Sofia was born before Rome, Paris or London. The old Sérdika… after having been bombed in the World War II, when you see the city at first sight (impeccably clean by the way) it still feels dark and distant. But when you get lost walking through its streets , the city shines for its Muscovite style, its monuments, its corners, its musicians, its shops.
Our plane landed at 2am. We looked for the information point to ask where we could exchange some money in order to pay the taxi. The conversation went like;
Me: hello! Woman: (closes the window to talk) Me: (opening the window) hello, sorry but can I ask you something? Woman: Me: where can I change some money? Woman: The change was inside, you can’t go back. Me: inside it was all closed up, dark and nobody there. Woman: Is not my problem. Me: … alright, do you know if I can pay the taxi with card or Euros? Woman: Take taxi and ask. Bye. Me: Well thanks for nothing I guess.
So yes, if you were planning to get any help from the locals, forget about it. If you are unlucky like us and your flight is late, just head to the cash machine and take some cash in Levs. 1 Euro is 1,96 Levs and for 20€ I had 39.10 levs.
The best way to get to the city center is by taxi. You can take the bus if you are not in a rush but, they drive like crazy and nobody will tell you where is the bus, or which bus you have to take, or where to buy the pass.
I have read everywhere that the official taxi in the city is Ok taxi. They own a big stand at the airport. They will try to charge you 20€ to get to the center which is like 20minuts far. My advice, download the app TaxiMe and you will pay 5€ also is much safer. You are welcome.
Are you ready to visit Sofia? Then get ready to walk. The best way to visit the city is by walking; easier, cheaper and quicker than public transport. Bear in mind that mostly of the locals don’t speak English, just the ones working on touristic places or expensive restaurants.
The center is divided in two areas. Things to visit: Eagles’ Bridge,, Cathedral Saint Alexandar Nevski, Ivan Vazov National Theater, Saint Nikolas Russian Church, Saint Nedelja Church, Sveti Sedmochislenitsi Church, The Rotunda of St George and the ruins, Boyana Church, Borisova Gradina and the sculptures, Amphitheatre of Serdica, Central Sofia Synagogue, Sofia History Museum, Church of St Petka of the Saddlers, National Palace of Culture, Bulgarian Communist Party Headquarters, Church of St Paraskeva and the Sofia Court House.
The best place to eat is the Market tsentralni Hali, you have a variety of traditional food and it costs like 2€ which is 4 levs. Besides the market I highly recommended Rakia Raketa Bar traditional restaurant, they do the best Rakia (typical drink). And also if you like burgers Skaptobara is and American style burger place.
Sofia is full of monuments and sculptures you can do a route around the city. Make sure you visit; Museum of Socialist Art, Statue of Tsar Alexander II, Monument to the Deity All-Holy Sofia, Statue of Slaveikovs and the monument to the Soviet Army . You also have to spend an afternoon of shopping at Vitosha Boulevard and have a lovely coffee in Made in home cafe or Memento Vitosha.
All the love,