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Free Sofia Tour's Blog

January 19, 2021
vitosha boulevard

The Vitosha Boulevard – Sofia’s main shopping street

Often referred to as Sofia’s Champs-Élysées, The Vitosha Boulevard is by far the most famous street in Bulgaria. Contrary to many “main streets” in big cosmopolitan cities, this one is equally popular among both locals and visitors. Whether for shopping, a stroll down the boulevard or just to sit down at one of the many cafes and restaurants, Vitoshka (as most Bulgarians call it) is as close as it gets to Sofia’s beating heart.  History of the Vitosha Boulevard The development of Sofia’s main street is intertwined with the development of the city itself after it was chosen as the new Bulgarian capital in the late 19th century. The street had several different names throughout the decades. Its initial name was the ottoman “Dzhebel vitosh sokagi”. It was first called Vitoshka (The Vitosha Boulevard) back in 1883. After that, however, the name was changed several times. In the early 20th century it was renamed to “General Yosif Gurko”. Later, to “Tsaritsa Joanna”. After WW2 the street was called “Joseph Stalin” […]
June 12, 2020
ladies market

The Women’s Market (Zhenski Pazar) – Sofia’s Beating Heart

Both old legends and contemporary tips share one thing in common – the Women’s Market (also referred to as the Ladies’ Market, Ladies’ Bazaar and Zhenski Pazar) is the must-visit colorful, lively and fragrant spot in the heart of Sofia. Established right after Bulgaria’s Liberation from Ottoman rule in 1878, the Women’s market is the oldest open-air market in town. Back then Sofia had just been declared as a capital of the newborn country and the city was still much smaller than today. Today, this open-air market is at an immediate proximity to most major tourist sites such as the Square of Tolerance comprised by the four temples of the four main religions in Bulgaria. In its early days, the Women’s Market quickly became the favorite place for local people eager to buy fresh agricultural production which farmers from the villages nearby sold on more than affordable prices. A single egg would cost only 5 cents, a hen would cost 60 cents and a pig – 4-5 leva. Origins of […]
April 15, 2020
Bulgaria communist monuments

Bulgaria’s 8 Most Legendary Communist Monuments

You might have heard that Bulgaria was once a socialist country, and a part of the Cold War Eastern Bloc. Part of the heritage from that period that foreigners seem to find most fascinating are the communist-era monuments. Here, you are in luck, since Bulgaria is one of the few countries where this cultural heritage is still well materialized by many typical artifacts from that period. The monumental architecture of the 1970’s and 1980’s is a result of a massive cultural policy of the state during the socialist period. Typically, monumental art from the last decades of the 20th century resulted in landmarks that illustrate historical events, using specific historical images. So, if you are a fan of brutalist art or are in search of unique Instagram opportunities, here’s a list of Bulgaria’s most legendary and impressive communist monuments: 1. The Memorial Home of the Bulgarian Communist Party (Buzludzha) There is an incredible amount of communist monuments still preserved in Bulgaria. However, this is by far the most famous one. […]

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