Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria. It is situated in the western part of the country, at the foot of Vitosha. The Greek word "sofia" means "wisdom". It has a long and interesting history which can be seen in numerous monuments from different eras. The local clubs, restaurants and pubs offer delicious regional cuisine and fine wines. It is possible to experience all of that thanks to LOT Polish Airlines.
There are cheap air tickets to Sofia from Warsaw. The direct flight takes only 1h 55 minutes.
Location of the Bulgarian capital is extremely convenient because it is located within short distance of three other countries: 55 km from the Serbian border, 113 km from the border of the Republic of Macedonia and 183 km from the border of Greece. After exploring Sofia you can rent a car and have a great journey through more than one country.
At the beginning in ancient times Sofia was a small village. It was occupied by three different tribes. After it was invaded by Romans in the first century it became local administration center. At this time the city walls, many sacred and secular monuments were built. The city was destroyed in many wars and natural disasters. Until the early 14th century it belonged to Bulgarians. From this time it was a Turkish city.
The oriental influence can be seen around the whole Sofia till nowadays.
What to see in Sofia
Sofia is a city with a history dating back thousands of years. It was occupied by many nations which traces can be found around the whole city and its surroundings. Many settlements from the Neolithic period were found in this area. Even in the center of Sofia there are remainings of a settlement built 3 000 years BC. It is worth to start Sofia sightseeing from the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. It was designed by Russian architect - Alexander Pomierancew. The cathedral is quite young. It was built in the late nineteenth century. It amazes with its mysterious atmosphere, impressing interiors and beautiful fescues. This is one of the largest Orthodox churches in Europe.
The oldest orthodox church in Sofia is Basilica of St. Sophia. It was built on the highest spot in the city, which is the Alexander Nevsky Square, in the sixth century. Basilica of St. Sophia is one of the most important buildings of the Balkan region. In Sofia you cannot miss original orthodox churches. There are really plenty of them. Very original are also historic Turkish baths, parliament, Market Hall and the Presidential Palace.
Museums of Sofia
Worth visiting is the Archaeological Museum, where there are stored, among others, Roman finds from Serdica. At the first floor there is a copy of the famous "Madara Horseman" (list UNESCO). On the square before the palace you can see ceremonial of changing of the guard protecting the presidential building. Museum of History is located in the state residence of Boyan. The exhibition consists of more than 22 000 exhibits, illustrating the social, political, cultural and economic development on the territory of Bulgaria in the ancient times, medieval times and renaissance
Sofia Airport [SOF]
Sofia Airport, also known as Vrazhdebna Airport is the largest airport in Bulgaria. It is an international airport located 9 km from the center of Sofia. It handles more than 3 million passengers every year. The airport is the most popular in its region, especially in summer, due to the large number of tourists. In 2006 a new passenger terminal was opened. The old one currently supports only low cost airlines. LOT offers direct flights to Sofia from Warsaw. After 1h and 55 minutes comfortable journey, you can enjoy this old and amazing city.
Sofia airport history
The first airport building in Sofia was in the place of current railway station. The first commercial flight took place in 1922. Sofia’s today’s airport was constructed in the late 30’s. In 1949 and aviation union TABKO between Bulgaria and Russia was established. This is also the time when the first international flights took place. Between 1951 and 1965 the airport was modernized and the runway was extended to 720 meters.
Since this time the fast grow of Sofia airport started. There were built new terminal for domestic flights and new building for international ones.
The existing infrastructure was renovated in 2000 when the Terminal 1 was rebuilt. Five years later a new Terminal 2 was constructed and the runway was equipped with new devices that provides airport III category according to ICAO standards for the conditions for landing.
How to reach the airport
Two buses run from the airport to the center of Sofia and back. Travel time is approximately 20 minutes. Terminal 1 is connected with the bus number 84, and Terminal 2 Bus number 284. A small shuttle bus number 30 connects the two terminals with the center and the largest residential area of Sofia-Lyulin. Two terminals are connected to each other with a small free shuttle bus. There is also Metro line 1 which runs from the airport to Sofia through residential zones. Tickets are available in the vending machines in front of the metro gates, the price is 1 BGN and it is valid for 30 minutes. There are two car parks at the airport: one in front of Terminal 1 and the second new multi-storey with a capacity of 820 parking spaces at Terminal 2. The car parks are open non-stop. Taxi ranks are located in front of terminals. In the arrivals hall of Terminal 1 you will find an office of "OK Supertrans" corporation. Approximate cost of travel between the airport and the city center is 10 BGN.
Sofia airport provides most of the facilities the passengers need. There are cash machines located in the arrivals and departures halls. The Wi-Fi connection is free at the whole airport. If you need some rest after a long journey there are three lounges available: Swissport Vitosha Lounge, Guest Lounge Preslav and Guest Lounge Pliska. Several car rental companies offer here their services. It is also possible to have a 60- minute tour through the airport, during which you can see the runways, fire and rescue station and noise protection screen. There are of course numerous shops and restaurants, also in duty-free zone.
Sofia is an interesting city which attracts large number of tourist every year. This is why the range of accommodation is quite big. Every tourist should find an option which meets his or her expectations. Flying with LOT is fast and comfortable and with a little bit of effort you can have also as comfortable place to stay in capital of Bulgaria. This way you will experience great adventure in this beautiful city.
Accommodation range in Sofia
Accommodation in Sofia - as it usually happens in the capitals - is more expensive than in other cities in Bulgaria. It is possible to find accommodation in one of many hostels, hotels or private apartments. For staying in hostel and preparing the meals by your own should cost up to 30 euro per day. If you prefer a little bit higher standard guest houses with breakfasts included should meet your expectations. Here you should pay 75-80 Euros per day. Guest houses and apartments for rent can be found on the slopes of Vitosha. To stay in 4-5 star Sofia hotels you will need approximately 100- 200 Euros for each day of your stay. Another option is renting a house. This is a great idea for people travelling in big groups. There are also some budget hotels and B&Bs in the city.
Sofia is not a very large city. If you will look carefully it is possible to find a place to stay within walking distance from every major attraction and point in the city. You can assume that a starting point is the main street in Sofia which is Vitosha Boulevard. There are plenty of restaurants, cafes, bars and shops. If you will stay somewhere near this street, you can be sure that you can explore the whole city on foot. However, if you search for something a little more quiet you can try Oborishte Street. It is only 10 minutes walk from the city center, but you can enjoy many local restaurants and bars and still have more peaceful atmosphere.
It is also considering as very cool and hippy-like district. For a cheaper area you can also consider places near Ladies market and Central Station. If you prefer to stay closer to the nature, you should think about Mt Vitosha. It has a direct access to hiking trails. This area is situated 20 minutes ride by a taxi from the city center.
Hotels in Sofia
Sofia hotels range is quite extensive. There are many very old and elegant high-end hotels, as well as modern ones which also offer great experience. These 5 stars facilities offers luxury and extra services. Standard 4 star hotels are the most numerous in the city. You will find here a lot of commonly known chains, as well as some popular only in Bulgaria. There is also large offer of budget and 3 stars hotels. It is important to book a room in advance.
You should also know that many hotels have special offers around Christmas time and in August. Usually rates are quoted in Bulgarian Leva, however in some luxury hotels it is also possible to use Euro currency. Staying in Sofia will be definitely a nice experience. The accommodation variety will satisfy even the most demanding travellers. Most of the places are located in the city center which is the perfect area for exploring the city.
- Airline tickets Warsaw - Budapest
- Airline tickets Stockholm - Krakow
- Airline tickets Gdansk - Warsaw
- Airline tickets Warsaw - Bucharest
- Airline tickets Krakow - Stockholm
- Airline tickets London - Warsaw
- Airline tickets Warsaw - Frankfurt
- Airline tickets London - Krakow
- Airline tickets Krakow - Prague
- Airline tickets Krakow - London
- Airline tickets Warsaw - Minsk
- Airline tickets Chicago - Warsaw
- Airline tickets Warsaw - Chicago
- Airline tickets Brussels - Katowice
- Airline tickets Budapest - Warsaw
- Airline tickets London - Odessa
- Airline tickets Paris - Odessa
- Airline tickets Frankfurt - Vilnius
- Airline tickets Odessa - Hamburg
- Airline tickets London - Kiev
- Airline tickets Amsterdam - Warsaw
- Airline tickets Lviv - London
- Airline tickets Budapest - New York
- Airline tickets Kiev - Hamburg
- Airline tickets London - Vilnius
- Airline tickets Chicago - Rzeszow
- Airline tickets Budapest - Toronto