Hi guys! Alex Finding From Alex here. I am on a solo adventure every year for a year in a new country, with every Tuesday completely traveling by cheapest flight. Yes, it is as busy as it sounds! This crazy adventure took me to Sofia, a beautiful hidden gem in the Balkans and the capital Bulgaria. Here you need to know if you are considering a visit to Sofia, what to do, where to go to sleep. How to roam
Where to stay in Sofia
Let’s end it with some good news … Sofia is a great place to be if you’re on a budget. Sofia has very cheap hostels with hostel beds for less than $ 13 a night, or you can get hotel rooms for around $ 32 a night depending on the budget.
Normally I’m a big kitchen-sized housing advocate so you can save money on food, but dining in Sofia is so cheap (and good!) That you honestly don’t have to cook your own meals.
Some of the great options for staying in Sofia are the Cheap Generator Hostel, Peter Pan Hostel, 5 Vintage Guest House and reasonably priced hotels.
How to get around Sofia
If you live in the middle of the city and don’t mind taking your own steps, you might be able to take a walk and see the city easily. Many important places are within walking distance, and the aimless excursion around the city was how I found my high food recommendations!
If you prefer to go somewhere quick (and probably dryer), there are trams, buses and metros. A single ride is 1.60BGN (about 90 cents) or a day pass with unlimited travel is 4BGN (about $ 2).
There is no Uber in Sofia, but there is a great local taxi app that does the same thing, called Taxmei. You can sign up with your UK number, add it to your credit card, and travel through the app as you would anywhere else.
To get to and from the airport easily and cheaply, I would recommend taking a taxi from the airport taxi stand. Only one company has the option of providing taxi services at the airport and they have received the standard fare prices, so follow the signs in the public taxi area and you will be cared for. To get to the city center you should pay around $ 15-20BGN ($ 8- $ 12).
On a super tight budget? You can get to the airport from Terminal 2 to Sardica station in 1.60BGN (only because you will need to use the ATM at the airport), then bus, tram or other metro to get to your hotel. Move to General Chat Chat Lounge
What is the budget for Sofia?
Yes for cheap destinations! Like my week in Warsaw, Sofia was the real treat for my wallet.
If you are looking for a challenge, send Sofia only $ 15 per day. It is possible to experiment with 20. This will include affordable hostel accommodation ($ 9- $ 13) and supermarket or bakery food (up to $ 7). You can see a plethora of beautiful buildings for free, and with a little Googling you can guide yourself on a tour of the city to learn about the city’s communist history.
To include donations for a good local meal ($ 6- $ 10), a beverage ($ 3) and a free walk tour (6), I recommend making a budget of about $ 40 a day.
From your local bakery for 1 BGN (less than 65 cents), to a fresh sandwich or lunch for 4-8BGN (95 1.95- $ 4.50) or 12-20BGN ($ 6.50- $ 12). A little fancier can get a sit down dinner. General Chat Chat Lounge A local beer will cost from 2BGN to 6BGN depending on where you are ($ 1.30- $ 4).
Great job to do in Sofia
Although not as well-known as Eastern European hot spots like Prague and Budapest, this city has a lot to offer and it doesn’t matter if you have nothing to do in Sofia.
Get some insights into the rocky past of Bulgaria, shop for second handguns at flea markets, eat some of my favorite cafes from all your travels, or escape the urban jungle and explore the nearest city. Proceed to Here are five great things to do on your trip to Sofia.
1. Learn about Communist history
The political past of Bulgaria is something that still exists throughout the city, with a huge headquarters, architecture, museums and statues representing the Communist period from 1946 to 1989.
Whether you are a complete newbie to Communist history or a sneak peek and want to see if Bulgaria has been particularly affected, there are some places and tours to add to your Sofia Communism class.
Coming from New Zealand, where Communism was never near a small corner of our world and where I chose math and science classes over history, geography and politics (math, I know), Eastern Europe. My knowledge of the Communist regime was limited.
The first is the Free Sofia Walking Tour, which runs three or four times a day (depending on the weather) and is a tip base. Your local tour guide will take you to 20 places to see in Sofia, and you’ll get a good overview of the city’s history and politics, as well as things to do, eat and see. There will also be a local consultation.
Free Sofia also has a daily communism tour in commun 11, which gives you a three-hour walk from the city’s communist places, as well as an insight into how Sofia has spent these 43 years. Can stay
Want more? Consider visiting the National Historical Museum or the Museum of Socialist Art, a huge red star that sits atop the Communist Party’s presidency before it was overthrown in the late 80’s.
2. See the city’s most beautiful religious buildings
Although the dominant religion in Bulgaria is still the Bulgarian Orthodox (about 60-60%), there are some wonderful churches, mosques, churches and monasteries in the capital.
Get started with the city’s most epic building, and one of the best buildings I’ve ever seen, the Alexander Nevesky Cathedral. The seriously impressive Orthodox Church was started in 1882 but did not finish 30 years later, and is a prominent spot in the Bulgarian capital city, with a 45-meter-high gold-plated dome and Suleimani, stone. Interior of marble and other intricately crafted. Content.
Other Orthodox churches that are worth visiting are St. Nicholas Church (a Russian Orthodox Church), the Sweetie Sidmochalenitsky Church, and Sveta Nedelia Church, which have a dramatic history in which the Communist Party bombed the funeral in 1925, where the Bulgarian Had more than 500 elites. Political figures were injured and 150 were killed.
After Eastern Orthodoxy, the next most common religion is Islam, and 15% of the population identifies as Muslim. Bulgaria has been under Ottoman rule for about 500 years, from the late 1300s onwards the Russian Empire occupied the Ottoman Empire in 1878, but was liberated by the victory of Russia and then declared independence in 1908, Many of the buildings were rebuilt or destroyed. The Bashi Mosque, built in the 16th century, remains the only working mosque in Sofia, and thus a hub for the city’s Muslim community.
Fans of ancient history want to stay in Sweetie Georgie, a fourth-century Christian church built by the Romans in the ancient city of Sardica. It is the oldest building in the city, and is home to some of the most amazing frescoes of the 10th century.
3. Eat all cheap food
I’m a big proponent of cooking your own meals while traveling to live on a tight budget, and usually allow myself to spend a few meals a week or two every day. Butt in Sofia, I ate every week of the week. Yes, I said every single meal!
The local food scene is not only cheap, but it is also really impressive. From bakeries where you can get four pastries or saveries equal to past 1, to a traditional restaurant offering next-level dishes to an Instagram-worthy brunch spot, home-style dishes, I’ll go back to eating just a second.
Sofia will have a range of foods to suit your taste, but here are some of my favorite choices.
Bistro pesto was my number one, and I’m not ashamed to say that I ate lunch there four days in a row! They are a very popular Corner Restaurant near Central Shopping Boulevard, and they serve Italian food day and night. Their panini menu is amazing. Authentic Italian Ingredients and Bulgarian Price. Win win
If you’re looking for a funky photo (no decision here), check out the Rainbow Factory or the brunch menu at Boho. I didn’t make it to the Rainbow Factory but my hostel colleagues have been strict about it, and I can personally guarantee the Oreo Pancake Stack in Boho. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
And for reasonably priced but delicious seating, make sure to visit Legends in Shuttalitsuitsa, which is a great home-cooked Chinese restaurant. Prices are a little higher than local street food stalls, but the service is amazing, the food is large, and many of the Bulgarian dishes are available.
4. Head in the mountains
In terms of European capital cities, the landscape of Sofia is rare, as there is a mountain range so close to the city center. The lower part of Watsuha Mountain is just 10 km from the city, and if you want to make a day, it can be easily reached by taxi, public transport, or hiking.
In the summer, Waitosha is a popular hiking destination, where city dwellers escape for the weekend to get some fresh air. The highest peak is 2290 meters, but various rivers and waterfalls around the lower half of the mountain also increase.
During the winter, the mountain is a ski resort, perfect for any snow bunny on a budget. Although it is significantly less developed than other European ski destinations such as Switzerland and France, your day pass and rent will be much cheaper and your money will go further.
In addition to being a hot spot of adrenaline activity, Watsuha is another Sofia home to watch. And Boana Church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Boyana is an 11th-century Orthodox church and is famous for many frescoes, especially a collection from the Way in 1259.
Take a day trip
There are some incredible places to see and experience just outside Sofia, so if you find the time, I would recommend trying a squeeze in a two day trip!
My first choice for a day trip from Sofia is Plovdiv, another Bulgarian city and one of the two European capital cultures of 2019. Plovdiv is a few hours by bus from Sofia to the bus, and costs tickets on each route. $ 6. Once you get to the city, I would suggest jumping on a free tour, managed by the same organization that runs the Sofia Tour. They receive a year-round city tour as well as a daily free graffiti tour from October to April. And if you want to find yourself, don’t miss the houses of the unique colors that are on the streets of the old city, it’s different from every other European town I’ve seen!
Like a work out? There is no better place to go in Bulgaria than in the Sean Rela Lakes Area. The Sila Rail is a leak, you guessed it, seven icy lakes are located in the mountain range of Rila, all between 2100m and 2500m high. This is possible, but it is difficult to get there on public transport so it is best to rent a car (1.5-2 hours), or book a regular day tour or shuttle bus. Bonus hint: Don’t miss the 10th-century Eastern Orthodox Monastery and the country’s largest rally monastery. Worth a visit!
And here you have it, a complete travel guide to your Bulgarian adventures for Sofia and beyond! Book your flight for Sofia with STA Travel now. If you want to follow more of my adventures you will find me on Instagram.