What other people say about us – feedback, reviews, blog posts.

June 7, 2013

The Spring Training of 2013

It’s that time of the year again and, like everything else in the world, when spring arrives, the team of Free Sofia Tour likes to see new additions to its numbers. A total of 48 active and eager people were brave enough to tackle the two-and-a-half months long process. As usual, after the initial personal meeting, there were three separate stages that applicants had to survive. First of all, they had to join three different members of our team for three separate tours among the landmarks and intricacies of downtown Sofia. The purpose of this was basically for them to see how it’s done, what is a must, what is a can-do and what is a no-no. It might sound like easy as pie, but the fact is only sixteen people completed this stage successfully. The next hurdle was our exam mock tour of Sofia. At this stage fifteen of the above people (one went for an internship abroad but promised to return and resume his training) were joined by […]
November 9, 2012

Youth Pharmacists Assembly on Tour

Earlier this month we had one of the biggest groups in the history of our tour! About 120 visitors – participants in an annual Youth Pharmacist Summit – took part in Free Sofia Tour on November 1st. These conferences take place twice a year in different cities across Europe, so some people from the group have actually already met before. For most of those, to rediscover each other when they meet again at the next conference in a new city, is the highlight of their stay. The group was super diverse, since it included people from more than 24 nations. They have been in Sofia since last Sunday and up until the tour they hadn’t seen much of the city. Four of our guides were available to reveal them some secrets about Sofia.             In the evenings they usually go out in a closed-doors private party format, so they don’t really have the chance to meet many locals. Meeting our guides was really entertaining and […]
October 29, 2012

Social Workshop Dreams Unlimited

The Social Workshop Dreams Unlimited started in 2012 with boys and girls from Bulgarian minorities and from socially disadvantaged families. The main goal of the project is to integrate children from various vulnerable groups and prepare them for the professional life. Dreams Unlimited partners with schools, but also relies on of personal contacts with children from the suburb neighbourhoods. Работилничката Мечти без граници съществува от 2012 година, а нейни участници са деца и юноши в район Искър на Столична община (обхваща крайните квартали Дружба-1 и Дружба-2). Дейностите се провеждат ежеседмично и са насочени основно към социална интеграция на деца от различни уязвими групи (от малцинствени групи и социално слаби семейства, с затруднения в училище, застрашени от отпадане от образователната система, с противообществени прояви и др.) и към подготовка на младите хора за активна трудова заетост. Проектът работи в партньорство с училищата в района, но също и чрез директни контакти с децата от квартала. One of the major problems preventing social integration is the fact that the social contact of those kids are […]
October 6, 2012

Free Sofia Tour Junior Volunteer Program

For the first time this summer Free Sofia Tour started the Junior Volunteer Program. Three eight-graders from 54th school in Nadezhda neighborhood took part in the 2-week program, but only one – Alexander Rangelov – “graduated” as the first honorary junior guide. During the training the high-schoolers observed several tours by professional guides and engaged in structured discussions, reflecting on what makes a tour good and keeps the tourists satisfied. In addition, they had to read and learn part of the extensive “Guide for the guide” manual that each new FST candidate has to be familiar with in order to become part of Free Sofia Tour. The manual covers a wide range of topics, facts, and information on the history of Bulgaria, Sofia as well as curios facts, anecdotes and statistics. For the final exam, the junior guides led two 15-minute English-language tours in front of real tourists. Here’s what Alexander told us about his experience: It was quite fun. One of the first people I met from the team […]
September 10, 2012

The Guests of Sofia

English version below Изложба „Гостите на София” – 15-30 септември – Градинката Кристал Забелязали ли сте, че София е пълна с чужденци? Това прави силно впечатление особено през летните месеци, когато българите са по морето, а чуждата реч из столицата сякаш преобладава. Питали ли сте се кои са тези хора, какви са техните истории, защо са в София, какво мислят за нас, кое им харесва? Фото-изложбата “Гостите на София” си поставя за цел да отговори на тези въпроси, както и да ни накара да погледнем на София през очите на нейните гости. Снимките ще ни провокират да се замислим дали не подценяваме онова, което ни дава столицата и дали не трябва да имаме повече вяра на критичния поглед на чужденците, които идват тук и оценяват всеки детайл. Изложбата ще се състои от 15 до 30 септември в новото арт пространство в градинката “Кристал” и ще е част от Европейската седмица на мобилността 2012. Инициативата се организира от Сдружение „Фрий София Тур” с любезната подкрепа на Столична Община, Асоциация за развитие […]
August 11, 2012

Free Sofia Tour Recommended by a Lonely Planet Blogger

Very recently, a Lonely Planet Blogger visited our Free Sofia Tour and included it in his Top 5 Awesome Tips for a Seriously Cheap Trip to Sofia article. Our tour is described as tip number one: Take the Free Sofia Walking Tour A fun, very comprehensive, interesting tour, this FREE walking tour is given by knowledgeable and well trained locals and covers parts of the city you won’t find on your own (the Byzantine Church inside the courtyard of the Presidential palace for example). The tours are so popular they have to give them twice every day – 11am and 6pm at the Palace of Justice (just look for the giant lion statues opposite the McDonald’s on Vitosha Blvd. If you see a place called ‘Happy’ you’re close by). At the end of the tour, if you enjoyed it, simply give the volunteer guide a tip! You donate depending on what you think the tour was worth and what you can afford – a great experience at a good price! […]
July 1, 2012

Free Sofia Tour Unplugged (Part 4 with Radina)

To be or not to be? The question I asked myself a lot during the training to become a guide with FST. When I first saw the ad that the FST are looking for new volunteers I asked myself the question “To be part of all this or not to be?” and answered it right away: “Of course!” [We asked our new volunteers to tell us what they thought of the selection process and this is Radina’s story. You can read also the first part of the series with Dessihere, the second one with Stefan as well as the third one with Yana.] I sent my CV (apparently necessary to become a volunteer nowadays :)) and on the next day I had a meeting with Deni. The meeting was two hours and Denitsa told me quite a lot. The organization was doing all these projects, everything was so well organized. Denitsa made me smile, I could not believe her enthusiasm and also I was very confused: was this a volunteer undertaking or a full-time […]
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 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. […]