Explore SOFIA, the Bulgarian Capital, by Night
Sofia by night is a beautiful place to discover. It is not because it is where I live. It’s more because of its rather provincial than metropolitan charm. The slow pace of life can be felt right out of the plane – at the airport. The classical architecture of some buildings reminds the passenger of Sofia’s old history and Bulgaria’s connection with the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. Now the city is a home of many young students, green living enthusiasts, unknown but gifted artists and musicians that make the atmosphere on the streets and in the small coquette restaurants and cafes alive and interesting.
More and more foreigners are discovering the beauty of Sofia. Still not very known to the usual tourist, one is surprised when visiting the city. What I can personally advise the visitors is to walk at night in the city center. It has a very special atmosphere and especially if your visit is not in winter, you will enjoy staying outside more than you have expected. Not coincidentally it is the favorite pastime activity for many of the locals too.
A favourite meeting point for many is the pedestrian part of Vitosha Boulevard where you will find many restaurants and cafes, all with a European atmosphere and quality of service. My favourites are:
- Cafe Memento for the best coffee & social environment in the city
- Restaurant Shtastlivetsa for unusual setting & good food
- Raffy for quick service and most dynamic atmosphere
Walking at dark, you will have the chance to see Sofia in a different, more mysterious way; especially if you walk around the impressive Orthodox churches, and in Sofia’s city centre you have a good choice of them. The Russian Church is the most decorative one but Sveti Sedmochislenitsi Church has the charm of the Roman time buildings. Their discreet lighting makes these churches a spectacular sites to see.
It is safe to walk at night in Sofia as far as you stay in the central part and use your common sense. Don’t go near the Mosque and further it toward the Central Station. This part of the city is not safe or pleasant for a woman to walk at night.
Stay in the area from NDK (the National Culture Palace) through Vitosha Boulevard up to the Presidential Palace; and the small streets around.
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