April 27, 2012

Free Sofia Tour in Turun Sanomat

Soon after vitisiting our tour, the Finnish journalist Sanni Saarinen wrote an article about Sofia and the tour in the famous Finnish magazine Turun Sanomat. What surprises the authormostly are the numerous facettes of our capital: There are few cities in which you can see a synagogue, a mosque, an orthodox temple and the tower of the Communist party at the same place. In Sofia, this might unravel a lot about the nature of the city. The influence of various cultures can be felt in the meandering streets of the city, the center of which can be explored in a day. In Sofia you can go around by foot or with old (some have worked for decades) tramways. At spring and summer, the whole city is extremely green thanks to the many parks and gardens. Once you go under the city, though, you experience a different face of Sofia: The look of the underpasses in the center of the city is a shock – among concrete walls and souvenir shops you […]
April 27, 2012

Lucky number 13 will take care of your good time!

Getting tired of the same old faces at Free Sofia Tour? A new refreshment wave is headed your way! 13 volunteer-guides-in-training will start the third round (the last one) of the tough but exciting process of becoming a Free Sofia Tour guide. 13 seems to be our lucky number. We started Free Sofia Tour on Friday, 13th of August 2010 – without a single thought of bad karma. We wanted the same success for Free Varna Tour, so we started the project on Friday, 13th of April 2012. Now 13 young and passionate people passed our exam in Sofia and are willing to meet you. Out of 44, only 25 started the second part of the training. Out of 25, only 17 came to the exam day. Out of 17, only 13 passed. All of them are full of energy and charisma, neat and well prepared. Among them we have some marketing experts, students and young professionals in law, HR experts, IT experts, a geologist and a garden designer! 4 […]
April 23, 2012

Walking as a way of living

For one year and a half we walked 2810 km during the 878 tours that we’ve done shuffling around the Sofia city centre. Some would say we’ve made it far. Some would say we’re moving in circles. They would all be right. But one day on the tour we had a girl that would consider it quite unsatisfying. This lovely French girl put herself into the great challenge to walk around the world in 10 years. She’s planning to pass a total of 70 000km only on foot. Caroline Moireaux is a quality engineer from a small French town. She got caught up with the idea of going around the world when she found on Internet that 2 guys did Asia for one year walking. Then the preparation started – one year of coming up with the route, arranging visas, finding the necessary equipment, that had to be cheap, strong and light, and telling friends and family. The world tour started with six more people at the beginning but they […]
April 20, 2012

Logo competition for United Europe Free Tours

United Europe Free Tours is an association of local entities that offer the best free walking tours in Europe in terms of quality and entertainment – and just one look at their testimonials and rankings on TripAdvisor proves it. The mission of United Europe Free Tours is to provide a local perspective over the city in a both informative and entertaining way to all tourists, regardless of whether they can afford a tour or not. The first project of this informal network was a common flyer. Today the association is building up a brand – starting from the logo. If you want to be part of this competition and maybe become the lucky one, whose logo received the biggest applause from all United Europe Free Tours members, then take the challenge – read further to find out what are the requirements. United Europe Free Tours has various objectives The guides are proud and passionate of their cities offer excellent quality service spread knowledge about the local history, culture and traditions give general and practical […]
April 11, 2012

Free Varna Tour starts this Friday!

If you’re tired of Sofia, if you want to see the sea coast and meet the “sea capital” of Bulgaria – don’t miss the chance to be one of the first guests of Free Varna Tour! The Free English-language sightseeing walking tour of Varna is the newest project of our Association. It will start this Friday (two days before the Orthodox Easter), and will run at 11AM and 6PM. No reservation are required, just show up at the meeting point – the Cathedral. Here you can learn how to get to Varna. The primary objective of Free Varna Tour is to make every foreigner feel welcome in Varna and ignite their interest in such a way so that they want to come back and recommend it to others. We are young and passionate about what we do and we constantly strive to make each tour personal, fun, informative, helpful and tailored for each visitor’s individual needs. The tours will be run by locals with various interests, experience and perspectives.       […]
April 11, 2012

How to get to Varna

If you travel by plane Varna Airport is located about 7 km west of the town. There are a few options as follows: By bus You can easily catch bus number 409. The bus station is located in front of the VIP exit. The working time table over the weekdays is between 5:45 and 20:00 and over the weekend between 5:45 – 23:00. The arrival time is between 15 – 20 minutes. Prices are 1 BGN to the city and 3 BGN to Golden Sands and you pay to the person assigned for this in the bus. For further reference, click here. For a map of the buses, click here. Rent a car All rent-a-car offices are located in Terminal 1 (Arrivals). There you can find several well known rent-a-car companies like AVIS, SIXT, Budget, Dollar Thrifty. By taxi If there is no bus, and you don’t need a rent-a-car, you can take a taxi. The rate should be written on the door windows and should not be more than 1 […]
April 11, 2012

Hostels in Sofia

Looking for cheap, yet cosy accommodation in Sofia? Then you can choose between one of the hostels in the city. To make it easier for you, we made a list of the ones we know of – you can visit their websites or send them an email for more information. Do you know of any hostel that’s not on this list? We would be really grateful if you help us keep this list complete so that travellers have the most comprehensive source of information! Write us at [email protected] The hostels are listed alphabetically: Art hostel – [email protected] Be My Guest Hostel – [email protected] Canape Connection Hostel – [email protected] Danish Hostel – [email protected] Elysia Hostel – [email protected] Galiani Hostel – [email protected] Gulliver Hostel – [email protected] Hostel Mostel – [email protected] Internet Hostel – [email protected] Kervan Hostel – [email protected] Lavele Hostel – [email protected] Levitt Hostel – [email protected] Nightingale Hostel – [email protected] Orient Express Hostel – [email protected] Sofia Guesthouse – [email protected] Sofia Peace Hostel – [email protected] The Rooms Hostel – [email protected]
April 6, 2012

CNN: Bulgaria hopes past will draw tourists

CNN’s Fred Pleitgen on how Bulgaria is trying to turn its many Roman ruins into a tourist magnet. The mayor Yordanka Fandakova, the deputy-mayor Todor Chobanov and minister of finance Simeon Djankov show Mr Fred Pleitgen around the newly-discovered Roman remains around Sofia city center.  
April 6, 2012

They call it Palm Sunday, we call it Flower Day (Tsvetnitsa)

For us Bulgarians, the Sunday before Easter is an important holiday. Although Palm Sunday is a common movable feast for all Christians commemorating Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, in Bulgaria it is mostly celebrated as a Name Day, much like Iordanovden (St. Jordan’s Day) or Ivanovden (St. George’s Day).  This year it falls on April 8. Mark the date! On this day, every person who carries the name of a flower, plant, tree, or any other known, and, arguably, unknown, form of vegetation, has a reason to celebrate. Not surprisingly, the name of the holiday for us is Tsvetnitsa, which means ‘Flower Day’. In my family, it has been a long-standing tradition to gather the whole extended family for a big lunch and exchange flowers since we have not one, not two, but five different family members adorned with flowery names: Lilyana x2 (from ‘lilac’ ), Dilyana (from ‘dilyanka,’ meaning a type of medicinal root), Tsvetelina x2 (from ‘tsvete’ meaning ‘flower’). Just like on any other Name Day, the person celebrating, treats their friends, relatives, […]