We would recommend meeting local members of Virtual Tourist as they are most friendly and willing to assist a visitor in an instant and show you around. :)
Fondest memory: The Most Beautiful City of our Eastern Visit was Sofia and well worth the trip. A real nice guy named Peter (peter_dimov) helped us have an especially good trip in Sofia. He was a First Class host that we had met online at VirtualTourist.com :) :) He is a gentleman that deserves the very Best Thanks possible. He also had a good Friend that we call Peter II that also took us in his car to the most Beautiful monastery in existence. Peter II make all of us smile on many occasions. Words cannot describe the good time we had in Sofia. Peter arranged a Traditional Bulgarian Dinner for us that was Fabulous.
Favorite thing: its Sofia city garden closer to vitosha and downtown... itwas a typical garden with kids and parents located in vassil Levski boulevard...looks a pedestrian or not much crowded area...its just beautifull to stroll there or take a breathe sitting on a bench
the first skyscraper to br build in the balkan will be build in sofia when it is finished it will be one of the tallest building in the world in will be build by the Bulgarian Parlament in downtown sofia the building will have 100floors and it will be 400meters talll
Fondest memory: I remeber sofia in the 90"s I can belive how it changing I think sofia will soon become a city like new York.
The thing that amazed me most on all my visits to Sofia was how cheap and good the food was! For example, a lunch for two in a not-too-posh yet not-too-shabby restaurant cost less than 10$! And it is LARGE portions I am talking about here! :)
As a friend of mine said: "I like going to Sofia. Makes me feel rich"
Try to talk with locals, or, if a local approaches you, don't neccessarily run away. I met a teacher named Cyril while I was taking this photograph of the former communist party headquarters in Sofia. Cyril asked me, in perfect English 'do you want to know a funny joke about this building?' I spent the next 2 days with him exploring Sofia and learning about the history of his country. Oh, the joke in question:
Some guy cycles beside the building, then decides to stop and lean his bike beside it. A policemen notices this and yells at the man 'hey, you cannot leave that here, a high level Soviet delegation is set to arrive any moment.' 'That's ok', replied the man, 'I'll be sure to chain it up!'
Fondest memory: Cyril taking me to the market and feeding me some delicious street kebabs. Then explaining to me how the Mafia works as we sit in the beer gardens near the university.
Hang around in the parks and the beer gardens and do some people watching.
Fondest memory: Taking a tram all the way out of the centre to the concrete suburb jungle, and having o look around to these endless fields of apartment blocks. Amazing!!
Sofia's city centre is an eclectic mix of architectural styles, largely rebuilt after WWII bombings and complete with a yellow-brick boulevard. Like any other major capital city, Sofia has its problems, including drug-related crime and some of the world's nastiest drivers; however, the EU's 'beautiful Bulgaria' campaign is sprucing up historic buildings and energising old neighbourhoods. The city's compactnes and diversity make it a great place to get your bearings before heading off to discover the real Bulgaria.
The central train station is on the north side of the city centre. From the station, bulevard Marija Luiza runs south to Sveta Nedelya Cathedral, restored after a 1924 bomb attempt on Tsar Boris III in which 124 people (including most of the cabinet) were killed. The 14th-century church of St Petra Semerdjuska is nearby. The inconspicuous exterior gives no clue to the lovely frescoes in the dim, spooky nave. On the other side of the cathedral, near the National Museum of History, is Vitosha bulevard, the fashionable avenue of modern Sofia.
The eastern end of the city centre is dominated by the neo-Byzantine Alexander Nevski Church, a memorial to the 200,000 Russian soldiers who died in the fight for Bulgaria's independence. Ploschtad Batenberg to the east is dominated by the Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum. Dimitrov was prime minister of Bulgaria from 1946 until he died in 1949. Until mid-1990, when his embalmed body was cremated, the public was allowed to file reverently past the deified figure while an honour guard looked on. Across ploschtad Batenberg to the north is the Former Party House, an oppressive Stalinist construction which was sacked and partially burned by demonstrators in 1990. It subsequently served as a cinema, bazaar and disco, but now government business is once more conducted here.
Mt Vitosha, the rounded mountain which looms just 8km south of Sofia, is a popular ski resort in winter, while in summer a chairlift operates for the benefit of sightseers. Vitosha is accessible by local bus, making it an extremely popular Sunday outing for the locals, so take the trip on another day if you can.
With the demise of communist-controlled tourism, it has become much easier to find a cheap place to stay in Sofia, although foreigners still pay up to 10 times more than Bulgarians. Your best bet is one of the new private hotels springing up around the city centre, or else try one of the private room agencies which organise single and double rooms with bathrooms in people's apartments. You'll find Bulgaria's most cosmopolitan cuisine in Sofia, though it also has the country's widest range of greasy American belly-glop. The best places to look out for are mehanas, tavern-style traditional restaurants, usually very cheap, and serving traditional Bulgarian food until late.
Favorite thing: The central post office thise picture was taken in 2001 now the office building on the left has been complete.
Favorite thing: Brand new business Center across the bulevard from the Italian embassie new building live thise one and biger one are poping up every day in sofia.
Favorite thing: thise is Mobiltel or mtel main building it where my friend works at. the company is Bulgaria biggest gsm operator with some 3million subscrabers.
Walk through on of Sofia's big park during Fall and watch all the wonderfull colors.
It can get busy at times, but I almost always had them very empty and had very pleasant walks in them.