Hello fellow visitors! Alexx right here from FindingAlexx I get on a year-long solo experience to a brand-new nation each week for a year, with my path based totally off the most affordable trip eachTuesday Yep, it’s as frantic as it appears! This outrageous experience took me to Sofia, a lovely concealed treasure in the Balkans and also the funding city ofBulgaria Here’s all you require to understand if you’re taking into consideration a journey to Sofia, from what to do, where to rest to exactly how to navigate and also extra.
Where to keep in Sofia
Let’s kick this off with some excellent information … Sofia is the excellent area if you get on a spending plan! There are a lot of economical hostels in Sofia with dormitory beds for much less than $13 an evening, or you can obtain an affordable resort space from regarding $32 an evening.
Normally I’m a large supporter for holiday accommodation with complete kitchen area centers so you can conserve cash on food, however food in Sofia is so economical (and also excellent!) that there’s truthfully no requirement to prepare your very own food.
Some wonderful alternatives for locations to keep in Sofia are Generaator Hostel, Peter Pan Hostel, 5 Vintage Guest House and also the aptly-named Hotel Cheap.
How to navigate Sofia
If you’re remaining in the city centre and also you do not mind obtaining your actions up, you’ll possibly be able to see the city rather conveniently by foot. A great deal of the primary views are within strolling range, and also straying aimlessly around the city was exactly how I discovered tons of my leading food suggestions!
If you like to obtain someplace quicker (and also possibly drier), there are cable cars, buses and also the city. A solitary trip is 1.60 BGN (regarding 90 cents) or a day pass with unrestricted travel is 4BGN (regarding $2).
There’s no Uber in Sofia, however there is a wonderful regional taxi application that does the very same point, called TaxiMe. You can register with your UK number, include in your bank card and also hail a flight via the application similar to you would certainly anywhere else.
To obtain to and also from the airport terminal conveniently and also fairly inexpensively, I would certainly advise obtaining a taxi from the airport terminal taxi stand. Only one firm is authorized to give taxi solutions at the airport terminal and also they have actually obtained typical price prices, so comply with the indications to the main taxi location and also you’ll be taken care of. To enter into the city centre you must pay regarding 15-20 BGN ($ 8-$12).
On an incredibly limited budget plan? You can obtain the city from Terminal 2 at the airport terminal to Serdika terminal for 1.60 BGN (cash money just so you’ll require to utilize an ATM MACHINE at the airport terminal), after that transfer to a bus, cable car or various other city to obtain closer to your resort.
How much to allocate Sofia
Yay for economical locations! Much like my week in Warsaw, Sofia was an actual reward for my budget.
If you’re searching for a difficulty, Sofia is in fact feasible to experience from just $15-$20 each day. This would certainly cover economical hostel holiday accommodation ($ 9-$13) and also grocery store or bakeshop food (up to $7). You can see tons of the lovely structures completely free, and also with a little Googling you might self-guide a city trip to learn more about the city’s communist background.
To include in a wonderful regional dish ($ 6-$10), a beverage ($ 3) and also the contribution for a complimentary strolling trip ($ 6), I would certainly advise budgeting around $40 a day.
You can obtain newly baked rewards from regional pastry shops for much less than 1BGN (regarding 65 cents), good sandwiches or salads for lunch from 4-8BGN ($ 1.95-$ 4.50) or somewhat fancier sit-down suppers from 12-20 BGN ($ 6.50-$12). A neighborhood beer will certainly set you back anything from 2BGN to 6BGN relying on where you are ($ 1.30-$ 4).
The ideal points to do in Sofia
Despite it not being as popular as various other Eastern European locations like Prague and also Budapest, the city has a great deal going all out and also there’s unlimited points to do in Sofia whatever you enjoy.
Gain some understanding right into Bulgaria’s rough past, look for pre-owned rewards at flea markets, consume your heart out at a few of my much-loved cafés from all my trips, or get away the metropolitan forest and also go out to discover an additional neighboring city. Here’s 5 of the very best points to do on your Sofia journey.
1. Learn regarding communist background
Bulgaria’s political past is something that’s still woven throughout the city, with significant head office, style, galleries and also sculptures standing for the communist age from 1946 to 1989.
Whether you’re an overall novice to communist background or all clued up and also desire to see exactly how if influenced Bulgaria especially, there’s a number of locations and also scenic tours to include to your Sofia communism course.
Coming from New Zealand, where communism’s never ever touched anywhere near our little edge of the globe and also where I went with mathematics and also scientific research courses over background, location and also national politics (geek, I understand), my understanding of Eastern Europe’s communist regimens was restricted.
First up is the Free Sofia strolling trip, which runs 3 or 4 times a day (relying on the period) and also is tip-based. Your regional trip guide will certainly take you around 20 of Sofia’s must-see places, and also you’ll obtain a suitable introduction of the background and also national politics of the city, in addition to a neighborhood’s pointers on points to do, consume and also see.
Free Sofia likewise has a day-to-day communism trip for just $11, which provides you a three-hour in- deepness go through of the city’s communist sites in addition to an understanding right into what Sofia resembled to live in throughout those 43 years.
Want extra? Consider seeing the National Historical Museum or the Museum of Socialist Art, which is residence to the significant red celebrity that rested on top of the communist celebration’s head office prior to being toppled in the late 80’s.
2. See the city’s most lovely spiritual structures
While the leading religious beliefs in Bulgaria without a doubt is Bulgarian Orthodox (at around 60%), there are some merely sensational churches, mosques, sanctuaries and also abbeys in the funding city.
Start off with one of the most legendary structure in the city, and also among the coolest structures I have actually ever before seen, Alexander NevskyCathedral This seriously outstanding Orthodox church was begun in 1882 however not complete till 30 years later on, and also it is just one of one of the most legendary sites in Bulgaria’s funding city, with a 45 m high gold-plated dome and also inside made from onyx, marble and also various other ultra-fancy products.
Other Orthodox churches that deserve a check out are St Nicholas Church (a Russian Orthodox church), the Sveti Sedmochislenitsi Church, and also Sveta Nedelya Church, which has a significant background consisting of a funeral battle in 1925 by the Communist Party where over 500 of Bulgaria’s exclusive political numbers were hurt and also 150 were eliminated.
After Eastern Orthodox, the following most usual religious beliefs is Islam, with up to 15% of the populace determining asMuslim Bulgaria was under Ottoman policy for nearly 500 years, from the late 1300 s till the Russian Empire tackled the Ottoman Empire in 1878, however after being freed many thanks to Russia’s success and after that stating self-reliance in 1908, several structures from this age were repurposed or ruined. The 16 th century Banya Bashi Mosque is the only working mosque left in Sofia, and also because of this it’s a dynamic center for the city’s Muslim neighborhood.
Ancient background followers will certainly desire to make a quit at Sveti Georgi, a 4th-century Christian church constructed by the Romans in the old city ofSerdica It’s the earliest structure in the city, and also it’s residence to some sensational frescoes going back to the 10 th century.
3. Devour all the economical food
I’m a large advocate for food preparation your very own food while taking a trip to stick within a limited budget plan, and also typically enable myself a little investing cash weekly for a dish or 2 out. Buttttt in Sofia, I ate in restaurants every dish of the entire week. Yes, I claimed every dish!
The regional food scene is not just economical, however it’s in fact seriously outstanding as well. From pastry shops where you can obtain 4 breads or savouries for the matching of EUR1, to Instagrammable breakfast places with following degree meals, to standard dining establishments providing home-style meals, I would certainly return in a 2nd essentially simply for the food.
There’s bound to be a restaurant in Sofia ideal for whatever sort of food pleases your fancy, however right here are a few of my favourites.
Bistro Pesto was my top, and also I’m not embarrassed to claim I had lunch there 4 days in a row! They’re an incredibly charming edge dining establishment close to the primary purchasing blvd, and also they offer Italian food all the time and also evening. Their panini food selection is incredible; genuine Italian active ingredients and also a Bulgarian cost. Win win!
If you’re searching for a fashionable food image (no reasoning right here), look into the breakfast food selection at Rainbow Factory orBoho I really did not make it to Rainbow Factory however my hostel friends went crazy regarding it, and also I can directly guarantee the Oreo pancake pile atBoho Mmmmhmmmm.
And for a reasonably-priced however scrumptious sit-down supper, make sure to see the tales at Shtastlivetsa, a chain dining establishment with a HUGE food selection of home-cooked dishes. Prices are not surprisingly a little bit more than the regional road food delays, however the solution is amazing, the dishes are substantial and also there are a lot of passionate Bulgarian meals to select from.
4. Head right into the hills
Sofia’s landscape is unusual in regards to European funding cities, since there’s a range of mountains so close to the city centre. The base of Vitosha Mountain is just 10 kilometres approximately from the city, and also it’s conveniently obtainable by taxi, public transportation, or strolling if you desire to make a day of it.
In summer season Vitosha is a preferred treking location, where city-dwellers get away to on weekend breaks to obtain some fresh air. The greatest top is 2290 m however there’s likewise treks around the lower fifty percent of the hill to various rivers and also falls.
During winter season, the hill is a ski hotel, ideal for any type of snow rabbits on a spending plan. Although it is substantially less-developed than various other European ski locations like Switzerland and also France, your day pass and also rental will certainly be more affordable and also your cash will certainly go way better.
As well as being an adrenaline task location, Vitosha is residence to an additional Sofia must-see and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, BoyanaChurch Boyana is an Orthodox church from the 11 th century and also is renowned for the several frescoes it houses, specifically a collection ago in 1259.
5. Take an outing
There’s some rather extraordinary locations to see and also experience beyond Sofia itself, so if you have actually obtained the moment, I would certainly advise attempting to press in an outing or 2!
My leading choice for an outing from Sofia is Plovdiv, an additional Bulgarian city and also among both 2019 European Capitals ofCulture Plovdiv is a number of hrs far from Sofia by bus, and also tickets set you back regarding ₤ 6 each method. Once you’re in the city I would certainly advise getting on a complimentary strolling trip, run by the very same organisation that run the Sofia trip. They have actually obtained a city trip everyday year-round in addition to a complimentary graffiti trip daily from October toApril And if you desire to discover on your own, do not miss out on the special coloured homes that line the roads in the old community, it’s various to every various other European old community I have actually seen!
Fancy an exercise? There’s no far better location in Bulgaria to obtain relocating than in the Seven Rila Lakes location. Seven Rila Lakes is, you presumed it, residence to 7 antarctic lakes in the Rila chain of mountains, and also all are in between 2100 m and also 2500 m of elevation. It is feasible however it is difficult to arrive on public transportation so it’s ideal to work with a cars and truck and also drive (1.5-2 hrs), or to publication an arranged day trip or shuttle. Bonus idea: Don’ t miss out on Rila Monastery, a 10 th-century Eastern Orthodox abbey and also the biggest in the nation. Well worth a check out!
And there you have it, a complete travel guide for Sofia and also past for your Bulgarian experience! Book your trip to Sofia currently with STATravel If you desire to comply with even more of my experiences you can locate me on Instagram