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” […]
We must admit that the citizens of Sofia are spoiled by having the Vitosha mountain so close by. There are many different ways to get there. However, today we are focusing on one of our favorites. One of the many hiking paths available is the one that takes you to the Boyana waterfall. The Boyana Neighbourhood Once a village, neighbouring the big city, today Boyana is one of the nicest and most preferred residential areas in Sofia. It is right at the foot of the Vitosha Mountain. Therefore, it is 8km away from Sofia’s city center. To access it you need to go beyond Sofia’s ring road between Dragalevtsi and Knyazhevo. There are mostly houses in Boyana owned by what would be considered as the wealthier part of the Bulgarian society. However, the area is also home to a few must sees during your trip to Sofia. By far, the most famous landmark is the Boyana Church. A UNESCO world heritage site dating back to the 10th century. Another very […]
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 […]
Winter sports at Vitosha mountain, Sofia? Few of the people visiting and falling in love with Sofia and Vitosha mountain are aware of the city’s longstanding ambition to host the Winter Olympic Games. Inspired by Sarajevo’s successful example from 1984, the Bulgarian capital has tried several times to win the competition for Winter Olympics’ host. It came closest in the run up for the 1992 Games by finishing second – only a couple of votes away from the victorious Lillehammer (Norway). Today, Sofia is a bit further away from fulfilling its Olympic dream. However, the city’s beautiful mountain Vitosha is still there. It remains one of the most preferred options for winter sports in Bulgaria. It is located only 30 minutes away from the city center by car. Vitosha mountain welcomes the fans of skiing and snowboarding not only in the winter weekends, but also during the week – at daylight and after sunset. How to ski and snowboard in Sofia and Vitosha mountain? The first and most important prerequisite for […]
Sofia is probably the only European capital with such a big mountain so close to the city center. If we don’t consider the European ministates like Andorra. Vitosha is a ski resort (though a bit underdeveloped), nice hiking place and gives you a great panorama view of the city. The city is also one of the highest capitals in Europe. It’s Andorra la Vella again on top, followed by Liechtenstein’s Vaduz and arguably Madrid. So the question inevitably pops up – ‘How to get to Vitosha mountain?’. Here are some options: WALKING AND HIKING IN VITOSHA This is actually how organized tourism in Sofia started. In 1895 the famous Bulgarian writer Aleko Konstantinov managed to convince around 300 people to leave the ‘dusty streets’ and ‘stuffy cafes’ of Sofia and get a refreshing walk from the city centre to the top of the mountain – Cherni Vrah (Black Peak) at 2290 m above sea level. In front of the National Theatre there’s a stone that marks the starting point of this interesting […]
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