As I’ve announced to travel to Sofia most of my friends asked why I’m going to visit that city? Having seen most of the European capital cities, Sofia was one missing city in my travel portfolio. I’ve searched for a guidebook of Sofia but that’s really though. All in all Sofia is not a very touristic city. So I’ve searched in the Internet what to do and found that free sofia tour.
That was THE Highlight of our journey, retrospectively. Our tour guide was Anna. She is awesome, very smart and an entertaining girl. Keep in mind that the city has not the attractions like Rome, Berlin, London or Paris. Even in my hometown Munich with equal numbers of citiziens (1,4 million) there are much more famous attractions (host of olympic games 1972, BMW, Oktoberfest, city of beer, Hofbräuhaus, soccer club FC Bayern München, and much more….) So it becomes more substantial how you present your city. Anna did it with very much pleasure to her hometown. It was more like strolling with your friends through the city and have some joking fun. She also speaks very good, clear and fluent English. As I’ve a lot to do with native speakers in my business I didn’t notice any accent in her speech (maybe native speakers will). This is not self-evident in Sofia. Try to buy some French fries at the American fast food company with the golden M in Sofia and you will know what I mean.
Sofia is a city of contrasts. Have a look at the central station of Sofia (not part of the tour) which is the first impression for many visitors. Sorry- but it is that much scabby that it becomes some sort of attraction (June 2015). On the other hand you’ll find in the city pompous architecture of communism, historic sites (part of the tour) or modern west architecture. Many things seem since many years under construction and not coming to an end. Furthermore you have a huge differential in education. As Bulgaria is a poor country (just have a look at the GDP or average income) I could imagine that most higher educated people striving abroad to gain higher wages. All the better is that there are some young, driven, educated people in Sofia, loving their city and showing it with passion to the visitors in their free tours. Sofia is a city with potential and I can recommend that free tour absolutely! It is an attraction by itself.