Upon leaving a nightclub near the city center at around 02:00 with my Bulgarian girlfriend a young man about 20 aproached us he said somthing in Bulgarian( I dont speak it) my girlfriend shouted at me to give him my wallet, at this point he waved a large kitchin knife in my face.NOTE unless you are trained in unarmed combat just give him your wallet.I am so I held out my wallet as he reached out to take it I droped it he fell for the oldest trick in the book, a kick to the groin,a knee in the face and a very hard blow to the back of the neck one wouldbe mugger out of action I retrived my wallet and left.I think that is one mugger that wont try to rob anouther Brit
PLEASE NEVER DEAL WITH ANY MONEY EXCHANGE SHOP WHO WILL STEAL YOUR MONEY OR GIVE U FAKE 2 OR3 PAPERS IN BETWEEN THE MONEY. OR INDIVIDUAL PEOPLE IN THE STREETS WHO WILL KNOW THAT U R A VISITOR & TRY TO CONVINCE U THAT THEY HAVE BETTER PRICES
............BANKS ONLY............................... (EVEN IF THEY GIVE YOU A BIT LESS) I HAD A TERRIBLE EXPERIENCE AND THE POLICE IS OF NO USE
At night wild dogs are coming from the Park of Freedom in the center streets looking for food around thrash containers. They wave tails and follow you for some time,keeping you company. They will not attack you if you are friendly or just ignore them.
I came out of a club, ok i was drunk, who would not be on such cheap beer, less than 1 dollar a bottle of Heineken.
Anyway i must of been seen splashing the cash, drinking like a fish and giving the waiters hansom tips.
Whilst leaving the club, i must of been followed, i played into the hands of these muggers as i went down some alley to do a pee. I was then confronted by three guys in their 20-30's. Speaking to me in Bulgarian, i had not idea what they said, next thing, i was on the floor, being continuously kicked in the head. Got up and found that the wallett had gone. Luckily i had no cash in it, i had it all in my jean pocket for some reason!
I did however lose the drivers license and bank cards and a few other bits and pieces, which are a nuisence to replace.
The police saw me clearly upset walking around town, They took me to the police station and took details, but it was as expected of little use.
The therory of the story, mind your back, dont flash the cash, like i was an idiot to do!
Not saying going out alone is not wise, but take little cash and try not to go down alleys and off the beaten track!
Sofia is relatively safe but if you are foreign and new it is always advisable to take extra caution, particularly in the following areas:
The underpass to the station is an exceptionally unpleasant place. Thieves attempt to steal purses and bags; homeless children sniff glue and beg; swindlers prey on foreigners. There is a police presence but it is concentrated up in the waiting area and on the platforms.
Sveta nedelya Underpass
The underpass with its souvenir stalls and Sveta Nedelya Square in general are notorious for pickpockets.
Pickpockets often spot you and follow you onto a bus or tram, to pounce in the ensuing confusion and bustle inside. They've now caught up with their counterparts in other parts of Southern Europe who slash your bag unnoticed. Try carrying your money on your body.
Red-light districts Two infamous red-light districts are those around the Pliska Hotel (on the road to the airport) and near the central station, but looking for a prostitute here could get you into a lot of trouble: very few, if any, prostitutes bother with AIDS tests or safe sex. You could also be drugged and robbed. Around Lion’s Bridge (Lvov Most) pimps offer the services of their prostitutes in the small hotels on Maria Luiza Blvd.
Steer clear of parks late at night - they generally are not illuminated by street lamps, which is tempting for muggers as well as street dogs.
An average cab fare in the city is 2-4 lev. Anything more is a rip off for a tourist - one cabbie tried to charge us 30 lev for a trip that had cost us 2 lev the other way! Take the 1280 or 'OK' taxis - they don't scam you!
on my last day,I decided to go to the airport by foot from downtown because I had a lot of time left;it was about 8 kms,BUT just after the end of the city,I was harrassed all my way by violent dogs;what a fear!!!
In Sofia there is heavy traffic recently and there are very often traffic jams around the center. And beware - some drivers can be a danger.