Shake your head to say yes to Sofia
Sofia is the capital city and largest urban area of Bulgaria. A number of ancient Roman and Byzantine buildings have been preserved in the city and its surroundings. The city is also known for many mineral springs, and the vicinity of Vitosha Mountain - with a ski-resort and national park - makes the city interesting all-year-round holiday resort.
Attractions and things to do
Boyana Church with 13th century frescoes. The church is on the UNESCO´s world heritage list.
Church of St .Sofia.
Church of St. George.
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, one of the largest Eastern Orthodox churches in the world, and a prime example of Neo-Byzantine architecture.
Sofia Public Mineral Baths, designed in the Vienna Secession style.
National Museum of History.
Excursion to the surroundings:
Vitosha mountain. A national park, hiking, alpinism and skiing (Aleko resort and Konyarnika-Vetrovala); scenic spots along the Vladayska River, mineral springs in Knyazhevo, and Dragalevski Monastir. There are chair lifts to the three main entrances to the mountain, and the area has good facilities for tourism.
Rilski Manastir, Bulgaria's most famous monastery, situated in the Rila Massiv (1.5 hours of drive)
For travelers and visitors, there is no shortage of budget, mid-range, or splurge accommodation options in Sofia.
Sofia has a vibrant nightlife with various night clubs, restaurants, pubs, and mehani - Bulgarian traditional taverns. The most famous night clubs are Yalta Club and Chervilo.
Vitosha Boulevard, also called Vitoshka, with numerous fashion boutiques and luxury goods stores, has been ranked as the world's 22nd most expensive commercial street. The modern TZUM mall and Mall of Sofia with about 160 stores is another option for shopping in elegant milieu. A historic Central Sofia Market Hall (situated on Marie Louise Boulevard), built in 1911, is now renovated and attracts with variety of boutiques and food stands.
Getting here and getting around
Sofia Airport (SOF) has two terminals, a few kilometers apart. There are several European destinations available, many of them are travelled by low-budget carriers. Transfer from the airport to the city: bus number 84 (from terminal 1), minibus, or taxi (OK Supertrans).
Sofia is the hub of international railway and highway routes from Western Europe to Istanbul via Belgrade, from Greece and Macedonia to the CIS. The Main Railway Station is located in the centre of the city. The modern bus station is just nearby.
The public transport system includes trams, trolleybuses, busses, shared minivan taxis called Marshrutka, and one newly constructed underground line.
One of the oldest cities in Europe, the history of Serdica-Sredets-Sofia can be traced back to the 5000 b. C. It was at first a Thracian settlement called Serdica. Later came Romans, and Serdica became the capital of Dacia Mediterranea. Sofia grew in importance thanks to its central position in the Balkans. It was one of the first Roman cities that recognize Christianity.
Sofia grew in importance while it was a part of First Bulgarian Empire - now called by its Bulgarian name Sredets - and in 12th century become a thriving centre of trade and crafts. In the end of 14th century it was seized by Ottoman Empire, and declined during its rule. When the Empire fell, the city, now known as Sofia, in 1879 became the capital of autonomous Principality of Bulgaria, which became the Kingdom of Bulgaria in 1908.
Allied with Germany during WWII, Sofia was bombed 1943/44, and occupied later by Soviet army. In consequence, Bulgaria became a communist satellite state until the fall of Soviet Union in 1989. While being the capital of Socialist Republic of Bulgaria, Sofia experienced extended industrialization and significant population growth.
Climate & weather
Humid continental climate, characterized by high temperature amplitudes. August is the hottest month (with average temperature 26°C/78°F), January the coldest (average -4°C/25°F).
Currency: Lev (BGN)
Time zone: UTC (GMT) +2. Daytime saving time (DST) is observed.