Bulgaria is an affordable destination by all means but you can save even more money by using these tips. These Sofia free activities are something you can do all year round and more importantly – where you will find many locals too.
These Sofia free activities for travellers are very popular among the locals too, especially on sunny weekends when many people enjoy the outdoors. In such days, Sofia becomes a colourful picture, voiced by children shouting and dogs barking. Students, families with young children, elderly hikers, and cheerful young companies …
You all will agree with me that these are some of the most beautiful places in Sofia and you do not need money to enjoy them. Hope the list will give you a tempting reason to prepare your luggage and land at Sofia airport as soon as you can. Sofia is charming in all seasons and with these insider tips, you can have a great stay no matter of the period you visit. And let’s not forget to mention that Sofia is a safe destination for female travellers!
Hanging Out in Front of the National Theatre Ivan Vazov
The small park in front of the National Theater “Ivan Vazov” is the most popular tourist spot for photo shooting. But this is not the reason why I included it on the list. The real charm of the garden has two faces. During the day is crowded with people. There are two playgrounds for children on both ends of the park.
The alleys are filled with benches with people and in the middle, exactly in front of the main entrance of the theatre is the fountain refreshing the summer air. The best thing when walking in the centre of Sofia is to buy coffee in a paper cup from the nearby Costa Coffee, to sit on a park bench there, alone or in a company, and to watch the people around you. You will see the elderly chess players who gather every day under the shades.
You can also buy an ice cream from a nearby stall. I would also recommend if you have more time to sit in the garden of “Grand Hotel Sofia” for a cup of Turkish coffee or brunch. The garden is open to the park and you will easily recognize it by the beautifully wrought iron chairs. The coffee there will be a little bit more expensive, but the pleasure of professional service and pleasant atmosphere make it worth.
Free Sofia Tour
This is a walking tour organized by a non-profit organization. During the walk, you will have the opportunity to see the most interesting sights of the Bulgarian capital. The best thing is that the guides are local young people who do their work with positivity and love.
The tour is conducted in English only since the purpose is to make foreign visitors acquainted with the history and culture of the city. It is also free of charge service but donations to support the cause are welcomed. It is a fact that the Free Sofia Tour is listed as the best attraction in Sofia by the TripAdvisor users. More information about how and when you can participate in these tours you will found here.
Hiking in Vitosha Mountain
Sofia is known as the capital located in closest vicinity to a mountain. In fact, I would say, the city is leaning on the mountain. Vitosha is 2290 meters high and offers fresh air to the capital’s citizens. To get from downtown to the first hiking trails in days without traffic you may take no more than 15-20 minutes.
Well, public transport will take more. You have a choice of easier and more difficult hiking routes. Whichever route you choose will worth the effort because of the wonderful views of the city and the Sofia Valley. Oh, and do not forget to pick up food for a picnic. The mountain offers magnificent green lawns and shaded resting areas.
Park Boris III & Ariana Lake
A walk in the Park Boris III (which in the past was known as The King’s garden and now local people called Borisova Gradina) is another free of charge pleasure. This is the largest park in Sofia. Besides the many walking paths in the park there are also two stadiums (the national stadium Vasil Levski and the stadium Bulgarian Army), Ariana lake (which in winter becomes a skating rink), tennis courts, playgrounds, stages for organizing concerts, outdoor cinema, restaurants, cafes, horse riding and other activities.
Stroll the Vitosha Boulevard
In the recent years, the pedestrian part of Vitosha Boulevard (or Vitoshka as Sofia residents called it) has become a true urban gem. Of course, I can not compare it to the Champs Elysees in Paris because it is away from his greatness but it is the heart of Sofia.
For two years now works have been done, originally by constructing the metro line. Later the boulevard became a convenient place for shopping and strolling around. On both sides, there are settled many shops of famous brands as well as some very honoured by the Bulgarians local fashion brands. Between the stores have settled restaurants and cafes with European charm whose clientele makes Vitosha alive even in the winter days.
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photo: Free Sofia Tour