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Free Sofia Tour's Blog

August 7, 2020
bulgarian souvenirs

7 Best Bulgarian Souvenirs

Bulgarians are proud of their rich historical and cultural heritage. Therefore, some of the most widespread souvenir options in Bulgaria are indeed linked to the country’s folklore and traditions. These are our suggestions for the best souvenirs you could bring back home and remember your trip to Bulgaria forever. 1. Wine Winemaking in Bulgaria dates back to the time of the ancient Thracians. With its 5 main wine regions Bulgaria is the hidden paradise for all wine-lovers. A classic gift for someone special – a bottle of Bulgarian wine. You could find good Bulgarian wine in every supermarket. For a wider variety of local wines we suggest a visit to EnjoyWine. 2. Pottery If you’ve already dined at a traditional Bulgarian restaurant during your trip to to Bulgaria you have most probably seen great local pottery. Bulgarian ceramics and pottery could be found in various types of stores all around the country. In fact, every Bulgarian household would still use those, especially when preparing traditional bulgarian dishes such as bob, […]
May 29, 2020
covid-19 sofia

5 reasons why Sofia should be your first post-COVID-19 trip

As life in Europe is slowly transitioning to the “new normal” many are itching to travel. However, a lot of us are not sure how to go about it in a post-pandemic world where the coronavirus is still very much present. Many of the travel restrictions in Europe are expected to be eased in mid-June/early July. Intercontinental travel however, is still uncertain. Covid-19 has changed the travel industry. That’s why a lot of Europeans will be looking for vacation options within the continent. Here are 5 reasons why the Bulgarian capital might just be the perfect option for your first post-pandemic trip: Bulgaria is one of the least affected countries by the pandemic One could argue why that is. Possibly a combination of safety measures applied very early on, closed borders and local discipline. Whatever the case, the local health system was not overwhelmed and many lives were spared. As of the end of May Bulgaria saw a total of less than 2500 cases and 136 deaths. These numbers also […]
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. […]
July 10, 2019
yellow bricks

Sofia’s Yellow Brick Road

Ever wondered whether Bulgaria and Hungary have something in common or whether there’s some other connection between their capital cities – Sofia and Budapest? It turns out that yes, there is. The following post will tell you about one of them: Sofia’s yellow cobblestones. THE STORY OF SOFIA’S YELLOW COBBLESTONES After Bulgaria’s Liberation from the Ottoman Empire in 1878, Sofia was designated as capital of the newly established country. However, it was chosen for its geographic location and not its architecture; at the time, it did not look much like a city, let alone a capital. Dirty puddles, mud, and stinking water covered the city center. This is why Prince Dondukov, head of the Provisional Russian government in power at the time, quickly ordered changes. In 1901, Sofia’s first trams set off on six routes, served by 25 individual trains, and in 1905, Maria Louise Boulevard became the first city street to be paved. Afterwards, the Municipality began an ambitious plan to pave a big portion of the city. It bought two quarries in the neighboring Vitosha mountain – […]
June 21, 2019
sofia bulgaria guide

Sofia – Capital of Bulgaria – The Ultimate Travel Guide

Sofia is Bulgaria’s capital and largest city. Situated in the very heart of the Balkan peninsula,  it is one of Europe’s oldest cities. While still undiscovered by many, more and more people are now falling in love with the city’s unique east meets west vibe. HISTORY OF SOFIA For the past 6000 years this city has seen it all. Once called Serdica – an important trade center in the Roman empire. Then conquered by the Bulgarians in the 9th century, then conquered by the Byzantine Empire, then re-claimed by the Bulgarians and then a stronghold of the Ottoman empire. After Bulgaria gained its independence in the late 19th century, Sofia was chosen as the country’s new capital. It’s now been capital for 140 years. The city’s appereance today has been widely shaped by the twists and turmoils of the 20th century. Up until WW2 Bulgaria was a parliamentary monarchy and Sofia’s architecture was influenced by the examples of Austrian, French and German architecture. The second half of the 20th century […]
May 3, 2019
Buzludzha

The Buzludzha Monument

Is it a bird? A plane? Is it a UFO? It’s the Buzludzha Monument! Once, a huge symbol of the power and might of the Bulgarian Communist regime, attracting people from both the country and all over the world with its bizarre look, monumental construction and embedded ideology. Nowadays, it is completely abandoned. It has been falling apart ever since the end of the communist regime in 1989. This time we are covering one of the most extraordinary and controversial ideological monuments left from Bulgaria’s communist past. And of course, we are going to tell you everything you need to know about it. You might have seen this outlandish looking building before as it has been included in the list of the 33 most beautiful abandoned places in the world. Its futuristic appearance looks as if taken straight from a science fiction series. This is the main reason for people to call it “the flying saucer”. If you are wondering where the Buzludzha monument is… you will find it in […]
February 15, 2019
best things to do and see in sofia

Top 10 Things to Do in Sofia

If you are reading this then you are most likely visiting Sofia for the first time. No worries! We are here to guide you through your first experience with a list of essential things to do and see in Bulgaria’s capital and largest city. 1. Explore Sofia’s main landmarks From its beautiful temples to the ancient Roman ruins, Sofia has a lot to offer. The city is full of must-sees due to its rich historical and cultural heritage. A great way to get a good overview of the city’s historical center is of course one of our daily free walking tours. This will get you acquainted with the city’s most important sights in just 2 hours. The tours start in front of the Palace of Justice and end right next to Sofia’s most legendary building – St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. 2. Vitosha Boulevard Sofia’s city center is very compact and walking is the best way to get your bearings and experience the Bulgarian lifestyle. It is inevitable that you will […]
January 8, 2019
Free Sofia Tour new guides

Free Sofia Tour is Looking for New Guides!

Free Sofia Tour is looking for talent! It’s the beginning of 2019, winter holidays are (unfortunately) gone and we at the Free Sofia Tour are already starting to think ahead. That’s right, we are looking for new guides to join our team! You might have seen us on the street, you might have seen us in the media, you might have heard someone tell you stories of us. If you haven’t… this is who we are and what we do. Our primary goal is to make every guest of our tour feel welcome to Sofia and Bulgaria. We want to ignite a spark of interest in such a way so that they would want to come back and recommend it to their friends. We are passionate about what we do. That’s why we constantly strive to make each tour personal, fun, informative, helpful and unforgettable. Are you one of our new guides? Take a look at our poster and if you see yourself in it, don’t hesitate to contact us. If you […]
November 28, 2018
How to get to Veliko Tarnovo from Sofia

How to get to Veliko Tarnovo from Sofia

If you have explored Sofia, been to Plovdiv, visited the Rila Monastery or the seven lakes then probably next on your list is Veliko Tarnovo. Known as the old capital of Bulgaria this city is full of history, charm and great people. This is why this time we will be sharing with you the easiest way to get there. Veliko Tarnovo is situated in the center of Northern Bulgaria at a very strategic location. It is at an almost equal distance away from Sofia (around 220km), Plovdiv (around 200 km), Varna (around 220 km) and Burgas (around 220 km) all of which have airports. No matter where you have landed you will be equally away from this must-see Bulgarian town. You can easily get there on your own choosing from the options listed below. By car or taxi If you have rented a car or plan to do it or even take a taxi this is the easiest and fastest way to get to Veliko Tarnovo. It takes around 3 […]

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