Right at the centre of the Balkan Peninsula, Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria. The city name Sofia refers to the Holy Sophia Church, a church within the city that was named on the Holy Wisdom Christian concept. Sofia, Bulgaria has a mix of European and Communist-style architecture through its many locations. Serving Sofia, Bulgaria is Sofia Airport, or Sofia-Vrazhdebna Airport. The airport serves as a hub for airlines such as BH Air, Bulgaria Air, Bulgaria Air Charter, and Wizz Air. Sofia-Vrazhdebna Airport’s runways are made of asphalt and are approximately 3,600 metres or 11,800 feet in length. When in Sofia, average temperatures can go for as high as 15.7 degrees Celsius or 60.3 degrees Fahrenheit, and as low as five degrees Celsius or 41 degrees Fahrenheit, annually.
What to see & do
Sofia has a lot to offer tourists and locals alike. For a complete Bulgarian experience, get in touch with Sofia’s many travel destinations and have a first-hand look at what the city is all about. Top spots include, but are not limited to:
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is a Bulgarian Orthodox cathedral that features a cross-domed basilica which highlights Sofia’s beauty through its many monuments. Used to be known as Sts. Cyril and Methodius Cathedral, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is considered one of the largest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in the world. Among the religious relics housed within the cathedral include St. Alexander Nevsky’s rib piece, by the left of the cathedral’s altar, protected by a case made for relic display.
While being the oldest, Ivan Vazov National Theater is also Bulgaria’s biggest theatre. The interior of the theatre seats 750 goers, with smaller 120 and 70-seating areas. The theatre also stands out as one of Sofia’s main landmarks, with its location and extravagant architecture. Showing a bit of both Bulgarian’s past and present, the theatre was designed, built, and opened to the public 100 years ago, with a reconstruction midway, due to a fire.
National History Museum (Bulgaria) has a large collection of pieces accumulated throughout the years. The museum’s assemblage has traditional clothing, documentation, photos, furniture, jewellery,
weapons, and tools, to name a few, dating as far back as Palaeolithic to Bronze Age to the 17th century. The main museum has a cloakroom, buffet, museum library, and souvenir shop.
How to get around within Sofia
Get around Sofia through its trams, buses, and trolley buses. The city’s public transportation system does not have night services although the services travel starting from Ploshtad Sveta Nedelya to the Lyulin suburb. To get on the trams, buses, and trolley buses, tickets, passes, or transit cards are sold, of varying effectivity, from one-time use, with some lasting for one day, five days, or up to a month of usage. Among other options for getting around Sofia include going via taxis, car hires, or driving. With inexpensive fares, taxis can be taken from any point within the city to various destinations, although it is recommended that taxis be taken with precaution since some can overcharge. Be sure to get on a cab that is yellow, with a working meter, and to tip 10% to 15% of your total bill. Getting around via hired cars tends to cost more. Requirements for driving around Sofia include being 21 years and over, passport, driver’s licence, and insurance, among others.
How to get there
Fly to Sofia-Vrazhdebna Airport via airlines such as Aeroflot, Air Berlin, Air France, Air Malta, Air Serbia, Alitalia, British Airways, Bulgaria Air, easyJet, flydubai, Lufthansa, Mistral Air, Thomas Cook Airlines, Vueling, and Wizz Air, among others. These airlines have flights to and from destinations such as Moscow, Berlin, Paris, Athens, Malta, Belgrade, Rome, London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Dubai, and Barcelona, to name a few.