Mini guide to Sofia
The capital of Bulgaria is crammed with ancient monuments that are well worth
visiting, including: the Alexander Nevski Memorial Church, the St Sofia Church
and the Vassil Levski Monument. Adding to the city's charm are ski resorts, old
monasteries and lush woodland.
Thought by many to be the finest piece of architecture in the Balkans, the
Alexander Nevski Memorial Church took over 30 years to build and involved craftsmen
and artisans from six countries working on its icons, frescoes, murals and huge
chandeliers. The interior of the church is lined with Italian marble and there
is an extensive collection of icons in the crypt.
St Sofia Church was built in the 4th century during the reign of Justinian,
and its name was adopted for the city in the 14th century. It is still possible
to make out remnants of the original murals; and, beside the church wall is
the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. One soldier who is fondly remembered is Vassil
Levski, who struggled to liberate Bulgaria from the Ottoman Empire. The monument
to him is located on the spot where he was hung by the Turks in 1873.
As a capital city, Sofia is well endowed with shops selling everything you
might need or want; clothing is of particularly good value. There is also a
vast range of restaurants, offering not only local specialities but also food
from countries around the world, such as Japan, India and Italy.
One of the most popular places to visit near to town is Mount Vitosha, where
a cable car takes you up to the ski resort of Aleko at 1868m. The ski season
runs from early December until late spring, but the scenery is beautiful at
any time of year.
By car, the E79 goes to Sofia from Greece; the E80 from Turkey crosses the
border at Kapitan Andreevo; while the E79 travels from Romania. Sofia International
Airport is served by flights from most major European cities, so the city is
relatively easy to get to. For getting around the city itself, you will find
the local trams, buses and trolley buses more convenient than a car, as parking
is severely limited.
Selection of hotels in this region:
Radisson SAS Grand Hotel
Click below for a
full list of hotels and online booking