Germany
Login

Unable to login to the Travel Guide. Please go to our homepage to login.

Homepage
Sofia, Bulgarien, Lufthansa, Travel Guide, Travelguide
Sort by category
  • Gut zu wissen
  • Entdecken
  • Genießen
  • Angebote
  • Offers
  • Discover
  • Enjoy
  • Good to know

City map

Quick view

Sofia, Bulgarien, Lufthansa, Travel Guide, Travelguide

Top 10 sights

Ivan-Vasov National Theatre, Sofia, Bulgarien, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Travel Guide

Bulgaria
General Information

Bulgarien, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Travel Guide

Nightlife

Stadtführer, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Nachtleben, Nightlife

Restaurants

Stadtführer, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Restaurants

Calendar of events

Hotel recommendations

Partner offers from

Weather & best time to visit

52°
Friday, 19.09.2014
06:00

Phone calls & Internet

Telefonieren & Internet, Stadtführer, Lufthansa, Travelguide

Shopping in Sofia

Stadtführer, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Shopping, Einkaufen

Travel etiquette
How to fit in

Stadtführer, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Reise-Etikette, verhalten, Benehmen

Health

Gesundheit, Vorsorge, Risiken vorbeugen, Stadtführer, Lufthansa, Travelguide
Good to know
City map Sofia
Points of interest: Your selected categories
    Show all
    Good to know
    Sofia – a brief overview

    Sofia is both a young-at-heart, steadily evolving city, and one of Europe’s oldest metropolises, with a history stretching back 7,000 years. A quarter of a century on from the fall of Communism, Bulgaria’s capital brings together an architectural mix of ancient Orthodox churches and modern tower blocks, with a healthy added dose of ex-Soviet bombast thrown in.

    While it cannot boast the stunning splendour of Budapest or Prague, Sofia’s wide cobblestone avenues plied by rattling trolley buses and trams bring the city a charm all of its own. And how many other major cities can claim a popular ski resort as a suburb?

    Flight and accommodation

    Discover
    Top 10 sights in Sofia
    ListMap
    Sofia, Bulgarien, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Travel Guide

    Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

    pl. Alexander Nevski
    1000 Sofia
    Bulgaria
    Tel: (02) 988 1704
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0700-1800

    Completed in the early 20th century as a memorial to Russian soldiers who died in the Russo-Turkish War of Liberation, this huge neo-Byzantine building dominates the city centre and is one of the world’s largest Orthodox churches.

    Ivan Vazov National Theatre

    Deacon Ignatius' 5
    1000 Sofia
    Bulgaria
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Various

    This neoclassical theatre is one of the finest buildings in the city, and enjoys an impressive setting opposite the City Gardens. It opened in 1907 and was designed by Viennese architects.

    Mount Vitosha

    Mount Vitosha
    Sofia
    Bulgaria
    Show on map

    Vitosha mountain rises to 2,300m, yet is only 6km from the city centre. Visible from most of Sofia, it is popular with hikers in summer, and transforms into a ski resort in winter. A cable car will take you up to 1,800m.

    Boyana Church

    ul. Boyansko Ezero 1-3
    1616 Sofia
    Bulgaria
    Tel: (02) 959 0939
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0930-1730 (Apr-Oct)
    0930-1700 (Nov-Mar)

    This fascinating Orthodox church, in a southern suburb on the slopes of Mount Vitosha, was originally constructed in the 10th century. It contains 89 fabulous frescoes, most of them painted by one man in 1259.

    National Museum of History

    ul. Vitoshko Lale 16
    1618 Sofia
    Bulgaria
    Tel: (02) 955 4280
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0930-1800 (Apr-Oct)
    0900-1730 (Nov-Mar)

    South of the centre, this monolithic concrete building tells the nation’s story from prehistory to modern times. It is also a monument to the Communist era, and was a former palace for party cadres.

    National Museum of Military History

    ul. Cherkovna 92
    1505 Sofia
    Bulgaria
    Tel: (02) 946 1805
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Wed-Sun 1000-1800

    A museum for more than a century, this building details the complicated history of both Bulgarian and European military affairs.

    St George Rotunda

    5 Sveta Nedelya Square
    1000 Sofia
    Bulgaria
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Various

    Now enclosed and hidden in the courtyard of the Presidency and Sheraton Hotels, charming red-brick St George was originally built by the Romans in the fourth century, and is still used as a church.

    National Institute of Archaeology & Museum

    2 Saborna Str.
    1000 Sofia
    Bulgaria
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 1000-1800

    This fascinating museum covers the story of all the tribes and peoples who have occupied what is now Bulgaria from the ancient past until the emergence of the present-day nation.

    St Sofia Church

    Ulitsa Paris 2
    Sofia
    Bulgaria
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0700-1900 (Apr-Oct)
    0700-1800 (Nov-Mar)

    Byzantine St Sofia was built in the sixth century on the site of a Roman theatre and several earlier churches. The second oldest existing place of worship in the city also served time as a mosque during the time of the Ottoman Empire.

    Ethnographic Institute with Museum

    1, Prince Alexander I Sqr
    1000 Sofia
    Bulgaria
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Sun 1000-1730

    Located in a former royal palace, this museum celebrates Bulgaria’s cultural heritage.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know
    Country information

    Country overview

    Bulgaria’s spectacular mountains, swathe of golden beaches and vibrant cities have begun attracting hordes of eager-eyed tourists over

    the past few years – a dramatic change to how the country was a mere 10 years ago.

    Geography

    Bulgaria is situated in Eastern Europe and bordered to the north by the River Danube and Romania, to the east by the Black Sea, to the south by Turkey and Greece and to the west by Serbia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The Balkan Mountains cross the country reaching to the edge of the Black Sea and its golden beaches. The land is heavily cultivated, covered with forests and crossed by rivers.

    Although Bulgaria lies in the very southeast corner of Europe, the climate is never extreme in summer, even on the red-earthed plains of Southern Thrace. The Black Sea resorts have some of the largest beaches in Europe and offer sunbathing from May until October, while in winter heavy falls of snow are virtually guaranteed in the mountain ski resorts.

    General knowledge

    Key facts

    Population: 6981642

    Population Density (per sq km): 63

    Capital: Sofia.

    Language

    Bulgarian is the official language and the Cyrillic alphabet is used – Bulgaria is the only EU nation to use it. Turkish and Macedonian are amongst the minority languages. English, German, French and Russian are spoken in major tourist resorts and hotels.

    Currency

    Lev (BGN; symbol лв) = 100 stotinki. Notes are in denominations of лв100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1. Coins are in denominations of лв1 and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 stotinki.

    Note: (a) The Lev is tied to the Euro at a fixed rate; €1 = лв1.955. (b) Notes dated 1997 and earlier are now out of circulation.

    Electricity

    220-240 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs are two-pin.

    General business opening hours

    Mon-Fri 0900-1730.

    Public holidays

    Below are listed Public Holidays for the January 2014-December 2015 period.

    2014

    New Year’s Day: 01. January 2014
    National Day (Day of Liberation): 03. March 2014
    Orthodox Easter: 18. April 2014
    Labour Day: 01. May 2014
    St George’s Day (Day of Bulgarian Army): 06. May 2014
    St Cyril and Methodius Day (Day of Culture and Literacy): 24. May 2014
    Unification Day: 06. September 2014
    Independence Day: 22. September 2014
    Day of the Bulgarian Revival Leaders: 03. November 2014
    Christmas Eve: 24. December 2014
    Christmas: 25. December 2014
    New Year’s Eve: 31. December 2015

    2015

    New Year’s Day: 01. January 2015
    National Day (Day of Liberation): 03. March 2015
    Orthodox Easter: 10. April 2015
    Labour Day: 01. May 2015
    St George’s Day (Day of Bulgarian Army): 06. May 2015
    St Cyril and Methodius Day (Day of Culture and Literacy): 24. May 2015
    Unification Day: 06. September 2015
    Independence Day: 22. September 2015
    Day of the Bulgarian Revival Leaders: 01. November 2015
    Christmas Eve: 24. December 2015
    Christmas: 25. December 2015
    New Year’s Eve: 31. December 2015

    Flight and accommodation

    Enjoy
    Nightlife in Sofia
    ListMap

    It has been said that Sofia has a bar on every corner. There are also plenty of nightclubs; most of the latter are sleek

    and chic, but be aware that some aim at the seedier end of the market.

    Sense Hotel Rooftop Bar

    16 Tsar Osvoboditel Blvd
    1000 Sofia
    Bulgaria
    Tel: +359 700 20 670
    Show on map

    Offering great views of the city, this is the perfect place for an alfresco aperitif.

    Dada Cultural Bar

    Ulitsa Georgi Benkovski 10
    Sofia
    Bulgaria‎
    Tel: +359 87 706 2455
    Show on map

    Small arty bar that also hosts regular cultural events. The paintings on the walls are for sale.

    Cosmo Club

    Positano 8
    Sofia
    Bulgaria
    Tel: +359 89 349 1500
    Show on map

    Hip dance venue attracting star DJs from across the region and beyond.

    Memento Bar

    Ulitsa Georgi. S. Rakovski 106
    1000 Sofia
    Bulgaria
    Tel: +359 88 242 2928
    Show on map

    Coffee bar by day, this transforms into a cocktail lounge and music club most evenings.

    Nationaloper und -ballett

    30 Dondukov Blvd, ulitsa "Vrabcha"
    1000 Sofia
    Bulgaria
    Tel: +359 2 987 7011
    Show on map

    Opera and ballet on a very high level at an unbeatable price.

    Flight and accommodation

    Enjoy
    Restaurants in Sofia
    ListMap

    The city centre is packed with restaurants and cafés. Many offer excellent lunchtime deals. National Bulgarian cuisine

    usually revolves around grilled meats and salad, washed down with local firewater, rakiya.

    La Terrazza di Serdica

    Budapeshta Str. 2
    Sofia
    Bulgaria
    Tel: +359 2 810 7799
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    Upmarket Italian and Mediterranean cuisine served in a 5-star hotel.

    L’Etranger

    Ulitsa "Tsar Simeon" 78
    1204 Sofia
    Bulgaria
    Tel: +359 2 983 1417
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    Classic French cuisine served in an authentic Parisian-style bistro.

    Hadjidraganov's Cellars

    Hristo Belchev Str. 18
    1000 Sofia
    Bulgaria
    Tel: +359 2 981 81 48
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    Stone-walled traditional tavern serving grilled meats in large quantities, with wooden barrels on the walls and live folk music.

    Lavanda

    Ulitsa Tsar Shishman 12
    1000 Sofia
    Bulgaria
    Tel: +359 88 224 9740 ‎
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    Intimate restaurant serving modern European cuisine – enter through the garden and head upstairs.

    Catch’ A Mak

    Ulitsa Neofit Rilski 62
    1000 Sofia
    Bulgaria
    Tel: +359 89 012 1012
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    Budget diner serving an eclectic range of international dishes at low prices.

    Flight and accommodation

    Discover
    Calendar of events

    St Trifon's Day

    14 February 2015

    Venue: Villages outside Sofia.

    A vine-growing and wine-making festival, where the men set out to prune the vines while the women bake festive loaves and roast chicken. At the end of the day, everyone gathers among the vines to eat, drink, sing and dance.

    Sofia International Film Festival

    6 – 30 March 2015
    Website

    Venue: Sofia cinemas.

    The festival, which has been Bulgaria’s main international film event since 1997, is a ten-day showcase of films from around the world.

    Orthodox Easter

    12 April 2015

    Venue: Orthodox churches throughout Bulgaria.

    The predominant religion in Bulgaria is the version of Catholicism that has survived since earliest times in Eastern Europe – the Orthodox Church. Usually celebrated on a different date to Easter celebrations in the west, the Orthodox Easter is also celebrated with different customs and traditions. After midnight Mass on Easter Sunday, worshippers celebrate outside the churches, carrying candles to symbolise the Resurrection and cracking or smashing eggs which have previously been painted with symbolic patterns and colours. The richly-painted Orthodox Churches are filled with clouds of incense and the singing of choirs at this time, and many rituals are observed, such as kissing the images of saints and processions led by clergy in full regalia.

    St George's Day

    6 May 2015

    Venue: Throughout Sofia.

    Orthodox festival and official holiday celebrating the martyred St George, also an agricultural celebration heralding the end of spring and beginning of summer.

    Bulgarian Culture and Slavonic Script Day

    24 May 2015

    Venue: Sofia National Library.

    National holiday honouring Saints Cyril and Methodius for devising the Bulgarian Cyrillic alphabet, with parades and official ceremony by their statue in front of the National Library.

    Festival of European Co-productions

    1 – 30 June 2015
    Website

    Venue: Lumière Cinema, NDK.

    International annual non-competitive feature film festival.

    Sofia Jazz Peak

    1 – 30 June 2015
    Website

    Venue: NDK (National Palace of Culture).

    Spring and autumn jazz festival with top musicians from Bulgaria and jazz legends from around the world.

    Flight and accommodation

    Enjoy
    Hotels in Sofia
    ListMap

    There are hundreds of hotels in Sofia, covering every category and comfort level.

    With prices generally low in the city by European standards, even the more luxury choices shouldn’t break the bank.

    Arena di Serdica

    Budapeshta St. 2
    Sofia, Bulgaria
    Tel: +359 2 810 7777
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    Luxury hotel brimming with opulent elegance, with an original Roman amphitheatre in its grounds.

    Radisson Blu Grand Hotel Sofia

    Narodno-Sabranie-Platz 4
    1000 Sofia
    Bulgaria
    Tel: +359 2 933 4334
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    Large central luxury chain option, offering all modern conveniences.

    Crystal Palace Boutique Hotel

    ul. Shipka 14
    1504 Sofia
    Bulgaria
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    Chic design hotel with an unbeatable central location.

    Berlin Park Vitosha SPA

    ul. Tsvetna 6
    1616 Sofia-Boyana
    Bulgaria
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    Large semi-suburban spa and resort complex in a southern suburb on the slopes of Mount Vitosha.

    Scotty’s Boutique

    Ekzarh Yosif Str, 11
    1000 Sofia
    Bulgaria
    Tel: +359 2 983 6777
    Show on map

    Category: Cheap

    Budget boutique hotel with individually furnished rooms named after world cities.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know
    Best time to visit

    Today: Friday, 19.09.2014 06:00

    partly cloudy

    temperature


    11°C


    52°F

    wind direction

    north

    wind speed

    0 mph

    humidity

    85%

    7 days forecast

    Saturday

    20.09.2014

    24°C / 11°C

    75°F / 52°F

    Sunday

    21.09.2014

    25°C / 14°C

    77°F / 57°F

    Monday

    22.09.2014

    24°C / 15°C

    75°F / 59°F

    Tuesday

    23.09.2014

    20°C / 14°C

    68°F / 57°F

    Wednesday

    24.09.2014

    20°C / 13°C

    68°F / 55°F

    Thursday

    25.09.2014

    24°C / 13°C

    75°F / 55°F

    Friday

    26.09.2014

    18°C / 5°C

    64°F / 41°F

    Climate & best time to visit Bulgaria

    The climate in Bulgaria varies according to altitude. Summers are warmest with some rainfall, with the south feeling the influence of the Mediterranean. The best months to visit are mid-June to September when the days are long and sunny. Winters are cold with good snowfall in the mountains. January is the best month for skiing in Bulgaria. It rains frequently during spring and autumn.

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    16 °C

    60.8 °F

    -31 °C

    -23.8 °F

    20 °C

    68 °F

    -26 °C

    -14.8 °F

    30 °C

    86 °F

    -18 °C

    -0.4 °F

    28 °C

    82.4 °F

    -10 °C

    14 °F

    32 °C

    89.6 °F

    -2 °C

    28.4 °F

    34 °C

    93.2 °F

    5 °C

    41 °F

    38 °C

    100.4 °F

    5 °C

    41 °F

    37 °C

    98.6 °F

    5 °C

    41 °F

    37 °C

    98.6 °F

    -2 °C

    28.4 °F

    33 °C

    91.4 °F

    -6 °C

    21.2 °F

    24 °C

    75.2 °F

    -10 °C

    14 °F

    20 °C

    68 °F

    -21 °C

    -5.8 °F

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    31 mm

    34 mm

    37 mm

    49 mm

    78 mm

    75 mm

    56 mm

    49 mm

    38 mm

    35 mm

    53 mm

    44 mm

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    2 h

    3 h

    4 h

    5 h

    6 h

    7 h

    8 h

    8 h

    7 h

    5 h

    2 h

    2 h

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    82 %

    79 %

    72 %

    65 %

    67 %

    68 %

    64 %

    62 %

    68 %

    77 %

    80 %

    84 %

    absolute maxabsolute minØ absolute minØ absolute minrelative humidityØ depositdays with deposit > 1mmsunshine duration
    Jan16 °C-31 °C1 °C-4 °C82 %31 mm72.4 h
    Feb20 °C-26 °C4 °C-2 °C79 %34 mm63.0 h
    Mar30 °C-18 °C9 °C0 °C72 %37 mm64.2 h
    Apr28 °C-10 °C16 °C5 °C65 %49 mm95.7 h
    May32 °C-2 °C20 °C10 °C67 %78 mm116.6 h
    Jun34 °C5 °C24 °C13 °C68 %75 mm107.9 h
    Jul38 °C5 °C26 °C15 °C64 %56 mm88.5 h
    Aug37 °C5 °C26 °C15 °C62 %49 mm58.1 h
    Sep37 °C-2 °C22 °C11 °C68 %38 mm57.4 h
    Oct33 °C-6 °C16 °C6 °C77 %35 mm65.3 h
    Nov24 °C-10 °C9 °C2 °C80 %53 mm72.9 h
    Dec20 °C-21 °C3 °C-2 °C84 %44 mm72.2 h
    year38 °C-31 °C15 °C5 °C72 %579 mm885.4 h

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know
    Phone calls & Internet

    Telephone/Mobile Telephone

    Dialing code: +359

    Telephone

    Calls from some remote parts of the country must be placed through the international operator. There are many public telephones in the main towns, from which telephone cards are used.

    Mobile Telephone

    Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Coverage is patchy to good in most of the country. It is easy to purchase domestic SIM cards.

    Internet

    There are fewer internet centres in Sofia and Plovdiv than there used to be owing to high rent, but there are a few internet gaming rooms. Varna has several places in the town centre, and the beach resorts have some facilities. Most major hotels have internet connection, and some have Wi-Fi access.

    Flight and accommodation

    Enjoy
    Shopping in Sofia
    Stadtführer, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Shopping, Einkaufen

    Key Areas

    Sofia’s main shopping drag is pedestrianised Vitosha Boulevard. The most famous department store is TZUM (blvd. Knyaginya Мaria Luiza 2), first opened in 1956 and a classic example of Soviet architecture. Ulitsa Shishman is a small street filled with trendy clothes outlets, jewellery shops, and other boutiques.

    Markets

    Sofia’s neo-Renaissance covered Market Hall (blvd. Maria Louise 24), open Mon-Fri, first opened in 1911 and remains the

    place to come for food and everyday items. On the ground floor are food stalls; above these are stalls selling clothing and accessories.

    Shopping Centres

    Opened in 2006, City Center Sofia (blvd. Arsenalski 2) was the city’s first modern shopping mall, with more than 100 stores and restaurants, and a cinema multiplex. Seven other malls have opened since, each one bigger than the last. Serdika Center (blvd. Sitnyakovo 48) is the largest central option, housing over 200 outlets.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know
    Traveller etiquette

    Social Conventions

    Normal courtesies should be observed and handshaking is the normal form of greeting. Dress should be conservative but casual. If invited to the home, a small souvenir from one’s homeland is an acceptable gift, and something for their children is always welcome.

    Do not give money. Remember that a nod of the head means ‘No’ and a shake means ‘Yes’.

    Smoking

    Bulgarian restaurants, cafés and nightclubs have zones for smokers and non-smokers. There is no smoking in public places.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know
    Health

    Food & Drink

    Mains water is normally chlorinated and, whilst relatively safe, can cause mild abdominal upsets if in remote areas. Some travellers may prefer to drink bottled water for the first few weeks of their stay. Milk is pasteurised and dairy products are safe for consumption. All food is prepared with a good level of hygiene.

    Other Risks

    Hepatitis B is endemic. Hepatitis C may occur. Tick-borne encephalitis exists. Immunisation against tuberculosis is sometimes recommended.

    Flight and accommodation

    Follow Lufthansa