June 28, 2012
How to get to Vitosha mountain - Ultimate Guide | Free Sofia Tour

How to get to Vitosha mountain

Sofia is probably the only European capital with such a big mountain so close to the city center. If we don’t consider the European ministates like Andorra. Vitosha is a ski resort (though a bit underdeveloped), nice hiking place and gives you a great panorama view of the city. The city is also one of the highest capitals in Europe. It’s Andorra la Vella again on top, followed by Liechtenstein’s Vaduz and arguably Madrid. So the question inevitably pops up – ‘How to get to Vitosha mountain?’. Here are some options. VITOSHA SKI RESORT AND LIFTS CURRENTLY DO NOT WORK WALKING AND HIKING IN VITOSHA This is actually how organized tourism in Sofia started. In 1895 the famous Bulgarian writer Aleko Konstantinov managed to convince around 300 people to leave the ‘dusty streets’ and ‘stuffy cafes’ of Sofia and get a refreshing walk from the city centre to the top of the mountain – Cherni Vrah (Black Peak) at 2290 m above sea level. In front of the National Theatre there’s a […]
June 28, 2012

Free bus to Vitosha

There’s going to be a free bus to Vitosha Nature Park this summer as well! It will be running until 30th of September. Leaving to Zlatnite Mostove area every non-working day at 9 & 10 AM from the National Stadium in Sofia and coming back at 4, 5 & 6 PM.
June 27, 2012

Mineral waters and SPA in Sofia

Now you might have heard that there are 8 different types of mineral waters in Sofia coming out of nearly 50 different springs all over the city. This is the good news. The bad news is that only a couple of the 10+ bathhouses in the city are working and they are in terrible condition… Until they fix them, you can try the mineral water swimming pool near Pancharevo lake. Recently a book was published about all the mineral water sources in Sofia. Some of them have not been explored in the last twenty years but this is one of the most comprehensive researches done recently. Unfortunately it’s all in Bulgarian. Mineral waters of Sofia used to cure a number of illnesses as the abstracts below from the book “София – 120 години столица” show. The one in the city center near the Central Public Bathhouse is supposedly good for problems with the kidneys, stomach, liver, musculoskeletal system as well as neurological and gynecological problems. Let’s hope that the municipality will […]
June 24, 2012

Free Sofia Tour Unplugged (Part 3 with Yana)

Training. Ah, yeah, it’s those 2 or 3 weeks when you have to learn “how it’s done” before you can actually start with the real work. Inevitably you feel completely lost at the beginning, sometimes even bored, and often it’s like you are back at school. Definitely not a favourite activity for many. As always though there’s an exception to the rule. [We asked our new volunteers to tell us what they thought of the selection process and this is Yana’s story. You can read also the first part of the series with Dessi here and the second one with Stefan.] Now, let’s try again. Free Sofia Tour training. A whole different story. Is it difficult? Yes, at times. Is it demanding? No doubt about it. Is it worth it? Definitely! So, everything starts with sending your CV. In case it’s approved by the Free Sofia Tour (FST) Training Commission (a.k.a – the scary bosses), you are good to go. Next step – meeting some of the organization members and […]
June 24, 2012

Suns of Clay

On June 23 and 24 Foundation “For the people” is cultivating the garden “Chaika” – by displaying decorative mosaics with traditional Bulgarian embroidery elements. The garden is situated between the streets “Rakovski”, “Gurko” and “Ivan Vazov”. The project is provoked by the interest in Bulgarian embroidery and the symbols hidden in it. It is part of the initiative “Suns of Clay” of the Foundation – for promotion of the Bulgarian embroidery and for regeneration of the urban environment. The initiative was supported by volunteers who were trained in the pre-history of Bulgarian embroidery and the creation of mosaics. “Suns of Clay” promotes Bulgarian embroidery typical for the region of Sofia. Beautiful ornaments embroideries are not used in modern daily life and remain alone behind the windows of museums and grandmothers’ chests. Prompted by this, the Foundation is committed to induce interest in Bulgarian embroidery and symbols hidden in it. Trough an innovative way young people learn about the beauty and characteristics of embroideries by transforming them into mosaics (learning by doing) and bringing them into the […]
June 20, 2012

Anima Fest’s Social Program

Last week the International Animation Film Festival ”Golden Kuker – Sofia” presented over 300 films. Free Sofia Tour was the media partner chosen to show around Sofia the international guests of the festival. Apart from the regular program, the festival’s weekend program included special entertainments for children in need. And since this year “Golden Kuker” had a focus on ecology, the organizers have invited quilling art masters to help the children create their unique paper postcards and presents. On Saturday Free Sofia Tour and Anima Fest hosted the children from the social house in Doganovo village – the social house, which is regularly supported by our Association thanks to the charity tours.     40 children learned one way to reuse the paper – by unfolding their creativity and designing numerous decorative designs.     After the great job, the kids were invited for lunch and watched one of the best animations of the festival. We are looking forward to their next trip to Sofia!
June 16, 2012

Free Sofia Tour Unplugged (Part 2 with Stefan)

We asked our new volunteers to tell us what they thought of the selection process and here’s what Stefan shared. You can read also the first part of the series with Dessi here. Stefan: I’d heard about the Free Sofia Tour before but, assuming its target group was mainly tourists, I didn’t pay too much attention to it, being a local. I think I liked the Facebook page, since I tend to like anything likeable and because I love active people who don’t watch life, but live it. I had previously shown around friends of mine from abroad or other parts of the country and their reactions were generally in the likes of “Wow, that’s actually a great place!”. So, when I found out, completely by accident, that the Free Sofia Tour Association was looking for new team members, I didn’t need a lot of convincing to give it a try. To be honest, it was a bit surprising to see how seriously these guys took what they were doing. […]
June 15, 2012

Free Sofia Tour Unplugged (Part 1 with Dessi)

We are the best thing to do in Sofia. This is beyond dispute, just see the reviews. How is that possible? Take an amazing team and add hard work to taste. Here’s some more about the ingredients of the Free Sofia Tour recipe for success. In order to provide these 2 hours of incredible experience, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. We try to make you a part of that by telling you about our training process. Remember how 43 people applied to become part of the team back in February? And how only 13 of them got to the last stage? Well, 9 of them are already walking the streets of Sofia with the Free Sofia Tour sign. We asked them to tell us what they thought of the selection process and here’s what the first one of them said: Desi: Guys, I made it to the final. The end of the beginning finally came. It lasted almost one semester, it included a presentation, a text book […]
June 12, 2012

International Animation Film Festival

This week Free Sofia Tour is a media partner of the International Animation Film Festival “Golden Kuker – Sofia”. From June 11 to 17 this year, over 300 films will be presented at the third edition of the Festival, on a total of 7 screens in Sofia. Competition and informational programmes as well as plenty of panoramas, can be seen at cinema “Lumiere”, at NATFA, evening screenings at Art Space (outdoor theater in the garden of NDK), PhotoSynthesis art center (cafe-gallery) and at art-club “Priests of the Muses” in Students’ Town. Special screenings of Polish, Hungarian and Czech animation. Around 130 films will compete for 11 prizes. 12 Bulgarian films will compete for the prize Best Bulgarian Film. A special award in the name of “Proiko Proykov” will be presented by Operational Programme “Environment 2007 – 2013” to the Best Eco Film. “Golden Kuker” this year has a focus on ecology and this will be expressed in various open discussions, masterclasses and workshops as well as competitions for students – “1-minute Animated […]