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Sofia

Sofia
Fly with Austrian Airlines to Sofia, capital of Bulgaria and an up-and-coming tourist destination on the Balkans. Sofia is the largest city in Bulgaria and has a lot of history under its belt. Neolithic settlers lived here about 8000 b.c., the Greek and the Romans conquered the Thracian city Serdica, the ancient predecessor of Sofia. The oldest building of Sofia today is a Roman church from the 4th century. In stark contrast, the National Palace of Culture is a great example for socialist era architecture. The mighty Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is the second biggest Eastern Orthodox Church in the world and certainly worth a visit. Sofia is surrounded by mountains, where hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter is possible. The Vitosha Mountain, a national park and great snow resort, is a favourite destination for the locals.

The city itself boast great parks and gardens to get a rest from the daily hustle, like the grand Borisova gradina, the oldest park in Sofia, or the Sofia University%s Botanic Garden. Try the unique Bulgarian cuisine, a blend of Greek, Balkan and Turkish traditions. The hearty food will give you the lining for a night out in the lively club and music scene of Sofia. Dance to the fast and folky Bulgarian version of the Balkan Beat and party with the locals until the sun comes up over the mountains around Sofia.

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Worth knowing

Bulgaria
  • Currency: Bulgarian lev(BGN)
  • Language: Bulgarian
  • Capital: Sofia
  • Austrian flight destination: Sofia, Varna
Airport
  • Sofia Airport (SOF): The airport is located 10 km (6 miles) east of Sofia.
  • Address: 1 Hristofor Columb Blvd, Sofia 1540, Bulgaria
  • Telephone: (359) (02) 937 2211
  • Airport Sofia You will be directed to a possibly non-accessible site. Take care. Be careful.


What to see in Sofia

What to see in Sofia
National Theatre
The National Theatre is a jewel in the centre of Sofia, and the locals are rightfully proud of it. Even the Austrians can take some credit for its glory. The architects Helmer & Fellner, professionals for theatre buildings, were hired from Vienna. The opening took place in 1907, and only later the theatre was named after the great Bulgarian writer Ivan Vazov. Just as many other great theatres this one wasn't spared the bad fate - in 1923 a fire broke out, and World War II destroyed large parts of the house. Yet it was rebuilt over again, grander than before. Today it provides space for about 1,000 spectators. Not only are the performances great, the façade is a feast for the eyes. It's 40 metres high and is supported by six marble columns ornamented with Apollo and the Muses.
Nevski Cathedral
Sofia Synagogue

Where to stay in Sofia

Where to stay in Sofia
Grand Hotel Sofia
There is none more classic. More luxurious neither. The Grand Hotel is one of the most renowned hotels in Sofia, and at a prime location: Just go outside for a bit. You are near the National Theatre, the City Art Gallery, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the great Concert Hall. The VIPs who go here do this less because of the location but because of the stars. The Grand Hotel is graced by five of them, and each one of them stands for pure luxury. The façade is imposing with its marble, granite and glass. Inside you have sumptuous curtains, classy and old-fashioned upholstery and colourful glass doors. Thus it's no surprise that the Grand Hotel also features a museum: The in-house collection has over 400 oil paintings. Originals, of course. Doubles start at 79,- euros a night.
Radisson Blu
Les Fleurs

Where to shop in Sofia

Where to shop in Sofia
Maxido Shop
Souvenir hunters will find their luck in the most varied corners of the city, but in the Maxido Shop everything is at one spot. Icons, bronze statues, paintings and crystal art - a little bit of kitsch doesn't hurt. Aside from that there is a good choice of newspapers, maps and postcards. Much of it is rather quirky, other stuff is charming, some rather helpful. Smell some of the rose oils, try Bulgarian natural cosmetics, admire traditional dolls? Rummage, find and buy. Tip: The shop is located directly inside the Hilton Hotel. If you feel like it you can also take a look into the KULT shop next door. It reminds one a bit of the wild mix of duty-free shops, yet it may harbour one or the other jewel.
Vitosha Boulevard
CCS

Where to eat in Sofia

Where to eat in Sofia
Olive's
While sitting here you keep wondering how to describe the interior design: Just sparing or already Spartan? While still wondering you realize that, despite rather plain chairs and tables, it's far too cosy for the latter. Moreover, anybody steady enough will find some quirky and nice details that a Spartan wouldn't have thought of, for example to plaster a wall with crazy signs. Or to paint the formerly dark wood panelling olive-green, turning it into a retro eye-catcher.  The trendy in Sofia like the place and flock to it. They like the combination of good cuisine and reasonable prices, including Italian pizza, American onion rings and Bulgarian herdsmen salad. By the way, waiting for the waiter isn't a nuisance here: The menu is designed like a newspaper and tells you all sorts of interesting stories about the drinks and dishes.
Captain Cook
Tiffany Club

Top Questions

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