First stop on this trip was Sofia, the capital city of Bulgaria. I didn’t really know what to expect from this city actually. I did not do a lot of research and thought to just go and explore the city.
The first night was not very pleasant though. I booked this hostel which was quite dirty and in front of the building was a construction site where the construction workers would go on till 2 o clock in the morning. Besides that, the location was not very safe as well.
So in the morning I found another hostel and from there on, my experience in this city was great!
Sofia couldn’t be called a beautiful city, but it sure has a nice atmosphere if you now the right places. Because of it’s (communist) history, the city is full of flat apartments. But there are also some older buildings to be found which are more beautiful.
The city also has a lot of parks and most local people live in these parks during the day. Meeting friends, relax or have some food and drinks, also called bench meetings by the locals.
Very interesting to see are the communist monuments. There are some in the park where the palace of culture is located for example. These are quite small in comparison with the monuments outside of Sofia, but still it are interesting to see.
When you are a vegetarian, the Balkan region is a great place to eat. Even in the first restaurant where I went there was a lot of choice for the non- meat eater.
When I arrived at the second hostel, I got this nice cartoon map of Sofia with all kinds of good tips to see and do. There were also two veggie restaurants marked on it, so I thought to give both a try. It turned out that one of them had summer holiday, so I couldn’t try it. But the other one was great and I think I went there 5 or 6 times.
Just some examples of what you can eat there. Things like salads (with mango fries!), oven baked goat cheese with berry sauce and traditional small salads with bread. Yum!
It is called Sun/Moon and directions can be found on the cartoon map, which is available at hostels and bookstores in the city.
Because I was traveling alone, I didn’t feel like to be all by myself all the time, so I decided to join some pub crawls in the city. There need to be four people in total to get an official pub crawl. The first time I was with two other guys from England, so we missed one person. That meant that we got to see only one place to have a drink. To me It didn’t matter, because they took us to one of the coolest places I have ever been to. It’s called the Apartment and basically exists of one big house. The place is bought by a Bulgarian/American guy who wanted to have a multicultural place where people can hang out. All the rooms have a different theme and a kitchen where you can just walk in and order a drink or a snack. There is also a room where there are all kinds of indie films shown, and I would love to go see one next time!
When I went to the second pub crawl, I ended up the only one. But I already knew one of the guides from last time, so they took me to some kind of market (in the Netherlands we would call it a braderie), which was very nice actually! There was a lindy hop dance contest from lindy hop.bg and I even learned some basic steps. So cool. (:
I still didn’t experience a real pub crawl, so I decided to go one more time. More people showed up, so finally a real pub crawl could take place.
We went to different places. A park (because that’s the thing to do in Sofia, the Apartment, some strange underground western like place with only candles, the art hostel where I stayed and the last place…WelI, don’t know what it was, but is was fun!
A really nice way to meet people and have a drink.
During this Citytrip, I stayed a couple of nights at the Art Hostel.
This is a really great hostel with a nice garden where you can have a drink and just relax. Out of the three hostels I stayed, this was definitely the best!
Sofia is to me the proof that cities do not need to be big and have a lot of tourist attractions. If you want to take it easy and enjoy a nice atmosphere, Sofia would be a good choice!