Article by: Sofia Free Walking Tours (365 Association)
As travel restrictions are lifting, you are probably itching to hit the road again. Not sure where to go? Well, look no further. We have the perfect option - Sofia! It might not be the first thing that comes to your mind when looking for your next destination and that's exactly why you should consider it. Sofia is still one of the most unspoiled European capitals, keeping its authenticity even around its main landmarks. Here are our 5 reasons why Sofia should be your next city break.
If you are living in Europe, chances are you wouldn't want to go too far away from home on your first post-pandemic trip abroad. However, you would probably still feel the need to feel like you are spending time "abroad". Being a European Union country, Bulgaria has all the perks of making you feel safe and protected as a European citizen while having a very different feel to it. Sofia is now connected to most large European cities with affordable flights. You can be there in around 1 to 3 hours from virtually every corner of Europe.
You might not be ready yet to wait on 2-hour long cues to enter the Louvre. However, that can never happen in Sofia as it is just not crowded at all. Being a tourist in Sofia will allow you to explore the landmarks, museums, and galleries at your own speed without feeling rushed or overwhelmed by the huge number of tourists around you. Fortunately, Sofia also has almost no tourist traps as in most large European cities as most of the central shops, bars and restaurants are targeting the locals.
If you prefer spending most of your time outdoors - Sofia is the place to be. Full with many parks, outdoor restaurants, and cafes you will never become short of options on places to go. From the South park to the City Garden, from the Vitosha boulevard to the National Palace of Culture - your choice! If you are lucky to be visiting between April and October - then you will also have a wide range of outdoor concerts, performances, exhibitions, and festivals to choose from. That is not to take away from a winter experience in Sofia as that is also exciting if you love a snowy escape.
That's one of the main reasons why we all travel, right? Sofia has such a complicated past and it's easy to witness its millennia-long history after walking the center of the city for just a few minutes. From the ancient Roman ruins to the massive communist buildings, from its beautiful late 19th/early 20th century buildings to its Ottoman heritage - this city has it all. Sofia doesn't have its attractions in your face. You have to dig deeper than what you see on the surface. If you are willing to put the time and effort into that you will fall in love with the city and want to learn more. A great way to get a good overview of the city's main landmarks is taking a Sofia free walking tour. In just 2 hours you will have a much better understanding of what would otherwise seem like a complicated city.
If you are still not convinced "why Sofia"... Bulgaria has a lot more to offer. We recommend that you plan wisely and consider adding a few extra days to your trip. That would allow you to go beyond Sofia and discover why Bulgaria is truly a magical place to visit. Basing yourself in Sofia is a smart idea as you can do various day trips from Sofia. Most notably, Plovdiv, the Rila Monastery, Kopvrishtitsa, The 7 Rila Lakes, and Veliko Tarnovo, to name a few.
Thank you for reading the article. For more travel tips from our local guides around the world check the blog section of our website! We release unique travel recommendations every week. If you like this article or have any questions, feel free to leave us a comment below!