In the first publication we visited Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria through the boulevards Tsar Osvoboditel and Vitosha, which bring us to many attractions in the downtown area of the city, with the possibility of walking them perfectly on foot.
Our article today leads us to continue visiting new places in Sofia. To begin, we will take a walk through Zaimov Park. This place is located 10 blocks east of downtown, on the Yanko Sakazov Boulevard.
Zaimov Park is a large place, full of trees and benches to rest. It stands out for the fountains in its center, adorned with numerous flower beds that bloom in spring.
In this park is the Sofia Theater.
Train and Bus stations
One of the main characteristics of Sofia that deserves to be highlighted is the location of the train and bus stations. Very few cities in the world are so accessible to visitors who move on public transport, such as Sofia.
Travelers arriving to the Bulgarian capital from other cities in the country or neighboring countries find that the stations are next to each other, only 10 blocks from the city center and most of the hotel establishments.
The metro has the Tsentralna Zhp Gara station, of the M2 line, a few meters from the train station.
The stations are connected to the central area by the Hristo Botev Boulevard, which passes through the small park Gradina Alzhir, or also through the Maria Luiza Boulevard.
The Yuzhen Park is a huge green space that is located south of the city, about 25 blocks from the center, where Vitosha Boulevard ends. It is a park of 1700 meters long by 600 wide with extensive wooded areas, small forests, some streams and, in its western sector, a beautiful garden that in spring and summer is filled with perfectly designed flower beds.
The suburb of Boyana is located on the southern edge of the city of Sofia, at the foot of the Vitosha Mountains. Composed mostly of houses with gardens and quiet streets, the place is home to many business people, politicians and celebrities.
In Boyana you will find the Boyana Film Studios, one of the largest film studios in Balkan Europe.
On our tour we visited the Boyana Church, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979.
This medieval Bulgarian Orthodox church was built in three stages: the east wing in the late 10th and early 11th centuries, the central wing in the 13th century, and the west wing in the mid-19th century.
The Church of Boyana stands out for its frescoes, which were made in 1259 on older ones.
About nine kilometers east of the Boyana Church, on the slopes of the Vitosha Massif, is the Dragalevtsi Monastery. Surrounded by pine forests, the monastery was built in 1345 by Tsar Ivan Alexandr, and between 1871 and 1872, it served as a refuge for Vasil Levski.
Behind Boyana is the imposing Vitosha Massif, which reaches 2,290 meters (7,513 feet) above sea level. The mountain offers good ski slopes in the winter season and it is possible to access it by bus, taxi or cable car.
The mountain was born as a result of volcanic activity and is located within the Vitosha Natural Park, the oldest park in the Balkans.
In addition to snow sports, the Vitosha Massif allows hiking and enjoy the magnificent views of the Sofia Valley, Lake Iskar, the city of Pernik, the Rila Mountains, the upper valley of the Struma River, among other places.
Sofía Green Tour (http://www.sofiagreentour.com/), offers free guided tours to the Boyana area, where the church is visited, as well as the lake and waterfall that are nearby.
To the east of Sofia we have other attractions such as the Sveta Mina Church, located about 15 blocks from the Borisova Gradina park, and the Sofia Airport Park, located next to the last metro station, and which allows aircraft lovers to admire them close up.
Leaving the city to the southeast on the route 82, there is the Urvich Park and the Iskar Dam, located on the homonymous river, which also has other smaller lakes in its mountainous course.
Gastronomy and nightlife
Bars and cafes usually close at midnight, while discos stay until 5 or 6 AM. Many restaurants and bars have live music shows, whether traditional Bulgarian or of different genres.
Most of the clubs are located in the Studentski Grad district, south of the city.
Among the best places to dine are Victoria restaurants, Happy Bar & Grill, BESO Bar & Dinner.
The largest number of bars are located near the Boulevard Vitosha and in the vicinity of the University of Sofia. Some are Corner, Café-Club Tintin, Baskerville, Murphy’s, Toba & Co, and Swinging Hall.
The most important night clubs are Yalta and Chervilo (they stand out for their house and electronic music), LaRocca (retro music), Alcohol and Backstage (rock);
In the Bulgarian capital the chalga clubs (oriented to a type of local music) stand out, such as NightFlight, Avenue, Illusion, Club 33, Nai Club, Review, among others.
The entrances to clubs oscillate between 3 and 20 levs.
Keep in mind that public transport in Sofia usually interrupts your services between 1 and 5 AM, so sometimes it is necessary to have a vehicle or use a taxi to return home.