Nightlife in Sofia is something that is posed as a challenge to me as far as description goes. Feeling the atmosphere and the lifestyle of people is the only way that you can truly know what I am talking about. The absolute hangout during the summer, after dark is the cafes in front of the National Palace of Culture. It becomes like an enormous party in the open, when they have some kind of concert, or show organized, but even when they don't have one, so many gather there to have fun. Otherwise, there are plenty of clubs that are worth visiting. It depends what kind of music you like. For Disco and Techno - Club Escape on Angel Kanchev street (not far from KFC on Graf Ignatiev street).
6 Karnigradska Str., 12:30-00:30
One of my favourite... Not big choice of beer but great meals and nice atmosphere... This is the place where many football fans (mainly foreigners) gather to watch the big football games.
The Fox&Hound bar&restaurant
34 Angel Kanchev tr., 10:00 - 24:00
The Irish Harp
7 Sveta Sofia Str., 10:00 - 24:00
For me it is really hard to find a really good nightlife place in Sofia because I don't smoke and I can hardly breath in most pubs and discos. Nevertheless, a good place I've been lately is Enigma - excellent food and a very good party. More info at http://zavedenia.netinfo.bg/rest.phtml?rid=4200&lng=EN
Despite economic hardship and high unemployment, Sofians love to go out and party. Day and night, the countless bars and cafés throughout the city are heaving, a fact that never fails to amaze foreign visitors. Unfortunately, the public transport system shuts down completely from 0100-0500. However, to illustrate just how night-orientated the city is, it is worth noting that a number of restaurants work 24 hours, the best ones in the centre being La Gondola at 16 Vitosha Boulevard, Europe at 35 Alabin Ulica and Breza at 45 Nikola Petrov Ulica. There are also several 24-hour shops.
The biggest concentration of bars and cafés lies to either side of Vitosha Boulevard. Irish pubs have hit Bulgaria and, as always, pull a mixed clientele of locals and ex-pats. Bars are busy until midnight after which people move on to nightclubs, which are fairly dispersed through out town. Heavily frowned upon during Communist times, homosexuality is gradually becoming tolerated and it is now quite cool to be gay. Check the English-language weekly Sofia Echo (website: www.sofiaecho.com) and the monthly Sofia City Info Guide for 'what's on'.
The absence of licensing laws means that drinking is possible at all hours. Most bars and cafés stay open until midnight. While locally produced wine and rakiya are excellent and reasonably priced, it is currently fashionable to drink imported beers and spirits, which tend to be expensive. Cigarettes are cheap (tobacco is one of Bulgaria's main exports), so don't expect smoke-free bars. Nightclub admission is cheap, on average Lv3. Sofians are open-minded when it comes to dress sense, although some clubs only allow admission once a glamorous woman (with two big bouncers behind her) has checked you out.
Bars: Black Label in the Military Club at 8 Tsar Osvoboditel Boulevard is a classy low-lit bar with a stunning choice of whiskies and bourbons, open until 0500. Café-bar 703 at 24 Tsar Shishman Ulica, is a cosy mellow bar, attracting young professionals. J J Murphy's, 6 Karnigradska Ulica, one block west of Vitosha Boulevard, is a busy Irish pub serving good food, popular with Bulgarians and ex-pats alike. Beer Hall Schweik, 1A Vitosha Boulevard, is a pseudo-Czech beer hall serving imported beers and food.
Casinos: Casino Princess, in the Hotel Princess at 31 Maria Louisa Boulevard, claims to be Bulgaria's biggest casino. The luxurious International Casino Club Sofia is situated within the Sheraton Hotel at 5 Ploshtad Sveta Nedelya. Both require a passport for entry (minimum age 18 years) but do not operate a dress code.
Clubs: Sofia's clubs play music ranging from techno to jazz, rock to salsa. Chervilo, in the Military Club at 8 Tsar Osvoboditel Boulevard, is smart and 'in'. The candle-lit bar, open throughout the week, offers a mildly sleazy atmosphere with dark wooden furniture and red velvet upholstery. The disco opens Wednesday (Latino night - salsa lessons and sangria), Friday and Saturday (techno). Spartakus, in the underpass in front of Sofia University, between Vassil Levski Boulevard and Tsar Osvoboditel Boulevard, started out as the city's first gay club. It now attracts a mixed, young and trendy clientele. Swinging Hall at 8 Dragan Tsankov Boulevard, close to the Vassil Levski Stadium, is popular with visitors. There are live rock and pop concerts and imported drinks at western prices. Escape, 1 Angel Kanchev Ulica, occupies three floors, with different music on each level.
Live music: For a true Balkan experience, spend the evening at a restaurant with live Bulgarian folk music. The best are Chevermeto at 106 Maria Lousi Boulevard; Boyansko Hanche at 1962 Boyana Residential Area, Sorishte; and Vodenitzata, set in an old mill in the Dragalevtzi district, close to the chairlift. All three are done out in typical rustic folksy style.
Jazz lovers should visit Bourbon Street, 114 Vassil Levski Boulevard, where live jazz, blues and rock'n'roll concerts are hosted. Backstage, at 100 Vassil Levski Boulevard, offers a range of live music each night of the week.
By Columbus World City Guide
There are many good places to have a party in Sofia, my favourites are: Karamba, Biblioteka and Cucharacha.
Karamba is a latin club, so no bulgarian music here, but the atmosphere here is great, everybody is happy and dancing.
Biblioteka is a bar dancing where local bands play often (like D2), and the bands are good. On saturdays it will be full and lot's of fun.
Cucharacha is a nice bar where also bands are playing, for the men: lot's of women here when I was there ;)
There are too many nightlife spots.
Some of them are Mr Punch,Indigo,Imperial,Aligator,
Bibliotekata,Cutty Sark and many more.
Oh,they are really very nice and the music is wonderfull,you can also meet more people.
8,Dragan Tzankov Blvd,
Tel. 963 06 96
(from 10 pm)
10, Lege St.,
Tel. 808 272
24A, Shandor Petiofi St.,
Tel. 543 326
8 pm - 5 am)
In the underpass at the crossing of
V. Levski Blvd and Rakovski St.,
Tel. 871 620
(7pm - 2am)
6, Ivan Asen II St.,
Tel. 946 13 77