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Destinations » Bulgaria » Sofia Travel Guide
Sofia is the capital and largest city in Bulgaria; the administrative, cultural, and industrial centre of the country. It is located in the western part of country between the mountains of Vitosha, Lulin, and Verila. Tourists can take forest walks in summer or go skiing in the winter. Founded over 7,000 years ago, Bulgaria's modern capital is evidence of the country's past and present combined in one location. Monuments to its rich Thracian, Roman, Bulgar and Ottoman history sit next to modem-day edifices of cosmopolitan city life. Over 250 historic landmarks and architectural monuments blend in with the city's modern skyline.
Sofia is a fascinating city, step away from the traffic-choked boulevards and drab grey concrete towers and into the cobbled streets east of the central square. You'll find the hard edges of the city softened by untended but verdant parks and towering trees filled with the unexpected sound of birdsong.
All images © www.sofia.bg
The Tsentralni Hali (Central Food Halls), on boulevard Maria Louiza, is open daily and is a well-organised bazaar. Zhenski Pazar (Women's Market) situated on Stefan Stambolov boulevard is also open daily. There is a large book market at ploshtad Slavejkov, near the National Theatre.
Gleaming shopping malls have been the latest trend to transform Sofia's shopping culture: Mall of Sofia, boulevard Stambouliski, is the largest, complete with bookshops, a food court and international brands. CCS, boulevard Arsenalski, has six levels of bars, restaurants, an IMAX cinema, plus French fashions and Turkish homeware. Following a costly facelift, TsUM, on the Largo, now operates as a Western-style shopping mall, with privately rented boutiques and cafés on three levels.
The main shopping areas in Sofia centre on boulevard Vitosha, ulitsa Graf Ignatiev and ulitsa Rakovski. Outlet shops are the newest craze in Sofia, with many small shops selling designer labels at cheaper prices, especially along boulevard Vitosha.
Most shops in Sofia are open either 0900-1830 or 1000-1900, Monday to Saturday. An increasing number of shops are now also open on Sundays.
Bulgarian cuisine is delicious, organic and hard to resist! Bulgarian wine is often of fine quality and available at very affordable prices. Sofia has a number of restaurants which serve regional as well as international cuisine. A popular area for dining in Sofia is the area close to Boyana Church.
- Best Western Plus City Hotel Sofia
- Brod Hotel
- Brod (Apartment)
- Brod (Deluxe)
- Crystal Palace Boutique
- Crystal Palace Boutique (Executive Rooms)
- Hilton Sofia
- Holiday Inn Sofia
- Kempinski Zografski
- Park Inn Sofia
- Radisson Blu Grand Hotel
- Rodina (Deluxe)
- Sheraton Sofia Hotel Balkan (Classic Rooms)
- Sheraton Sofia Hotel Balkan (Executive Rooms)