Free Sofia Tour’s Tips and Tricks

More info about your stay in Sofia and in Bulgaria. Practical advice (inside tips & tricks) about anything from more sightseeing to exchanging money.

December 19, 2017
How to get to Bansko from Sofia

How to get to Bansko (from Sofia)

Dear travelers! We know many of you have already seen our lovely capital Sofia. You’ve probably walked around the historical part of the city with the Free Sofia Tour. You’ve strolled down the Yellow brick road, entered the ancient Rotunda of St. George, gazed at the beautiful St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral. But now you probably want to spend some time outside of Sofia and you’re wondering where to go next? Well, for those of you who like skiing, snowboarding or hiking, going to one of our mountain resorts comes naturally as a next destination here in Bulgaria. One of these great places is Bansko. Let’s talk about Bansko! Bansko is a small town situated in Southwestern Bulgaria, surrounded by Rila, Pirin and Rhodope mountains. It is one of our most popular ski resorts and a popular site for recreation with its pine forests, mountain peaks and lakes near the town. The distance between Sofia and Bansko is 160km and it takes approximately 2 hours to get there by car and […]
October 1, 2015
Kremikovski Monastery

One day trip around Sofia – Kremikovski Monastery

Monasteries around Sofia Close to our city of Sofia, there is a curious destination that is not very well-known with tourists. It is renowned as Sofia’s Mount Athos, or “Sofiiska Sveta Gora.” The term refers to a group of monasteries around Sofia that was established in the Bulgarian Middle Ages (1185-1417) and constituted a spiritual community under a common management. The monasteries were founded at the feet of several mountains: Vitosha, Lyulin, Rui  Plana, Lozen , and the southern slopes of Stara Planina (which you may know as the Balkan Mountain). Over time, the monasteries formed a ring around the city (you can find a map of the area here). Originally there were 14 of them, but later on another 7 convents were added to the cluster. About the Kremikovski Monastery In the Stara Planina (Balkan) mountain, only 22 km away from downtown Sofia, you can find one of these monasteries – the Kremikovski Monastery. It was established during the reign of Bulgarian king Ivan-Alexander (1331 – 1371). During the Ottoman siege of Sofia in […]
August 19, 2015
Guide to the Sofia metro

Guide to the Sofia metro

Hey all! After our previous blog posts about getting around Sofia with the public transport or on foot, it is high time we tell you about everyone’s favorite way of transportation in the city. With this post, we are taking you on a ride with the Sofia metro! We have prepared our next dose of useful tips and tricks for visiting Sofia. As of August 2020 Sofia has 3 functioning metro lines! The consturction of the Sofia metro started in the 1970s. It took several decades before the first line opened. However, it was in the last 10 years that the metro network saw its biggest expansion with two new lines now fully operating (inaugurated in 2012 and 2020) and a longer 1st line that can now take you all the way to the Sofia Airport. When entering any metro station, you can find additional information about the metro lines, the stops, or the timetable, on signs like these: Sofia metro to the Sofia Airport – fully functional. It now […]
July 20, 2015
Pedestrian Friendly Sofia - Vitoshka 2

Pedestrian Friendly Sofia

Walk through pedestrian friendly Sofia As goes the famous song by Aerosmith. This time we are not going to sing, but we will walk you through the pedestrian secrets of our city. This post is for all who are keen on going by foot. Walking has always been the primary means of human locomotion. There is simply no way to avoid it and we are doing it all the time – we are walking out of home in the morning, going to school or work, we are walking during the day, we are walking to the party in the evening. We are made for walking and it is good for us. Not only does it help us keep fit, but it also gives us a chance to slow down and discover the extraordinary and unique aspects of a place. Sofia has all the perfect characteristics of a pedestrian friendly capital. Although it is the biggest city in Bulgaria, the capital is ideal for a stroll with its many parks, lively […]
February 24, 2015
Sofia's Central Bath - Past, Present & Future | Free Sofia Tour

Sofia’s Central Bath

One of the most beautiful buildings in the heart of Bulgaria’s capital is not an administrative building, a palace, an art gallery or a temple. It’s a public bath. Or at least it used to be. Sofia’s Central Bath – past The public bath’s story starts a long time ago with the mineral water spring on top of which it was built. Centuries ago, when these lands were part of the Roman Empire, Romans already knew of the mineral water’s healing properties. They used it for SPA procedures as well as for drinking. In fact, the Roman city of Serdica – Sofia’s old name – was well-known in Roman times for its healing mineral waters. In the following centuries these precious territories became part of the Bulgarian states, but at the end of the 14th century everything was conquered by the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans also had ways of using the water and as a result a hamam was built on the same place, where the public bath sits today […]
February 5, 2015
Guide to the Sofia metro

Sofia public transport guide

Have you ever tried to figure out the public transportation system in Sofia? What to take, where to get a ticket, how to use it, how to get to the airport, train or bus stations? If so, you have come to the right place, because now we will introduce you to the public transport of Sofia and give you useful information on how to survive in the urban jungle. We hope it will help you “blend in” and not look like human on Mars when you get on a bus. So, hop on and let’s get started! Public transport exists in every good-sized city and Sofia is no exception. Although lots of Bulgarians prefer their cars to move around in the capital, there are people who still prefer to use the public means of transport. As a matter of fact, it is getting more popular and quite regular. Taking a ride in the Sofia public transport is a journey in space and time like no other and the only thing […]
March 9, 2014
Borisova Garden Sofia

7 fun facts about the Borisova Garden in Sofia

Sofia’s biggest park – Borisova Garden How often do you pass by a park or a garden? You hang out with friends, sit on a bench drinking beer, or just lazily lie on the grass letting time fly? Have you ever wondered about the stories these places hide? Here are some fun facts about the biggest park in our capital – Borisova Garden. We hope that it will help you get to know it better. 7 Facts about the Borisova Garden 1. Initially, the Borisova Garden was in the outskirts of Sofia but as the city grew rapidly the park ended up in the very center of Sofia. 2. The Borisova Garden was built at the end of the 19th century. Its name went through a number of changes. First, it was Razsadnika (The Nursery Garden), then Pepiniera, Tzarigradskata gradina, Knyaz Borisovata gradina (The Prince Boris Garden) and The Freedom Park. 3. A Swiss gardener was responsible for the design. He was brought all the way from Bucharest. 4. The plants for the Japanese Corner, came […]
June 3, 2013
The Rhodopes

The Rhodopes – Where Time Has Stopped

The Rhodope Mountains When was the last time that bird songs were the only sound around, your lungs were full of oxygen, and your eyes could not grasp the immensity of the sky with the snowy mountain peaks piercing through it on the horizon? Somewhere deep in the Rhodope mountains the clocks have stopped ticking. As if it is still the time when young boys and girls from times long forgotten were laughing around in the steep cobble stone streets, women were knitting socks on a bench in front of the church and men were gathering the goats from grazing.   Experiencing The Rhodopes There you can taste the past of a nation, you can breathe it; it can make you shudder. You start wondering whether to watch, take pictures, or just close your eyes and let the Universe pulsate in your chest. There your breath turns into eternity. You are alive! Have you just realized that? While taking a sip from the home-made strawberry juice or perhaps the red wine in the local roadside tavern, the stars laid […]
May 26, 2013

Sofia Bike Rental

Did you know that Sofia is one of the greenest capitals in Europe? One way to explore all the parks and gardens in Bulgaria’s biggest cities is by bike. If you don’t have one, you can rent a bike at Sofia Bike Rental. They have great city bikes by the Bulgarian company Drag. You can either join the for the daily Free Sofia Bike Tour or explore on your own using the convenient map they provide. By the way, the seaside city of Burgas became the first one in Bulgaria with a system of public rent-a-bike locations. After the project is fully completed, there will be 12 stations with 120 bikes to rent at budget prices. The first one is ready and is located in front of the Youth cultural centre. The same people do a great free hiking tour in the outskirts of Sofia, including Boyana church, Boyana waterfall and lake. So here’s why this UNESCO World Heritage Site is definitely worth visiting.

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