First impressions of sofia, bulgaria

After a full Sunday in Sofia, Bulgaria walking around for ten hours and snapping loads of photos, I developed initial impressions of the city. Bulgaria food and drink prices I like to get down my initial impressions of a place before time and exposure changes my perceptions. Bulgaria food and drink So, in no particular order of importance, here are some of my thoughts about Sofia, after 36 hours experiencing the city.

I thought this might be one of the more difficult places I have visited in Europe as a tourist for finding people who speak English. Best bulgarian restaurants in sofia People on the streets I asked for directions generally spoke English better than I expected. Best bulgarian restaurant sofia Most shop clerks spoke sufficient phrases of English to help me out. Best bulgarian restaurant in london Several were fluent English speakers.

I had a much easier time communicating with the maid at the hotel in Sofia compared to the maid in Amsterdam. Best bulgarian food Most public signs and restaurant menus are in Bulgarian and English, although some restaurants outside the main city center were only Bulgarian menu.

I arrived in the city center by Metro from the airport and exited at Serdika, the city center station where Sofia’s two tram lines intersect. What is bulgarian food like The Metro is new and modern and stations looked very clean to me.

Serdika is a large underground crossroads with pedestrian tunnels filled with Roman and 6th century ruins excavated when the Metro was built in the past decade.

There are so many ruins here they just leave them sitting by the walls of the Metro pedestrian tunnels. What is bulgarian food There are also lots of shops in the Metro tunnels.

One line of Sofia Metro terminates at Sofia Airport. Typical bulgarian food The price is 1.60 LEV (90 cents USD) for a ride anywhere on the system. Traditional bulgarian restaurant sofia City bus and trams are same price. Traditional bulgarian food recipes You use the ticket to enter the Metro gate and no need to check out with your ticket when you exit the Metro.

I arrived in Sofia city center in the rain at dusk. Traditional bulgarian food Outside on the streets I was surrounded by immense buildings at Serdika. Traditional bulgarian easter food On a Sofia Free Walking Tour last night, our guide said the Serdika area was bombed in World War II and the Russians rebuilt the area with grand Stalinist architecture.

One of the first things I became aware of walking around Sofia is watch your step. Sunny beach bulgaria restaurant prices There are many uneven and broken sidewalks and some pitfalls to avoid on the streets.

Sidewalk repair or caution signs does not appear to be a budgetary priority.

The most expensive purchase I have made so far was a $3 toothbrush after losing mine somewhere between Amsterdam and Sofia. Sunny beach bulgaria food prices $1.00 USD = 1.85 BGN. Sarmi bulgarian food I withdrew 200 BGN ($108 USD) from the airport ATM for 3 days in Bulgaria. Sach bulgarian food I have to do some shopping today to spend all that cash.

A couple of Metro rides, a toothbrush, a tip to the Sofia Free Tour guide, 7 pints of beer and 2 restaurant meals and I have only spent 40 BGN ($22) in 36 hours. Popular bulgarian food Beer has averaged 2.30 BGN for 0.5L at a pub. Mehanata bulgarian restaurant des plaines Less than half that price in the store.

I like Sundays in Europe. Kapama bulgarian food Sofia seemed like a working city in some places and a relaxation city in other places on Sunday.

Vitosha is a long pedestrian shopping boulevard and a center of city activity.

At one end of Vitosha is Serdika and the other end leads to the Park National Palace of Culture.

There were skateboarders and freestyle cyclists practicing their moves on the park steps on a Sunday afternoon.

There is an interesting monument in the park that I was able to research quickly on the web. Forte bulgarian restaurant las vegas The story is this monument was designed to represent 1,300 years of Bulgaria and unveiled in 1981. Food and drink prices in sunny beach bulgaria The structure soon began to fall apart and has remained enclosed by fencing for the past couple decades.

The extensive fountains of the park must be a beautiful sight in warmer months.

Past the National Palace of Culture I spied the Hilton Sofia.

I walked a little ways past the Hilton into what seems to be a more upscale expat community of Sofia.

Looked pretty closed up on a Sunday, so I headed back through the open park space to the city center.

This city seems very dog friendly and the park was loaded with dog walkers.

The clearing skies exposed the surrounding mountains to view. Famous bulgarian footballers So far, today is a super fog/smog day and I don’t know if I will get another view of the surrounding mountains before I leave Sofia.

I was walking back along Vitosha to Serdika and my hotel when I happened across the 6pm meeting point for the Free Sofia Walking Tour. Famous bulgarian food After a day of walking aimlessly around the city, I spent the evening on a 2 hour guided tour of the main city sights.

More on the main sights of Sofia to come. Buy bulgarian food online I have 150 BGN to go out and spend today before I leave for Gdansk, Poland tomorrow.

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