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Free Sofia Tour's Blog

June 11, 2018
vrana palace

The Palace of Vrana – History, Opening Hours and Prices

History of Vrana Palace The Royal days of Bulgaria are long gone. However, all around the country you can still find evidence of this period of Bulgarian history. Only 15 kilometers away from the heart of the city center of Sofia you will find the Summer Royal Palace of Vrana. The chosen location was where the homestead of the Ottoman governor of Sofia – Osman Pasha used to be. During the timeline of history, those lands change their ownership quite a lot. At the end of the 19th century they became property of the royal family of Bulgaria. We owe this project to our Royal Highness Ferdinand I. Construction works began at the beginning of the 20th century. The project consisted of the construction of various buildings with different purposes – hunting villa, royal palace, garden, rockery, artificial lakes, greenhouse and stables. Vrana Royal Palace surroundings You will also find a simple wooden house built during the communist regime . It was used by Georgi Dimitrov, our first communist leader. There is […]
May 31, 2018
seven rila lakes how to get to

How to get to the Seven Rila Lakes/Sapareva Banya from Sofia?

Whether you are visiting Bulgaria for a short city break or you are about to spend quite some time here, one of the best places to visit are the seven Rila Lakes in the Rila Mountains.  Another must do is to visit hot mineral water pools and spend a day in relaxation. And what better than a combination of both? Located at less than 100 km away from Sofia the Seven Rila lakes is a natural phenomenon that gathers people from all over the world with captivating beauty and stunning views albeit summer or winter. The Seven Rila Lakes The seven Rila lakes are naturally created glacial lakes and as the name says they are a total of 7 and each one carries a name associated with its most characteristic feature: Salzata  (“The Tear”) due to its clear waters that allow visibility in depth. Okoto (“The Eye”) after its almost perfectly oval form. Babreka (“The Kidney”) after its shape resembling a kidney. Bliznaka (“The Twin”) consisting of inner and outer […]
May 8, 2018
ten lesser known churches in Sofia

10 Lesser Known Churches in Sofia Worth Visiting

Willing to go the extra mile and explore Sofia’s lesser known churches? If so, then this post is for you. For over 7 years we have been showing the main landmarks of Sofia to thousands of visitors from all around the world.  Our daily Free Sofia Tour takes you around all the main and most important landmarks in the center of the city. This includes the most popular temples in Sofia such as the St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the Russian Church, St Nedelya Church and many more. However, there’s much more to Sofia and that’s why we have created a list of some of our favorite lesser known churches in the city! 1. Church of St Paraskeva (Света Параскева – Sveta Paraskeva) Despite being the third largest church in Sofia the church of St Paraskeva is often ignored by both tourists and locals. You can find it in a quiet part of the center. It is definitely one of Sofia’s gems. The church dates back to 1930. There are residential buildings […]
April 3, 2018
Sofia night transport

Night Transport in Sofia

Night Transport in Sofia? When? Where? How? Great news everyone! There is going to be public night transport in Sofia. Starting April 7th  2018 until 4 bus lines will be running during the night. So what is the deal? There will be 4 new lines that cross the city and connect the large neighborhoods. The four lines are as follows: N1, N2, N3 and N4. Here is also a map of their routes. Sofia night transport routes N1 will be running from Liulin district 1 and 2 towards Mladost 4 district with 50 stops. N2 will be running from Obelya district towards Studentski grad district with 38 stops. N3 will be running from Ovcha kupel district towards Levski dristrict  with 33 stops. N4 will be running from Drujba district towards Gotse Delchev district with 49 stops one way and 55 stops the other way There is going to be a transfer location where all of the lines meet so that one could be able to change them and this is going […]
March 26, 2018
cycling in Sofia

Cycling in Sofia

Riding a bike in Sofia Hooray! The snow is gone, the temperatures are slowly rising, everything around you, including yourself, is waking up from a long winter’s slumber and what better time to take out your bicycle, hop on it and feel the wind whistling in your ears? Cycling in Sofia? There is no better time of the year to ride a bike in Sofia than spring or summer, so we decided to give you a little bit more information on the topic, should you ever decide to go around on two wheels. Riding a bike in the city could be quite frustrating and cycling in Sofia is indeed a challenge due to the bad infrastructure, lack of proper cycling lanes and bike parkings, but mostly because of the poor bicycle culture in general. However, this doesn’t stop thousands of people to choose the bike as a means of transport in the city and that number is growing steadily every year. There are quite a few reasons and a lot […]
March 18, 2018
Easter in Bulgaria

Easter in Sofia

Happy Easter! Hi all, spring is here! This lovely season brings the great Christian celebration – Easter (in bulgarian Великден; Velikden – Great Day). Easter in Bulgaria Bulgaria being a largely Christian Orthodox country celebrates Easter according to the Julian calender instead of the Gregorian calendar, used by many western countries. Therefore, the date when bulgarians celebrate Easter is often later than the one celebrated in Western Europe. Here is when Easter will be celebrated in Bulgaria. In 2021, Bulgarians will celebrate on the 2nd of May. If you happen to be in Bulgaria this spring, you should know about our two most common Easter traditions –  Egg fight and the delicious sweet bread – Kozunak. In Bulgaria we don’t hide and search for the Easter eggs and we don’t have the Easter bunny compared to many Western countries. Here we color eggs on Thursday or Saturday before the holiday. The first dyed egg should always be red – a symbol of health. Usually, if you are in Sofia and want […]
March 8, 2018
bulgaria by train

Bulgaria by Train (The Ultimate Guide) | Trains in Bulgaria

Train travel in Bulgaria – the practical angle Bulgaria’s railway network spans over 4000 km of rail track linking most sizeable towns and cities. The main rail hub is in the capital city Sofia, which has connections to Romania, Serbia, Greece and Turkey. Train tickets for trains operating in Bulgaria can be booked in advance. The national railway company is known as the Bulgarian State Railways (BDZ) (БДЖ) Most trains are antiquated, slower than the buses and soaked in post-communist feel, which only adds to the unique experience. Taking your time to travel from A to B among common locals and flashes of diverse scenery, you get a feel of what life was like back in the Communist times when it was not possible for the Bulgarian passengers to simply continue beyond the country borders like they do today. Train types Trains are classified as ekspresen (express), barz (fast) or patnicheski (slow passenger). Naturally, the patnicheski trains are used to provide connections to the smaller or more remote towns and would be the better choice for […]
February 7, 2018
Winter in Sofia

Winter in Sofia – Top 10 Winter Activities

We’re not gonna lie, winter in Sofia can be quite tough. However, there are plenty of things to do in the Bulgarian capital even when it’s -20°C. We want to pass this insight onto you, our lovely visitors. Keep in mind though that you might just fall in love with Sofia and decide to make it your new home! Depending on what region of the world you hail from, the moment you poke your face out from your cozy hotel/hostel/Airbnb room, it might feel like a warm spring kiss or a bone-chilling North Pole slap in the face! Either way, we’ve got you covered, and will give you our top winter picks to make your winter visit to our lovely city as enjoyable as possible! Wondering what to do in Sofia in winter? Here are our top 10 picks for winter activities in Sofia: 1. Vitosha mountain – For our adrenaline junkies  It’s all about the powder a.k.a the snow! That’s right you saw it as you were landing – our beautiful […]
January 26, 2018
Free Sofia Tour en español

Free Sofia Tour en Español! | Free Sofia Tour in Spanish!

¡Tour Gratis de Sofia! ¡Free Sofia Tour en Español! ¡Novedades estupendas para nuestros aficionados hispanohablantes! Free Sofia Tour tiene una sorpresa especial para todos sus aficionados hispanohablantes. ¡Free Sofia Tour en español! ¡Actualización COVID-19! Debido a la contingencia de coronavirus, el tour en español está disponible: – Todos los días a las 11:00 – Los sábados y domingos a las 11:00 y 14:00. La visita empieza enfrente del Palacio de la Justicia. ¡Les estaremos esperando! Ampliaremos nuestro calendario en las próximas semanas. También recorridos están disponibles bajo demanda. En caso de dudas o preguntas, contactadnos. Consulten el calendario de tours en nuestra página de web para obtener la información más actualizada. Nuestros guías os esperarán ÚNICAMENTE enfrente de las dos estatuas de leones delante del Palacio de justicia. Otros proveedores de servicios similares también trabajan en el área. Aunque no existe otra diferencia entre las dos visitas guiadas, sugerimos una lista de razones para escoger la visita en español para los que vienen del sur donde el sol brilla más fuerte […]

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