofia Central Bus Station is within a walking distance to some of Sofia’s biggest tourist attractions. Buses operate from/to many other European cities such as Belgrade, Bucharest, Budapest, Prague, and Vienna, for example.
Right next to the Central Bus Station is the Central Railway Station. International trains arrive in Sofia from Vienna, Belgrade, Bucharest, Kyiv, and Moscow to name a few.
Sofia is extremely affordable
Accommodation – affordable, transportation – affordable, food – also affordable. Sofia is for sure one of the cheapest destinations to visit in Europe. The accommodation prices start at 8 EUR for shared rooms in hostels and 15-20 EUR for hotel rooms. A one-way ticket for the bus or the metro is only 1.60 BGN (0.80 EUR). A beer in a bar typically costs between 1.5 – 3 EUR, and a dinner for two can cost as little as 20-25 EUR.
Also, there are plenty of things to do in Sofia for free – hiking, free tours, including a free food tour, museums, galleries, as well as there are many free events and festivals throughout the year.
Sofia is home to plenty of green areas
Sofia is home to a lot of parks, which are a favorite place for the locals to gather. They are the favorite place for sofiyantsi for meetings, walking, sports, etc. The biggest park in Sofia is the Borisova garden which is in the center of the city. Other big and popular parks are South Park, and Park Crystal, the park in front of the National Theatre.
People in Sofia are nice and friendly
Ask anyone who’s been to Sofia or Bulgaria in general. I think everyone would agree that Bulgarians are generally extremely friendly people. The people of Sofia, in particular, are very open-minded, helpful, and welcoming.
Sofia has a rich history
Did you know that Bulgaria is one of the oldest countries in Europe? That’s right, Bulgarian history dates back to the 7th century. To get to know more about the great history of Bulgaria find a local guide/friend to tell you about it, join the free walking tour or visit The National Museum of History. The museum aims to provide a comprehensive view of Bulgarian history from prehistory to the present.
Sofia is home to some amazing pieces of street art
The street art in Sofia is awesome. Electricity boxes all over the city are covered in beautiful, interesting, and sometimes funny paintings. Many of the city’s underpasses have been painted too. Some of the best pieces of street art in Sofia are located around the center (Serdika) and in the Hadzhi Dimitar neighborhood.
Often people use art to attract attention in protest.
The Bulgarian food is mouthwatering
Bulgarian cuisine is so delicious. It characterizes by a variety of vegetables and herbs. Meat is part of almost every dish, but fish is popular too. Diary products are a big part of Bulgarian cuisine.
There are many great restaurants in Sofia for you to check out and indulge in mouthwatering food. Don’t miss to try the shopska salad, kavarma, stuffed peppers, moussaka, tarator, mixed grill, and the famous Bulgarian hungover remedy – the tripe soup.
In the bakeries, you can find the traditional Bulgarian pastry – banitsa. It is prepared from a mixture of whisked eggs, natural yogurt, and pieces of white cheese between filo pastry and then baking it in an oven. Banitsa is best consumed with airyan (yogurt drink) or the traditional Bulgarian yogurt, kiselo mlyako (sour milk).
Sofia has its own mountain; Vitosha Mountain
Sofia is the European capital which is most close to a mountain. Vitosha is situated only 30min away from the city center and it’s the perfect place to go hike near Sofia. You can climb to Vitosha’s highest peak – Cherni vrah or enjoy other of the many trails available around the mountain.
Sofia’s nightlife is fun
In Sofia, you can party until the morning and there are varieties of bars and clubs to choose from. There are places for every music taste from house clubs, rock bars, piano bars, jazz clubs, and hip-hop clubs. Some places that I personally like and would recommend include Roderick, 5L, By the way, Petak and Sputnik as bars, and Rock’nRolla, Terminal 1, and Yalta as clubs.
Typical for the country are chalgoteka and ”horoteka”. Chalgoteka is a club where the music is typical for the region but not to everyone’s taste. ”Horoteka” is a restaurant with live music, where you can watch and learn traditional Bulgarian folk dances.
As a fast-growing, multi-cultural, and modern city, Sofia has a vibrant life. Walking around the city one can hear many different languages. The streets, restaurants, bars, and cafes are crowded with people. In good weather, the parks are crowded as well. All in all, Sofia is a very lively city and there is always something going on.
In a conclusion, I would say that Sofia and Bulgaria, in general, must be on your travel list. And if you ask me when is the right time to visit Sofia I would say ASAP.
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