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Rossen’s guidebook

Rossen

Rossen’s guidebook

Bars
This is very funky local bars, suitable for a quick beer of a cocktail.
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FlipFlop
61 ulitsa "Oborishte"
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This is very funky local bars, suitable for a quick beer of a cocktail.
One of the best rooftop bar in Sofia. A bit posh, but a great view.
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Hotel Sense Rooftop Bar
bulevard "Tsar Osvoboditel bul. "Tsar Osvoboditel"
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One of the best rooftop bar in Sofia. A bit posh, but a great view.
One of the most popular places right now. A hipster bar for a crazy night out.
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bar Friday
21 ul. "General Yosif V. Gourko"
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One of the most popular places right now. A hipster bar for a crazy night out.
Just 3 min from the apartment, the bar offers great choice of cocktails and modern atmosphere. Sputnik is the first bar that merges the worlds of cocktails and rakia and we don’t really have a problem with that. Rakia is unrightfully perceived as a simple folk’s drink but the extravagant cocktails at Sputnik completely change that notion. Especially when it is presented in this exquisite setting for which we have no other description than: just look at the photos below.
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Sputnik Cocktail Bar
17 bul. "Yanko Sakazov"
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Just 3 min from the apartment, the bar offers great choice of cocktails and modern atmosphere. Sputnik is the first bar that merges the worlds of cocktails and rakia and we don’t really have a problem with that. Rakia is unrightfully perceived as a simple folk’s drink but the extravagant cocktails at Sputnik completely change that notion. Especially when it is presented in this exquisite setting for which we have no other description than: just look at the photos below.
When KANAAL opened in 2012 it practically opened the world of Belgian craft beers to the local audiences. The beers might be Belgian, but the design and branding of the bar area fine example of Dutch minimalism. You’ll find plenty of classic brews here (Chimay, Westmalle, Vedett) plus a fine selection of local, Serbian, Danish and whatnot other beers. The people behind the bar are pleasant and well-informed, with knowledge on alcoholic beverages, which goes well beyond beer.
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KANAAL - craft beer bar
2 bul. "Madrid"
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When KANAAL opened in 2012 it practically opened the world of Belgian craft beers to the local audiences. The beers might be Belgian, but the design and branding of the bar area fine example of Dutch minimalism. You’ll find plenty of classic brews here (Chimay, Westmalle, Vedett) plus a fine selection of local, Serbian, Danish and whatnot other beers. The people behind the bar are pleasant and well-informed, with knowledge on alcoholic beverages, which goes well beyond beer.
The beautiful Cocktail Bar presents you a great panoramic view towards one of Sofia’s favourite spots — the tiny garden hidden between Solunska and Angel Kanchev str. Of course, you won’t come here just for the view, but for the cocktails as well. And trust us — you won’t be disappointed as some of the most experienced mixologists in the city practice their craft in this very location.
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The Cocktail Bar
9 ul. "Angel Kanchev"
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The beautiful Cocktail Bar presents you a great panoramic view towards one of Sofia’s favourite spots — the tiny garden hidden between Solunska and Angel Kanchev str. Of course, you won’t come here just for the view, but for the cocktails as well. And trust us — you won’t be disappointed as some of the most experienced mixologists in the city practice their craft in this very location.
Located in a house, a cultural monument of the city, One More is one of Sofia’s most beloved and visited bars. In spring and summer the garden awaits you with refreshing plant life and light cocktails. In the cold months the stylish interior, mix of history and adventurous contemporary design, provides various hot drinks and fine tunes. Also: the taste and quality of the appetizers and sandwiches here would make most restaurants envious.
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One More Bar
12 ul. "Tsar Shishman"
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Located in a house, a cultural monument of the city, One More is one of Sofia’s most beloved and visited bars. In spring and summer the garden awaits you with refreshing plant life and light cocktails. In the cold months the stylish interior, mix of history and adventurous contemporary design, provides various hot drinks and fine tunes. Also: the taste and quality of the appetizers and sandwiches here would make most restaurants envious.
Food scene
Old Lady breakfast and brunch.
Старата Госпожа (Starata Gospoja)
18 ul. "Oborishte"
Old Lady breakfast and brunch.
Great coffee shop
Barka Coffee Gossip
58 бул. „Княз Ал. Дондуков-Корсаков“
Great coffee shop
Great selections of coffees and amazing breakfast
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Фабрика ДЪГА 2 / Rainbow Factory 2
13B ul. "Sheynovo"
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Great selections of coffees and amazing breakfast
Local cuisine just 3 min from here.
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Ракия Ракета Бар
17 bul. "Yanko Sakazov"
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Local cuisine just 3 min from here.
Small hidden gen. Great local cuisine
Crazy Diamond
9А ul. "Oborishte"
Small hidden gen. Great local cuisine
Newly open restaurant with a great atmosphere and fresh cuisine. Also suitable for morning breakfast and coffee.
Urban Table
Newly open restaurant with a great atmosphere and fresh cuisine. Also suitable for morning breakfast and coffee.
“Skara” means grill and that’s what you’ll get here. Set in a park behind the theatre, Skara Bar’s sole purpose is to satisfy every carnivore’s demand for mountains of meat. And when we say mountains we’re not kidding. Just order Skara Planina (a pun on Stara Planina, Bulgaria’s vastest mountain range) and you’ll get a kilogram of Skara Bar’s offerings. Beautiful! I recommend only for the summer period as it has great garden.
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SkaraBar
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“Skara” means grill and that’s what you’ll get here. Set in a park behind the theatre, Skara Bar’s sole purpose is to satisfy every carnivore’s demand for mountains of meat. And when we say mountains we’re not kidding. Just order Skara Planina (a pun on Stara Planina, Bulgaria’s vastest mountain range) and you’ll get a kilogram of Skara Bar’s offerings. Beautiful! I recommend only for the summer period as it has great garden.
Oborishte str. and the streets around it slowly emerge as the gastro district in town with Atelier expertly leading the way. Retro, beautiful and very delicious. Just try the French pate with blueberries. The selection of wines covers Spain, France, Chili, Australia and more.
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Atelier
16 ulitsa "Professor Asen Zlatarov"
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Oborishte str. and the streets around it slowly emerge as the gastro district in town with Atelier expertly leading the way. Retro, beautiful and very delicious. Just try the French pate with blueberries. The selection of wines covers Spain, France, Chili, Australia and more.
The Little Things actually spreads itself across two floors and a shared yard of an old house. As promised, here you’ll find plenty of details, antiques, old books and furniture. Thankfully, the same principles are applied to the varied and tasty menu. The food bares homely and provencal feel with a careful balance between vegetarian and meat recipes.
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The Little Things
37 ul. "Tsar Shishman"
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The Little Things actually spreads itself across two floors and a shared yard of an old house. As promised, here you’ll find plenty of details, antiques, old books and furniture. Thankfully, the same principles are applied to the varied and tasty menu. The food bares homely and provencal feel with a careful balance between vegetarian and meat recipes.
This spacious and beautiful restaurant is pleasing both for the eye and the tongue. After you’re done gazing at the stylish interior design, you will find a menu that balances both Italian pasta classics and juicy burgers and grill. With tables right on the street, Spaghetti Kitchen is suitable both for a romantic dinner and a light lunch with friends.
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Spaghetti Kitchen
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This spacious and beautiful restaurant is pleasing both for the eye and the tongue. After you’re done gazing at the stylish interior design, you will find a menu that balances both Italian pasta classics and juicy burgers and grill. With tables right on the street, Spaghetti Kitchen is suitable both for a romantic dinner and a light lunch with friends.
This artistic restaurant has been a local’s favourite since its inception. Expect a variety of foods and tastes and intricate interior, meticulously created by the owners themselves. The daily menu provides fresh and original recipes for every lunch while the tables directly on the street overlook one of the prettiest neighborhoods in Sofia.
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Made in Home
30 ul. "Angel Kanchev"
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This artistic restaurant has been a local’s favourite since its inception. Expect a variety of foods and tastes and intricate interior, meticulously created by the owners themselves. The daily menu provides fresh and original recipes for every lunch while the tables directly on the street overlook one of the prettiest neighborhoods in Sofia.
Opened in 2013, HleBar is a bakery specializing in different types of hand-kneaded bread. Be it with olives or sun-dried tomatoes, bread is the king here. But unlike other bakeries here you can also sit and enjoy a delicious sandwich, an adventurous take on banitza (a traditional pastry delicacy) or simply enjoy a coffee or a Belgian beer.
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HleBar
27 ul. "Tsar Shishman"
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Opened in 2013, HleBar is a bakery specializing in different types of hand-kneaded bread. Be it with olives or sun-dried tomatoes, bread is the king here. But unlike other bakeries here you can also sit and enjoy a delicious sandwich, an adventurous take on banitza (a traditional pastry delicacy) or simply enjoy a coffee or a Belgian beer.
As the name suggests (“daga” means rainbow) is rich with tastes, be it for coffee or delicious breakfasts and desserts. Situated below Dondukov boulevard, this place is perfect for energizing before a long day or a walk around one of Sofia’s quietest and most charming neighborhoods.
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Фабрика ДЪГА / Rainbow Factory
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As the name suggests (“daga” means rainbow) is rich with tastes, be it for coffee or delicious breakfasts and desserts. Situated below Dondukov boulevard, this place is perfect for energizing before a long day or a walk around one of Sofia’s quietest and most charming neighborhoods.
Pod Lipite /Under the linden trees/ is one of the best places to try authentic Bulgarian cuisine in Sofia, especially if you are not in the mood to watch an elaborate folklore show. It may be a bit pricier than other restaurants in this category, but a tourist trap it is not. The large number of locals celebrating special occasions is there to prove it. Don't miss out on the vast selection of home-cooked staples. You can try the large number of vegetarian options or go straight for the open fire grilled meat. Dinner for 2 with drinks: 80 lv /40 euro/
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Под липите
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Pod Lipite /Under the linden trees/ is one of the best places to try authentic Bulgarian cuisine in Sofia, especially if you are not in the mood to watch an elaborate folklore show. It may be a bit pricier than other restaurants in this category, but a tourist trap it is not. The large number of locals celebrating special occasions is there to prove it. Don't miss out on the vast selection of home-cooked staples. You can try the large number of vegetarian options or go straight for the open fire grilled meat. Dinner for 2 with drinks: 80 lv /40 euro/
For the last few years, this trendy place has attracted a well-to-do crowd with its precision-made gourmet pizzas, baked before your eyes, a choice of salads, and (in our opinion) the best home-made tiramisu in town, all served in a cool and casual setting. Expect to find this place packed even on week nights. Dinner for 2 with a bottle of wine: 80 lv /40 euro/
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Forno Cipollini
36A ul. "Oborishte"
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For the last few years, this trendy place has attracted a well-to-do crowd with its precision-made gourmet pizzas, baked before your eyes, a choice of salads, and (in our opinion) the best home-made tiramisu in town, all served in a cool and casual setting. Expect to find this place packed even on week nights. Dinner for 2 with a bottle of wine: 80 lv /40 euro/
Ресторант "Стария Чинар"
Neighborhoods
A trendy neighborhood right by the center of Sofia. It is home of Sofia University and the National Library. The area has a couple of beautiful parks and its streets are filled with lots of interesting bars, restaurants and shops you can visit.
Oborishte
A trendy neighborhood right by the center of Sofia. It is home of Sofia University and the National Library. The area has a couple of beautiful parks and its streets are filled with lots of interesting bars, restaurants and shops you can visit.
Sightseeing
Great place for families with kids. Zaimov is another one of Sofia’s numerous gardens. The fountain and the buildings around it bear a nice nostalgic feeling towards the middle of the 20th century. It is a pleasant urban oasis in the middle of the city offering plenty of entertainment — table tennis, actual tennis and vast lawns on which you can crash with a cheap local beer in hand.
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Park "Zaimov"
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Great place for families with kids. Zaimov is another one of Sofia’s numerous gardens. The fountain and the buildings around it bear a nice nostalgic feeling towards the middle of the 20th century. It is a pleasant urban oasis in the middle of the city offering plenty of entertainment — table tennis, actual tennis and vast lawns on which you can crash with a cheap local beer in hand.
At the centre of this neat garden there is a monument, dedicated to the medics, who gave their life in the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878). Hence the name. The garden’s lawns are always well trimmed, with beautiful hedges, many benches, plenty of lights, and even ancient ruins. Favorite place for parents and children during the day and a cool spot for beer or two at night. We predict that the Doctor’s garden will be a trending spot in 2016.
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Doctors' Garden
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At the centre of this neat garden there is a monument, dedicated to the medics, who gave their life in the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878). Hence the name. The garden’s lawns are always well trimmed, with beautiful hedges, many benches, plenty of lights, and even ancient ruins. Favorite place for parents and children during the day and a cool spot for beer or two at night. We predict that the Doctor’s garden will be a trending spot in 2016.
The St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral (Bulgarian: Храм-паметник "Свети Александър Невски", Hram-pametnik "Sveti Aleksandar Nevski") is a Bulgarian Orthodox cathedral in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. Built in Neo-Byzantine style, it serves as the cathedral church of the Patriarch of Bulgaria and it is believed to be one of the top 500 largest Christian church buildings. It is one of Sofia's symbols and primary tourist attractions.[3] The St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia occupies an area of 3,170 square metres (34,100 sq ft) and can hold 5,000 people inside.[3][1] It is believed to be one of the 50 largest Eastern Orthodox Cathedrals and ranks in the top 500 largest church buildings in the world, third-largest Orthodox Cathedral located in Southeast Europe, being surpassed only by two new and not yet fully completed Cathedrals - the Romanian People's Salvation Cathedral in Bucharest and the Church of Saint Sava in Belgrade.[4] Some people believe that from 1931 until 1992 it was the largest finished Orthodox Church in the world, and until year 2000 was the largest finished Orthodox Cathedral.
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소피아 알렉산드르 네프스키 대성당
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The St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral (Bulgarian: Храм-паметник "Свети Александър Невски", Hram-pametnik "Sveti Aleksandar Nevski") is a Bulgarian Orthodox cathedral in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. Built in Neo-Byzantine style, it serves as the cathedral church of the Patriarch of Bulgaria and it is believed to be one of the top 500 largest Christian church buildings. It is one of Sofia's symbols and primary tourist attractions.[3] The St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia occupies an area of 3,170 square metres (34,100 sq ft) and can hold 5,000 people inside.[3][1] It is believed to be one of the 50 largest Eastern Orthodox Cathedrals and ranks in the top 500 largest church buildings in the world, third-largest Orthodox Cathedral located in Southeast Europe, being surpassed only by two new and not yet fully completed Cathedrals - the Romanian People's Salvation Cathedral in Bucharest and the Church of Saint Sava in Belgrade.[4] Some people believe that from 1931 until 1992 it was the largest finished Orthodox Church in the world, and until year 2000 was the largest finished Orthodox Cathedral.
The National Art Gallery is situated in the former royal palace of Bulgaria. In the halls where once ministers and royalties took decisions, today you can make a historic run through the artworks of Bulgaria’s most prominent artists. Be sure to not miss the bright winter garden, dedicated to temporary photographic exhibitions. Behind the gallery/palace is a small and quiet park.
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National Art Gallery
1 ploshtad "Knyaz Aleksandar I"
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The National Art Gallery is situated in the former royal palace of Bulgaria. In the halls where once ministers and royalties took decisions, today you can make a historic run through the artworks of Bulgaria’s most prominent artists. Be sure to not miss the bright winter garden, dedicated to temporary photographic exhibitions. Behind the gallery/palace is a small and quiet park.
This cozy bookstore turned into one of Sofia’s main places when looking for a personal gift. Carefully selected books with focus on contemporary classics, vintage magazines and comics, vinyls, moomin memorabilia and all sorts of tiny gadgets fill its racks and make picking just one thing basically impossible.
Elephant Bookstore
31 ul. "Tsar Shishman"
This cozy bookstore turned into one of Sofia’s main places when looking for a personal gift. Carefully selected books with focus on contemporary classics, vintage magazines and comics, vinyls, moomin memorabilia and all sorts of tiny gadgets fill its racks and make picking just one thing basically impossible.
The Crystal cafe-bar after which the garden is named no longer exists but the spirit of its clients (dissident writers, poets and artists) still lives on. In the last few years the garden, overseen by a monument of notorious politician Stefan Stambolov, established itself as the favourite place for the free-minded youths of the city. With two bars and several 24h liquor stores nearby, Crystal is definitely the place to be during a summer night.
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Crystal Garden
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The Crystal cafe-bar after which the garden is named no longer exists but the spirit of its clients (dissident writers, poets and artists) still lives on. In the last few years the garden, overseen by a monument of notorious politician Stefan Stambolov, established itself as the favourite place for the free-minded youths of the city. With two bars and several 24h liquor stores nearby, Crystal is definitely the place to be during a summer night.
NATIONAL THEATRE SOFIA The National Theatre “Ivan Vazov” in Sofia is the largest and most influential theatre in Bulgaria and the small park in front is a favourite hang-out spot for Sofia residents and tourists alike. THE BUILDING Save Unlike similar buildings in many other European capitals, “The National” is brick-red in color, which makes it particularly photo-friendly. The building was completed in 1907 in the Classical architectural style typical of the times. It has been the permanent home to the National Theatre company ever since. The theatre is named after the Bulgarian literary patriarch, Ivan Vazov, but residents refer to it simply as “the National”. The theatre’s opening ceremony in 1907 did not go uneventful. Envisioned as a celebration for the masses, it turned political when angry university students booed the King upon arrival. In retribution, the King, and his government, closed down Sofia University for six months. THE AREA Save The small park in front of the National Theater is a favorite late-night hangout spot for the young crowds. In the warm summer months, this is a great place to stop by for a drink at one of the several open-air cafés. Save Backgammon players in front of the National Theatre During the day, the area turns into a chess and backgammon battlefield, attracting slightly older visitors.
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"Ivan Vazov" National Theater
5 ul. "Dyakon Ignatiy"
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NATIONAL THEATRE SOFIA The National Theatre “Ivan Vazov” in Sofia is the largest and most influential theatre in Bulgaria and the small park in front is a favourite hang-out spot for Sofia residents and tourists alike. THE BUILDING Save Unlike similar buildings in many other European capitals, “The National” is brick-red in color, which makes it particularly photo-friendly. The building was completed in 1907 in the Classical architectural style typical of the times. It has been the permanent home to the National Theatre company ever since. The theatre is named after the Bulgarian literary patriarch, Ivan Vazov, but residents refer to it simply as “the National”. The theatre’s opening ceremony in 1907 did not go uneventful. Envisioned as a celebration for the masses, it turned political when angry university students booed the King upon arrival. In retribution, the King, and his government, closed down Sofia University for six months. THE AREA Save The small park in front of the National Theater is a favorite late-night hangout spot for the young crowds. In the warm summer months, this is a great place to stop by for a drink at one of the several open-air cafés. Save Backgammon players in front of the National Theatre During the day, the area turns into a chess and backgammon battlefield, attracting slightly older visitors.
LARGO The Largo, a colossal complex of Stalinist buildings, has been at the center of much of Bulgaria’s recent history. Erected in the 1950s, on top of the very heart of the ancient city of Serdica, the large ensemble was part of a master plan to change the face of Sofia after the Communist party’s ascend to power. The building at the center of the complex served as the administrative headquarters of the Communist Party for over 40 years. Its 40 000 sq m and 3 km of corridors used to hold many of the Party’s secrets. In 1990, several months after the fall of the Berlin wall, the big ruby red star that used to crown the building was taken down by helicopter. Interestingly, the star has since completely vanished. Its smaller predecessor, however, is on display at the Museum of Socialist Art in Sofia. The building is now used by the Parliament and a big Bulgarian flag sits in place of the red star. The other buildings in the complex are also of interest. The Central Universal Store, TZUM, envisioned as a showcase of Communist Bulgaria’s affluence, can be seen on the left. Do not miss the small St. George rotunda, considered the oldest building in Sofia, now tucked between the Sheraton and Presidency.
Largo, Sofia
LARGO The Largo, a colossal complex of Stalinist buildings, has been at the center of much of Bulgaria’s recent history. Erected in the 1950s, on top of the very heart of the ancient city of Serdica, the large ensemble was part of a master plan to change the face of Sofia after the Communist party’s ascend to power. The building at the center of the complex served as the administrative headquarters of the Communist Party for over 40 years. Its 40 000 sq m and 3 km of corridors used to hold many of the Party’s secrets. In 1990, several months after the fall of the Berlin wall, the big ruby red star that used to crown the building was taken down by helicopter. Interestingly, the star has since completely vanished. Its smaller predecessor, however, is on display at the Museum of Socialist Art in Sofia. The building is now used by the Parliament and a big Bulgarian flag sits in place of the red star. The other buildings in the complex are also of interest. The Central Universal Store, TZUM, envisioned as a showcase of Communist Bulgaria’s affluence, can be seen on the left. Do not miss the small St. George rotunda, considered the oldest building in Sofia, now tucked between the Sheraton and Presidency.
The heart of ancient Serdica and the oldest building in modern Sofia, this red brick church was built all the way back in 300s. It’s a wonder that this building has survived unscathed for such an amount of time, and all around are interesting little details that hit home the great age of the site and civilisations that have passed though. Step inside to view the detailed medieval frescoes that had been painted over by the Ottomans when the church was converted to a mosque in the 1600s. These were only rediscovered and restored in the 1990s. Outside you can see the flagstones of a Roman street and other remnants of Ancient Serdica.
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Church St. George Rotunda
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The heart of ancient Serdica and the oldest building in modern Sofia, this red brick church was built all the way back in 300s. It’s a wonder that this building has survived unscathed for such an amount of time, and all around are interesting little details that hit home the great age of the site and civilisations that have passed though. Step inside to view the detailed medieval frescoes that had been painted over by the Ottomans when the church was converted to a mosque in the 1600s. These were only rediscovered and restored in the 1990s. Outside you can see the flagstones of a Roman street and other remnants of Ancient Serdica.
15 Best Things to Do in Sofia (Bulgaria) Bulgaria’s capital has a lot of stories to tell, and each historic attraction will give you a new perspective on Sofia’s complicated past. Take the churches here that have spent several centuries of their existence as mosques, the overbearing soviet architecture or the Roman history that is still being uncovered and blends with the modern city. Tip – Start your trip with a walking tour to get to know the city, there are several available: browse walking tours Many of the buildings you’ll see are from the Bulgarian Revival in the late-19th century, when the country reclaimed its independence from the Ottomans. And always to the southwest looms the monumental Vitosha Mountain. Here are the best things to do in Sofia: 1. St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral Source: flickr St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral The scale of this building will blow you away. Inside St. Alexander Nevski has room for 10,000 people and it’s the second largest cathedral in the Balkan region. As with a great deal of Sofia’s grand architecture, the city’s cathedral dates to the 1880s. This was directly after the Ottomans were overthrown and the state of Bulgaria was re-established. It was originally dedicated to the Russian soldiers that lost their lives in the course of this liberation. When you’re inside, look up at ceiling of the main cupola, which has a mural of the Lord God Sabbath. The crypt here is open to visitors and has a big collection of icons. 2. St. George Rotunda St. George Rotunda Source: flickr St. George Rotunda The heart of ancient Serdica and the oldest building in modern Sofia, this red brick church was built all the way back in 300s. It’s a wonder that this building has survived unscathed for such an amount of time, and all around are interesting little details that hit home the great age of the site and civilisations that have passed though. Step inside to view the detailed medieval frescoes that had been painted over by the Ottomans when the church was converted to a mosque in the 1600s. These were only rediscovered and restored in the 1990s. Outside you can see the flagstones of a Roman street and other remnants of Ancient Serdica. Check out the recommended hotels in Sofia, Bulgaria 3. Vitosha Boulevard Vitosha Boulevard Source: flickr Vitosha Boulevard The fanciest street in the city, Vitosha Boulevard is where all the posh boutiques and fashion houses are clustered. If you’re not an upmarket shopper then you can just console yourself with those arresting views of Vitosha Mountain which is capped with a dusting of snow for much of the year and framed by the street’s tall buildings. It’s a thoroughly pleasant place to spend a couple of hours; the cafes along the pedestrian street have outdoor seating and in recent years the lampposts, benches and kiosks have been redesigned into an elegant art nouveau style, recalling the early years of the Bulgarian Revival. 4. St. Sofia Church St. Sofia Church Source: wikipedia St. Sofia Church It was this church that gave the city of Sofia its name in the 1300s during the Second Bulgarian Empire. This unassuming red brick building goes right back to Byzantine times and was founded in the 500s on top of the ancient city of Serdica’s necropolis, as well as an older church from a century before. When you visit you can see the remnants of this ancient church and the tombs that date back more than 1500 years. For two centuries after the Ottoman invasion this was a mosque, but was abandoned after one earthquake in the 1800s brought the minaret down and another killed the Imam’s two son’s.
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St. Sophia Church
2 ulitsa Paris
27
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15 Best Things to Do in Sofia (Bulgaria) Bulgaria’s capital has a lot of stories to tell, and each historic attraction will give you a new perspective on Sofia’s complicated past. Take the churches here that have spent several centuries of their existence as mosques, the overbearing soviet architecture or the Roman history that is still being uncovered and blends with the modern city. Tip – Start your trip with a walking tour to get to know the city, there are several available: browse walking tours Many of the buildings you’ll see are from the Bulgarian Revival in the late-19th century, when the country reclaimed its independence from the Ottomans. And always to the southwest looms the monumental Vitosha Mountain. Here are the best things to do in Sofia: 1. St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral Source: flickr St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral The scale of this building will blow you away. Inside St. Alexander Nevski has room for 10,000 people and it’s the second largest cathedral in the Balkan region. As with a great deal of Sofia’s grand architecture, the city’s cathedral dates to the 1880s. This was directly after the Ottomans were overthrown and the state of Bulgaria was re-established. It was originally dedicated to the Russian soldiers that lost their lives in the course of this liberation. When you’re inside, look up at ceiling of the main cupola, which has a mural of the Lord God Sabbath. The crypt here is open to visitors and has a big collection of icons. 2. St. George Rotunda St. George Rotunda Source: flickr St. George Rotunda The heart of ancient Serdica and the oldest building in modern Sofia, this red brick church was built all the way back in 300s. It’s a wonder that this building has survived unscathed for such an amount of time, and all around are interesting little details that hit home the great age of the site and civilisations that have passed though. Step inside to view the detailed medieval frescoes that had been painted over by the Ottomans when the church was converted to a mosque in the 1600s. These were only rediscovered and restored in the 1990s. Outside you can see the flagstones of a Roman street and other remnants of Ancient Serdica. Check out the recommended hotels in Sofia, Bulgaria 3. Vitosha Boulevard Vitosha Boulevard Source: flickr Vitosha Boulevard The fanciest street in the city, Vitosha Boulevard is where all the posh boutiques and fashion houses are clustered. If you’re not an upmarket shopper then you can just console yourself with those arresting views of Vitosha Mountain which is capped with a dusting of snow for much of the year and framed by the street’s tall buildings. It’s a thoroughly pleasant place to spend a couple of hours; the cafes along the pedestrian street have outdoor seating and in recent years the lampposts, benches and kiosks have been redesigned into an elegant art nouveau style, recalling the early years of the Bulgarian Revival. 4. St. Sofia Church St. Sofia Church Source: wikipedia St. Sofia Church It was this church that gave the city of Sofia its name in the 1300s during the Second Bulgarian Empire. This unassuming red brick building goes right back to Byzantine times and was founded in the 500s on top of the ancient city of Serdica’s necropolis, as well as an older church from a century before. When you visit you can see the remnants of this ancient church and the tombs that date back more than 1500 years. For two centuries after the Ottoman invasion this was a mosque, but was abandoned after one earthquake in the 1800s brought the minaret down and another killed the Imam’s two son’s.
On the lower slopes of Vitosha Mountain (which we’ll come to next) is this UNESCO heritage site. The location of this medieval church is almost dreamlike, in a grove of tall softwood trees in a quiet suburb of the city. Boyana Church was built in three stages from the 1000s to the 1800s, but the most important additions were made during the Second Bulgarian Empire in the 1200s. This is when the fabulous interior frescoes were painted, depicting some 240 historical and biblical figures in a realistic style 200 years before renaissance artists were doing the same. The paintings, by an unknown artist, include contemporary portraits of two Bulgarian rulers, Tsar Konstantin Assen and Tsar Koloyan, next to their wives.
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Boyana Church Museum
3 ул. Боянско езеро
27
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On the lower slopes of Vitosha Mountain (which we’ll come to next) is this UNESCO heritage site. The location of this medieval church is almost dreamlike, in a grove of tall softwood trees in a quiet suburb of the city. Boyana Church was built in three stages from the 1000s to the 1800s, but the most important additions were made during the Second Bulgarian Empire in the 1200s. This is when the fabulous interior frescoes were painted, depicting some 240 historical and biblical figures in a realistic style 200 years before renaissance artists were doing the same. The paintings, by an unknown artist, include contemporary portraits of two Bulgarian rulers, Tsar Konstantin Assen and Tsar Koloyan, next to their wives.
This museum’s home is also a piece of Bulgarian history in its own right. The National Historical Museum is housed in the former dictator Todor Zhivkov’s residence. It’s a hulking slab of Stalinist architecture fronted by a massive open yard. The collection at the museum is gigantic; the 65,000 items on display is just one tenth of what is held behind the scenes in its archives. The variety of items here is also mind boggling, going from 20th-century space research equipment to treasures belonging to the Odrysians who held sway in Bulgaria until they were conquered by the Romans in the 1st century.
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National Museum of History
16 ул. Витошко лале
30
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This museum’s home is also a piece of Bulgarian history in its own right. The National Historical Museum is housed in the former dictator Todor Zhivkov’s residence. It’s a hulking slab of Stalinist architecture fronted by a massive open yard. The collection at the museum is gigantic; the 65,000 items on display is just one tenth of what is held behind the scenes in its archives. The variety of items here is also mind boggling, going from 20th-century space research equipment to treasures belonging to the Odrysians who held sway in Bulgaria until they were conquered by the Romans in the 1st century.
Co-working places
+tova is a multifunctional place where you can work, enjoy a coffee or a quiche/cake, attend a screening or exhibition, plus many more. It is located on one of the most aristocratic streets in Sofia and is perfect for some quiet afternoon time on a weekday.
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+ Tova
30 улица Марин
6
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+tova is a multifunctional place where you can work, enjoy a coffee or a quiche/cake, attend a screening or exhibition, plus many more. It is located on one of the most aristocratic streets in Sofia and is perfect for some quiet afternoon time on a weekday.
The latest coworking space to open in town easily scoops the award for best building. The house which used to hold the Writer’s Union is situated on Angel Kanchev str. and has two floors, plenty of rooms with great atmosphere and several amazing murals. Be sure to check it out as there’s usually some interesting activity — be it a design bazaar or an exhibition.
COSMOS Coworking Camp
3 ul. "Angel Kanchev"
The latest coworking space to open in town easily scoops the award for best building. The house which used to hold the Writer’s Union is situated on Angel Kanchev str. and has two floors, plenty of rooms with great atmosphere and several amazing murals. Be sure to check it out as there’s usually some interesting activity — be it a design bazaar or an exhibition.
Local coffee shops
Ma Baker is a stylish neighborhood bakery taking pride in its traditional bread prepared “the old way”. It is named after a legendary 1930-s outlaw (or the Boney M’s song with the same name) and also offers a variety of cookies, baked goods, croissants and quality caffeinated drinks. Ma Baker’s sandwiches could do you for a light lunch as well - prepared with the bread of the day.
Cafe Ma Baker
8А ul. "Sheynovo"
Ma Baker is a stylish neighborhood bakery taking pride in its traditional bread prepared “the old way”. It is named after a legendary 1930-s outlaw (or the Boney M’s song with the same name) and also offers a variety of cookies, baked goods, croissants and quality caffeinated drinks. Ma Baker’s sandwiches could do you for a light lunch as well - prepared with the bread of the day.
3 min from the apartment, great selection of coffee beans
Barka Coffee Gossip
58 бул. „Княз Ал. Дондуков-Корсаков“
3 min from the apartment, great selection of coffee beans
If you are really demanding about your coffee, Chucky’s is the place. You’ll hardly find better baristas in town and the quality of the coffee — carefully selected from finest manufacturers and regions from around the world — makes each visit a little caffeinated celebration.
Chucky's Coffee House
29 ul. "Hristo Belchev"
If you are really demanding about your coffee, Chucky’s is the place. You’ll hardly find better baristas in town and the quality of the coffee — carefully selected from finest manufacturers and regions from around the world — makes each visit a little caffeinated celebration.

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SOFIA PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Public transit in Sofia is a quick, convenient and cheap way to travel around the city. BUSES, TRAMS AND TROLLEYS IN SOFIA Sofia's buses, trams and troleys run on a regular schedule and will take you almost anywhere. Some of the vehicles might even take you back in time. Indeed, some of the trams clattering down the streets of Sofia are over 50 years old and though very popular with photographers, make for somewhat uncomfortable ride. Luckily the overwhelming majority of the buses and troleys are considerably newer and more comfortable. Talks of introducing an electronic ticketing system, mobile apps and city-wide pass have been going on for quite a while, but in 2019 the ticketing system in Sofia is still archaic and requires an elaboate procedure of purchasing a paper ticket with cash (only!) and physically punching it on a metal machine mounted in the vehicles. Buying Tickets Tickets can be bought from the driver (with exact cash) or from a ticket machine on-board (only in trams and trolleys and with coins only). It is best to embark prepared. Most of the major stops have a small ticket kiosk. You can enter the vehicle from any door, punch your ticket in the metal machine mounted to the wall and keep it until you get off. Oversized luggage should also be ticketed. The fine for riding without a ticket is 40 lv (€ 20.00). Also valid for oversized luggage. Public Transit Schedule in Sofia Most public transport becomes scarce after 10 pm and stops between 11 pm and 5.30 am. There are no night buses in Sofia. Buses, trams and troleys are less frequent over the weekend and on national holidays. The Moovit app is currently, at least in our oppinion, the best tool for scheduling and planning your public transit journey in Sofia. Ticket Prices Ticket /bilet/: 1.60 lv (€ 0.80) 10 rides one passenger /talon za deset patuvania/: 12.00 lv (€ 6.00) Must be used in sequence and one at a time! Cannot be used by two people on the same bus/tram! Can be used for a passenger and luggage simultaneously. Daily pass /ednodnevna karta/: 4.00 lv (€ 2.00)
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For short car rides - Spark
The best option for short rides around the city center is the shared electric cars. SPARK is a new generation service that allows you to find and rent an electric vehicle through your mobile phone, no matter if you want to use the service for 15 minutes or a few days. After you use the service, you may leave the vehicle in a "blue" or "green" area (free of charge for electric vehicles) or in designated areas outside the city center. Download the mobile app and sign up to receive access to our electric vehicles just with a few clicks on your phone. https://spark.bg/en/