Sofia Travel Guide

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Sofia Travel Guide

Sofia Local History

Sofia has a history which goes back thousands of years. The word 'sofia' in Greek means wisdom.

In the 3rd Century AD, the Romans built strong walls around the city as it was an important stopping place on the Roman road to Constantinople.

Today there are many archaeological sites in Sofia which displays the city's diverse history. From castles and towers to buildings and streets thousands of years old. A large part of the ancient city of 'Serdica' is preserved underneath a number of important buildings.

Since ancient times the city has been famous for its abundance of mineral water springs, many of which are still available today.

Sofia Attractions

Top Attractions

Alexander Nevski Memorial Church Completed in 1912 in honour of the Russian casualties of the 1877-78 War of Liberation from Ottoman Rule, this gold-domed church is the finest piece of architecture in the Balkans. Taking over thirty years to complete, craftsmen and artists from 6 countries worked on the 5 aisle masterpiece creating icons, frescoes, murals and chandeliers.

Rotunda of St. George Situated in the courtyard behind the Sheraton Hotel, the building is adorned with early medieval frescoes. Here can also be found the remains of a 2nd Century street and other Byzantine ruins.

St. Sofia Church With its 1600- year-old mosaic details, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the grave of the national poet and writer Ivan Vazov, this church will have you in awe.

The Church of St. Nedelya This magnificent piece of architecture built in medieval times and reconstructed after is was almost completely destroyed by a bomb explosion in 1925 is another 'must see'.

Sophia University Built in 1879 the University is the country's most prestigious place of learning and well worth a visit.

Shambala Bar & Restaurant Two minutes from Alexander Nevski, a very cosy and chic place with pleasent music and really yummy dishes and cocktails. Parties friday and saturday. Dondoukov blvd, 38
submitted by Chocho, 26/03/07

Diplomatic Club Gloria Palace The restaurant offers international cuisine with large garden for weddings and corporative parties.
submitted by Maya Marinova, 31/01/06

Peter The First - Russian Restaurant Peter The First Russian Restaurant is the newest sensational place in the center of Sofia for having an unforgetable Russian-style evening. The restaurant offers wide variety of Russian specialties such as pelmeni, patties, blini, vareniki, Napoleon cake prepared by experienced Russian chefs. You could taste genuine russian vodka while enjoying the exclusive programme performed by excelent Russian musicians and dancers. The main distinction of The Russian Restaurant Peter The First cuisine is not only its imperial character,but as well its international features providing an excellent choice of meals from Russian cuisine. Alongside with original Russian dishes, Peter The First cuisine included dishes all over the Russia and also meals from Europe. But not only Europe changed Russian cuisine and also Russian dishes became a part of the world cuisine such as steak "Tartar"(Tartarean steak), chicken "Kiev", beef Stroganoff and many others. The best authentic and the only one real Sofia Russian restaurant invite you to taste an excellent choice of different meals from Russia. Traditional Russian hospitality, superlative menu and extensive selection best Russian plain and flavoured Vodka, Wine and Beer, music and live entertainment will make your time unforgettable. Peter The First is well-known to be the restaurant with the best service in Sofia. Your glass wouldn't stand the chance to be empty even for a second and you will be treated like the Russian Tzar himself. 2, Pozitano Str. (+359/2) 980 65 77
submitted by Silvia, 23/12/05

Chevermeto Bulgarian Restaurant The Bulgarian restaurant “Chevermeto“ combines authentic interior, delicious meals, prepared from old traditional recipes and folklore show. The most visited folk-style restaurant in Sofia has received many eminent guests- just here the Bulgarian president Mr. Georgi Parvanov welcomed as a host the Russian president Mr. Vladimir Putin. The presidents of many countries, as well as royalties, ministers and diplomats have also been our guests. Every evening tourists from all over the world taste the specialties of the house and enjoy the live folklore show together with our singers and dancers. The restaurant offers wide range of Bulgarian wines and brandies that can not be found anywhere else in the world. A whole lamb is baked on barbecue every evening just in front of your eyes and this has brought the name of the restaurant - Chevermeto. You are welcome! For us every guest is à guest of honour! 31, Cherny Vrah Blvd. Near by Hotel Hemus (+359/2) 963 03 08; (+359/2) 66 17 79
submitted by Silvia, 23/12/05

Sofia Shopping

Letostrui 157 Rakovski St. For lovely antiques and 'curiosity' items, this shop will keep you interested for hours, even if you don't buy.

The Main Department Store near St. Nedelia church Here you'll find a bit of everything and the shop is constantly being modernized and updated.

Viga Antiques 50 Alabin St. Another antique shop which also includes a few pieces of jewellery.

Sofia Parks & Gardens

Mount Vitosha Cable cars transport you to the top, where wonderful views over the whole region can be seen. The beautiful scenery makes this a popular place throughout the year and is particularly busy during the ski season which lasts from early December until late spring.

Woods - Sofia is surrounded by wonderful woods and forest. Just few minutes out of town visitors are able to walk in the coniferous woods, sunny meadows strewn with flowers and berries, overlooked by majestic mountains.

Sofia Restaurants and Bars

Boiled or roasted meat with potatoes, beans, cheese and salads are the favoured food of the Bulgarian people. They are not known for any particular desserts but appear to drink enormous amounts of alcohol with every meal.

Sofia Restaurants

Wiener Cafe 21 Tsar Osvoboditel Blvd. For cake and coffee try this pleasant light and airy cafe. They also serve lunches and gooey pastries.

Nike 20 Your Gagarin St. This small and cozy restaurant serves traditional cuisine. Inside in winter and in the garden in summer.

Vodenitsite bottom of Vitosha Mountain Traditional Bulgarian dishes served in wonderful surroundings, with attentive and friendly staff.

Sofia Bars & Clubs

Intermezzo Bar Hotel International Zografski Very popular with an older crowd this bar offers a good evening out, with background music and hushed conversation.

La Strada Jazz Club 6 Septemvri St. For laid-back cool jazz with patrons to match this is the place to visit if jazz is your thing.

Fantasy Night Club Sheraton Hotel If you want to see and be seen by the right people, this is the place to be hanging out at. They also offer live floor shows.

Useful Sofia Links

Sofia Nights City Guide
Explore Sofia City with the Number 1 Local Entertainment Guide. From A to Z, Sofia Nights City Guide covers the essentials of Bulgaria Capital, like Sofia Restaurants, Sofia Hotels, Shopping Centers, Nightlife, Bars, Entertainment, People, Theaters and much more.

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