Hotel Zenith

81 Lyuben Karavelov Str., Sofia, 1142, Bulgaria
Hotel Zenith
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More about Sofia


The Russian Church of St NikolasThe Russian Church of St Nikolas


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Ivan Vazov National Theatre at dusk (09.2009)Ivan Vazov National Theatre at dusk (09.2009)

Forum Posts

Sofia Day trip

by chriso1969

I'm going to Sofia on the 4th september and i'm thinking of doing a day trip to either of the following cities Thesssloniki (Greece),Skopje (Macedonia) or Bucharest (Romania) and I was wondering the following
Are their train's or buses to all of the above cities?
How much would it roughly cost to get to either city?
How long it would take to either city?
Do you need visa's to get into either country?

Re: Sofia Day trip

by adasyau

I've been to Sofia (2006),Bucharest(2007) and Thessaloniki (2008). The two ex-eastern bloc capitals were similar, I think. If you are doing a day trip, Thessaloniki, a Greek city with Ottoman influence, would offer something more oriental, at least architecture-wise. Also there is a lovely sea front.

Re: Sofia Day trip

by alan1972

I think all three are too far for a day trip, I'd rather spend time exploring the many interesting places close to hand in Bulgaria - or else visit one of the other countries for long enough to enjoy them properly. But here are some more specific details:

There are trains to Bucharest, but they take about 12 hours one way. So you could only do a "day trip" if you mean a night on a train, a day in Bucharest, and a night on the return train. And frankly I don't think Bucharest is sufficiently interesting to spend all that time travelling - Romania has lots of things to see but most of them are not that close to Sofia.

There are 3 trains daily to Thessaloniki, taking between 6 and seven hours. Again, only practical as a daytrip if you travel overnight in both directions. I like Thessaloniki a lot, but not everybody does - it doesn't have many must-see attractions and it probably helps to know a bit about its history to appreciate it.

There are no direct trains to Skopje, so travel by bus is much faster. There are several buses daily, taking roughly 5 hours one way. Depending on the timetable I suppose a very long daytrip might be possible. Although I like Skopje, once again it doesn't have the sort of specific sights that would tempt me to spend 10 hours in one day on a bus to spend part of a day there.

As for visas, as always that depends on your nationality.

Re: Sofia Day trip

by qaminari

I'm not sure what you mean by "either country" since you then mention 3, but if you are Irish and not just resident in Ireland, you couldn't possibly need a visa for Greece or Romania since these, like Bulgaria, are members of the EU; and (again if you are an EU citizen) you don't need a visa for FYROM when going as a tourist.

Re: Sofia Day trip

by mirchica

Buchurest is too far from Sofia. Thessaloniki is great ,but you'll have too little time there for a day trip.I don't know you're plans - but you can stay in Bulgaria ,there are many places too see for a day. Rila Monastery is not far at all.Malnik is near the Greek border ( it's the smallest town in Bulgaria but very beautiful with lots of traditional stuf ) , Plovdiv is only on 2 hours far and it's lovely ( see my Plovdiv page ).
I don't know kuch for Skopje , so I can't help you here:)

Travel Tips for Sofia


by unaS

Please remember that tipping is acceptable and expected in Bulgaria.

Restaurants: 10 - 15%
Taxis: Round up to the nearest whole number
Hotels: 5 - 10 % Fondest Memory: So many...

The willingness of Bulgarians to accept 'others'.
The kindness of the people.
The sense of humor.
The food!!!!

hot water!

by Flamegirl

Sofia is blessed with a natural hot water supply. The first thermal baths were built by the Romans (the current building is being renovated) but across the road people can help themselves to the steaming water which pours out of these public taps.

Packing List

by conservomat

Pack as light as possible to avoid theft possibilities. Of course, this applies everywhere in the world. Bulgaria is very temperate. Hot summers, cold winters. Dress as if you were going to Denver--the climate is almost identical. And do expat Americans everywhere a favor and try not to dress in the loudest day-glo outfits you can find.
Smooth pavement is almost unknown, so wear shoes with sturdy heels/soles.
Dry cleaning is iffy at best and public laundromats do not exist. You can get just about anything you want if you're not too picky about brand names. Most medications exist here but have different names, so take enough of your own to last the trip. Feminine products are easy to find but (I'm told) are not quite top-of-the-line. Sofia's water is potable if not particularly tasty (the bottled water's fine), so decontaminizers are not necessary unless you're going camping. Everything's available but, unlike most products here, are slightly more expensive than in America. Most everything's available for rental or purchase. Electricity's 220 volt 50 Hz, so bring necessary adapters for electrical devices. Plugs are twin round prongs.

Academy of Science

by globetrott

Academy of Science was another great building we passed by on our tour through Sofia.
This building looked so much more beautiful that the average buildings in town, that were mainly grey and worn out.

Piano Bar "Camino"

by julia79 about Camino

Well, I can frankly say this is the best place in Sofia I had fun. No joking! It is not easy to walk in, because it's very hard to find a table. You can do it only if you have a reservation, so if you didn't take care of that-don't even think about going there.
The interior is amazing-all the walls are covered with pictures of famous musicians (over 250 portraits, ordered specially for "Camino") and instruments. The lighting and synchronization are really professional. You can smoke over 20 kinds of cigars Cohiba there.
The live music is very good-I can say this is the music I like. You can listen to whatever you want there-Russian music, Bulgarian music (really the good Bulgarian music), retro music, rock music, jazz... The musicians are very good and I was astonished by their talent.
Well, as you maybe guess, you'll have to pay much there, so be prepared!
Here you can see a part of the program-Stefan Iltchev is singing "Camino" Just be good looking.


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