Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria and one of the most beautiful destinations within the Balkan countries. I have been living In Sofia for a year and a half now. Being a travel freak, I like to be on the go and never miss a single opportunity to experience surrounding countries. Having spent time in cities like Madrid, Barcelona, Paris and Amsterdam, I must say that Sofia is really easy to get settled down in. I juggle between college and work here so I pretty much know what it feels like being a tourist, a foreign student and a foreign employee, all put together.
Bulgarians are extremely kind and helpful although they are not really their best when dealing with foreigners. In comparison to other European countries, life in Bulgaria is pretty cheap ! This opens a wide variety of activities that one can indulge in.
Here are few of the popular places to visit in Sofia and hopefully I do justice to how truly lovely is Sofia. The city is full of rich history, old museums and churches. The most known landmark in Sofia is the Alexander Nevski Cathedral. It is a symbol of all Bulgaria not just Sofia city. It was constructed between 1904-1912 to honour the 200,000 Russian solider that died fighting for Bulgaria’s independence.
National Theatre of Sofia : It is one of the most important landmarks in Sofia and it
is the oldest theatre in the country. It was named after Bulgaria’s most famous writer “Ivan Vazov”. The theatre is located in the centre of the city in front of a beautiful garden.
National Palace of Culture : It is a stunning piece of art landmark
which was opened in 1981 in celebration to the 1300th anniversary of Bulgaria. It is considered the biggest exhibition and multifunctional centre in south-eastern Europe.
Apart from the historical buildings, Sofia is also a natural beauty ! It is surrounded by the Balkan Mountains and the closest one to the city is Vitosha. Bulgarians love being close to nature and in summers Vitosha is a perfect place to breathe fresh mountain air or get lost in the wilderness. It is also super fitting for people who love hiking. In the winters, Vitosha Mountain is a paradise for ski lovers. Since it is super close to the city of Sofia, many families also take their kids weekly for ski lessons.
Last but not the least, one of my favourite places in Sofia is Lake Pancharevo. It’s an ideal weekend escape destination. It’s about 20 minutes away from the city centre via car. Lake Pancharevo is an artificial lake, big and beautiful. There is a range of refreshing activities that one can indulge in, like fishing, kayaking and pedalo-ing. Just near to the lake is a small restaurant where a hearty meal can be enjoyed.
About the author :
Mohammed Alkaf is a college student with a strong passion for traveling and photography. He is originally from Yemen but due to war in his country he was forced to find his way out. Now settled in Europe, he is using his free days to travel and explore. At the age of 25, he has already been to 9 countries and he hopes to continue this wonderful journey and document each of the special moments to share it with the rest of the world.