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Free Sofia Tour's Blog

March 3, 2013
bulgaria national holiday

March 3 – Bulgaria’s National Holiday

Why does Bulgaria have a Liberation Day? Since its establishment in the late 600’s, Bulgaria has had an interesting and complicated history with a number of highs and lows. It got conquered twice and, judging by the fact that it still exists, it also achieved liberation twice. The country was first conquered by the Byzantines in the early 11th century, regaining its independence in the late 12th century. Then it got conquered again at the end of the 14th century. This time the conqueror was the Ottoman Empire. Bulgarians spent the next almost five centuries as subjects of the Ottoman sultan, until March 3rd, 1878 – Liberation Day. Therefore, 3rd of March is a national holiday. What led to Liberation Day? From the 17th century onward a number of rebellions against Ottoman power took place in Bulgaria. The culmination of the Liberation Movement came in the 19th century. Under the influence of the ideas of the Enlightenment, humanism and nationalism, Bulgarians started consolidating and looking for cultural and political freedom. […]
April 11, 2012
Varna Collage

How to get to Varna

If you travel to Varna by plane Varna Airport is located about 7 km west of the town. As of 2017 WizzAir offer direct flight from Sofia to Varna.  There are a few options as follows: By bus You can easily catch bus number 409. The bus station is located in front of the VIP exit. The working time table over the weekdays is between 5:45 and 20:00 and over the weekend between 5:45 – 23:00. The arrival time is between 15 – 20 minutes. Prices are 1 BGN to the city and 3 BGN to Golden Sands and you pay to the person assigned for this in the bus. For further reference, click here. For a map of the buses, click here. Rent a car All rent-a-car offices are located in Terminal 1 (Arrivals). There you can find several well known rent-a-car companies like AVIS, SIXT, Budget and Dollar Thrifty. By taxi If there is no bus, and you don’t need a rent-a-car, you can take a taxi. The rate should […]
January 24, 2012

Bulgaria: history, culture, wine and… much more

Bulgaria (and Sofia in particular) is becoming quite popular. Given it’s one of our goals, we are very excited about that. Next week we would welcome guests from EastWeek magazine in Hong Kong and currently in contact with Qatar’s leading magazine Qatar Happening. In the meantime here’s what travel writers say about the country: 10 Things to do in Bulgaria by Europe A La Carte: Bulgaria is a beautiful country in Eastern Europe full of art, culture, history, and fun. Some Ill-Informed Observations On Bulgaria by Travels with a nine-year old Bulgaria’s eclectic cuisine pleases. It’s a charming meld of heart-attack Slav dishes based on pork, lard, sausages, more pork and perhaps some pickled cabbage or veal, and those Eastern Mediterranean favourites such as stuffed aubergines and what everyone outside Bulgaria would call Greek salad. With feta. Which isn’t called that here. Bulgaria: history, culture…and wine! by TravelBite Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital, at first glance seems a gritty and no-frills city which doesn’t initially feel all that inviting. However, what you get in Sofia, is […]
October 21, 2011
how to get to plovdiv

How to get to Plovdiv

Plovdiv the city of the 7 hills It is the second biggest city in Bulgaria – Plovdiv – is a pretty good option for a day trip outside of Sofia. Usually the first option for people who have a day to spare outside the capital is the Rila Monastery. However, Plovdiv should not be underestimated because it offers a lot of variety and it could cater for all kinds of interests. It has a lot to offer when it comes to sightseeing and culture.  It also boasts a lot of lovely restaurants and shopping streets. Plovdiv is also 2019’s European Capital of Culture. That means that there’s plenty to explore in this beautiful ancient city! How to get from Sofia to Plovdiv and respectively from Plovdiv to Sofia? – We are here to help! They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so let’s start with a beautiful shot of Plovdiv’s Old Town: Getting to Plovdiv from Sofia is easy. Here are the common ways to do it: To […]
September 22, 2011
Independance Day of Bulgaria

Bulgaria’s Independence Day

Why does Bulgaria have an Independence Day? Like the vast majority of countries around the globe, Bulgaria also celebrates its Independence Day. Bulgaria actually managed to lose its independence twice in its long and exciting history: once in the beginning of the 11th century to the Byzantine Empire, and a second time at the end of the 14th century  to the Ottoman Empire. So, despite the popular joke that half the world celebrates its independence from the British Empire, our country makes and exception to that rule. Why today? Bulgaria celebrates its Independence Day on September 22nd. This is when, in 1908, Bulgarian knyaz (prince) Ferdinand traveled to the medieval capital of Veliko Tarnovo and solemnly proclaimed Bulgaria’s formal independence from the Ottoman Empire, thus also elevating his own status to the historical title of tsar (originally meaning ’emperor’, but mostly interpreted as equal to to ‘king’ in this context). In case you are wondering, tsar was the official title of medieval Bulgarian rulers from the 10th century onward. Why Independence Day, if we […]
September 6, 2011
National Unification Day

Bulgaria’s Unification Day

What is Unification Day? Bulgaria celebrates Unification Day on September 6th. This is the anniversary of the unification of the Principality of Bulgaria and the autonomous Ottoman province of Eastern Rumelia, which took place on September 6th, 1885.   Why did Bulgaria need to unify? At the end of the 14th century, Bulgaria became a part of the Ottoman Empire through conquest. While there were quite a lot of uprisings, an organized liberation movement really emerged in the 19th century, influenced by the ideas of the Enlightenment, humanism and nationalism. The activities of this movement culminated in a massive revolt in April 1876. The Ottoman authorities successfully put down the rebellion. However, media reports about the accompanying atrocities caused an outrage in societies across Europe and North America. This led to a war between Russia and the Ottoman Empire. The war ended on March 3rd, 1878, which Bulgarians celebrate as their Liberation Day. In those days, however, nothing in Europe happened without the consent of the Great Powers. They held […]
June 29, 2011
Wi-fi places in Sofia for free connection for all devices

Wi-Fi areas in Sofia | Internet access in Sofia

Free Wi-Fi Internet Areas in Sofia Internet in Sofia It is easily accessible and available everyhwere. Free wi-fi areas could be found in most public areas such as the Central Railway Station, Central Bus Station, Sofia Airport, Central Covered Market – Halite. Same goes for all hotels, shoping malls, most metro stations and even some of the parks such as South Park (Yuzhen park), Zaimov Park, Doctor’s Garden. You can also expect that most of the cafes, restaurants and bars would have free wi-fi. Sometimes you might have to ask for a password at the counter but generally it’s free. You just have to bring your own device. Unlike other countries, it’s relatively easy here to find free internet. If you don’t have a wi-fi device, you can ask to use a computer at your place of accommodation or you can use a computer at the Tourist Information Center in the underpass of Sofia University. Here is a great list of places with free wi-fi in Sofia. Mobile Internet – 3G […]

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