Sofia Guide – One of the Oldest Cities in Europe

Back in summer 2005, I wrote an online guide of Sofia .
As the hosting site is closing , I am moving it here. I’ve put too much effort and passion for it to be simply deleted. Enjoy my hometown , as I remember it…(Photos are not the best ones of course. This is where I started from.)Sofia – “Grows bigger but doesn’t grow older”

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Sofia is one of the oldest cities in Europe – The oldest found settlements on its territory are dating from the first part of the neolithic – IV BC.
In VIII – VII century BC , there was a Thracian village located around the mineral springs in the center by Banya Bashi mosque. It was part of the Odrin kingdom in V BC and its inhabitants were called serds.
After 29 BC ,the settlement was conquered by Rome and after 46 AC it is included in the Roman province Thracia and becomes a strategic center in the region. It was given the name “Serdika” – town of the serds, by the Romans.Under the rule of emperor Ulpii Trajan ,in the beginning of the I century , the town gained importance and was named after him – Ulpiia Serdika. The fortified town with round and later triangle towers of Serdika was built in the end of the II century.It was situated in the area between the streets of Legue , Alabin, Pozitano, Washington ,Halite, Ekzarh Josif and Serdika. By the planning of the town was applied the roman regulatory system, where the streets were wide from 3,8 to 6 m and were orientated north – south and east – west,paved with stones and having water and canalization networks underneath.
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Serdika was situated on the main international road from Middle Europe to Byzantion ( lately called Konstantinopol ) and on the road from the Danube to the Egaean Sea. In the III century it became the main town of province Inner Dakiya, and established its own monetary production. It reaches its peak in developpment under the rule of Konstantin I the Great ( 306 – 337 ) when it was a rich and prospering town, rival to many famous antique cities. From the end of IV century it was included in the borders of the Eastern Roman Empire. Damaged by the invasion of the Khuns ( 441 – 447 ) the town recovers fast and has been expanded under emperor Justinian ( 527 – 565 ) and Tiberii Konstantin ( 578 – 582 )
in 809 ,the town was conquered by Khan Krum ( 803 – 814 ) and included into the Bulgarian State , being given the Slavic name “Sredets”,mentioned by Byzantine authors as “Triaditza” – the Greek equivalent of “Sredets”.
Under the first Bulgarian kingdom the city is a Strong fortified town ,a strategic and administrative center and is included in the borders of the Western Bulgarian state by Samouil. In 986 the town was many times under siege by the army of emperor Vasilii I – the murderer of Bulgarians and conquered by Byzantine in 1018. King Assen I recaptured the town in 1078. In the XII – XIV century ,the town became a center of crafts – gold and iron goods, weapons , table ware etc. In the last part of XIV century,Sredetz was named Sofia – after the “St Sofia” church. With this name , the town was first mentioned under king Ivan Shishman ( 1371 – 1393 ) in a certificate given to the Dragalevtsi Monastery. In 1382 ,after severe battle ,the town was conquered by the Turks and becomes the center of Rumelian Beilerber province. With the time it changes its appearance and starts to resemble more and more to a turk town with mixed population. In 1797 the town was conquered and robbed by the army of Osman Pazwantoglu and in 1831 – 1832 by Kurdzalians.After the war of Krim ( 1853-1856) the town starts to loose its importance as the capital of Beilerber province. The Bulgarian population took active part in the church national revolution. In 1870 the Bulgarian fighter for Freedom Vassil Levski founded here a revolution committee. After the failure of the April Revolution in 1876, the Bulgarian population of Sofia was being cruelly terrorized by the Turks. During the Russian-Turkish liberation war ( 1877 – 1878 ) the town was converted in a Turkish military camp. The town was delivered from the Russian army on the 4 th January 1878 . By that time there were around 3000 houses and 15 000 inhabitants there. Because of its strategic location , the town was chosen on the 3rd april 1879 to be the capital of Kingdom Bulgaria. The population of the town increased very fast after the construction of the railroad , connecting Vienna with Tzarigrad (Istanbul) in 1888.

Let me tell ya about my hometown

“Alexander Nevski”cathedral, Parliament ,monument

From as far as I know , Sofia does not have a Tourist information office – something common in EU countries. So the info I have gathered and translated here is usually rare to find.

I can say I am more or less done with the things to see while in Sofia , I just need to add the places 4 entertainment and the restaurants and accommodation tips and my page will be finished…..

I don’t even like Sofia that much as I prefer smaller cities or little towns that bear the spirit of the past in every stone , but facts are facts, and the city has plenty to offer as sightseeing , entertainment and history.
Popa – The Statue of Partiarch Evtimii

The Statue of Partiarch Evtimii is an important Orientation point in Sofia Center aswell as the most common meeting point for Sofians .It gets very crowded after work hours as everybody is meeting everybody to spend the evening with.

As I said Popa is the most common place for dates and if you are gonna see a dear friend,flowers are a good gift. So no surprise that there is a flower booth nearby.
The prices are very reasonable ,and you will make a good impression.

The monument story (in Bulgarian)

For example this beautiful orange flower costs 1,5 euros / 3 lv !

Directions: Located at the crossing of Vassil LevskiSteet, Patriarch Evtimii and Graf ignatiev Street

Drivers are crazy ,they don’t respect any rules so you gotta be very careful while driving or walking in the streets. Don’t expect that they will stop as soon as you put your foot from the sidewalk to the street.

Enter here as I take you on a VIRTUAL SOFIA TOUR

The best about Sofia are the surrounding mountains – check out Vitosha mountain and Plana mountain ( More mountains to come in my pages hopefully )
13 june 2005 – OMG! I just saw that I am a Top 5 tipmaker in 2 locations – Sofia and Nessebar. Claps claps hands :))) Thanx 2 everybody..I have put about the whole month of may to build my pages concentrating on the Sofia one, and still even not the half of my photos is uploaded….Now I feel rewarded 4 my efforts:))) Smiles :)))Bows gracefully before you, the VT public :))

Sofia Center

“Sv Petka”church and ” Banya Bashi” moschee

Sofia was planned to be the “little sister of Vienna” before communism came and threw its cold imposant buildings in the pure heart of the city.Now it’s a mixture of architecture from all styles and eras…

Sofia coordinates – latitude: 42° 42′ N longitude: 23° 20′ E
There are several orientation points that we use for Directions and areas in the CENTER
in the center the main orientation points are:
– popa – statue of Patriarch Evtimii ,located at the crossing of Bul Vassil Lewski and Patriarch Evtimii
– NDK – National palace of culture
– Vitosha Street
– Apteka – Located at the crossing of Vitosha Street and Patriarch Evtimii street .Used to be a Pharmacy and a popular meeting point , now it’s a
rent a video/DVD place
– Halite and the “Banya Bashi” Moschee
– Tzum – The biggest shopping mole/ and Sheraton Hotel / Sveta Nedelya Square
– Orlov Most / Eagles Bridge
– Luvov Most / Lion’s Bridge
– The National Stadium “Vassil Levski”
– the monument of “Vassil Levski”
-Pette Kiosheta / The five corners ( actually there atr 2 – the big ones and the small ones . Make sure u have the right one. The big ones are the most known )
-Ruski Pametnik / The Russian Monument

Once outside the center , there are
– Mladost I,II, and III,
-Droujba – close to the airport
-Liulin – named after Liulin mountain
– Obelia 1,2
– Belite brezi
– Hladilnika
-Orlandovtzi…etc etc
Page built in mai and june 2005
P.S. – All of you that dig into my Sofia guide – keep in mind that I have put 2 months of my life / more or less/ to come up with it – all of this for fame and glory . So If you take the time to RATE the tips you find useful – it won’t hurt you that much ,and it will be a small reward for my efforts – and all us that invested time on this site.

Useful Links :
Sofia an european city? Current street condition in the capital
Mad drivers in Sofia – traffic accidents recorded by the observation cams
Sofia Interactive map
Sofia city guide
Visit the official web site of Sofia Municipality
Btv News – Online site of BTV television chain
http://www.dnes.bg/

Popa – The Statue of Partiarch Evtimii 2146235-popa_the_statue_of_partiarch_evtimii-sofia

The Statue of Partiarch Evtimii is an important Orientation point in Sofia Center aswell as the most common meeting point for Sofians .It gets very crowded after work hours as everybody is meeting everybody to spend the evening with.

As I said Popa is the most common place for dates and if you are gonna see a dear friend,flowers are a good gift. So no surprise that there is a flower booth nearby.
The prices are very reasonable ,and you will make a good impression.

The monument story (in Bulgarian)

For example this beautiful orange flower costs 1,5 euros / 3 lv !

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Directions: Located at the crossing of Vassil LevskiSteet, Patriarch Evtimii and Graf ignatiev Street

The Yellow Pavement Area Aleksander Nevski Cathedral Review

2348967-the_yellow_pavement_area-sofiaThe Yellow Pavement Area is the most beautiful part of Sofia . It’s called like this because the streets are all covered with yellow stones . You will find here The Sofia University “Kliment Ohridski”,The “Alexander Nevski” cathedral , The Parliament , Embassies, The Military club and Chervilo, The Russian Church, The National Art gallery ,the Archeologic Museum, The Presidency, The National Assembly, The St George Rotonda, The ruins of Serdika, Sheraton hotel , Tzum and the Statue of Sofia with the Metro Station.

Жълтите павета

National Opera and Ballet 2074831-National_Opera_and_Ballet-Sofia.jpg

Nineth Easter festival 23 – 7 may 2005
“Swan Lake” – Tchaikovski
I don’t remember seeing a Ballet, I guess it never interested me till today. So I just went to take a look……and got spellbound!!!! Sooo much beauty and grace I haven’t seen for long !!!! You don’t need to speak bulgarian to see a Ballet….the only thing you need are eyes for beauty …the rest is MAGIC!!!!! I would reccomend this to anyone!!!
The Prima ballerina was Viara Natcheva (She is a prima of the Berlin Ballet too ). And the word I have for her is PERFECTION!!!!She is born for ballet….sooo talented,so fragile and strong at the same time – she is the grace in person!!!
Here she is – Viara Natcheva/Odette-Odille with Rossen Kanev / Prince Sigfried

With ” Swan Lake” starts the hisory of the Russian Classical Ballet – as Glinka sets in 1836 the beginning of the Russian national opera with “Ivan Susanin”. The premiere of the ballet takes place on 20 february 1877 in Bolshoi Theatre, and the choreography,having turned itself into a classic, is the edition from 1895 of Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov,staging of Mariynski Theatre.

pics from “Swan Lake” and ” More Swan Lake”

Address: Bul ” Dondukov” 30

Phone: 9811549 , 9871366

The Red House
Located close to the monument of Patriarch Evtimii, The Red House is a newly reconstructed by the “Beautiful Bulgaria” project center for progressive arts .
Recently an exibition of the world famous fashion photographer Helmut Newton was hosted here , on her way to Vienna.
Modern Ballet and theater spectacles and different exibitions aswell as seminars can be seen here.
The house was reconstructed after being left for long years with no inhabitats. A former workshop of the most famous bulgarian sculptor Andrei Nikolov ( his most famous work is “spirit and substance”/ Duh i materiia in Bulgarian, and his students among which Vladimir Guinovski and Velitchko Minekov – personnal friends of our family.In these workshops were created the most famous monuments and sculptures on the territory of Sofia and Bulgaria.
Vladimir Guinovski is the author of the monuments of : “Cyril and Methodii” in front of the National Library and the same in Rome, “Hristo Botev” monument in Vratza,”Vassil Levski” in Veliko Turnovo military school, “Elin Pelin” Baylovo and many others works ,abroad aswell.
Its unusual architecture and very high ceilings make it perfect for the purpose it’s used today.

Address: Liuben Karavelov Street 15

Website: http://www.redhouse-sofia.org/

The Round Tower of the Serdika Fortress2347678-the_round_tower_of_the_serdika_fortress-sofia

The ruins of the Round Tower of Serdika Fortress are to be found close to the old central mineral springs. Now only the old reservoir is remaining.
The fortified town – first with round , later triangle towers of Serdika – was built in the end of the II century.It was situated in the area between the streets of Legue , Alabin, Pozitano, Washington ,Halite, Ekzarh Josif and Serdika. By the planning of the town was applied the roman regulatory system, where the streets were wide from 3,8 to 6 m and were orientaded north – south and east – west,paved with stones and having water and canalization networks underneath.

Directions: The Round Tower of the Serdika Fortress is to be seen between the streets of Ekzarh Josif and Iskar ,not far from Banya Bashi Mochee

Sveti Sedmochislenitzi

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Sveti sedmochislenitzi are the five students of Cyril and Methodii along with their enlighteners that were carrying the mission to spread and defend the Slavic Alphabet though the world . their names are – Kliment, Sava,Naum , Angelarii and Gorazd.

Sveti Sedmochislenitzi church is an example of the Bulgarian national-romanticism.
Build at the emplacement of Kodja Mehmet Dervis Djami (Imaret Djami) known also as “the Black Mosque” because of its minaret tiled with black marble. Destroyed before the liberation from Ottoman rule in 1878. The mosque was built after the plans of architect Sinan in 1528, commissioned by Mehmet Pasha ( Great Visier of Suleiman II the Magnificient – 1520-1566) . A turkish school for priests – a medrese – was later added , as well as caravanserai / jail and a bath. After 1878 the jail and the priest school were temporarily used as prison until building of the Central Prison.They were afterwards destroyed in 1929.
Reconstructed into a church after the idea of Petko Karavelov , who was jailed here between 1891 and 1894. The mosque was turned into an Otrhodox church in the years 1901 to 1903 , after the plans of Architects Milanov and Momchilov,in collaboration with architect Pomerantsev.
The exterior was entirely changed and was successfuly transformed with implementation of elements of the Bulgarian cultural heritage.
The electric clock on the western facade was a bold artistic decision for a church building and was placed in 1930 by G.Hadjinikolov.
The Iconostasis icons were made by Stefan Ivanov ,who was still a student at the School of painting back at the time. The internal walls were painted by Anton Mitov and Stefan Badzhov ,both students from his class. At the end of 20th century , Assen Gitzov ,from the national Art Academy , completed the painting of the church.
Buried in the yard near the apsida are Petko and Ekaterina Karavelovi.

Address: Graf Ignatiev street

Directions: You will find the church and the market on your right side, walking from Popa to Slaveikov Square

St George Rotonda and an ancient Roman street

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The oldest architectural monument in Sofia – the “St George” church built in the IV century.It is as well the only remaining building from that period in good shape , all the way to the intact roof.
Since its building , probably as martyrion(a religious place devoted to a saint martyr) the construction of the rotunda is dated back to the beginning of the 4th century, from the time of Emperor Constantine the Great (306-337),who stayed in Serdika on several occasions.It was transformed in baptistery in 313 because of the mass conversion to Christianity in the Roman Empire.In the 6th century ,under the rule of Justinian the Great(527-565) ,it was transformed into a church.Its first paintings date back from this time. The vault has been destroyed twice – during and earthquake and the Huns and Westgoths invasions in 4th and 5th century and in 9th century – during the siege of Khan Krum. Under the rule of sultan Salim I (1512-1520)the Rotunda was transformed into a mosque bearing the name Gyul Djamasy.Wall paintings were than erased by white plaster and the mosque has been ornated with floral motives.
After the liberation of Bulgaria from ottoman rule, the Rotunda was left at the side until the death of Alexander Battenberg,when it was transformed into a temporary mausoleum until his remains were moved to the one specially constructed for him in 1898.
In 1915 the Rotunda was cleaned fromeverything that made her a mosque , the minaret was destroyed,the plaster was cleaned and the medieval paintings uncovered.
Now , everyday a liturgy is held , in the ancient liturgical language of the Slavic Orthodox – Church Slavonic and the chants are performed after ancient east orthodox ecclesiastic singing, known also as Byzantine music.

Nestled in the backyard of Sheraton hotel Sofia at one side and the President’s residence from the other, The St George Rotunda an ancient Roman street ,surrounded from typically communist architecture from all 4 directions are an interesting clash of the centuries.

Directions: In the yard of the Presidency – Pass the President Guards on the left and you will be there

Sofia Synagogue

In construction

Directions: near Tsentralni Hali

Website: http://www.sofiasynagogue.com/index.php?lang=en

The British Embassy 2162199-the_british_embassy-sofia

Embassy of her Majesty of Great Britain”
Bul “Vassil Levski” 38

Hopefully you won’t need any assistance from the embassy for bad reasons,such as lost or stolen Passport, money or whatever ,but just in case ,it’s good to know where you have 2 go.
Some 200m from Popa on Vassil Levski street in direction to NDK.

Actually this is only the British consulate now – the embassy has been moved in the recent years at the back of the National Art gallery.

Address: 9 Moskovska Street

Phone: +359 2 9339222

Website: http://www.fco.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1007029395231&a=KOverseasMission&aid=1013618504872

Daughters of Bulgaria are pretty and like heels

One of the main “things to see” would be just walking around the streets – babes spotting /any reference to “trainspotting” – the movie is a pure coincidence/ . Or should I put this in ” Warnings or dangers” ? Beware!!models walking on the streets!!! Enter at your own risk !!!
The truth is this – bulgarian girls like to dress up and make an impression, lots of lean, great looking,and provocatively dressed babes on high heels can be seen everywhere.

More Babes of Sofia

Directions: Everywhere in the central streets

National Theatre “Ivan Vazov”

Isn’t it beautiful?

The oldest and biggest Drama theater. Created in 1904 by the troups “Sulza i Smiah” – tear and laugh that was than having the function of a state theater. Its participants were the pioneers of the bulgarian scene.

The Theater was built in 1906 after the plans of the architects from Wien – Helmer and Felner.
It contains 700 seats. After a fire in 1923 the building was rebuilt and reconstructed between the years 1925 and 1928 from achitect A.Momov and engineer M. Sakelarov according to the plans of an architect from Dresden – Dulfer. The seats in the main hall are increased to 1200,the scene is expanded and provided with modern equipment. The general appearence of the theater was preserved, changes were made in the volume, interior and facade and some modern forms were bring added. During the second world war the building was damaged by bombs and was reconstructed after the end of the war by bulgarian architects and engineers.
From 1952 to 1962 the Theater was named “Krusjo Sarafov” . On the 16 jan 1962 the National Assembly gave him its present name – “Ivan Vazov”
The info was taken from ” Short Bulgarian Encyclopaedia” from 1964.

Address: Ivan Vazov 5, Vasil Levski St. Sofia, Bulgaria

Directions: The area of the Yellow Pavement

The New Business Center
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This Building is a newly constructed business center on Vassil Levski boulevard.That presently hosts a bank

Address: Vassil Levski Street

The President’s Guards

The President’s Guards are an interesting attraction by the time they switch.It occurs at every hour. I’ve seen them every time I passed by lately …funny thing , it’s like a conspiracy :)))
You will hear their boots clapping to the pavement loudly as they perform their parade.
They are dressed at “Chetnitzi” – freedom fighters. The association that my mind brings me from school classes is with “The Flying Cheta of Benkovski”and a painting in a schoolbook with all of them riding powerful gorgeous horses.
I just found out in November that the Presidents guards have a winter uniform too – the switched their beautiful white jacket with a grey coat.

Website: http://www.president.bg/en/index.php


Church “Sv . Petka SAmarjiiska”Church of Sveta Petka Samardzhiska Review

The Church “Sv . Petka SAmarjiiska” is an ancient christian monument from XI th Century. It was built and incuded in the fortified town Serdika/ Serdetz of the First Bulgarian Kingdom.Its Mural paintings dated from the XV century are unique and unestimable. The Icon and the Inscription of the temple are donation from the church warden – Mr Kristian Krastev. one of the oldest churches in the territory of Sofia.
There is an entrance fee for visiting it – Something VERY unusual for churches in Bulgaria.

Directions: It is located in front of the Satue of Sofia ,in the Subway of the Metro station ,between Tzum and Sheraton Hotel.

Vitosha Street
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Vitosha Street is named after the mountain Vitosha that is dominating the town from South, at the end of the street.It is the most famous street of Sofia ,where is concentrated the city life and the shopping area. It’s where you go out to be seen ,to sit on a cafe or to take a look at the latest fashion trends.
Launched on my birthday – nov 1st , the Website of our Main Shopping street – Vitoshka is there so you can take a look what it has to offer. Click here to visit Vitoshka.com – Unfortunately the site is only in bulgarian for now – hopefully the english version is coming soon.

Website: http://www.vitoshka.com

St Nedelya ChurchChurch of Sveta Nedelya Review

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The St Nedelya Church is located in front of Sheraton hotel. The church is built over an Antique public building, located under St Nedelya Square dating from the period of the Sredets fortress. It preserves the relics of the Serbian King Stephan Milutin known aswell as the “Holy King” . The relics are 687 years old – a gold decorated heavy king’s robe from the middle ages is laying in the sarcophage. If you are lucky ,you might see it when the coffin is open. He is known to help the ill , and suffering. Say a prayer to the Holy King, he might hear you.
The serbian king Stefan Milutin , was raised to the throne in 1275 and reigned 42 years.
It was the time the Turkish troups were marching towards the Balkans and he fought them on several occasions along with the Byzantine army. As if he knew what would happen ,he build churches in Jerusalem , Tzarigrad , and Solun – Thessaloniki and a tavern in Jerusalem for the Slavic pilgrims. The whole territory of Serbia he covered with churches and monasteries,the biggest and most beautiful among which were in Gratchanitza (close to Pristina / Jugoslavia ) and the Banski monastery “St Stephan”.
The king was very religious himself ,he helped the monasteries with money and all that he could , to help them become spritual and educational centers.
On the 16 April 1925 , a group of communists blew this church in an attempt to murder Tzar Boris III. This act of terrorism took the life of many innocent people.

The Archeological Museum

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The Archeological Museum at the Bulgarian Academy of Science just celebrated 100 years of existence. Located in the building of and old Mosque,within his walls you can see a full size reproduction of the Madara horseman, made at the beginning of the XX centrury ,when the sculpture was much more visible and not destroyed from erosion as the original is today.
You can see aswell different finds from Sofia and Bulgaria, starting from the prehistorical period ,stone age,bronze age, hellinistic period ,tombs , church wall paintings etc .

Address: Suborna street #2

Directions: Facing the Presidency and at the side of the Bulgarian National Bank.

Phone: +359 2 9882406

The Mausoleum place
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The Mausoleum place
This is the place where used to be the Mausoleum of Georgi Dimitrov .
A macabre chamber with cold light where the mummified body of the party leader used to lay. I remember seeing it as a kid and my grand dad was very encouraging to me to go and look at that corpse….Not my favorite childhood memory….
This road used to lead you to the entrance of the cube guarded by guards in uniforms,as the ones in front of the President’s building now.
After several unsucessful attempts,the massive structure was finally destroyed and the debris removed. That happened after the fall of communism, and the tomb was destroyed as a symbol of the old regime , making path to democracy.
There are a couple of underground galleries built under it ,that probably still exist.

Directions: Located at one of the sides of the National Theater Garden , just accross the street from the National Art gallery. There is no sign to indicate the exact former location of the Mausoleum.

National Art Gallery

The former palace of Knyaz Alexaner Batenberg is one of the buildings with the richest history in Sofia. In 1816 here was burned the sarai of the turkish pasha. On its emplacement in 1873 was built a prison ( “konak” in turkish ) . In its basements was convinced to death the Apostle of Freedom – Vasil Levski. The central entrance wit a big balcony is existing till the present day ,but after being reconstructed. In 1879 the building becomes the residence of Knyaz Alexander Batenberg. He ordered a first reconstruction of the building that was made between 1880 and 1882 by the architects Rumpelmayer, Kolar and Mayerberg. On New Years Eve 1882 the first elite society ball took place here. In beween 1893 and 1895 the Palace has been reconstructed again after the plans on the austrian architect Grunanger – it is extended with its Eastern wing. The building contains elements of Renaissance ,Viennese Baroque – reminding of the french palaces of XVIII century . In the end 40ties and beginning of 50ties of the XX century here were located the Council of the Ministers of People’s Republic of Bulgaria and the Supreme Party .
In 1954 here were moved the National art gallery and the National Ethnogrphic museum.
In 1978 the building was declared a Monument of culture.

Directions: On the Yellow pavement area , behind the National Assembly.

National Palace of Culture NDK

Built by the Daughter of The Communist Regime leader – Ludmila Jivkova, the National Palace of Culture was designed to be the cultural center of Sofia. Here were hosted National Peace assembleys ( they were festivals organized by Liudmila Jivkova about art and culture.Inviting kids from alot of different counties though the world to get to know Bulgaria and feel our hospitality).
Today you can see film premieres of the newest movies ,exhibitions and other events.

This summer (2005) an amusement park and a beer fest are hosted in the garden in front of the National Palace of Culture . It keeps the crowd entertained I guess….

31 juli 05 – NDK was voted “best congress center in the world for 2005” by the association for congress palaces AIPC – says BTV news

Panorama from The National Palace of Culture NDK – National Palace of Culture Review

Sofia Panorama From National Palace of Culture

A view from the rooftop of NDK – The national palace of Culture,situated in the heart of Sofia . There is a panorama restaurant from which you can see the whole city spreading in front of you.
the Party building tower rising on the left and the golden domes of Alexander Nevski cathedral on the right as well as the weird monument on the front left side under the party building that we call The BarbaPapa family. / Maybe you remember this cartoon of funny creatures that could take different shapes and were all in different colors?/.The chain of the Balkan mountain can be see at the back on a clear sunny day.

The fountains in front of NDK are not working anymore.

Address: 1 Bulgaria sq. Sofia 1414

Website: http://www.ndk.bg/

Address: 1 Bulgaria sq. Sofia 1414

Website: http://www.ndk.bg/eng/index.php

Alexander Nevski Cathedral

The cathedral was built to express the gratitude of the Bulgarian people to the Russian liberators , that delivered our land from the 500 years of Ottoman occupation.
It is constructed with most of the funds raised from all bulgarians , golden coins , jewels – an amount of 5,5 million golden leva.
When in 1898 architect Pomerantzev makes the project for the cathedral , its emplacement was in the outskirts of the city ,that was having at the time 20 000 inhabitants.In 1998 here were brought part of the relicts of Knyaz Alexander Nevski. The cathedral keeps the relicts of the bulgarian Knyaz Boris that brought christianity to Bulgarians aswell as a stone from Golgotha.
Alexander Nevski Cathedral with its gold plated domes is a majestic view and worth being visited from the outside as from the inside. It’s the biggest catheral on the Balkans, of what I know. And you can see the golden domes from Vitosha mountain – Black summit 2290m( “Cherni Vrah” ) peak on a clear sunny day…
23 nov is the Temple celebration day – if you have the chance to be at that time in Sofia ,don’t miss the mass at 9h in the morning – it promises to be impressive.

Address: Al. Nevski Sq.

Directions: In the centre of Sofia

National Opera and Ballet
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” The Swan Lake” is a romantic story of the love between the bewitched girl Odette and prince Sigfried. Only the faithfulness and devoted love of the prince can free Odette and her friends from the power of the magician.Sigfried is ready for anything, but the Evil Genius trirs through the power of magic and deceit to take him away from his beloved. At the Ball in the palace ,he presents his Daughter Odille as Odette. The prince,although confused, manages to tear himself from Odille and comes into fight with the very magician. The power of love triumphs over the evil. Sigfried and Odette meet happy the dawning of the day.

The first staging of “The Swan Lake” in Bulgaria was in 1937 at the Sofia Opera .

You wanna know how much my ticket costed ? 3 LV , that is 1,5 euro!!!! Well it’s a Balcony seat but if you were smart enough to take binoculars as I did you have the best view to the scene!!!2074904-national_opera_and_ballet-sofia
And you don’t usually need to pre-book your tickets – just show up half an hour before the performance begins :)))

pics from “Swan Lake” and ” More Swan Lake”

Address: Dondukov 30

Phone: 9811549 / 9871366

The fresh fruits and vegetables street market
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The fresh fruits and vegetables street market is located on Graf Ignatiev street and you can find great deals on to replenish your vitamins supply. The fruits is mostly home grown , organic and very tasty.

Address: Graf Ignatiev Street

Directions: Just follow the street from Popa in direction to Slaveikiv square and you will find the market on the left sidewalk by Sveti Sedmochislenitzi.

A phone booth at “Popa”
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Located at the Popa crossroad,this phone booth is an unusual sight for Sofia .as a matter of fact it’s the one and only I’ve seen.So I decided to put it here because of its uniqueness.
Wrong, a second booth appeared at Eagle’s bridge..help, we’re having an invasion :)))

Some useful Phone numbers in Sofia:
144; 145 – Information services with operator about phone numbers in Sofia / Yellow pages
150 ; 9833728 – First aid
160; 91160 – Fire alarms and fire brigade
166 – police
9372211, 9372212 – Sofia Airport
9323333 – Central Railway Station

Mineral hot water Sping in the center of Sofia
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Close to Banya Bashi Mosque are the newly relocated hot water springs of the Central Bath/Tzentralna Banya. The abundant hot waters of the Sofia Mineral spring are hiperthermic , with a temperature of 46,7 degrees celsius.Here during the first millenium B.C. was created the old thracian settlement of the serds – Serdika,conquered in 29 of the new era from the Romans, that ameliorated it and turned it into a big spa center. Around the spring are discovered remains of antique baths, temples, spa and healing facilities.
Sofia cityzens know well the place and whenever possible pass to fill water,so if you need to stay in line,be patient the water us delicious and sweet tasting.

The Tomb of Ivan Vazov in the Garden Aleksander Nevski Cathedral
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The Tomb of Ivan Vazov
27.VI.1850 – 22.IX.1921
The great bulgarian writer and poet Ivan Vazov was born in the village of Sopot ,where he studied aswell as in Kalofer and Plovdiv. His father , a merchant by profession, did not accept the interest of his son in russian and french languages and literature. He wanted him to pursue his studies in Commerce and for this reason he sent him in Romania. Short afterwards Ivan Vazov he ran away to Braila, where he met the bulgarian emigrants Christo Botev and Luben Karavelov. Under their influence, he returned In 1875 in Sopot and took part in the local revolution union.
He starts writing in 1870.He dedicates his poetry to the fight for freedom of the bulgarians against the Ottoman rule,and to our brothers – the Russian liberators.
After the Liberation from Ottoman rule in october 1880,he settles in Plovdiv where he spends 6 years participating actively in the cultural and political life. Disappointed from the bulgarian Burgeoisy that he criticizes in his art , he turns his efforts into praising the revolution heroes and the fighers for freedom that led to the liberation of Bulgaria.
Ivan Vazov has brought a tremendous impact on our litterature and culture in the renaissance period.

Address: Al. Nevski Sq.

Directions: On the centre of Sofia

Phone: +359 2 988 17 04

The Flea Market in front of Alexander Nevski


The latest location where the flea market settled is in front of the Alexander Nevski Cathedral. If you are into bargains , antique stuff ,orthodox icons, nazi gadjets from the 2nd WW with broken crosses , and handcrafts than it’s the place for you. It is there 7 days a week all day long.

Address: Al. Nevski Sq.

Directions: In the centre of Sofia

Phone: +359 2 988 17 04

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

“Bulgaria,for you they died,
You were the only one for them
And they worthy of you, mother…”

This sign is written in the Tomb of the unknown soldier,located in the wall of St Sofia church on the left side of Alexander Nevski catheral.
There is no way to miss it if you look for the huge lion statue that is guarding it.

“Sofia” means Wisdom Statue of Saint Sofia Review

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+Perched on top of her pylon – the Statue of St Sofia is watching over the traffic between the Sheraton Hotel and the Tzum Shopping mole , facing in the same time the General Assembly and former Communist party building – all these massive stone dinosaures from the Communist era
It’s a new thing for us Sofians, so we’re not used to it. The statue was raised there as they opened the Metro station located just below.

Address: in the center

National Librairy “Cyril and MEthodii”
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Founded on the 10 december 1878 the National Librairy “Cyril and MEthodii” is the biggest one in our country. At first the book funds were gathered mainly by donations from bulgarian and russian cityzens. The building was serously damaged by during the english-american bombardments over sofia in 1944.Totally destroying the building, burning the workshop for book binding all together with its materials, catalogs, books and archives,part of the main funds and own eddition. The rebuilding of the Library was made after 9 september 1944 under the guidance of professor T.Borov ( 1 dec 1944 – 1 april 1949 ).From the 23 january 1950 it was named “State Library “Vassil Kolarov “( from 5 september 1959 was renamed to “National”) and finally on 12 sept 1963 took its present name “National Library “Cyril and Methodii”

Directions: At the back of the Sofia University

Eagle’s Bridge
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Eagle’s Bridge – the gate to the city center
Built in 1891,Eagle’s bridge is the first sign you will see when arriving from the Sofia airport , showing you that you are in the center. It is at the end of the long Boulevard Tzarigradsko shosse, that passes through Mladost ,Droujba and Iztok quarters to bring you in the heart of the city Starting from eagle’s bridge.

Address: blvd Tsarigradsko Shosse

Directions: A the crossing of “Tzarigradsko Shosse” blv and bul” Bulgaria”

National Theater Garden or Sofia city garden National Theater Review

The Garden in front of the National Theater is a nice place to take a walk. Even tho it’s not big , its strategic location in the pure heart of the city makes it a pleasent escape from the crowded streets that surround it.
The fountain makes the air in the area refreshing,hopefully it will work all summer long….
In the summer months there are different events , symphonic weeks , several open air cafes are aswell located here in the pedestrian area in front of the theater.
In the garden you can spot seniors playing chess on the benches.

Address: Ivan Vazov 5, Vasil Levski St. Sofia, Bulgaria

The East Gate of Serdika Fortress

The East Gate of Serdika is located in the subway between the Presidency and the National Assembly building .You can find here antique and souvenir shops , ethnographic and crafts shop,gallery as you browse through the antique ruins.
As stated earlier – The fortified town with round and later triangle towers of Serdika was built in the end of the II century.It was situated in the area between the streets of Legue , Alabin, Pozitano, Washington ,Halite, Ekzarh Josif and Serdika. By the planning of the town was applied the roman regulatory system, where the streets were wide from 3,8 to 6 m and were orientaded north – south and east – west,paved with stones and having water and canalisation networks underneath.

Saint Sofia Church Church of Sveta Sofia Review
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Saint Sofia Church gave her name to the whole town. She is located on the left side of Alexander Nevski cathedral , and is the oldest Eastern Orthodox church in Sofia >> See Hekate’s tip about extended info on this church.
To be continued

Directions: On the left side of Alexander Nevski Cathedral , hidden by some trees , with the monument dedicated to the Unknown Soldier burning at the side wall.

A sign on the entrance Banya Bashi Mosque
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thanx to VT marimar_72 from Saudi Arabia for the interpretation of this text

from top right corner it says:Allah(the name of God)in Arabic.
on the top far left corner it says:Mohammad who is the Islam Messanger.
inbetween these two words,written:Bism Allah AlRahman AlRaheem,,which means:
In the name of Allah,the most Gracious,the most Merciful.
then in the black background written what is translated by:
{In houses(mosques)which Allah has orderd to be raised(to be cleaned,and
honoured),in them His name will be mentioned .}
I got this from the offical interpretation on the Noble Quran(our holy book).”
thanx to VT marimar_72 4 the interpretation

Address: Maria Louiza Boulevard at Triyaditsa Str.

The Palace of Justice.2145216-the_palace_of_justice-sofia

The former National Historical Museum building, guarded by two impressive lion statues is at the present time The Palace of Justice. The collection of the National Historical Museum was moved to Residence Boyana – the former residence of our Communist Leader Todor Jivkov.

Directions: At the crossing of Vitosha and Graf Ignatiev street,not far from Sheraton hotel

The Russian Church
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Directions: The Russian Chuch is a close neighbour of Alexander Nevski Cathedral,so as long as you are in the area , it’s a good idea to visit this one aswell…

ThePark of the Red Army Monument of the Red Army Review

The garden is in the pure center ,and a great place for your kids to play as you sip a beer…

The garden around the Monument of the Red army is well lit and safe during the night. It has security that is in charge of keeping it free from drunken and especially from people on drugs that used to hang around here. The few open air cafes are open till late at night. It is centrally located between the Sofia University and the National Stadium “Vassil Levski”

Address: In the center

Art Frame – Art Gallery and Shop

Paintings and sculptures from famous bulgarian authors
A wonderful gallery shop with an amazing collection of Original Bulgarian traditional art. I liked most of the paintings but the portrait of a bulgarian woman is my favorite.
You can order aswell frames for paintings,graphics, mirrors, tapestry etc.
There are two shops :

Rakovski street 159
phone 9801501 / 0888271141
And
Vitosha street 159
Phone 9515504/ 0888533901
Working hours : 10:00 – 19:00h
e-mail: v_banov@abv.bg

Directions: when arriving at Slaveikov Square,take a left turn on Rakovski street and folow the sidewalk in direction of NDK

Sveti Sedmochislenitzi Church Procession Church of Sveti Sedmochislenitsi Review

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Procession in Sveti Sedmochislenitzi church, dedicated to the seven aposltes led by the head of the Orthodox Church in Bulgaria – Patriarch Maxim.

an Operating Mosque in the center of Sofia Banya Bashi Mosque

You can hear the Hodja singing from the minaret while passing by. I was surprised when I heard it first,but it reminded me of Morocco where I used to live for 5 years. So I don’t have anything against it. Religion is a matter of personal choice.

Banya Bashi at night
The area is pretty safe to walk at night,but it was not always like this. In the past it was crowded with gipsies. Now it’s more common to see a couple of homeless dogs and the security guards that have been put around to make sure everything is in order.

Address: Maria Louiza Boulevard at Triyaditsa Str.

Directions: Beside the outdoor market ,next to the Tsum department store.

Car Decoration spotted in Sofia streets

I saw this magnificent artwork on a car’ s front today( 07june05 )arond the little five squares and thought I would like to share it with you as this is street art and I loved it!!! It was really perfect and I have a passion for fantasy art.

Police around the center
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The center is well guarded by police man, I never really noticed them before. But now I am paying more attention to the things around me. If you need help,assistance or info – feel free to ask.The only problem is they might not be speaking english,but you never know…

Decay in the Center of Sofia
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It’s a pity to see those houses from the beginning of the XX century being left to turn into ruins. The good news is that the project called “Beautiful Bulgaria” has reconstructed a significant part f them in the center.
But then ,Venice is aswell decaying, and we love it for that…

A House behind the National Theatre National Theater Review

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A beautiul house located at the back of the National Theatre is used as a siege of “Commercial and Investment bank”

The same building of “Commercial and Investment bank” in daylight and in a night dress. Don’t you feel it looks pretty boring compared to its evening outfit? That’s why I love Sofia at night….
Ok maybe I am not right, but I like more the drama evening look. It’s still a pretty thing even by day.

Address: Ivan Vazov 5, Vasil Levski St. Sofia, Bulgaria

National Assembly
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The Former Communist Party Building and present National Assembly…..there’s also the entrance to the metro station in the subway at the front with the church of St Petka
On top of the pilon there was once a rubin red star, that I think was lit in the night. After the fall of the communism in 1989 it was taken away as an unwanted symbol of the old regime. The right side was put on fire during a political demonstration…
The building on the left is TZUM – the biggest shopping mole in Sofia and on the righ it’s the Sheraton Hotel

Website: http://www.parliament.bg

Street artist at Sv Nedelya Square
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Yes we do have them ,street artists.I saw a similar one in front of the Rathaus in Munich. I like to contemplate their movements – you give him a coin,he’ll bless you with his flower.

Lions around Sofia

A closer look at the Guardian of the Palace of Justice. You will see lions in many places in Sofia . We have even a Lion’s Bridge.

Bulgaria’s Oldest University “St Kliment Ohridski” University – Kliment Ohridsky Review

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Sofia University “St Kliment Ohridski” is the first University built in Bulgaria. Its opening was at the 1st of october 1888 by the idea of professor Ivan Shishmanov. It was at first meant to present the possibitily of further education of the Students of the Classical High School, having for disciplines philosophy, history and slavic philology. In the first year there were 43 students. During the second scholar year (1889-90) was established the first phisics-mathematics faculty and in 1892 the Law faculty. In 1901/02 girls were aswell admitted to study in the University. In that same year there were 12 female students. Only 10 years after ,their number increased to 559. On the 23 january 1904 the University was given the name ” Bulgarian University – brothers Evlogui and Kiril Gueorguievi from Karlovo” and on the 4 january 1905 it was renamed as “St Kliment Ohridski” – a name it kept till the present days. After the first world war,new faculties were open – Medical faculty in 1917, Agromomical in 1921, Religion – 1923 and Veterinary-Medical faculty in 1924. In 1939 , after 50 years of existance the university has 7 faculties, 20 specialities, 5500 students 286 teachers, 77 from which -professors.

Directions: Based in the center on the right side of the Parliament building at the chossroad of “Vassil Levski” Steet and ” Tzar Osvboditel”

The Parliament
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The Parliament building is located in the area we call ” The yellow pave” because all the streets are covered with yellow pavement. From what I know they are a gift from the Russian communist government long time ago(We were meant to be one of its republics after all). The area spreads from The Sofia University “Kliment Ohridski” all the way to TZUM – the shopping mole and the National Assembly ( former communist party building)

Address: Narodno Sabranie Sqr.

Directions: Close to Alexander Nevski Cathedral

Phone: +359 (2) 939 25 30

Website: http://www.parliament.bg/

South Americans Slaveikov Square Review

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You can often see those South American Musicians playing their native music around the Fountain of Slaveikov Square and some other locations in Sofia. I’m sure there is a band like this in every big city in the world. I’ve seen one in Budapest in a subway and was very impressed at the time.

Slaveikov Square Slaveikov Square Review

2140437-slaveikov_square-sofiaAT Slaveikov Square you can find The biggest Book market in Sofia The Book Market
, Mc Donalds, a Library, A medical center and plenty of shops.
The newly built fountain is bringing freshness to the whole area,but don’t touch the water coz I heard some weird story not long ago.

A Hammam Banya Bashi Mosque Review

What I found more interesting by the Banya Bashi Mosque are the ruins of what used to be a Hammam / or public bath,”existed and survived several reconstruction phases at this place from 16th to the beginning of the 20th century” – It’s what the sign standing nearby says.
Hammam brought memories from Morocco aswell, a room with naked women , lots of steam and hot air….

Address: Maria Louiza Boulevard at Triyaditsa Str.

Directions: Beside the outdoor market ,next to the TsUM department store.

National Theatre “Ivan Vazov” by Night National Theater Review

It’s by night that I like Sofia the most. First of all because there are no crowds of people and traffic jams. So you can take a walk around the famous area of the “yellow paves” – it’s a name we have for an area where the streetz are covered with yellow rocks, a gift from the russian communist government back at the time. It’s the area where used to be the mausoleum with George Dimitrov. Now a nice garden in front of the Theater with fountains and different art statues makes it a pleasent place to sit and take a rest. On the other end of the garden in the National bank, the National Art gallery that used to be the king’s palace, the back of the communist party building. In the subway in front of it are the ruins of ancient Sofia.

Address: Ivan Vazov 5, Vasil Levski St. Sofia, Bulgaria

Central Graveyard of Sofia

Central Graveyard of Sofia – Tzentralni Sofiiski Grobishta
It’s been awhile that I wanted to see the Central Graveyard of Sofia, but was always too lazy or was looking for a reason. So Recently the death of my former french teacher and mom’s schoolmate Diana Radonova ,was why I got there.
It is strange ,I have seen so many graveyards in Austria and Italy and never really took a walk in the one in my hometown….
It is enormous !!! Alleys bearing different names take you into all 4 directions. The ground seems have been quite unstable as alot of tombstones are leaning at one side . Especially the jewish tombstones that seem to be there for centuries…

Water Tower in Lozenets
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Water Tower in Lozenets
I just thought that this tower looks great with all that green over her ,so I decided 2 share it with you…

Excellent PhysiotherapistI hope you won’t need his services, but in case you need manual therapy,acupuncture, laser therapy etc see the website below.
I have been his patient and can recommend you his services from first hand experience.
Beside that he is treating our football nationals, aerobics , tennis and other sportsmen .

Website: http://www.petarninov.com/

Gipsies And BearsBeggars

Latest news oct 2005: The Brigitte Bardot foundation about preserving the Bears of Sofia has bought most of the animals and transfered them into a reserve. It’s been a while since I haven’t seen a bear in Sofia.

Some Gipsies have bigger bears than others. This one is Huuge !! The bear is standing on her feet and dancing to the music.
Actually the chain the bears have here is pretty safe. They stuck it through a ring in the nose,which must hurt alot and the bear has learned to know its limits.

Don’t Worry the bear won’t harm you,it’s held on a chain,but it’s still a sad sight….It belongs to the mountains and the wilderness not to the center of Sofia. The Gipsies make it dance while playing on “gudulka” – a traditional string instrument or accordeon like on this photo.

Street traffic and insane drivers

BEWARE!! Drivers in Sofia take themselves for FORMULA 1 heroes , except that they don’t have the skills and the cars for it . BE VERY VERY precaucious when on the streets!!! I can’t state this enough!! but – check for yourself the following video , that shows the driving maddness in the capital >
Video taken on the central Streets of Sofia

cab criminals

The price per km could range to anything from 40 stotinki / 20 euro cents / to 7 leva / 3,5 euro/ and there is no force on earth that could stand for your rights in that case. Speaking bulgarian or being native doesn’t help , as I have been tricked by those clever rubbers several times. The problem is that they look like any other taxi, from color or car condition, the only thing that can save you is to look very carefully for the prices that they are obliged to have displayed at the side and front windows ( in bulgarian of course) . “1280”, “91280” and “2121” are the safest cab companies.

The areas that are most probably those taxis operate are the around the central train station, and probably the airport , but you may cross them at any point in the city.

Public Transport WArningWatch out for controllers in tramways ,busses and trolleys. Better have a ticket than try to sneak 4 free.
Make sure you perforate your ticket as shown on the pic ( heheehe thanx Stefan for posing ) as your ticket is not valid otherwise. Push up to obtain different configurations of holes in your ticket ov 50 stotinki / 0,25 cents

Beggers and Pickpockets Beggars Review

2137171-Beggers_and_Pickpockets-Sofia.jpgAs in every capital , watch out for pickpockets .Mainly women ,they are so talanted ,that you won’t even notice.As a general rule – do not wear anything on your back – somewhere where you don’t have eyes on it , and put your money, credit cards and passport in an inner pocket of your clothing and not in your bag….That will avoid you all the headaches of stolen pass and money.
This tiny gipsy kid has been put early into work in front of Sheraton hotel. I always give them coins when I have , which makes them happy and they stop running after you.

The beggers do look miserable ,handicaped etc – in our hypocrite society , I don’t know who to beleive so , they might have more money than I do and have sacrificed their dignity for the almighty king Money. Old handicaped people begging are a really sad sight tho…

Street Signs in Sofia are in Cyrilic everything in bulgarian Review

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I am walking the Sofia streets and trying to look it through the eyes of a tourist… It gives me a new view to everything. So as I said the street signs are all in Cyrilic and a map wouldn’t be much of an use or try to get a double language map. It would be a good idea to learn the Cyrilic alphabet before you head for a Sofia adventure. Or give me a buzz ,hopefully I’m still around…
Oh I saw some progress – Maria Luiza street has a sign in both Bulgarian and Cyrilic

The Nightmare for Pollen Allergics

People with pollen allergies have all the reasons to avoid Sofia in spring. This poplar tree called in bulgarian Topola, at its bloom is filling the city with white cotton like seeds that are flying through the air like snowfall.
Besides all the green grass that they are cutting ,and the flowers and the fruit trees that are in bloom aswell.

Here are the seeds of the Poplar tree, that are very light and fly through the air by every blow of the wind making Sofia look like it’s snowing…

Leave your gun home when you go to UGO Pizza
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I dunno if this is meant to be a joke , but probably not….
At the entrance of UGO pizzaria (as a matter of fact other places have the sign too. “Chervilo”club is another one )you will have this sign , that asks you politely not to bring yout guns innside….So leave them home while you go 4 lunch please…

Homeless dogs in the Center dangerous Review

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At night wild dogs are coming from the Park of Freedom in the center streets looking for food around thrash containers. They wave tails and follow you for some time,keeping you company. They will not attack you if you are friendly or just ignore them.

Not all Street signs in Cyrilic everything in bulgarian Review2137154-not_all_street_signs_in_cyrilic-sofia

As I said I saw some progress. Not ALL the signs are in cyrilic. I discovered this one after an extended search , but it’s one in a million. An effort to learn the cyrilic will help you tremendously while trying to find your way in Sofia.
by the way I don’t get it why it’s wtitten “pl” ,which means square in bulgarian. It wouldn’t mean anything to you unless you speak my language….go figure!!

Street Condition in Sofia
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Generally said, street condition in Sofia is terrible ,compared to EU. There are holes in the asphalt, due to the erosion much deeper and bigger than those on the pic. This in the center, not far from where I live, and it shows what lays underneath the asphalt – it’s what Sophia streets were all made of – Stones. Much more long lasting as a matter of fact.
So if you intend coming with your own car, I wouldn’t consider it a good idea. The possibility to get it stolen if big,due to your non bulgarian number, and if that doesn’t happen – you might break it because of the bad street condition. The good news are two : first car repair is not expensive compared to EU, and second taxis are extremely cheap.

Homless people Beggars Review
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In the last years the number of homeless people in Sofia is increasing fast. They search the garbage for stuff that could be reused or leftover food…These people are not usually agressive they just are extremely dirty.
Watch out for homeless dogs as they could get aggressive especially by night when found in bigger numbers…

Having a Coffee
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Let’s “Have a Coffee” is a saying for “let’s see each other”. I always make fun out of it as I rarely drink coffee and these coffee meetings could take a whole afternoon….We,Bulgarians are not used to be rushed ..u see….we like to take it easy on life and are very good in wasting time….

Sofia and horses

2467845-sofia_and_horses-sofiaSome gipsy families still own a carriage pulled by a horse instead of using a car. used mainly for construction works or collecting second hand things around the center , especially in sunday when the traffic is low. Not an uncommon sight.

Game and internet club “The Matrix”

Internet and game clubs are a very common thing in Bulgaria. As not everybody can afford to buy a computer , it’s where the kids come to play games after school, or instead of school. These places are open eith till late in the night ot don’t close at all ,so you can go for a game even at 3 in the night.This one is next ot Ugo pizzaria ,at the small five corners.

Prom balls in May
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In the month of may, the high schools are having their prom balls.
In the afternoon the luxury cars pass through the main streets of the center , with fancy dressed young people hanging outside of the windows, screaming and having fun. Starting from mid may and continuing all the way till the end of the month,the prom balls are a big celebration for the graduates and for their families…
On the location there is always a crowd , friends ,family and just passing by people that came to admire the beautiful girls and dresses…..and the boys of course:))

Halloween Party

2440161-halloween_party-sofiaOnce upon a time ,when the Old Original” Punk”club was still existing ,and the subway project was one big hole at the side of Bulbank, there was a halloween party accross the street ….Absolutely great time!!!

Orthodox Easter
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At easter eve we have a tradition to go before midnight to the nearest church. Than we hold lit candles as we wait for the midnight procession.If it happens that your candle puts out, you can always ask to lit it again from the person next to you.It’s one of the few moments that we all foget about our daily problems and feel united by the beauty of the moment. It’s soo beautiful to se the sea of candles. TheThan we walk 3 times around the church and carry the lit candles home, as a symbol of protection and light in the house through the year. we battle between each other with colorful painted eggs , and eat sweet home made pancake (usually )with raisins called kozunak.
This year – 2005 ,I was lucky to have our easter about a month after the catholic ,so when I got home I could enjoy this wonderful family holiday.

exchanging money at the airport Money Review

Favorite thing: arrange a price in euros with the taxi driver , some accept such deals, I wouldn’t advise you to change money at the airport, they have a very unprofitable rate. In worst case , change a small amount , good to pay the taxi. There is a 24h change bureau at the “Popa”. You can ask the driver to take you there so you can change money on the way. it’s in the center ,all roads lead to “Popa”.. hahahaha
Enjoy my hometown

Cabs in Sofia taxi service Review
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The price per km could range to anything from 40 stotinki / 20 cents / to 7 leva / 3,5 euro/ and there is no force on earth that could stand for your rights in that case. Speaking bulgarian or being native doesn’t help , as I have been tricked by those clever rubbers several times. The problem is that they look like any other taxi, from color or car condition, the only thing that can save you is to look very carefully for the prices that they are obliged to have displayed at the side and front windows ( in bulgarian of course) . “1280”, “91280” and “2121” are the safest cab companies.
Public Transport trams Review
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Trams, busses , troleys and itinearary taxis are the most common form of public transport in Sofia. A one way ticket no matter of the distance will cost you 50 storinki / 0,25 euro and the itinerary taxis are i lev or 0,5 euro. Pretty cheap :))) Make sure that after you get in the chosen vehicule ,you perforate your ticket in the machines that are put at the sides between the windows for that purpose. Otherwise your ticket is not valid. If you don’t understand me well ,just observe what the people around you are doing while getting in.

Watch out for controllers in tramways ,busses and trolleys. Better have a ticket than try to sneak 4 free.

Low cost Airline company air transport Review

Starting her flights on september 2005 – Wizzair is the first low cost company to fly Bulgaria .
It connects Sofia with Budapest , and from there with the rest of Europe. I am really excited about this – I guess I will be flying some time soon with them :)))

Important information

Due to the unexpected closure of Sofia Airport at night between 26 September and 30 November 2005 ,Wizz Air was forced to move the departure time of its Budapest-Sofia flights on certain days from originally scheduled 23:45 to 02:55 the next morning. The arrival time changes accordingly from 02:00 am to 05:10.

Mode: TO

Type: Airplane

Central railway station

2066637-central_railway_station_fom_afar-sofia
Here’s an overall view to the Central Railway Station . From Graf ignatiiev Street you can get here with only the tramway Nr.12. FRom Boulevard Vitosha the Trams Nr,1 and 7.

Mode: TO,AROUND

Phone: +359 (2) 931 11 11

Type: Train

Sofia Internal Lines Bus Station busses Review

Situated by the Central Railway station ,you have here the Internal Lines Bus station that was officially launched in the summer of 2004.It’s brand new,clean and safe compared to the old one that was just across the street behind Princess Hotel ,where there was always a risk to get your luggage stolen. It is always good to be careful and keep an eye on yours no matter….

This is the cafe terrace on the 2nd floor where you can have a coffee till it gets time to leave,and “busspotting” the arrivals and departures

Transport to Vitosha Mountain busses Review
2160445-transport_to_vitosha_mountain-sofia

Hladilnika is the most used starting point for Vitosha Mountain and Plana Mountain excursions . The other place is called Durvenitza.
From Hadilnika you can catch the following busses :
Number 66 takes you up to the mountain , all the way to Hotel Moreni . From there you have 10 minutes walk to Shtastlivetza and Aleko hotels located in the center of the ski area.
A bus takes you to the Dragalevtzi two man chair lift that operates in the weekends .
Another bus goes to Simeonovo Gondola .
The main problem is finding Hladilnika as it is on the side,on the way to the zoo garden.

Mode: TO

Type: Bus

Vodenitzata: Center for Bulgarian cuisine and folklore Vodenitsata Review

Located at the foothills of Vitosha mountain “Off the beaten path ” ,among fresh green forest and mountain air, the Vodenitzata is a folklore complex in an old water mill with an open air garden just above Dragalevtzi river. Built out of stone and wood – the traditional materials used in Renaissance achitecture “Vodenitzata” is a must if you wanna try home made traditional bulgarian cuisine, presented in folklore atmosphere from dressed in national costumes waiters.
The comfortable hall has 200 places, and a sunny garden with 250 places. The rich collection of bulgarian fine wines and matured rakija / bulgarian national drink,makes Vodenitzata a place for connoisseurs of good drinks and fine food.
The walls are decorated with wild ducks, and other game animals , costumes and other folklore objects.
The garden among the woods of Dragalevzi with the reconstructed water mill wheel, the pond and lots of green offers aswell a relaxing atmosphere in the summer months.
For guests coming by car, the restaurant has a guarded parking lot.

Address: Dragalevtzi , near the chairlift

Price Comparison: about average

Directions: The suburb Dragalevtzi 15 minutes with a car or a taxi, just in the foot of Mountain Vitosha so this means lots of fresh air and quietness.

Phone: +359 2 9671058

Price: US$11-20

Rating: 5

Theme: Local

Rouge

A successful mix of Feng Shui cafe ,Gourmet restaurant and hang out bar makes “Rouge” a place preferred by people with fine taste. Cosmopolitan.

Favorite Dish: Don’t miss the spinach carres with fine yoghourt sauce. I could eat a dozen…

Address: Luben Karavelov str 17

Price Comparison: about average

Phone: +359 2 9864876

Price: less than US$10

Rating: 5

Theme: Health Food

“Baba Iaga” open air beer garden

“Baba Iaga” open air beer garden

Located in the pure center ,in the old emplacement of the zoo garden , “Baba Iaga” is a well known and loved place for having a beer with friends. Open 24h a day ( or at least used to be ) Baba Iaga offers salads ,soups and of course grill . It is an open air garden , among ancient trees , between the main entrance of the “Vassil Levski”stadium and “Pizza Hut” at the right side.Take your kids along as there are plenty of equipment for them.

Price Comparison: about average

Directions: between the main entrance of the “Vassil Levski”stadium and “Pizza Hut” at the right side.

Price: less than US$10

Rating: 4

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Moroccan Restaurant

Moroccan Restaurant “Annette”

Moroccan Restaurant “Annette”

The first Moroccan restaurant in Sofia is a fact. It has been existing for about a mounth when I yesturday found out about it. Located between Vitosha steeet and Slaveikov square – the exact address is Angel Kunchev street 27. There are 2 great things about it – the the 2nd floor hides a real moroccan interior place ,where you can still have food served. It was unoccupied ,strange as it is ,when we went there – everybody was sitting on the tables on the first floor. The second great thing ,and the reason I went there ,is that the couscous tastes absolutely morocan. The waitress explained that the cook is a moroccan woman – that was the secret!!! For a desert try the real moroccan mint tea ,served the tradittionnal way ,with cedar seeds inside.
I will definitely be back!!

Favorite Dish: Definitely couscous ,even tho I am sure the tagines are delicious awell.

Address: Angel Kunchev 27

Price Comparison: about average

Other Contact: info@annette.bg

Phone: +359 2 9804098

Price: less than US$10

Rating: 5

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“Pri Kmeta” brewery entrance

“Pri Kmeta” brewery Happy bar and grill Review

“Pri Kmeta” is a great brewery ,where they are making their own beer. You can see the huge reservoirs in the main hall , giving the place an unique atmosphere.
Food is great too – everything from grill, salats , and tradirional bulgarian cuisine to make your beer enjoyable.

Open from 11 till 04h
every day a different program
TV’s for watching important football games
Indoor 180 places ant beer garden 80 places
You can pay with visa and mastercard

Address: Paris street ,No3

Price Comparison: about average

Directions: At the left side of St Sofia church entrance,the street that heads downhill

Other Contact: info@prikmeta.com

Phone: 981 33 99

Price: less than US$10

se

Online food order

Nominated site ot the year for “online merchandising” , you can order here your meal and get it delivered to your door if you don’t feel like going out.
Unfortunately the site is only in Bulgarian 4 now

Rating: 0

Theme: Local

Website: http://www.gladen.bg

La Rotisserie de Tzar Ivan Assen II - Sofia

La Rotisserie de Tzar Ivan Assen II

La Rotisserie de Tzar Ivan Assen II

I think I went there some years ago – if it’s the place I am thinking of , it looks like a wine cellar with vaulted arches. You need a thick wallet for the bill as the prices are probably matching the european standart of the place.

Favorite Dish: the restaurant belongs to the gastronomic Chain des Rotisseurs founded in 1248 in Paris
Unique of its kind on the Balkans ,it offers distinguished drinks and meals , known from the elite restaurants in the european capitals. the place has 60 seats.

Address: Neofit Rilski 40a

Directions: At the crossing of Neofit Rilski and Hristo Belchev Steet. Close to Vitosha street

Phone: 02 / 9801717

Rating: 5

Theme: Diner

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Jimmy's Ice Cream house - Sofia

Jimmy’s Ice Cream house

Jimmy’s Ice Cream house Jimmy’s Review

in construction

Address: Parensov Str.25

Price Comparison: about average

Directions: Near Popa

Price: less than US$10

Rating: 4

Theme: Ice Cream

Cheesecake and caramel cake - my favorites - Sofia

Cheesecake and caramel cake – my favorites

Romance: Patisserie “Romance” Romance Review

The pastry and cakes are absolutely delicious there , and even an “Off the beaten path ” place , it is well known to Sofians and always packed.
They extended recently the place so that it fits all the lovers of pancakes with fruits and ice , cream avd chocolate cakes ,etc etc….

Favorite Dish: The caramel cake and the cheese cake made out of cream and cranberries…..
Forget the Tiramissu – it is not worth it there….

Address: Kv. Simeonovo, Vitoshki Ezera Str.No25

Price Comparison: least expensive

Directions: If you don’t know the area, better take a taxi. It should not cost you more than BGN 8-9 (EUR 4-5) if you come frm the centre of Sofia.

Phone: +359 (2) 961 18 69 / 9613191

Price: less than US$10

Rating: 5

Theme: Coffeehouse

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The Open air part of Happy Bar and Grill - Sofia

The Open air part of Happy Bar and Grill

bulgarian franchise restaurant: “Happy” bar&grill Happy bar and grill Review

A mixture of local cuisine ,international meals ,grill and fresh salads makes “Happy”
One of my all favorites in Sofia.
When you add the jazzy colorful atmosphere , fast service and beautiful waitresses in short skirts , reasonable prices…I think I said enough.

Address: Rakovska str. near Slaveikov square

Price Comparison: about average

Directions: On the crossing of Rakovska str. and Stefan Karadja near Slaveikov square direction Alexander nevski

Price: less than US$10

Theme: Local

Chervilo club: Sofia’s best bars and clubs Chervilo Review

“Chervilo” is THE club to be in Sofia . All the trendiest funkiest grooviest people go there. It is terribly crowded on weekends and the party goes on even 05h. Put on your best clothes , take your sunnies and head over there!!!
See the Upcoming events in Chervilo
Or the Official site – http://www.chervilo.com/ Under Construction

Dress Code: this seems like a famous site
worldbestbars.com
but they had just 5 bars listed for our capital
Someone was in short of time ,while in Sofia ….

Sofia’s Guide
here’s the real guide to Sofia’s bars clubs and events.The guide exists aswell in a printed version, which is very handy when you don’t have internet around or just don’t have a clue about computers….
you have here all the clubs , pubs and bars in Sofia – I’ve counted 167 !!!
Click on the names for photos of the place ,a description and the location.

Address: 9 Tzar Osvoboditel Boulevard

Theme: Nightclub

Website: http://www.chervilo.com/?cont=chervilo&code=CherviloInfo#chervilo_club_info

Entrance pass to

Entrance pass to “Kalnoto”

“Kalnoto” , “Ivo Dulgiia” or “Club Chaos” Punk-a na Ivo Review

This is only a tribute to a place I loved ….
It is not existing anymore – there is a new version called “Tri Ushi” ,but nothing can beat the Original . Maybe it was the people , maybe it was because it was an unique place n Sofia , where punks ,rockers,skaters and metal heads can all hang out together to drink or dance in the basement. The owner – Ivo dulgiia is a legend anyways ,so are Krum , Lemy , Fozzie , Chavo ,Birata…..all the people that were in charge of the place.
Its interior was made as a church with stained glass windows and a chaos sign on the floor.There were banks to have a beer….
Quarrels were not rare when alcohol was too much , cop control too, but it was all part of it…
At least they were all real…..Music was mainly industrial – front 242 ,Ministry ,Revolting cocks ,New wave and dance too – Depeche ,Prodigy , Army of lovers..
Another nickname for the place was “Kalnoto”- the muddy one. As the basement was getting muddy after awhile….

Dress Code: BenjaminPierce Sat Jan 19, 2008 03:27 CET
I was part of a small band of American writers in Sophia 94-96. The murals were Trumps from Crowleys’ Tarot, done exactly; Practicing occultists gathered here. Ivo Dulgia, at the end, told me , “in Bulgaria, miracles are good for 3 days. I had 3 years.”

Directions: Here is the link of the new one – “Tri Ushi”

Theme: Nightclub

Website: http://www.programata.bg/index.php?page=details&ln=2&city=1&pid=981

O! Shipka stage - Sofia

O! Shipka stage

O! Shipka

Located in the Basement of a pizzaria, O!Shipka club it was famous underground club ,where live bands play almost every night. From punk to rap, from Metal to hardcore- The place , rather obscure ,but depending on the band that is playing there are some great parties .

PLACE IS NO LONGER EXISTING

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Yalta Club - Sofia

Yalta Club

Yalta Club

The newly opened Yalta club is located across the Sofia University. The Two floor Disco club has just been reopened on the 21 october 2005 after a long period of reconstruction. One of the cult places in Sofia.Full of ultra fashion people ,the type that visits Chervilo club.Music – house.
Entrance fee 10 lv = 5 euro ( same as Chervilo )
Animation – 5 dancers

Directions: At the opposite side of the Sofia University

Theme: Dancing

Website: http://yaltaclub.com/

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The Apartament - Sofia

The Apartament

The A:Partment

A home gallery of contemporary art and new culture

The place is lovely!!! Absolutely psychadelic – I bet there are not much of these on this planet.

Open from 10 am till 02 am , it offers home made chocolate cakes , tea room and Himalaya and Amazonian teas , Thursday and Friday DJ scene with commercial free music , Small cinema for directors and pictures 18:00, 22:00, 24:00h , Gallery for independent artists , library with free internet .P.S – OS Linux – Click on the compass to open navigation window.

Address: “Neofit Rilski”street No 68

Directions: Next to Ugo pizzaria

Other Contact: apartamental@mail.bg

Phone: +359 88 66 55 093

Theme: Nightclub

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Backstage Club and live music - Sofia

Backstage Club and live music

backstage: Backstage Club and live music backstage Review

Open from 21h to 04h
A spacious Jazzy type of bar ,with DJ,Life music scene and a billiard table.

Address: Boulevard “Vassil Levski”100

Directions: Close to the Vassil Levski monument and Tequilla Bar, at the side of the Musical Theater.

Phone: 089 871 41 48

Theme: Live Music

Website: http://www.programata.bg/index.php?page=details&ln=2&city=1&pid=142

Past Parties photo gallery

Wherever Live performance ,Dj set , or Club party – check out the pics to feel the vibe…
Too bad the groovy design of the site doesn’t compensate for the lousy photos…
They still need alot to learn on how to “capture the Spirit “of the party….
And need a better camer too!!!

Theme: Other

Website: http://www.partystars.bg/en

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Bilkova Bar - Sofia

Bilkova Bar

Bilkovata: Bilkovata – cool people and great party Bilkovata Review

Open from 10 am till 02am – Bilkovata got its name from a Herbal pharmacy hidden in the yard at the back , long time non existant. It’s a relaxed place ,where you can have a coffee during the day or some drinks with friends in the evening. Sit in the lounge if you’re a non smoker or hang on the bar – whatever pleases you.It’s the people that make this place and they are just great….

Address: 22 Shishman Str.

Directions: the street starts from the right side of Radisson which is just in front of the parliament

Phone: 9864905

Theme: Nightclub

Blaze Club – Slavyanska 36
2156807-blaze_club_slavyanska_36-sofia

Blaze club is a DJ orientated club ,where you could listen to the latest trends in techno and electronic music.Located in the center,not far from Sofia University.
Working hours : 10:00 – 03:00

Address: Slavyanska #36

Directions: Behind the Alexander Batenberg Tomb – Between Popa and The Sofia University “Sv Kliment Ohridski”

Theme: Nightclub

Buddha Bar - Sofia

Buddha Bar

buddha bar: Buddha Bar buddha bar Review

Buddha bar is a nice place located at the back of Rila hotel at Lege Street. You can go dance, have a drink or just sit and watch the others having fun while chilling in the oriental atmosphere. It’s all up to you. There is a pilon if you feel like performing :))
I have never seen the place crowded ,so if you’re looking for a party go elsewhere .
In Buddha bay it’s rather for relax…..
Well yes Waitresses are slow as snails but you are there to dance,right? So go at the bar and pick your own drink in the meantime.

Address: 15 a Lege Str., Rila hotel

Theme: Nightclub

Website: http://www.programata.bg/index.php?page=details&ln=2&city=1&pid=376

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Dream Notes Piano Bar - Sofia

Dream Notes Piano Bar

Dream Notes Piano Bar

Located in the Newly Built Grand Hotel Sofia – the piano bar was a nice surprise!!!
I visited it on the 29 november 2005 and was pleased by the nice atmosphere.
The place has a Royal piano where different musicians play under the week.
When I was there it was the tour of Rocco – a good entertainer he is:)))
working hours: 21:00?…

Address: 1 Gen. Iosif Gurko Str. (in Grand Hotel Sofia)

Phone: (02) 811 09 20

Theme: Live Music

Website: http://www.programata.bg/index.php?page=details&ln=2&city=1&pid=1854

Climbing wall - Sofia

Climbing wallAn open air climbing wall was built in the Garden opposite of the University of Sofia . You can find it right under the Memorial of the Soviet Army.

Theme: Climbing

The National Stadium Vassil Levski - Sofia

The National Stadium Vassil Levski

The National Stadium Vassil LevskiHere you can watch our nationals training or playing football with other nationals.
Named after our fighter for freedom – Vassil Levski, the national stadium was recently reconstructed

Directions: Located at the crossing of General Gourko street and Evlogi Gueorgiev Boulevard , some 5 min by foot from Eagle’s bridge

Theme: Sports Watching

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At the side of Hotel Shtastlivetsa - Sofia

At the side of Hotel Shtastlivetsa

Vitosha National ParkWe are soo lucky to have the 2290m Vitosha Mountain at the border of Sofia. You can go hiking,skiiing, climbing….breathe the fresh air.. enjoy the nature…drink water from the springs…lay on the sun…Just check out my
National park Vitosha page

Theme: Hiking

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Horseriding base

Horseriding base “Egida”

Horse Riding at “Egida” in the Center of SofiaLocated across the building of the National Radio , on Dragan tzankov street , this newly built horseriding base “Egida” opens from 8:30 in the morning
Prices are 15 lv for 20 min with instructor ,
20 lv ( 10 euro ) for half an hour with instructor,
If you are already skilled , it will cost you probably less as you won’t need guidance.

Tattoo Studio ” Inky Dragon”

The pioneers in the tattoo art in Bulgaria have gone a long way to become the most professional and talented tattoo masters in Sofia.They are organising the bulgarian Tattoo Fest ,once a year,where tattoo studios from all over the country present and compete with their work .Think about it – If you’re getting a tattoo – it’s for the lifetime , so you better get the best of the best on your skin…..

The Biggest Shopping Mole in Sofia - Sofia

The Biggest Shopping Mole in Sofia

TSUM: The Biggest Shopping Mole in Sofia TZUM Review

Back in the good old communist time , Where this dinosaur of TZUM ( TZentralen Universalen Magasin – Cental Universal Shop ) originates from ,it was the main purpose of visit from the people from the province. They were oraganising a daily excursion to come shopping in this 4 floor department store.
Once the biggest shopping mole in Sofia – actually that is a thing that is no more certain, but it used to be back at the time. Now that the place is no more centrally ruled by the Sofia city, it consists of different fancy shops mainly from famous wetern brands ( who else could afford the high rental rates of the place ?!!!)

Directions: On the other side of the street from Sheraton Hotel, The statue of Sofia, the National assembly….

Theme: Department Store

The Book Market - Sofia

The Book Market

The Book Market

Spread on Slaveikov Square is the biggest book market in Sofia. You can find here books in english , french and other languages ,maps of all kinds from Bulgaria, magazines, dictionnaries, Pirate and licensed software programms and games,music cd’s …

Address: Slaveikov Square

Directions: From Popa you can either take the tram for one stop, or just walk up the Graf Ignatiev street ( follow the rails) in direction to Slaveikov square.

Theme: Books

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Magama beauty Salon - Sofia

Magama beauty Salon

Magama – hair specialists: Need a hair makeover ?

Magama – hair specialists
Highly recommended if you want to have hair extensions . 4 you ladies :)))
Prices are very reasonable compared to what I heard in Austria as offers – 1000 euros to 200-300 here.
Natural hair ,latest technilogy…
A lot of our famous folk singers pics were hanging on the walls with a “Thank you” note.
And we all know that they use only the best of the best….

What to pay: 200-500 euros depending on how much locks you want and what technology you choose

Address: Han Asparuch No7

Directions: a tiny street between St George church and Boulevard Christo Botev

Other Contact: mobile: +359 8884 51000

Phone: +359 2 9501520

Theme: Bath and Beauty

Vitosha Shopping Paradise - Sofia

Vitosha Shopping Paradise

Vitosha Street: Vitosha Street – the shopping paradise

The shopping paradise in Sofia is Vitosha Street. You have there all the high class shops of the world famous labels – Sisley, Bennetton , Pepe,Levi’s etc

Theme: Women’s Clothes

Hotels and Hostels

Grand hotel Sofia - Sofia

Grand hotel Sofia

Grand hotel Sofia***** Grand Hotel Sofia Review

Show Prices

One of the latest Hotels in Sofia located in the pure center across the main post office
Hotel Facilities :
– Restaurant Triaditza
– Restaurant Shades of Red
– Piano Bar Dream Notes
– Grand Cafe
– Cigar Bar
they have different prices under the week ( cheaper ) and for the weekend , when they start ftom 135Euro per person, but they have some promotions going on so just make a request.
After all it’s a five star hotel…

Unique Qualities: A absolutely great Piano bar

Address: 1,”Gurko ” street

Directions: located In the Center between Slaveikov Square and The National Theater “Ivan Vazov”

Other Contact: reservations@grandhotelsofia.bg

Phone: +359 2 8110800 / 900

Price: US$120-180

Theme: Hotel

sofia hotels guide and reservation systemsofia hotels guide and reservation system

Theme: Hotel

Website: http://www.sofiahotels.net/

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The Rooms - Sofia

The Rooms

Hostel on Tzar Simeon street TS hostel ReviewThe hostel is located in a three floor ancient house in the center of Sofia that has been recently renovated ,some 10-20 walking minutes from the main touristic sites on the yellow pavement . Showers and toilets are one per floor ,seperately from the rooms.
prices: 5 beds – 9 euro per bed
4 beds – 10 euro per bed
3 beds – 12 euro per bed
2 beds – 14 euro per bed

Address: 63,Tzar Simeon Street ,Sofia 1000

Price Comparison: about average

Directions: from Banya Bashi Mosque and Halite ,walk in direction of the Lion’s bridge , and the first street turn left – this is Tzar Simeon. The hostel is located in the first 20meters

Other Contact: tsholidays@yahoo.com

Phone: +359 2 9836181 / 9836178

Price: less than US$20

Theme: Hostel

Website: http://www.ts-hostel.com/english.htm

Princess Hotel Casino - Sofia

Princess Hotel Casino

Sofia Princess****: The Closest hotel to the Railway and bus station Ramada Sofia Review

Show Prices

What I know about the hotel is not much besides it states to have the biggest casino on the balkans.
I need to find out more info….

Unique Qualities: It is OFF CENTER , and not in a good area of Sofia

Address: 131 Maria Luisa Blvd., Sofia 1202

Price Comparison: most expensive

Phone: 9338888

Theme: Hotel

List of the Hostels in Sofia

Theme: Hostel

Website: http://www.hostelmania.com/HostelCityList/EUR/En/bg/Sofia/hostels-Sofia.aspX

HostelmostelUnique Qualities: A sushi restaurant hearby and a nice coffe house

Address: Denkoglu street No 2

Directions: one of the small streets that intesect with Vitoshka Blvd. There was the Cinema MIR nearby – not in operation anymore

Theme: Hostel

Website: http://www.hostelmostel.com

Art Hostel Art Hostel Review
Make sure you book your bed in advance – there are only 14 beds available
Check out aswell if you want to rent an appartment in the center – 35/40 up to 80 euro

Unique Qualities: Hosts various art exhibitions from bulgarian artists in the Hostel Gallery
performances , Dj Register , chill out,cheap accomodation – starting from 7 euro / night , bulgarian breakfast, tea&coffee on the terrace ,nearby internet, loundry , luggage and safe box , bike on hire , CD shop , information for travelers , tips & trips

Address: 21A Angel Kunchev street ,Sofia 1000

Directions: In the pure center betweem Rakovski street and Vitosha Blvd

Other Contact: art-hostel@art-hostel.com

Phone: +359 2 9870545

Theme: Hostel

Website: http://www.art-hostel.com

Cheap Accomodation in SofiaBasic accomodation close to the center
I did not check.You have to try for yourself
the phones are 0898649034 and – price was 10 lv per night

Phone: 089864903

Downtown Hotel - Sofia

Downtown Hotel

Downtown: Downtown Hotel**** Hotel Downtown Review

Show Prices

single room – 130 euro
double room 150 euro
executive room – 140 euro
junior suite – 160/180 euro
tower suite – 180/200 euro
junior deluxe suite 220/240 euro
downtown suite – 350/390 euro
presidential suite – 380/420 euro

rates are including breakfast,VAT,city tax and insurance

Unique Qualities: all major credit cards accepted
children up to 6 yo – free of charge
children from 6 – 12yo- 50% discount

fitness, sauna , massage ,solarium

Address: “27, Vassil Levski Blvd.” 1040 Sofia

Directions: Centrally Located between NDK and Popa

Other Contact: reservations@hotel-downtown.net

Phone: +359 2 9305200/ fax 9305300

Price: US$120-180

Theme: Hotel

Website: http://www.hotel-downtown.net

Radisson Sas Grand - Sofia

Radisson Sas Grand

Radisson Sas Grand ***** Radisson Sas Grand Review

Show Prices

In Construction

Address: “4, Narodno Sabranie Square”

Directions: Located vis a vis with the parliament ,in the area of the Yellow Pavement, Radisson Sas Grand Hotel has the perfect location in the center of the town

Phone: 9334334

Theme: Hotel

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