Orientation in Sofia when driving, Sofia
Yes, Sofia is a big city and has all the advantages and shortcomings of the large towns - it is busy and full of live, noisy and dynamic, crowded and so huge, maybe a little more dirty and still with lots of nice gardens and parks. But if I am to give you some useful advises I can tell you this:
1. Never take too much money with you when you go out and the best thing is to use credit cards - major credit cards like VISA, Mastercard, Diners Club, American Express, Carte Blanche, Balkanamericard, Eurocard, etc. are accepted and can be used for the payment of all standard services: hotel accommodation, restaurants, night spots, shopping, car rentals, plane tickets, etc.
2. Traffic jams are something typical for the center of the city so simply WALK, WALK, WALK :0) And in case you need taxi travel with the Sofia Airport taxi cabs or use the services of the large taxi companies INEX - tel.91919, ES EXPRESS - 1280, Okay - 2121, Yes Taxi - 91119 etc. because private taxies operate with higher fares. Foreign currency is often accepted at the rate of exchange for the day. And if you use the public transport you must buy thickets in advance from special kiosks and you must punch them inside the vehicle or you will have to pay a fine.
3. Do not exchange money on streets or outside banks despite of the advantageous rate offered. The danger of deception is considerable!
I've passed through Sofia by night, on my way back to Romania from Greece - we were driving a minivan and we were fearless :-) However, road and driving signs would be sublime in Sofia (and generally in Bulgaria), should they not be completely missing! Or confusing! Decided to get some help from locals inorder to find the city exit to the north. Asked a taxi driver and he began to give us what seemed to be fully detailed indications. Only they proved to be wrong, as we were sent in the exactly opposite direction.
My advice: if you are just passing through the city and do not intend to visit, better avoid it and try to find the ring road. Find yourself a good detailed map. And trust your lucky star to guide you!!!