This was only our second experience of a free walking tour (the first one being in Bratislava) and we absolutely loved it. We thought there wasn’t much to see or knoow about in Sofia, which we quuickly realised was a very ignorant viewpoint and the free walking tours really helped in us understanding more about the city and the history of Bulgaria.
We did the Jewish Tour and the Free Walking Tour and our guides were both very entertaining and were able to answer all our questions very well. These free walking tours are amazing to find out more about a particular city or country and we honestly would’ve never found out anything about the Jewish history, how the name Sofia came about, or the geographical importance of the city in the past.
Our Free Sofia Tour guide was really interesting as she gave out free Bulgarian candies to us for answering questions correctly. We found that this helped us pay more attention throughout and everyone else also listened attentively.
Believe it or not we came to Bulgaria specifically as my 13yr old Son asked for this walking tour experience for his Birthday. He loves History and thought it would be a great experience. If I’m honest I was not expecting to get that much from it myself, I was excited he would enjoy it but thought I might get a little bored. I was so so wrong! This tour was fascinating!! It brought everything to life, the lives and experiences of real people who lived and died under this regime. It was a history lesson he could never have got from text books or YouTube and I feel I have learned so much, it was such an eye opener! Martin our guide was brilliant, so passionate and knowledgeable, he really brought history to life and gave a balanced viewpoint. His recommendation for a restaurant to try afterwards was also superb. I will definitely be coming back and booking further tours with these guys. Thank you again for making my Son’s Birthday such an amazing experience he’ll remember forever.
I took part in four tours: City, Communist, Jewish and Alternative. All were very enjoyable, informative and delivered in clear language.
Svetla will be fondly remembered as having introduced me to Sofia’s main sites, sights and sounds on my first day in the city. In a short space of time, she imparted so many highlights relating to the country and the city, past and present, in a fun and informed manner. Her animated style and good diction added to my appreciation of the themes she was evoking as we walked through the city downtown.
The Communist Tour was led by Daniel who was an adept guide. He completely dominated his subject and blended together the essential elements of information into simple chunks which he told like a story-teller at each stopover. His command of English afforded him wit and irony in his delivery which added to the compelling story he had to tell. Daniel took a neutral stance on a complicated and sensitive era of Bulgarian history and allowed his audience to make their own judgments.
The Alternative Tour was a self-guided treasure hunt-type activity around downtown Sofia. Equipped with a map and clues, the itinerary took us to hitherto undiscovered parts of the city. It was great fun, like Hercule Poirot analysing all the clues and then deducing the answers. It turned out to be a novel and diverting way to uncover the central neighbourhood.
The final tour of my stay consisted of a walk which had Judaism as its theme. Kris was our skilful guide. The tour concentrated on the vicissitudes of Jewish life over 1000s of years of history, from the evolution of Jewish settlements in Bulgaria right up to the present day. I was particularly gratified to learn that the majority of Bulgarian Jews were saved from the Holocaust by the actions of the King and a vociferous Orthodox Church, not to mention an outraged public opinion. Kris relied on the facts, rather emotions, to help the assembly better understand the subject matter. A very worthwhile exercise.
Thanks to all for some enduring memories of Sofia.