Free Sofia Tour's Blog

July 6, 2018
travelling bulgaria

Getting around Bulgaria

Once you’ve made your way through the gates of the plane, took a bunch of elbows in the ribs on your way to border control, avoided some very persistent taxi drivers and jumped into the first bus maybe you are already safe and sound in Sofia city center. Maybe you were lucky enough to land at Terminal 2 and took advantage of the shiny new metro. If so – congratulations and welcome to Bulgaria! You saved yourself some time and a potentially overwhelming culture shock trying to deal with bus tickets and communicating with drivers in this strange Bulgarian language. Ah, ok! You read our blogpost on how to go from Sofia airport to the city center… then everything went smoothly! If you finished exploring the capital city and you wish to dive into the deep and wander around the countryside, it is time for you to learn how to get around Bulgaria.  If you didn’t come to Bulgaria by plane, you are already a high-level (and eco) traveler here […]
June 26, 2018
bulgarian food

Bulgarian Food | What to eat in Bulgaria | Traditional Dishes

If you are a passionate traveler, a large part of your foreign cultural exploration is undoubtedly food… or in this case – Bulgarian food. One cannot truly understand the life of the other if they don’t mix things up with the local cuisine. You haven’t been to Bulgaria unless you’ve tried Bulgarian food Spicing up your trip with new flavors is a must and Bulgaria is the country where it can get real messy, saucy, cheesy, steaming hot in a clay pot or simply delicious! Bulgaria is a country that will never leave you hungry for two reasons.  Firstly, there is the wealth of food for all tastes and secondly, Bulgarians are the kind of people that will always make sure your plate has been filled at least 3 times, and your belt loosened by at least 2 holes. Banitza Undoubtedly, our number one dish is banitsa. This queen of Bulgarian specialties is a pastry usually stuffed with cheese but there are plenty of other versions for the adventurous type […]
June 18, 2018
bulgarian wine

Bulgarian Wine – History, Local Sorts, Must-Trys, Wine Regions

“The discovery of a wine is of greater moment than the discovery of a constellation” once said the famous American politician and scientist Benjamin Franklin. With this post we plan to help you discover a whole new universe. Please don’t leave Bulgaria without trying a couple of glasses of wine! History of Bulgarian Wine Bulgarians have a long history in winemaking. This is something we inherited from everybody that once inhabited our territory – Thracians, Romans, Byzantines etc. They were all famous for being good wine connoisseurs. From the archaeologists we know that the Thracians had many rituals dedicated to the God Zagreus (or Dionysus as the Greeks call him or Bacchus as the Romans know him) – the God of Wine who inspired some of their most important cults. Images associated with the harvesting of grapes and winemaking are found on pottery, murals and mosaics in residential and public buildings. Even in some tombs. At the end of the 19 century this tradition grew and developed as a professional […]
June 11, 2018
vrana palace

The Palace of Vrana – History, Opening Hours and Prices

History of Vrana Palace The Royal days of Bulgaria are long gone. However, all around the country you can still find evidence of this period of Bulgarian history. Only 15 kilometers away from the heart of the city center of Sofia you will find the Summer Royal Palace of Vrana. The chosen location was where the homestead of the Ottoman governor of Sofia – Osman Pasha used to be. During the timeline of history, those lands change their ownership quite a lot. At the end of the 19th century they became property of the royal family of Bulgaria. We owe this project to our Royal Highness Ferdinand I. Construction works began at the beginning of the 20th century. The project consisted of the construction of various buildings with different purposes – hunting villa, royal palace, garden, rockery, artificial lakes, greenhouse and stables. Vrana Royal Palace surroundings You will also find a simple wooden house built during the communist regime . It was used by Georgi Dimitrov, our first communist leader. There is […]
May 31, 2018
seven rila lakes how to get to

How to get to the Seven Rila Lakes/Sapareva Banya from Sofia?

Whether you are visiting Bulgaria for a short city break or you are about to spend quite some time here, one of the best places to visit are the seven Rila Lakes in the Rila Mountains.  Another must do is to visit hot mineral water pools and spend a day in relaxation. And what better than a combination of both? Located at less than 100 km away from Sofia the Seven Rila lakes is a natural phenomenon that gathers people from all over the world with captivating beauty and stunning views albeit summer or winter. The Seven Rila Lakes The seven Rila lakes are naturally created glacial lakes and as the name says they are a total of 7 and each one carries a name associated with its most characteristic feature: Salzata  (“The Tear”) due to its clear waters that allow visibility in depth. Okoto (“The Eye”) after its almost perfectly oval form. Babreka (“The Kidney”) after its shape resembling a kidney. Bliznaka (“The Twin”) consisting of inner and outer […]
May 8, 2018
ten lesser known churches in Sofia

10 Lesser Known Churches in Sofia Worth Visiting

Willing to go the extra mile and explore Sofia’s lesser known churches? If so, then this post is for you. For over 7 years we have been showing the main landmarks of Sofia to thousands of visitors from all around the world.  Our daily Free Sofia Tour takes you around all the main and most important landmarks in the center of the city. This includes the most popular temples in Sofia such as the St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the Russian Church, St Nedelya Church and many more. However, there’s much more to Sofia and that’s why we have created a list of some of our favorite lesser known churches in the city! 1. Church of St Paraskeva (Света Параскева – Sveta Paraskeva) Despite being the third largest church in Sofia the church of St Paraskeva is often ignored by both tourists and locals. You can find it in a quiet part of the center. It is definitely one of Sofia’s gems. The church dates back to 1930. There are residential buildings […]
April 3, 2018
Sofia night transport

Night Transport in Sofia

Night Transport in Sofia? When? Where? How? Great news everyone! There is going to be public night transport in Sofia. From April 7th  2018 until the end of the year 6 bus lines will be running during the night. So what is the deal? There will be 4 new lines that cross the city and connect the large neighborhoods. The four lines are as follows: N1, N2, N3 and N4. Here is also a map of their routes. Sofia night transport routes N1 will be running from Liulin district 1 and 2 towards Mladost 4 district with 50 stops. N2 will be running from Obelya district towards Studentski grad district with 38 stops. N3 will be running from Ovcha kupel district towards Levski dristrict  with 33 stops. N4 will be running from Drujba district towards Gotse Delchev district with 49 stops one way and 55 stops the other way There is going to be a transfer location where all of the lines meet so that one could be able to change […]
March 26, 2018
cycling in Sofia

Cycling in Sofia

Riding a bike in Sofia Hooray! The snow is gone, the temperatures are slowly rising, everything around you, including yourself, is waking up from a long winter’s slumber and what better time to take out your bicycle, hop on it and feel the wind whistling in your ears? Cycling in Sofia? There is no better time of the year to ride a bike in Sofia than spring or summer, so we decided to give you a little bit more information on the topic, should you ever decide to go around on two wheels. Riding a bike in the city could be quite frustrating and cycling in Sofia is indeed a challenge due to the bad infrastructure, lack of proper cycling lanes and bike parkings, but mostly because of the poor bicycle culture in general. However, this doesn’t stop thousands of people to choose the bike as a means of transport in the city and that number is growing steadily every year. There are quite a few reasons and a lot […]
March 18, 2018
Easter in Bulgaria

Easter in Sofia

Happy Easter! Hi all, spring is here! This lovely season brings the great Christian celebration – Easter (in bulgarian Великден; Velikden – Great Day). If you have already planned the Easter holidays and Sofia is part of your plan you will have the chance to attend our Free Sofia Tour. Do we rest on Easter?  – No! We will be waiting for you in front of the Palace of Justice at 11:00 and 18:00 to show you how awesome our city is. Easter in Bulgaria Bulgaria being a largely Christian Orthodox country celebrates Easter according to the Julian calender instead of the Gregorian calendar, used by many western countries. Therefore, the date when bulgarians celebrate Easter is often later than the one celebrated in Western Europe. Here is when Easter will be celebrated in Bulgaria. In 2018, Bulgarians will celebrate on the 8th of April. Well, since you are coming to Bulgaria this spring, you should know about our two most common Easter traditions –  Egg fight and the delicious sweet bread […]