The Bulgarian capital is still an insider tip among travelers. If you haven’t considered a trip there yet, you should definitely read our reasons for a weekend trip to Sofia. In our experience, a visit to Sofia is always worthwhile.
1. Within Convenient and Quick Reach
Sofia is just a short 2.5 hour flight away from Germany (departing from Hamburg). Flights are currently available for 48 € / person. This makes Sofia an attractive destination.
2. Everything within walking distance
In Sofia, the sights are very central and well within walking distance to each other. There are many well-preserved buildings from the times of the Soviet Union, which are really worth seeing! Of course there are also churches, most notably the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.
The small parks and green areas are perfect for giving your feet a break. Just sit down and enjoy the many musicians and street artists. Afterwards, pay the Presidential Palace a visit and witness the changing of guards.
We’ve only taken public transport to and from the airport and on our Vitosha trip. We explored the rest of the city walking.
3. Journey Into the Past
A trip to Sofia is also a journey into the past. The city is a mixture of modernity and history with the unmistakable flair of the Eastern Europe of the 80s and 90s. The architecture, little old trams and buses with power cables or the variety of various almost historic car models (eg the police use Ladas, VWs, Skodas, Audis, Mercedes, BMWs, Opels, …) are just a few examples that make the Bulgarian capital truly charming.
In addition, we arrived in time for the Bulgarian National Day (March 3rd) in Sofia and witnessed the celebrations and traditions there.
4. Cheap prices
Not only the flights are cheap, also accommodations, food and train tickets are very cheap from a German point of view. We paid for our 3-day weekend trip to Sofia €100 each including good accommodation with breakfast and everything else.
We exchanged our money directly at the airport.
As I said before: I’m very happy I took my camera along with me on my trip to S O F I A – Bulgaria. This photo shows the Presidential Palace by night. By day however you can witness the changing of the guards. . . . . . #travelgram #instatravel #passport #citybestpics #city_explore #illgrammers #seemycity #citylimitless #longexposure_shots #longexpoelite #fs_longexpo #longexposure #longexposure_shots #ic_longexpo #global_hotshotz #longexpohunter #longexpo #night_shooterz #ig_nightphotography #sofiabulgaria #igbulgaria #instabulgaria #igersbulgaria #sofiacity #neverstopexploring #agameoftones #ig_masterpiece #artofvisuals #thecreative #shotaward
5. Vitosha Mountain
We saved the most beautiful part for the end: The Vitosha mountain right on the edge of the city. Starting at the train station G.M. Dimitrov the bus (N° 123) will take you to the foot of the mountain within 25 minutes. From there, take the gondola up another 25 minutes to the top of the mountain, enjoy the beautiful view and go on a hike. In the winter you can also go skiing. Because of the low prices in Bulgaria, this might be a good alternative to Switzerland and Austria. The well-known stone rivers can also be seen there.
You’ll find the details about our excursion to Vitosha Mountain in this post.
We’ve heard a lot about the delicious Bulgarian cuisine before our visit. Unfortunately, we can’t tell you much about it, since we did not try the original local cuisine.
Weekend Trip to Sofia – In Summary
Sofia is a cheap destination, with a lot of variety and exciting insights into a foreign culture. The contrasts between capital city life and nature recreation, old and new bring a special flair to the Bulgarian capital.
It’s important to know, that the Cyrillic alphabet is used in Bulgaria! While, for example, German-labeled products are sold in dm drugstores, you’ve to be prepared that nearly everything else is written in the Slavic alphabet. This can potentially become a problem when trying to read bus and train schedules. So we recommend you learn a few letters in order to be able to decipher some words. Or trust in Google Maps or a similar app. Since very few Bulgarians seem to speak English (at least that’s been our experience) you might be have difficulties in reaching your destination.
Have you been to Sofia before? What do you find most fascinating about the city?
Your Marco & Jenny