fbpx

Free Sofia Tour's Blog

May 16, 2022

Bulgarian Modernist Architecture in Sofia – Top 8 Examples

Bulgarian modernism is one of Sofia’s best-kept secrets. It’s predominantly in the city center of Bulgaria’s capital where you’ll find prime examples of Bulgarian modernist architecture. Following WW1 and the two Balkan wars, Bulgaria saw a drastic change in the period between the two world wars. Naturally, that was also reflected in the architecture. History of Bulgarian Modernism The years between the two world wars in Bulgaria were a very dynamic period in terms of the changes in stylistic trends. The 1920s was a period of coexistence of different architectural trends such as Art Deco, echoes of Art Nouveau, and different eclectic styles. On the contrary, the beginning of the 1930s was the time of the consolidation of the new trend of the Modern Movement with its distinguishable features like the clearness of the form, functionality, lack of redundant ornamentation, horizontalism, etc. but sometimes with some elegant local taste. This was also the time of intensive growth of the urban population. As a result of that in Sofia, a great […]
November 22, 2021

One Day in Sofia – What to Do in 24 Hours

Visiting Sofia for just one day and want to make the most of it? We are here to help. Needless to say, 24 hours are not enough but you can actually cover most of the essentials if you follow our plan strictly. 1. Start your day the Bulgarian way Once you wake up it’s time for some breakfast. The most “local” way to begin your day is with some banitsa and ayran. Banitsa is a local pastry with white cheese. Ayran is a cold yoghurt drink that is most often paired together with some banitsa. Both are considered street food and are usually consumed while standing or walking. However, if you prefer to have a longer and more relaxed morning we recommend starting your day at one of our favorite breakfast places in town – the Sweet & Salty Bakery Cafe, Mekitsa & Coffee or the Rainbow Factory. 2. Explore the main landmarks Fortunately for everybody with a tight schedule, Sofia’s historical center is very compact. You can explore it […]
June 28, 2021

Alternative Ways to Get Around Sofia

We’ve already covered the more traditional ways of getting around Bulgaria’s capital with our Sofia Public Transport Guide and Guide to Sofia Metro. Today, we are looking at some of the more innovative, alternative, and eco-friendly ways to move around Sofia. This is especially important considering the city’s heavy traffic and air pollution issues. Renting a scooter – Hobo You might be familiar with this concept from other cities. Scooters have grown in popularity over the past decade. There are now a couple of companies offering rent-a-scooter services in Sofia. However, we are keen on the Bulgarian micro-mobility startup Hobo. With its user-friendly app and conveniently located scooters around the city, it’s the perfect way to get around the central part of the city and its neighboring areas. Needless to say, they are also quite fun and easy to use without requiring too much physical effort. You can also use them on the bike lanes. Parking zones for scooters are available in various locations in the city center. A ride […]
January 19, 2021

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” […]
December 1, 2020

Self-Guided Sofia Tour

There are a number of reasons why one might prefer exploring the city on their own. And while we’re best at guiding walking tours in Sofia and Plovdiv we are also here to help you out if you’ve decided to do things at your own pace and time. If you prefer doing that here’s our suggestion for a self-guided Sofia tour that will take you around the city’s main landmarks. You should be able to cover the route in around two hours. 1. Start: Palace of Justice As with all our tours, the Palace of Justice is the perfect place to begin your journey. It is situated right next to the pedestrian part of Sofia’s main street – The Vitosha Boulevard. Look out for the two lion statues at the very front and you will never miss it. Apart from the countless shops, restaurants, bars and cafes around, the area is also really well connected by tram and metro. Nearest metro station is Serdika. 2. Sveta Nedelya Church You should be […]
November 17, 2020

Големият Софийски Куиз на Free Sofia Tour – Quiz за София

Екипът на Free Sofia Tour вече 10 години е ангажиран с безплатните турове, които разкриват забележителностите на София. През тези 10 години нашата организация успя да развие и редица други проекти. Това, в което се съсредоточихме през особената 2020-та година е представянето на наследството на нашия град в игрови формат. След успеха на вълнуващия лов на съкровища – Sofia Treasure Hunt, сега предлагаме нещо по-подходящо за месеците на физическа дистанция, които ни предстоят. А именно – Големият Софийски Куиз на Free Sofia Tour. Куиз за София Големият Софийски Куиз на Free Sofia Tour е поредица от събития на български език, които представят интересни и забавни факти от софийското минало и настоящи под формата на викторина с награди. Каним ви да се включите в първия онлайн куиз на тема “София”! Куизът е разработен от екскурзоводите на Free Sofia Tour, които запознават гостите на столицата с нейната история, забележителности и скритите ѝ тайни вече цели десет години. Ако смятате, че познавате София като петте си пръста, ако искате да проверите колко всъщност я […]
October 26, 2020

Parks and Gardens in Sofia

They call it one of the greenest capitals in Europe for a reason! Sofia might not have sea access or a large river crossing it but it is full of beautiful parks – green in spring, yellowish in autumn and (hopefully) white in winter. Here is our selection and description of the most popular and attractive open spaces you should not miss! The City Garden We simply had to start with the oldest one! During the Ottoman rule there was a private garden here in front of the then police station. The park was not open to the public but remained accessible only to the local ruler. Right after the liberation in 1878, the park was officially opened under the name The Alexandrov Garden in honor of the Russian Emperor Alexander II. Today, the most important building in the City Garden is the National Theater Ivan Vazov finished in the first decade of the 20th century. The park is small and neat, with plenty of benches to sit, relax and […]
June 12, 2020

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 […]
May 29, 2020

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 […]

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close