Со́фия in Bulgarian
SOFIA is the capital and largest city from Bulgaria. The city is located at the foot of mount Vitosha (2290 meter above sea level) in the Western part of the country. Being in the center of the Balkans, it is midway between the Black Sea and the Adriatic Sea and closest to the Aegean Sea. Sofia has been an area of human habitation since at least 7000 BC, so enough history and culture to discover.
Being Bulgaria’s primate city, Sofia is a hometown of many of the major local universities, cultural institutions and commercial companies. Sofia is one of the top 10 best places for starting businesses in the world, especially in information technologies. In 2013, Sofia was named the most affordable city in Europe. The average price level in Sofia is way lower as most other Western capitals in Europe, but the quality on especially food and drinks is on the same level. You will find our yourself how exciting and fresh the Bulgarian kitchen is, with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, meat (especially pork meat) and high quality of local wine from especially the South Western part of Bulgaria.
The city of Sofia is having around 1.230.000 residents, the urban area of Sofia hosts around 1.540.000 residents. It is big city, with width streets and roads. The airport is around 20 minutes driving from the city center with no traffic problems. The traffic can be quite heavily, especially on the roads towards the city center.
Sofia is a very interesting city to visit and discover. You can see the mix between the old historical part, the parts with buildings from the communistic period and the modern time from the last 30 years after the communism. Many beautiful old buildings alternated by typical buildings and apartment blocks from the communistic time. Just take your time and walk around thru the history of this city. You will be surprised about what you will discover. Enter one of the local restaurants and let them surprise you with fantastic food and beautiful Bulgarian wine.
Summers are quite warm and sunny. In summer, the city generally remains slightly cooler than other parts of Bulgaria, due to its higher altitude. However, the city is also subjected to heat waves with high temperatures reaching or exceeding 35 °C (95 °F) in the hottest days, particularly in July and August
WHAT TO DO AND SEE
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
This is a must to visit. The Cathedral is located in the city center and is opened daily. Build between 1882 and 1912, and with a capacity of 5000 people inside, it is believed one of the largest Eastern Orthodox Cathedrals in the world.
The Russian Church
The Russian Church, officially know as the Church of St. Nicholas the Mirikal-Maker, is a Russian Orthodox church in the center of Sofia. The church was built on the site of the Saray Mosque, which was destroyed in 1882, after the liberation of Bulgaria by Russia from the Ottoman Empire. It is located close to the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.
This mountain is located at the South side of the city and is 2290 meters high. From the top you have an exceptional view on the surrounding of Sofia and the city itself. The mountain is easily accessible (by car, bus line and cable car) for nice hiking’s. In the winter there is a lot of skiing activity around this mountain.