A weekend away in Sofia, Bulgaria
I’ve noticed a strange thing when it comes to visiting neighbouring countries – I rarely did. I grew 150 km from the border with Moldova and Ukraine and I’ve never been over. I’ve made it to the other side of the country to check out parts of Serbia and Hungary, but similarly I’ve never been to Bulgaria. Until this summer, that is. Pam pam!
What a good idea Sofia is!
I had no expectations or stereotypes in my head so Sofia had a clean slate to impress or disappoint. And impressed me it did! The weather was gorgeous, the city center compact and walkable, the food absolutely delicious and the cocktails big sized.
Wanna head down (or up) to Sofia? Here’s my top 3 things to do to fully enjoy this awesome Eastern European destination.
Well done, Bulgaria. The food was tasty, affordable and surprising. Seafood felt fresh, although the seaside is 5 hours away from the capital. The veggies were tasty and the meat extra tender. The wine is decent, too. Not really able to remember the name of the dishes other than “omg, so good”, but you can take a look here and imagine the madness.
No food here, but if you head to Cafe Memento on a Friday night, you’ll dance the night away on latin music and shake your hips on some very cool African beats. The G&T are as big as my head, FYI.
Free Walking Tour Sofia
The city center of Sofia is very compact and easy to walk around. If you want to make any sense of the many churches, the mosque and the synagogue being really close to each other or if you want to hear the story of how Bulgaria saved 15000 Jews during the WWII, go check out the Free Walking Tour. They meet at 10, 11 and 6 pm in front of the National Justice Palace.
Go up the Vitosha Mountain
As you’ll be walking from cafe to cafe, from bar to bar or from church to church, you’ll notice the mountains are very close by to the city. There’s a simple way to get to the Vitosha Mountain and do a 2 hour hike to the top. I would have loved to do it, but my easy going summer sandals were not up for the challenge. I read here how to make it to the top by public transportation.
[extra] Chill in Sofia’s parks
Any parks, really. Drinking alcohol in public is not legal, but everybody does it. So don’t overdo it, but follow the locals. Sofia has such a good positive vibe. It relaxes you, it makes you smile and it’s a great destination for a weekend away.
If you have more than a weekend, I’ve read about a great trip to visit Plovdiv or Rila Monastery, yay for going outside the capital. Have you been to Bulgaria? Did you love it?