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SOFIA “In Your Pocket: A cheeky, well-

written series of guidebooks.”
The New York Times

April-June 2009

July- September 2009

“In Your Pocket: A cheeky, well-

written series of guidebooks.”
The New York Times

Bulgarian Beers
Medical Tourism
in Bulgaria
No 15
Enjoy your White Smile, Dirt Cheap
of Sofia
In Your Pocket
Contents 3

Whether you came here

on a business trip or as
tourist, wel come to our
city. Sofia has a lot to offer
for everybody. I would rec-
E S S E N T I A L C I TY G U I D E S ommend you to read care-
fully through this fresh copy
Contents of In Your Pocket where you
have a nearl y complete
overview of places to stay,
Arriving in Sofia 7 places to eat and where to
spend your free moments.
Touching down For every budget Sofia has
an appropriate answer.
The Basics 8 Sofia during the summer months usually can be
Essential reading for those not sure where quite hot. Together with the rise in temperature
also the southern temper goes up. So here a word
they are of caution while you tramp our streets, look twice
before you cross!
History 12 Sofia is rich in opportunities for themed cultural
How the past has shaped the present itineraries relation to landscape and garden art. There
are 38 monuments of the „green wealth” – one of the
Introducing Sofia 13 most significant ones is the Borisova Gradina (Boris’
Mayor of Sofia garden) which is a cultural monument of national
significance and dates 120 years back. Parks in Sofia
Keeping in touch 14 are not only refreshing source of welcome shade, but
often also a rich source of culture and chance to get
Let your Mum know how you are in touch with the local population.
If you need of further assistance I would kindly invite
Culture & Events 16 you to visit the National Tourist Information Centre.
Rila Monastery (p.6 ) The helpful stuff there distributes free advertis-
ing materials and maps about Bulgaria as a tourist
Hot Djs on the beach”
destination gives ansers to all sorts of queries.
Bansko International Jazz Festival I wish you a wonderful time in our gorgeous capital
Bansko during summer? city,
E S S E N T I A L C I TY G U I D E S Where to stay 24 Anelia Krushkova
Dining & Nightlife Chairperson
Bulgarian State Agency for Tourism
Dining & Nightlife
Restaurants 32
Where to wine and dine
Cafés 41
Feed the addiction
Nightlife 42 Puzzle 57
Enough to keep any pub crawlers on their hands Golf  58
and knees Golfing in Bulgaria, Golf Jokes
What to see 49 Getting around 60
Making sense of transport
Shopping 65
Health & Lifestyle 68
Sports 71
Business 73
Maps & Index
Street index 74
Index 75
City map 76
Public transport map 78
Bulgaria map 79

Sofia In Your Pocket

4 Foreword arriving in sofia 5

Summer is upon us despite the resistance from the clouds Relax. There seem to be more signs, written in the
and the mood of the city is one of relaxation & parties. Europe In Your Pocket English language on major roads, and there are more and Street smarts
As the temperature begins to soar, the layers of clothing more Bulgarians, who feel confident to speak “English”.
diminish and the desire to work seems to fall with every After all, they have been watching American subbed Street Улица (ул.) Ulitsa (ul.)
degree that thermometer rises. The streets fill with pe- movies for years, and even some gas-pumping people Square Площад (пл.) Ploshtad (pl.)
ople in the warm evenings and tables and chairs dot the have university degrees. The more you get stuck in traffic Boulevard Булевард (бул.) Boulevard (bul.)
pavement outside every bar, restaurant and café. The jams and the harder it is to park, then you must be in the Highway Магистрала Magistrala
parks are swarming with people during the evenings & city centre. Bridge Мост Most
weekends, making the most of the warmth and long hours
of daylight; you will see people drinking, mingling and even
the occasional fire dancer. The city is at its most attracti- By plane pick up tram No 1 or 7 outside the train station (see above).
ve with all of the trees in full bloom and the atmosphere Sofia International Airport (Letishte Sofia), 10km east There is a taxi booking office just beside the main exit.
during this time of year makes the city at its most vibrant. of the city centre, is divided into two terminals - the aging Some international buses arrive at the Trafik-Market termi-
Terminal 1 and the modern Terminal 2, opened in 2006. nal mid-way between the main train and bus stations. As this
The current financial situation is of course having its impact The arrivals halls at both terminals boast cafés, car-hire is nothing more than a parking lot bordered by ticket offices
on Sofia as much as anywhere else, but the Bulgarians and taxi counters, information desk, ATMs and exchange
are certainly hardened to difficult economic times and bureaux (although beware that rates here are not particu-
compared to the dark days of the mid to late 90’s, this larly generous, so it’s best to only change enough cash for
is a drop in the ocean. As a result people are still eating immediate survival).
out, partying and living the summer life; namely, it’s busi- Getting to town: avoid the taxi touts, thronging the arriv-
ness as usual. Even the elections seemed to be a quiet als halls and head instead for the official ranks of yellow
distraction to the more important task of catching up with taxis parked outside (OK Supertrans and Taxi S Express),
friends at a trendy café in the centre or nice bar in the park. or visit their counters. The fare into town shouldn’t cost

To help also hotels, restaurants and other business more more than 16Lv (€8).
pro-actively, we gave these the possibility for their possible Alternatively, you can catch the bus - No 84 from Terminal
promotions, to be freely included within the text of their 1 or No 284 from Terminal 2. Both run to Orlov Most (C-5)
independently written review by us from In Your Pocket. on the eastern fringes of the city centre, departing roughly
We recommend you to keep your ‘Sofia In Your Pocket’ just every 10-15 minutes between 05:00 and 23:00. Tickets
where it belongs – in your pocket, so you can also benefit cost 1Lv from the kiosks beside the bus stop, or from the
from these promotions. We from In Your Pocket Bulgaria In Your Pocket is Europe’s biggest publisher of driver. You also have to buy a separate ticket for each bulky
disclaim however to be responsible for any of the offers made piece of luggage; otherwise, you run the risk of being fined
in this Pocket, or any other previous or future edition.
locally produced travel guides, producing more by ticket inspectors.
In this edition you will find useful information to help you with than 3.5 million guides per year. With print guides and café kiosks, you’ll have to walk to the main stations on
suggestions on where to shake your boots, fill your stomach to more than 50 cities across the continent,
or catch up on your beauty sleep. travellers ask for In Your Pocket guides by name: By train either side to find any facilities.

they trust our content and our flawless levels of Sofia’s Central Station (Tsentralna gara), open 05:00
accuracy. In Your Pocket remains committed - 24:00, is an unwelcoming concrete hangar 20-minute By car
Cover story to its founding aim of covering the world with
well researched, well written and informative city
walk north of the city centre. Facilities include left-luggage,
money exchange kiosks, ATMs, bars and fast-food outlets.
Regardless of your point of entry, you deserve plaudits for
being so brave. The first thing you need to do is reduce your
Beware of pickpockets who hang around the station and the speed to avoid the many police checks on incoming roads.
Church of the Holy Seven (Tsarkva Sveti guides. This year we will be launching new guides adjoining underpass. There are coin-operated left-luggage Follow the lead of other cars (not the ones who overtake
Sedmochislenitsi). It is one of Sofia’s fin- in Glasgow, Sarajevo and Vienna. If you think lockers in the basement (2Lv for 24hrs), and a left-luggage and temporarily drive on the wrong side of the road) and
est neo-Byzantine churches. Read more that you can contribute to helping us realise our office (garderob) just off the eastern side of the main ticket get patiently in line should you encounter a traffic jam,
on p.53 dream, and think you have what it takes to publish hall (open 06:00 - 23:00; 2Lv per item). which are unfortunately becoming more and more frequent,
your own In Your Pocket guide, get in touch with Cheapest way of getting to town is to hop on tram No 1 especially during rush hour. Parking can be difficult to find
us at or 7 (buy ticket from kiosks or from the driver - 1 Lv) from in the city, and you should be aware that the blue zones
opposite the station forecourt - head for the subterranean cost 1Lv per hour. Failure to pay can lead to clamping and
underpass to find the platform. Either of these will take your car being towed away after 2 hours. Parking vouch-
Editorial you to pl. Sveta Nedelya, well placed for central Sofia’s ers are sold on the spot by parking attendants or you can
Editor-in-chief Steven MacAulay
Copyright notice amenities - get off when you see the Sheraton Hotel loom- just send SMS to 1302 with your registration number (for
Research Thomas Brailsford, Rumiana Text and photos copyright Discover Bulgaria ing up on your left. Bulgarian and transit license plate numbers), and you will
Benova, Maya Kozareva Ltd. – Bulgaria In Your Pocket 2009. Maps The taxi drivers hovering outside the station are an unpre- be notified when the time is up, giving you the chance to
E S S E N T I A L C I TY G U I D E S Layout & Design Margarit Antonov copyright cartographer. All rights reser­
ved. No part of this publication may be re-
dictable bunch; check that their meters are switched on pay for the next hour.
Photos Veronica de Boer
Cover Veronica de Boer produced in any form, except brief extracts or agree a flat fare before setting off; otherwise walk 200
Sofia In Your Pocket for the purpose of review, without written metres east to the bus station (see below) where the taxi
Mladost 4, bl. 473, vh. 2-3, Sales & Circulation permission from the publisher and copy- firms are more reputable.
parter Publisher Discover Bulgaria Ltd. right owner. The brand name In Your Pock-
(opposite the Business Park) General Manager Veronica de Boer et is used under license from UAB In Your
1715 Sofia, Bulgaria Marketing Manager and PR Petya Racheva
Sales & Circulation To contact our sales
Pocket (Vokieciu 10-15, Vilnius, Lithuania tel. By bus
tel.: + 359 2 881 01 02 (+370-5) 212 29 76.
fax: + 359 2 881 53 32 team send an email to info@discover- Editor’s note
Most international and domestic buses arrive at the BOOK ON: +359 2 981 46 26,, or call our office and ask for the spanking new Central Bus Station (Tsentralna Avtogara),,
sales department. The editorial content of In Your Pocket 200m east of the Central Railway Station. Compared to guides is independent from paid-for other points of arrival the bus station is comfortingly
Free delivery / collection
Available from Airports – Burgas, Varna advertising. Sponsored listings are clearly
ISSN 1312-742X and Sofia, airline companies, rent-a-cars, marked as such. We welcome all readers’ civilized, with clean toilets, plenty of shops and cafés, a
© Discover Bulgaria Ltd. hotels, bars, restaurants, business centres, comments and suggestions. We have pharmacy, and an ATM. There is a 24-hour left-luggage
shopping malls, foreign embassies and made every effort to ensure the accuracy office (2-3Lv depending on size of bag) in the main ticket
Printed by Delta High Print EAD international forums. To order your copy of the information at the time of going to hall.
Published 4 times per year online visit press and assume no responsibility for To get into the centre of town from here, stroll either south “Please leave this copy of In Your Pocket where
15 000 copies changes and errors.
down bul. Maria Luiza (15-20 min), or walk 200m west to someone else might benefit from it.”

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

6 Basics
Alcohol Smoking
The archetypal national tipple is rakiya, which usually comes Cafès, bars and restaurants are required by law to provide an
as either grozdova rakiya (grape brandy) or slivova (plum). area for non-smokers. In practice however this will probably
It’s usually served up in 50g or 100g shots and is consumed consist of one or two tables, surrounded on all sides by
alongside salad or some other form of nibble – wait-staff will nicotine addicts happily puffing away.
consider you peculiar if you don’t order at least something to
snack on while you’re slugging down spirits. As far as beer is
concerned, Bulgaria produces several palatable if unexciting Visas
lagers – Zagorka, Shumensko and Kamenitsa are the most Citizens of the EU, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the
reliable of the big brands. Much more impressive are the dry USA can stay in the country visa-free for 90 days. Nationals
red wines, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon from Svishtov and of other countries should contact the Bulgarian embassies or
Oryahovitsa, Merlot from Stambolovo, Gumza from Novo Selo, consulates in their home countries about visa arrangements.
Mavrud from Asenovgrad, and Melnik from the village of same Note that visas cannot be obtained at the border. If you wish
name. The Chardonnays and Traminers from Veliki Preslav are to extend your visit beyond the 90-day period you should
among the best of the whites. apply for a long term stay or residence permit from the
Immigration Office, bul. Maria Luiza 48, tel. 982 37 64. Open
Customs 09:00 – 17:00. Closed Sat & Sun.

If you are travelling within the EU, those over 18 can now take
10L of spirits, 90L of wine and 110L of beer. Most countries Key phrases
will not allow more than 200 cigarettes from Bulgaria.
You’re not allowed to export antiques, artworks or coins The following is a list of some of the most common words
of numismatic value unless you have a permit issued by and phrases a person is likely to need.
the Ministry of Culture. Due to fears about child trafficking,
travellers with small children may be asked for documentary Hello Zdravey
evidence of their parental relationship before being allowed Goodbye Dovizhdane
to leave the country. Please Molya
You’re welcome Pak zapovyadayte
Thank you Blagodarya
Electricity Excuse me Izvinete
Bulgaria runs on a 220 volt electricity supply (so some Yes / No Da / Ne
visitors will need to bring a transformer). Standard con­ Cheers Nazdrave
tinental two-prong plugs are used, so others will need to I don’t understand Ne razbiram
furnish themselves with an adaptor, if they want to use their I don’t know Ne znam
hairdryer/phone/ charger/laptop. Do you speak English? Govorite li angliyski?
What’s up? Kakvo stava?
Good morning! Dobro utro!
Good afternoon / evening! Dobar den / vecher!
Good night! Leka nosht!
Tourist information Have you got…? Imate li…?
The helpful stuff there distributes free advertising Where can I buy…? Kade moga da kupya…?
materials and maps about Bulgaria as a tourist des- How many / how much? Kolko / Kolko struva?
tination gives ansers to all sorts of queries. Good / bad Dobro / losho
I wish you a wonderful time in our gorgeous capital Expensive / cheap Skapo / evtino
city, New / old Novo / staro
Hot / cold Toplo / studeno
The National Tourist Information Centre B-3, Days of week
pl. Sveta Nedelya 1, tel. 933 58 45, fax 989 69
Monday Ponedelnik
39,, www.bulgariatravel.
Tuesday Vtornik
org. The Tourist Information Centre has undergone
Wednesday Sryada
a far-reaching facelift in the past few months, and
Thursday Chetvartak
now constitutes an inviting and altogether quite chic
Friday Petak
info-boutique, equipped with designer bar-stools for
Saturday Sabota
tourists to perch on while helpful staff distribute free
Sunday Nedelya
maps or search their databases for the answers to all
sorts of queries. They aren’t authorized to make hotel
reservations on tourists’ behalf, but they do distribute Numbers
well-informed locally-published guides like this one. 1 edno
2 dve
QOpen 09:00 - 17:00. Closed Sat, Sun. 3 tri
Zig Zag Holidays B-2, bul. Aleksandar Stamboliyski 4 chetiri
20B (entrance from ul. Lavele), tel. 980 51 02, fax
5 pet
980 32 00,, www.zigzagbg.
6 shest
com. The staff at this private travel agency, specializing
7 sedem
in individual and alternative holidays are a mine of invalu-
8 osem
able information - be aware however that they charge a
9 devet
5Lv consultancy fee (which is deducted from the cost
10 deset
of any arrangements you book through them). QOpen
100 sto
08:30 - 19:30. Closed Sat, Sun.
1000 hilyada

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

8 Basics
Roads & Traffic police The Cyrillic Alphabet
Most Bulgarians turn into psychopaths as soon as they get
behind the wheel of a car, although given the state of the road Аа a as in arm
network one can hardly blame them. Cow-sized potholes, Бб b as in bath
suicidal pedestrians and drunken cyclists riding on the wrong Вв v as in van
side of the road are just some of the things to look out for – Гг g as in go
and with hazards like these you need to swerve around like Дд d as in dog
a stunt driver in order to stay in one piece. Ее e as in let
Streets in central Sofia can be clogged with traffic. Road Жж zh as ’s’ in measure
signage is haphazard and street names are almost exclusively Зз z as in zoo
in Cyrillic, so you need to research your route on a map before Ии i as in bit
you set off. Finding a place to park can be a nightmare. A lot so- Йй y as in yoke
called blue-zone parking areas are run by private companies.
Кк k as in keep
Parking vouchers (1Lv/hour) are sold on the spot by parking
attendants. In order to drive on Bulgarian roads outside Sofia Лл l as in like
you’ll need to purchase a vignette which must be displayed in Мм m as in map
the windscreen. You can get these from border crossings, all Нн n as in not
post offices and OMV and Shell gas stations. For a car or SUV Оо o as in opera
vignettes cost 10Lv for one week, 25Lv for one month, and Пп p as in pen
67Lv for a year. Speed limits are 130km/hr on main highways, Рр r as in run
90km/hr on minor roads and 50km/hr in urban areas. Сс s as in sit
Talking on a mobile phone while driving is strictly forbidden, Тт t as in tap
as is driving under the influence of more than 0.5/1000 of Уу u as in rule
alcohol. Foreigners are well advised to obey the rules of the Фф f as in fan
road even if they see locals behaving otherwise: the police Хх h as in hand
rarely speak English and are unlikely to show any lenience.
Цц ts as in cuts
Police checks on major highways are common, especially
when entering or leaving Sofia at the weekend. Policeman are Чч ch as in church
Шш sh as in short
Щщ sht as in smashed
Basic data Ъъ
softens ’o’
as in
as in
Territory: Bulgaria takes up 110, 550 km2 of land. It Юю yu as in you
shares borders with Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia Яя ya as in yard
and Romania. The country is bordered to the east by a
354km-long stretch of Black Sea coastline.
Rivers: The main rivers in the country are Danube, National holidays
Maritsa, Mesta, Struma, Iskar, Yantra. There are more
than 600 warm and cold mineral springs. January 1: New Year’s Day (Nova godina)
Highest Point: Musala (2925m), south of Sofia in the March 3: Liberation Day (Liberation from the Ottoman
Rila mountains. rule) (Denyat na osvobozhdenieto)
Population of Bulgaria: 7,385,367 (July 2006 est.) April 19: Easter (Velikden)
Population of Sofia: 1,377,531 (July 2006 est.) May 1: Labour Day (Denyat na truda)
Local time: Bulgaria is part of the Eastern European Time May 6: St. George’s Day (Gergyovden; Day of the Bul-
Zone (GMT +2); when it is noon in Sofia it is 11:00 in Berlin, garian Army)
10:00 in London and 05:00 in New York City. May 24: St. St. Cyril and Methodius (Sveti Sveti Kiril
Religion: Traditional religion in the Republic of Bulgaria i Metodiy; Day of the Cyrillic Alphabet and Bulgarian
is Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Orthodox 85%, Muslim Education and Culture)
8%, others 7%. September 6: Unification Day (Saedinenieto; mark-
ing the unification of Bulgaria and Eastern Rumelia in
allowed to charge on-the-spot fines up to 50 Lv. September 22: Independence Day (Denyat na neza-
Market values December 24,25,26: Christmas (Koleda)

How do costs compare to back home? Here is handy list

of local prices to give you an idea. Important phone numbers
Leva Euro
Loaf of white bread 1.00 0.50 Fire: 160
Snickers bar 0.80 0.40 Ambulance: 150
Vodka (.750ltr, Bulgarian) 8.50 4.36 Police: 166
0.5ltr beer (bar) 2.00 1.02 Road assistance: 146
0.5ltr beer (shop) 0.80 0.40 Anti-corruption unit: +359 2 982 22 22, www.nocorr.
A pack of Marlboros 3.90 2.00
McDonald‘s Big Mac 3.59 1.84 Telephone information: 11800
Breakdown Service: 02/91146 or 146 if you’re calling
Exchange rates (as of April 2009): US$1 - 1.47Lv; from a Bulgarian mobile
€1 – 1.95Lv; £1 – 2.17Lv

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

10 history Introducing sofia
history 11

History Recent History The history of Sofia, Bulgaria’s

capital and largest city, spans Mayor of Sofia
Antiquity In antiquity, Bulgaria, the land of Orpheus and thousands of years from antiqui-
Spartacus, belongs to the Kingdom of Macedonia. In June 2001, the Bulgarian monarchy makes an ty to modern times. Throughout
4th century BC The territory of contemporary Bulgaria is unprecedented comeback when former king Simeon II is its existence, the city has always Mr. Boyko Borisov is the current mayor of Sofia City and
conquered by the Macedonians, lead by Philip II and his son elected prime minister. Unable to ease economics hard- been a commercial, industrial, the informal leader of the party “Citizens for European
Alexander the Great. During the first century AD these lands ships for the majority, however, he too sees his popular- cultural and economic centre of Development in Bulgaria” (GERB in Bulgarian), the acro-
become Roman provinces. ity plummet after a few months in power. In the same the Balkans region. Sofia has nym meaning Coat of Arms in English. With his mandate
632 The History of Bulgaria as a separate country begins election, the country’s Turkish minority is represented always been well known for its approaching its end, Mr. Borisov is about to officially
with the establishment of Old Great Bulgaria (also known in the government for the first time, and the president mineral resources, neighbouring enter the parliamentary elections, planned for June this
as Onoguria). encourages Bulgarians to be more tolerant of Turkish- mountains and historical sights. year, running for the position of prime minister. Despite
681 First Bulgarian Kingdom is established by Khan Bulgarians. Progress continues under President Georgi his rather controversial personality, he is one of the most
Asparuh. Parvanov, albeit slower than most hope. Membership of popular figures in Bulgarian politics today. Mr. Borisov
865 Bulgaria becomes a Christian country. Tsar Boris I ac- NATO is granted in 2004, and entry into the European Antiquity graduated from the National Military Academy and was
cepts Orthodox Christianity. Union follows in 2007. Sofia is originally a Thracian settlement called Serdica, a member of the communist party. After the fall of com-
9th-10th centuries “The Golden Age” period under the rule of July 27, 2005 the Bulgarian Parliament chose Sergey named after the Thracian tribe Serdi that had populated it. munism, in 1991, he founded a private security company,
Tsar Simeon the Great. The Slavic writing is officially accepted Stanishev of the Bulgarian Socialist Party as the new 4th century BC For a short period the city is possessed by which later guarded people like Todor Zhivkov and Sim-
throughout the country. Literature schools, imposing temples Prime Minister in a coalition government with the Move- Philip of Macedonia and his son Alexander the Great. eon II. From 2001 until 2005 he was Chief Secretary of
and monasteries are built. Bulgaria has an outlet on three ment for Rights and Freedoms. August 15, 2005 the 29 AD Sofia is conquered by the Romans and renamed Ulpia the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior, but resigned in order
seas - the Black sea, Aegean Sea and the Adriatic. The capital BSP and National Movement Simeon II formed a stable Serdica. It becomes a municipium, or centre of an adminis- to enter the elections for mayor of Sofia.
is moved to Veliki Preslav, which during that period could be government, along with the Movement for Rights and trative region, during the reign of Emperor Trayan (98-117).
compared with the beauty and glory of Constantinople. Freedoms. This coalition has a large majority in parliament 447 The city is destroyed by the Huns, but is rebuilt by Byz-
1018 Bulgaria falls under Byzantine rule until 1185. with 169 of the 240 deputies. Parliamentary elections will antine Emperor Justinian and renamed Triaditsa. Although
1185 The Second Bulgarian Kingdom (1185-1396) is founded be held in Bulgaria on July 5, 2009. also often destroyed by the Slavs, the town remains under
after two brothers, Asen and Peter. The capital city of the new Byzantine dominion until 809. World War II
kingdom becomes Veliko Turnovo. Sofia is bombed by Allied aircraft in late 1943 and early 1944,
12th-13th centuries Under the rule of the Tsar Kaloyan (1197- September 1908 Ferdinand upgrades Bulgaria from prin-
1207) and Tsar Ivan Asen II (1218-1241), Bulgaria becomes cipality to kingdom and declares himself Tsar. Middle Ages as well as later occupied by the Soviet Union.
Bulgaria’s regime, which has allied the countr y wi th
a dominant power in the Balkans. 1912-1913 The Nationalist Prime Minister, Ivan Geshov, 809 Sofia becomes part of the First Bulgarian Kingdom during Nazi Germany, is overthrown and Sofia becomes capital
1393 The Ottomans occupy the Bulgarian capital Veliko forms an alliance with Greece and Serbia to attack the the reign of Khan Krum. of the Communist-ruled People’s Republic of Bulgaria
Turnovo after a three-month siege. Ottomans and to drive them out of Macedonia and Thrace. 1018 The city again falls to the Byzantine Empire. (1944–1989).
1396 The Kingdom of Vidin is occupied, bringing the Second The Balkan Wars are sparking. The alliance soon fall out, 12th-14th centuries Sofia is a thriving centre of trade and
Bulgarian Empire and Bulgarian independence to an end. with Greeks and Serbs expelling Bulgarian forces from crafts. It is renamed Sofia (meaning “wisdom” in Greek) in
14th-18th centuries By the end of the 14th century, the Macedonia, and then dividing up the spoils. 1376 after the Church of St Sophia. However, it is called both Totalitarian regime
Turks control all of Bulgaria. Ottoman rule continues for five 1915-1918 Bulgaria joins the German side in World War I. A “Sofia” and “Sredets” until the 16th century, when the new (9 September 1944-10 November 1989) During the
centuries. Serb-French-British offensive in Macedonia causes Bulgaria’s name gradually replaced the old one. years of communism, Sofia becomes the nation’s major
18th century The Age of the Bulgarian National Revival begins. collapse. Ferdinand abdicates in favour of son Boris III. economic, academic and cultural centre. From its years
1919 Elections are won by the Peasant party of Aleksandar
In spite of the resistance of the central Turkish authorities and
the Greek clergy (the so-called phanariots), the struggle for an Stamboliyski promising widespread social change. Ottoman rule of socialist growth, however, the capital inherited a great
deal of problems, which are at present the priorities of the
independent church, the publication of books and, later on, of 1923-1934 Democratically elected governments are 1382 Sofia is conquered by the Ottoman sultan Murad I. democratically - elected council of Sofia.
periodicals in the Bulgarian language, the establishment of lay toppled via coups that bring authoritarian regimes to Many Ottoman buildings emerge during the period. Very 1992 In honour of the celebration of St. Sofia the Martyr, the
Bulgarian schools and the official recognition of the language power. few of them have survived, including only a single mosque, Government chose September 17th as the Day of Sofia. The
and culture, become real steps to the revival of the nation. 1941 Bulgaria enters World War II on the side of the Banya Bashi. The Ottoman rule saw a major demographic flag of Sofia Municipality is also consecrated on that day. The
One important landmark was the writing of the Slav-Bulgarian Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis. The country is the only ally of growth, as the city grew from a total population of 6,000 Day of Sofia is also celebrated like the Day of saints Vyara,
History (1762) by monk Paissi of Hilendar. Hitler’s Germany which did not allow the killing of its Jewish (1620s) through 55,000 (middle 17th century) to 70-80,000 Nadezhda and Lyubov.
1876 Bulgarian revolutionaries launch the April Uprising at citizens. It was thanks to king Boris III and to the Bulgarian (18 th century data from foreign travellers, albeit possibly According to non official information nowadays Sofia has a
Koprivshtitsa. The Turks suppress it with unprecedented governments that no hostilities are waged in the country’s exaggerated). population about 3 million people. Most of them come to
brutality. About 15,000 Bulgarians are massacred at Plovdiv territory. 16th century Sofia is a thriving trade centre inhabited by the capital for work and business opportunities.
and 58 villages destroyed. Outraged European allies come to 1944 After World War II, as a result of the Yalta agreements Turks, Bulgarians, Romaniote, Ashkenazi, and Sephardic Jews,
Bulgaria’s rescue in the late 1870s. Russia, the chief saviour, between the Great Powers, Bulgaria ends up in the field of Armenians, Greeks and Ragusan merchants. During the
suffers 200,000 casualties in the conflict. influence of the Soviet Union.
1877-1878 The Russian-Turkish war leads to the liberation 1953-1989 Years of the communist rule of Todor Zhivkov next century the city’s population included even Albanians
of Bulgaria from the Ottoman Empire. who headed both the party and the state. and Persians.
March 1878 The Treaty of San Stefano provides for an 10 November 1989 Under pressure from domestic and 17th century The Vatican establishes the Bishopric of Sofia
independent Bulgarian state, which spans the geographical international circumstances Todor Zhivkov is forced to for Ottoman subjects belonging to the Catholic millet in
regions of Moesia, Thrace and Macedonia. resign. Bulgaria once again takes the road of democratic Rumelia, which existed until 1715 when most Catholics had
July 1878 The Treaty of Berlin, under the supervision of Otto development. emigrated to Habsburg or Tsarist territories.
von Bismarck of Germany and Benjamin Disraeli of Britain, 7 December 1989 The Union of Democratic Forces (SDS) is 1878 Sofia is liberated by Russian forces in 1878, during the
splits Bulgaria into three parts: an independent Principality of formed as a unification of 13 opposition organisations. Russian-Turkish War (1877-1878)
Bulgaria based in Sofia, the autonomous Ottoman province June 1990 First free parliamentary elections. 1879 The city becomes the capital of the autonomous
of Eastern Roumelia; and Macedonia, which remains under 12 July 1991 A new democratic Constitution is passed. Principality of Bulgaria, which becomes Kingdom of Bulgaria
direct Ottoman rule. 13 October 1991 First free local authorities elections. in 1908.
April 1879 The Turnovo Constitution is passed by the First 1992 First free presidential elections. Zhelyu Zhelev is 1900 The City Council approves the emblem of Sofia and the
Grand National Assembly. elected head of state. motto “It Grows but Does not Age”.
June 1879 Alexander Battenberg becomes prince of Bulgaria, 3 November 1996 Petar Stoyanov, proposed by the SDS, 1925 The gravest act of terrorism in Bulgarian history, the
and Sofia becomes the capital of the new Bulgarian state. is elected with President of the Republic of Bulgaria with a St Nedelya Church assault, is carried out by the Bulgar-
September 1885 Eastern Rumelia declares union with landslide majority. ian Communist Party, claiming the lives of 150 and injuring
Bulgaria. 19 April 1997 The Parliamentary elections are won by the another 500.
1887 A coup replaces Alexander Battenberg with Ferdinand Democratic Forces United. A government is formed headed
of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. by Ivan Kostov as Prime-Minister. Bulgaria starts on the road
of genuine democratic reforms.
Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009
12 keeping in touch KEEPING IN TOUCH 13

Megalan Network H-8, ul. Yordan Yosifov 4, Business

Couriers Free Wi-Fi zones W cenre Mania, fl.1, tel. +359 0800 18 400/+359 0800 Mobile phones
City Express C-3, ul. Gladston 58, tel. +359 2 912 12, 20 400,, Globul Mladost-4, Business Park, building 6, tel. +359 QOpen 09:30 - 20:00. Sofia may not be the best place in the world, in terms of 2 942 80 00, fax +359 2 942 80 10, CustomerCare@
communication, but still the days of carrier pigeons are Power Net B-1, ul. Ovche pole 122, fl.3, tel. +359, One of the main mobile opera-
DHL G-9, ul. Prodan Tarakchiev 10, tel. +359 0 700 long gone. There are several free Wi-Fi zones in town: 2 987 65 43/+359 78 125 880,, tors. You can buy their b-connect pre-paid cards. For informa-
17 700.,, QOpen The park ”Gen. Vladimir Zaimov”, B-5 LAN and cable Internet, free dial-up, tion tel. +359 (0) 89 123.
09:00 - 17:30, Sat 10:00 - 14:00. Closed Sun. The park “Doktorskata Gradinka”, B-5 web services.
Central Bus Station, F-8 MTel ul. Kukush 1, tel. +359 888 088 088, fax +359
Direct F-7, ul. Rayna Knyaginya 7, tel. +359 2 928 Shopping Center “Tsentralni hali”, A-2 Spectrum Net G-8, bul. G.M.Dimitrov 36, tel. +359 2 888 500 885,, www.mtel.
98 98,, w w Q Open NDK “Mostat na vlyubenite” (Lover’s Bridge), D-2 489 06 00,, All kinds of bg. Another major mobile operator. They sell prepaid cards for
09:00 - 17:30. Internet services. the Prima network, available at most kiosks and shops.

Flying Cargo Bulgaria Ltd. (FedEx) G-9, ul. Nedelcho Vivatel C-1, bul. Totleben 8, tel. +359 087 123, www.
Bonchev 10, tel. +359 0 800 11 000, fax +359 2 973 Postal rates Laptop rental Bulgaria’s third mobile phone operator, started
13 66, QOpen 09:00 - 17:00. in 2005.
Closed Sat, Sun. Bulgaria Europe USA & Others
Postcards 0.35 Lv 1.00 Lv 1.40 Lv
In Time /UPS/ G-9, ul. Nedelcho Bonchev 41, tel. Letters 0.55 Lv 1.00 Lv 1.40 Lv Phone rental
+359 2 960 99, fax +359 2 960 98 99, intime@intime. Intrafonica Bulgaria near Sofia International Airport,
bg, QOpen 08:00 - 19:00, Sat 08:00 - tel. +359 2 49 13 330, customer.service@intrafonica.
14:00. Closed Sun. Bulgarian main city codes com, Short- to mid-term GSM cell
phone rentals, local SIM cards and Mobile Internet services
Speedy D-3, bul. Cherni vrah 67, tel. +359 7001 7001, Blagoevgrad 73 Lovech 68 Sliven 44 delivered via GPRS, thus avoiding inflated roaming rates and Tel. 07001 8001 - for international deli- Burgas 56 Pazardzhik 34 Sofia 2 incoming call charges. Rental packages are delivered either
vary services. QOpen 09:00 - 18:30, Sat 09:00 - 14:00. Dobrich 58 Pernik 76 Stara Zagora 42 to your hotel or to alternative address of your choice. Orders
Closed Sun. Gabrovo 66 Pleven 64 Varna 52 online available. QOpen 09:30 - 18:00. Closed Sat, Sun.
Haskovo 38 Plovdiv 32 V. Tarnovo 62 Rent-a-Laptop F-6, bul. Dj. Neru 28 office 56, tel. +359
Tip Top F-7, bul. Lomsko shose 35, tel. +359 2 936 99 2 827 25 40/+359 889 589 596, office@rentalaptop.
99, fax +359 2 936 98 10,, www.
Yambol 46 Ruse
Kyustendil 78 Silistra
82 Vidin
86 Vratsa
92 bg, Laptop rental, technical support Post QOpen 09:00 - 17:30, Sat 09:00 - 16:00. and delivery to airport or hotel. Order online, delivery and pick- Central Post Office B-3, ul. Gurko 6, tel. +359 2 980
Closed Sun. The above codes should be prefixed with 0 if dialing up anytime. QOpen 09:00 - 19:00. Closed Sat, Sun. 12 25, Q Open 07:00 - 20:30, Sun
from inside Bulgaria. 08:00 - 13:00.
TNT G-9, ul. Nedelcho Bonchev 35, tel. +359 0700 11
666, fax +359 2 933 91 44,, www. QOpen 00:00 - 24:00. International country codes
Internet cafes Austria
Hungary 36
Ireland 353
Romania 40
Russia 7
Garibaldi C-3, ul. Graf Ignatiev 6, tel. +359 2 989 42 85, Bulgaria 359 Israel 972 Serbia 381, Eighteen Croatia 385 Italy 39 Slovenia 386
computers plus scanning, printing and low-rate international Czech Rep. 420 Japan 61 Spain 34
phone calls. QOpen 00:00 - 24:00. Price: 3.60Lv/hr. Denmark 45 Macedonia 389 Sweden 46
Finland 358 Netherlands 31 Switzerland 41
Matritsata C-2, ul. Neofit Rilski 70, France 33 Norway 47 Turkey 90
QOpen 00:00 - 24:00. 2Lv/hr. Germany 49 Poland 48 UK 44
Greece 30 Portugal 351 USA/Canada 1
Site C-2, bul. Vitosha 45, tel. +359 2 986 08 96, info@ The above codes should be prefixed with 00 if dialing, Quiet, comfortable spot in a
from inside Bulgaria.
courtyard just off the street. Coffee and other drinks. QOpen
00:00 - 24:00. Price: 2Lv/hr.

Virtus C-2, ul. Khan Asparuh 53, Bulgarian resort codes
QOpen 00:00 - 24:00. 2Lv/hr.
Albena 579 Pamporovo 3095
ISPs Balchik
St. St. Konstantin

Bitex D-2, ul. Frityof Nansen 9, tel. +359 2 980 02 38, Borovets 750 and Elena 52, Dial-up services, wire- Golden sands 52 Sunny beach 554
less Internet, leased lines, hosting, web design. Nessebar 554
The above codes should be prefixed with 00 if dialing
CableTEL G-7, zh.k. Lozenets, bul. Nikola Vaptsarov from inside Bulgaria.
51A, tel. +359 2 480 01 11,, www. LAN and cable internet, IP telephony, cable and
digital TV. QOpen 08:00 - 22:00, Sat, Sun 09:00 - 21:00.

Digital Systems B-3, ul. Triaditsa 4, tel. +359 2 981

13 01, fax +359 2 980 68 89,, Wireless network, cable internet, virtual
private networks, IP telephony, web services.

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

14 Culture & Events Culture & Events 15

If you can manage to tear yourself away from the fashion and more. Near the Vardar metro station. Another branch at
and sport channels to which the TVs in Sofia’s cafes and The Bulgarian symbol H-8, Mladost-4, Business Park Sofia. Q (7-12Lv). PK Ticket offices
bars seem permanently tuned, there is a huge amount of
high-quality culture awaiting your enjoyment. Tickets for Cinema City B-1, bul. Aleksandar Stamboliyski 101, National Palace of Culture D-2, pl. Bulgaria 1, tel.
all events are extremely affordable by western standarts, tel. +359 2 981 19 11, fax +359 2 981 57 77, market- 916 63 69. QOpen 8:00 – 19:00
so there’s really no excuse for giving such a rich cultural, State-of-the-art Orange music store B-3, Orange Center, 2nd floor,
menu a miss. multiscreen in the Mall of Sofia shopping complex, surrounded ul. Graf Ignatiev 18, tel. 985 41 41, orangemusic@
by fast-food outlets and other places to spend your money. Qopen 9:00 – 21:00
Art galleries Also includes the Mtel Imax cinema, where you can sit back
in your 3-D spectacles and have your brain scrambled by the
Ticketstream B-2, ul. Tsar Samuil 50, tel. 981 38
59, QOpen: 9:30 – 18:00
Goethe-Institut Sofia B-4, ul. Budapeshta 1, tel. twenty-four-metre-wide screen. Q (7-12Lv). P
+359 2 939 01 00, fax +359 2 939 01 99, info@sofia., Challenging and Cineplex D-2, bul. Arsenalski 2, tel. +359 2 964 30 07, Odeon C-1, bul. Patriarh Evtimiy 1, tel. +359 2 989 24
off-beat contemporary art shows, in the German cultural Nine-screen cinema on the top floor of 69. Showing old movies and nothing else, this is a great
centre. QOpen , Mon, Fri 10:00 - 14:00, Tue, Wed, Thu the City Center Sofia shopping mall. Not too far from the city place to sit back and enjoy a big-screen nostalgia-fest. Q
14:00 - 19:00. Closed Sat, Sun. centre, and with loads of eating and drinking opportunities (4-6 Lv).
in the mall itself. Q (6-12Lv). P
GreenCat Gallery C-5, ul. Varbiza 6, tel. +359 886 National Musical Theatre (Stefan Makedonski)
154 526,, w w w. The Rila Monastery or officially: Euro Cinema B-2, bul. Aleksandar Stamboliyski 17, B-5, ul. Panayot Volov 2, tel. +359 2 944 50 85, op- The Monastery Saint John of Rila (Bulgarian: tel. +359 2 980 41 61, Well-chosen, The National
Рилски манастир, Rilski manastir) is the larg- menu of classy European flicks and non-mainstream choices. Musical Theatre is an institution of ballet, musicals and
Maksim B-2, ul. Lom 1, tel. +359 2 988 10 62, info@ est and most famous Eastern Orthodox monas- Q (4-5Lv). operetta which is now more than 60 years old. There are, Contem- tery in Bulgaria. It is situated in the northwestern 300 people: singers, musicians, dancers, directors, painters
porary work by leading Bulgarian painters and sculptors, in Rila Mountains, 117 km (73 mi) south of the capital House of Cinema (Dom na kinoto) A-3, ul. Ekzarh and technical staff, who work day and night to amuse your
a beautiful split-level space. QOpen 11:00 - 18:30. Closed Sofia in the valley of the Rilska River at an eleva- Yosif 37, tel. +359 2 980 39 11. This is the place for the eyes and ears. They give 20 performances each week and
Sat, Sun. tion of 1,147 m above sea level. The monastery real movie buffs. If it won a prize at an obscure European about 150 thousand people are happy to enjoy them each
is named after the famous Bulgaria saint and festival, it will probably be shown here. Q (6-7 Lv). year. The dancing and singing group makes annual tours in
Rakursi C-3, ul. Khan Krum 4A, tel. +359 2 981 26 17, hermit John of Rila. Bulgaria and Europe., Small private Kino Vlaykova C-5, ul. Tsar Ivan Asen 11, tel. +359 2
gallery specializing in contemporary Bulgarian art, repre- Founded in the 10th century, the Rila Monastery 944 39 23. An old-fashioned, single-screen cinema in the
senting sizeable stable of established and emerging artists. is regarded as one of Bulgaria’s most important leafy Ivan Asen district, screening a mixture of art films and
Extensive collection of paintings, graphics, photographs and cultural, historical and architectural monuments. Hollywood flicks. The cinema’s bar also serves as local pub
sculptures at all prices. QOpen 11:00 - 19:30, Sat 11:00 and snooker hall. Q (3-5Lv).
- 18:00. Closed Sun.

Sculpture park G-8, ul. Aleksandar Zhendov 2, tel.

+359 2 948 20 36, culturalinstitute@mfa.government. Free Downloads
bg, In the Sculpture park
outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs s are exhibited over 90 There’s far more to In Your Pocket than this
works created by Bulgarian sculptors from the 1930’s until print version of our latest guide. We print guides
the present days and other monuments. QOpen , Sat, Sun in more than 50 cities across Europe, and In
11:00 - 17:00. Your Pocket offers the vast majority of them for
free download, in PDF, at our website. A number
Shipka 6 B-5, ul. Shipka 6, tel. +359 2 846 71 13, fax of guides are now also available as post-PDF, iPa-
+359 2 946 02 12,,
Located in the upper storeys of the Bulgarian Artists’ Union per documents. Just visit our website at inyour-
building, this hosts a wide variety of shows by artists from for all our available downloads.
Bulgaria and beyond. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon.

Sibank Galeria B-3, ul. Slavyanska 2, tel. +359 2 939

92 80. Tucked away behind the National Theatre in the
headquarters of a major bank, this gallery concentrates on big
names from the contemporary Bulgarian art world. Expect the
kind of head-scratching installations and conceptual works
that are in short supply elsewhere. QOpen 11:00 - 19:00,
Sat, Sun 15:00 - 19:00.

The Red House (Chervenata kashta) C-4, ul.

Lyuben Karavelov 15, tel. +359 2 988 81 88, info@, An early
twentieth-century mansion now serving as a cutting-edge
cultural centre for Sofia’s arty set. There’s a meaty menu
of exhibitions, small-scale concerts, video screenings and
drama. QOpen 15:00 - 19:00. Closed Sat, Sun.

Arena Zapad F-7, bul. Todor Aleksandrov 64, tel. +359
2 920 99 99, Biggest of the multi-
plexes, with 15 screens, on-site pizzeria, ice cream parlour

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

16 Culture & Events Culture & Events 17

Hot DJs on the beach - Sunny Beach Bansko International Jazz Festival - 08.08-13.08.2009
Summertime Dance Explosion Solar 09 The most famous trance DJ will explode the whole of Sunny Since its first edition in 1997, The Bulgarian ski resort of Last year, Keiko became a great friend of Bulgaria. During
The row of parties will start on 25th of July with main guest Beach and even Nessebar with his magic music. DJ Tiesto Bansko hosts an International Jazz Festival branded “the the 11th Jazz Festival in Bansko, she presented music from
Pete Tong on Cacao Beach. The Bulgarian DJs Juan Alvarez succeeded in changing the notion of the house and Trans music of the free people”. Under the inspiration by Dr her last album Not Alone. This year the singer will perform
and Liubo Ursini will heat up the fans. music. He is the only DJ in the world, chosen 3 times for “The Iliev’s idea to transform Bansko into a centre of significant together with Woma Jazz – an attractive and successful
Best DJ on Earth” by the prestigious “DJ Magazine”. He is cultural importance, the festival is fulfilling its purpose year women’s jazz formation. Its members include Irene Robbins
also the first DJ to play live on a ceremony for opening of after year.. – piano and vocal, Silvia Bolognesi – bass, and the dancer
the Olympic Games (Athens 2004) and was nominated for a The number of participants and quality of performances has Acai Arop Lombardi. At the heart of this project are the
Grammy award for his album “Elements of Life” in 2008. been steadily increasing and this year is no exception with a temperamental Keiko and Irene – two ladies with strong
08.08 Victor Calderone, Cacao Beach, Sunny beach line-up that includes the Janne Ersson Big Band. This year scenic presence and invention.
the festival takes place from 8th - 13 of August. Kamelia Todorova – Bulgaria
BANSKO (all concerts start at 7.30 p.m.) Vocal group JAZZEX (Ukraine)
Vasil Petrov & Mery Taneva and big band Blagoevgrad 10.08.2009
– Bulgaria JAZZEX is a synonym of high professionalism, huge
8.8.2009 experience in various music genres, an example of creative
OTTO HEJNIC TRIO (Czech Republic, Slovakia) collaboration, inspired by six artistic individualities. The
8.08.2009 vocalists present the best of the past and present – world
Besides being fine instrumentalists, the members of famous hits and modern rhythms, Slavic folklore..... in fact – a
the OTTO HEJNIC TRIO are also original, contemporary vast music universe. The groups’ debut album Bee JAZZEX
composers. The trio plays its own inventive, imaginative was released in December 2007.
jazz. JUDY LEWIS TRIO (Israel)
The leading figure is Otto Hejnic – an exceptional 10.08.2009
drummer. Judy Lewis began her career as a jazz musician some 10
The young virtuoso pianist, composer and musician is years ago – a difficult time in her personal life. Judy was
25.07 Pete Tong, Cacao Beach, Sunny Beach The New York house legend Victor Calderone will be a guest Ondrej Krajnak. Stefan Bartus is one of the few “white” looking after her four children on her own, working a 40-hour
His incredible feel for hit sound made him the favourite on the festival for a second time. As a producer and DJ he jazz double bass players with a black style of playing, the week and doing all she could to promote her own music. She
of thousands of fans around all continents. His shows on differentiates from his colleagues with his constant strive to so-called black feeling. is now about to release her fifth, and has won the reputation
“BBC Radio 1” - “Essential Mix” and “Essential Selection”, go beyond the boundaries of the genre. He became a star CLARE TEAL and her band (UK) of a unique musician.
became legendary because of the production of his own after his hits “Give It Up”, “Beat Me Harder” and “Resonate”. 8.08.2009 Judy started playing the piano at age seven, quickly realising
label - “FFRR Records”. His famous sets on international He will enchant you with his sexy style, inspired performance Clare Teal is a singer with an impressive voice, a composer that this would be her vocation. She won a number of
festivals and the blowing parties in club Pacha in Ibisa, and sets which combine the old and the new in tribal and with her own signature and, last but not least – an amazing music prizes already as a child. She enrolled in New York’s
where he lived for years, will always be remembered. minimal techno beats. person with a “crazy” sense of humour. Born in Yorkshire, UK, prestigious Columbia University where she studied for two
15.08 DJ Mark Knight and DJ Martijn Ten Velden, she made her fist steps as a vocalist at the age of 15. Clare’s years, but was strongly attracted to religion already as a
31.07 Robbie Rivera, Bed- new album Get Happy features both her own compositions freshman. Gradually music took second place and Judy
room, Sunny Beach as well as cover versions. They include Love Hurts and Cheek moved to Jerusalem where she studied religion. Two years
Robbie will flood club Bed- to Cheek, which she performs with an enviable feeling for later she married a student rabbi and had four children. For
room with his electro house style. At the same time, she delivers an amazing modern about 10 years she was member of one of the most active
sounds. He remixed some of interpretation of classic jazz. sects in Jerusalem. In 1995 she divorced, left the religious
the hits of the world famous MACIEJ SIKALA TRIO (Poland) society and returned to her true vocation. She completed her
ar tists as Fai thless, Ma- 9.08.2009 musical education and toured with classical programmes for
donna, Kylie Minogue, Ricky Maciej Sikala graduated the jazz department of the Music three years. One day – for the first time in her life – she went
Martin, Santana, Pink and Academy in Katowice in 1987. to a jazz concert and suddenly realised that that’s what she
others. The pick of his ca- Since 1998 has been playing in trio with Piotr Lemanczyk had been looking for. Her experience as a classical musician
reer is the label Juicy Music and Tomasz Sowinski both his own compositions and jazz and her penchant for progressive rock shaped her individual
known by the productions of standards. Piotr Lemanczyk – double bass, bass guitar, style as a jazz pianist.
high quality house, progres- composer, and arranger. Tomasz Sowinski – a graduate of Brother Hood – Switzerland
sive and electronic music. the Music Academy in Gdansk. 11.8.2009
His parties Juicy Miami and MARIO STANTCHEV TRIO (France) FOUR BONES JAZZ COMBO (Hungary)
Juicy Ibiza are a real magnet 9.8.2009 11.08.2009
to the fans of electronic music. Next to being a DJ and Pianist Mario Stantchev was born in Bulgaria, where he FOUR BONES JAZZ appeared in 2002 as a quartet. With
producer Robbie made also 3 radio shows. was educated. Mario left Bulgaria three decades ago and their academic education, the four trombone players are
Cacao Beach, Sunny Beach has since been living and working in France where he is truly devoted to their music instruments.
On the 15th of August will be the closing party of Summer- performing as well as teaching. He lectures at the jazz They have had successful appearances at forums in
time Dance Explosion Solar ’09 and the night is reserved for department he founded at the National Conservatoire Hungary, as well as in Austria, Britain, Romania, China and
2 stars – DJ Mark Knight and DJ Martijn Ten Velden. They are in Lyon. At present, this is one of the most renowned Germany. Four Bones Trombone Quartet boasts a varied
unique as a team and repeatedly have brought the Bulgarian specialised educational establishments in Europe. Together repertoire, which ranges from the early Renaissance to
public to ecstasy. The last time they have been in Bulgaria with his numerous friends and fans in Bulgaria, Mario will contemporary music, through classical melodies, lively
was on New Year’s Eve in the Yalta Club. They arrive here as mark two round anniversaries – his 60th birthday which he rhythms and, of course, jazz. Occasionally the quartet is
the representatives of the leading world label for electronic celebrated last year and 30 years in France. joined by a rhythm section, and the formation is known as
music Toolroom Records, established in 2004 from Mark Keiko Borjeson and WomaJazz the FOUR BONES JAZZ COMBO. In Bansko we will see the
Knight. In 2008 the explosive carrier of Mark gets him to 9.8.2009 combo, together with Zita Gereben.
the 42nd place in the Top 100 of DJ Mag. Their energizing Keiko Borjeson began her career as a classical musician. CANDY DULFER and her band (Netherlands)
performance is a guarantee to get the party spirits going Born in Tokyo, aged only five she made her debut on National 11.08.2009
and to be remembered till next summer. Television with Beethoven’s “Fur Elise”. Kazuko Yasukawa Born in Amsterdam, she is the daughter of renowned jazz
– one of the best-known Japanese pedagogues – was her saxophone player Hans Dulfer. Candy started playing the
02.08 DJ Tiesto, Cacao Beach, Sunny Beach teacher for many years. saxophone aged seven, and at the age of 14 she already

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

18 Culture & Events Culture & Events 19

had her own group - Funky Stuff. While still a teenager, Candy Mathisen studied at the renowned Berklee College of Music,
recorded for international labels and at 20 she was already Boston, USA. Ivan Makedonov is a Bulgarian, born in 1975 in Bansko during summer?
touring the world. She started off playing soprano saxophone, Burgas. After graduating in classical piano and percussion, he
but later switched to alto saxophone, which is still her favourite moved to Norway, where he has been living for 15 years now. Bansko during summer? 6% of the whole freshwater fish species of Bulgaria. For the
instrument. In America she gained popularity thanks to Prince. The group has had two successful tours in Bulgaria, playing Yes! Bansko has much more amphibian lovers we report 8 species and 11 species of
The mega-star invited her to join his projects, rocketing her more than eight different towns. to offer than ski and snow reptiles to be present within the protected area. Animal life
to fame. She is still often called “Prince’s girl”, and she is still Bansko during summer? boarding during the winter is not complete without also mentioning the birds, from the
his favourite sax player. Her music synthesizes rock and Yes! Bansko has much more to offer than ski and snow months. If you already know tiny sparrow to the mighty eagle which can be spotted in this
beat, blues, pop and jazz. Her latest project is called Funked boarding during the winter months. If you already know the the winter destination Bansko unique area.
up&Chilled Out. The blond diva will be playing Bansko after winter destination Bansko you may already know that Bansko you may already know that Bansko area has also a lot to show as for history, from simple
three big concert tours – in Japan, Europe and the US. is situated amidst endless natural beauty. Still this is a hidden Bansko is situated amidst 1-2 room house museums to culturally unique monasteries
Michaela Rabitsch & Robert Pawlik Quartet part in what Bansko offers his guests. endless natural beauty. Still like the world famous Rila monastery part of the Unesco
12.08.2009 Bansko’s natural surrounding is part of the Pirin National this is a hidden part in what World Heritage list.
Michaela Rabitsch is the “female Chat Baker of our time” – this Park. A park of such high importance that it is listed as World Bansko offers his guests. If mountaineering, mountain-biking, horse riding, Nordic
is how the US Jazzscene magazine called her. Heritage national park encompassing the larger part of the Bansko’s natural surrounding walking, or even hunting are amongst the activities you are in
She graduated the Bruckner Conservatory in Linz, studying Pirin Mountain range. In this area of 274 km² are 2 nature is part of the Pirin National to, the region around Bansko is all you need. The local Bansko
jazz and trumpet with Peter Tuscher and Ingrid Jensen. Robert reserves Bayuvi Dupki and Yulen. The altitude varies between Park. A park of such high tourist agency will be happy to assist you in finding the right
Pawlik studied jazz guitar at the Conservatory in Vienna and the 1008 and 2914 meters. importance that it is listed as guides for you. Horse riding for sure will be a high light of your
at the American Institute of Music with Les Wise and Karl Much of the area is forested, with the best conifer woods in World Heritage national park holiday were you will have the chance to see breathtaking
Ratzer. Bulgaria, holding important populations of the Balkan endemic encompassing the larger scenery in the Kresna gorge on a horseback.
Their latest album Moods appeared in 2008. In it Michaela species Macedonian Pine, Bosnian Pine and Bulgarian Fir. part of the Pirin Mountain range. In this area of 274 km² are 2 What about romantic picnics to make you feel close to nature,
and Robert present ten original songs, inspired by their own Animals include the Deer, the Capricorn, the Wolf and the nature reserves Bayuvi Dupki and Yulen. The altitude varies amidst the trees and wild mountain rivers. Up-route to the ski
life. Melancholic or full of energy and optimism, the pieces Brown Bear. between the 1008 and 2914 meters. tracks Bansko even has its own official picnic area, with tables
change their mood – just as in reality. This is the programme Much of the area is forested, with the best conifer woods in and barbeque facilities.
the quartet will present in Bansko. Bulgaria, holding important populations of the Balkan endemic The Dancing Bears Rehabilitation Belitsa Park supported by
AXEL ZWINGENBERGER (Germany) species Macedonian Pine, Bosnian Pine and Bulgarian Fir. the Foundation Brigitte Bardot and the “Four Paws” Foundation
12.08.2009 Animals include the Deer, the Capricorn, the Wolf and the is one of the ‘must’ visits. Bears in Bulgaria do not dance any
Since the age of 19, pianist Axel Zwingenberger has been Brown Bear. more in captivity. Here in their own park they have their own
travelling the world as a genuine ambassador of Boogie The park has an amazing variety of plant, animal and fish territory similar to their natural habitat. A charity well worth
Woogie. Born in 1955 in Hamburg, Germany he has played in species on its territory, making it one of the most botanically, your support. The last dancing bear has been brought to the
some 50 countries in Asia, Africa, America and across Europe. zoologically and ontologically interesting areas on the Balkan park in 2007.
He is currently the best Boogie Woogie pianist in the world. In Peninsula. Whoever thought that Edelweiss only grows in the Physical and mental relaxation that is what Bansko is
the early 1980s, the great Lionel Hampton invited him to join Swiss Alps definitely should pay a visit. about during the summer months. Various hotels offer Spa
him in a concert tour of Europe, as well as in recordings for Not less than 1300 plant species can be observed within treatments, and each has its own speciality. Give yourself
American companies. Axel has released 29 CDs. They include the park. Besides this, about 300 moss species and a large the gift of being treated to your hearts delights. Bansko has
recordings with greats such as Big Joe Turner, Jay McShann, amount of algae have been determined. grown into an international community, for this reason you for
Champion Jack Dupree and Sippie Wallace, to name but a few. Restaurants About 2090 fauna species and subspecies are to be seen in sure will find a kitchen to your taste, from traditional Bulgarian
He has eight solo albums. Dedo Pene C-2, ul. Aleksandar Buynov 1, tel. +359 749 the park, among them 300 rare species, 214 common and to haute cuisine Greek style.
MANHATTAN TRANSFER (USA) 88 348/+359 88 795 970, fax +359 749 82 223, info@ 175 relicts, as well as 15 that were included in international Bansko during summer is a guaranteed destination that will
12.08.2009, Dedo Pene has es- endangered species lists. If fish has more your interest it is provide you with an unforgettable experience.
As soon as they appeared in 1969, Manhattan Transfer tablished itself as a must-visit Bansko location over the years, worth knowing that the park hosts 6 fish species constituting
marked a new trend in the vocal recreation of jazz. The US not least because of its enjoyably eccentric interior - antlers,
group is named after one of the best known novels of John old radios, a startled-looking stuffed marten, and bits of wood
Dos Passos, whose action takes place in New York. Published that resemble human sexual organs are just some of the dec- great place to spend your winter or summer holidays. Mind
in 1925, it recreates personal stories which happen in the orations to look out for. Pretty much everything in the local culi- that there is a minimum required stay of 3 nights during
so-called “golden age” of jazz. The group that still turns its nary repertoire is available here - from kapama and chomlek to the season and a week in the off-season. Q50 rooms (50
concerts into a happening all over the world. The choice of the deliciously eccentric makedonski mandzhi (diced chicken apartments €38 - 90). TRILGBDXW hhhh
name was dictated by the common roots of the vocalists cooked with prunes). For dessert, try the banitsa (flaky pastry
Manhattan New York. pie) stuffed with bits of lokum (Turkish delight). The atmo-
JAMIE DAVIS (USA) sphere is always lively and the folk music frequently excellent, Elitsa ul. Gotse Delchev 12, tel. +359 749 88
13.08.2009 ensuring that Dedo Pene is always worth a try. QOpen 391/+359 888 009 090, fax +359 749 95 026,
Jamie Davis is one of today’s greatest jazz vocalists. He has 09:00 - 24:00. (8-25Lv). JAIEXS KDX hhh, This hotel
sung with some of the world’s best known names in the
genre. Has worked with Patty Austin, Tony Bennett, George Obetsanovata kashta C-2, pl. Vazrazhdane, tel. +359
Benson, the Count Basie Orchestra, Rosemary Clooney and 749 82 236/+359 78 317 555, One
Billy Cobham. of the oldest mehanas in town with water feature in the dining welcomed in the small community of people, originating from
Davis is called the “chocolate baritone” due to his fine deep hall. There’s a lip-licking variety of grilled pork, veal and turkey different countries, and who own most of the apartments.
timbre. He has taken part in festivals and concerts both in the dishes on the menu, and a whole pig or lamb on a spit if you Thus each apartment carries the spirit of diverse cultures
USA as well as overseas. Most frequently he travels as lead order 24 hours in advance. They offer game like wild boar, and tastes and you will get the feeling of a country home. All
vocalist for the Count Basie Orchestra. deer, and rabbit. Don’t miss out on the warm wine with blue- of the apartments have cosy marble fireplaces, real wooden
Jamie Davis’ latest disc is called Vibe Over Perfection. It was berries. Party animals should be aware that Obetsanovata floors, one or two bedrooms and spacious living rooms with
released in 2008. kashta is one of the best places in town for shkembe chorba, sofas, dining table and kitchenette. There is a wellness
ROY POWELL PEAK EXPERIENCE TRIO (Norway) the spicy tripe soup used by locals as a hangover cure. centre with a whirlpool, a sauna and a steam bath, a laundry
13.8.2009 QOpen 09:00 - 04:00. (13-25Lv). JAIEBXSW room with washers and dryers, children’s playground and
The Norwegian trio was set up by popular British pianist Roy an outdoor lane for Bavarian curling in winter and French jeu
Powell. The musicians perform his original compositions, which de boules /boccia in summer. Additional services include
are a blend of rock, funk and fusion. The other members of the Hotels massage, shuttle to the lift, firewood delivery to the apart-
group are Per Mathisen and Ivan Makedonov. Pirin Lodge Gramadeto Area, tel. +359 749 95 ment, grocery shopping, use of swimming pool facilities
Roy Powell was born in the UK. He studied piano and 031/+359 897 311 381,, at nearby hotel and airport pick-up and drop-off. All-in-all a
composition at the Royal Northern College of Music. Per A place where you will be warmly

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

20 Culture & Events Culture & Events 21

is located in the direct proximity of both the town centre have a small cosy tavern serving traditional Bansko dishes.
and the Gondola, amongst numerous mehanas. Elitsa of- The cook, chicho Stancho (uncle Stancho), claims he cooks
fers a modern interior in rooms and public areas. For sure by secret recipes and with special forest herbs. The best part
a good value for money. Do consider to book the romantic of this cosy hotel is the wellness centre. They have Jacuzzi, 2
room with the Jacuzzi. The staff are friendly and speak steam rooms, sauna, relaxation area, hammam bed, beauty
reasonable English. Open all-year so also recommended salon and fitness and they offer all types of treatments and
for a summer visit. Q19 rooms (18 doubles €26 - 31, 1 procedures - from Talasso and aroma therapies, to chocolate
Maisonette: €67). PJAILGBKDXW hhh and anti-cellulite massages. They also have rooms service,
laundry and ironing and free shuttle to the Gondola. Q25
rooms (25 apartments €13 - 31). AR6IFGB

Premier Luxury Mountain Resort E-4, ul. Karaman-

itsa 11, Gramadeto area, tel. +359 2 490 22 07/+359
2 490 22 07, fax +359 2 490 22 04, reservation@pre-, www.premiermountainresort.
com. With a lovely view to the surrounding mountains and
forests, this apart hotel offers a true 4 star experience with
grace. The hotel opened on May 1st, 2009 and is located
in the newly built part of Bansko about 15 min walking dis-
tance from the centre and the gondola. The apartments are
furnished elegantly and with imagination. There is a bedroom
with twin beds and a living room with sofa, dining table and a
kitchenette. The furniture is built to last rather than just look
good. The bathrooms are with shower cabins and some are
with bathtubs. They have a great wellness centre - Asana
Spa -with steam bath, sauna, relaxation area, massage and
aromatherapy. There is a bar, buffet and a-la-carte restaurant.
Chicho Cane ul. Knyaz Boris I 13, tel. +359 749 88 The Greek gourmet chef is the award-winner Yiannis Bakse-
177/+359 898 n913 070, On walk- vanis and he certainly deserves our applause. Ask for the lamb
ing distance from the centre of Bansko, where it all happens chops and the strawberry mousse. The service is excellent
during the day and especially during the après-ski hours, you’ll and personalized. We hope it will stay that way even when the
find this traditional Bansko style family hotel. Within this small crowds hit the slopes this winter. For sure a hotel where you
hotel all luxury is at hand, including a traditional Bulgarian can also spend your summer holidays and a great starting
restaurant (Mehana) with a barbeque area where you can point for early morning mountain walks. Q144 rooms (61
enjoy great moments feeling the traditional atmosphere suites €50 - 80, 51 One room apartment: €80 - 95, 21 Two
of Bansko. The all-year round hotel has a summer garden room apartment: €100 - 115, 2 Maisonette with 1 bedroom:
attached to it with views to Pirin Mountain and the feeling €125, 6 Maisonette with 2 bedrooms: €165, 3 Maisonette
of the refreshing air. Sauna, steam bath and Jacuzzi are also with 3 bedrooms: €235). PTHARUIFLGB�
available. Rooms come with a nice interior and flat screen KDXCW hhhh
TV’s.Q15 rooms (12 doubles €11, 3 apartments €41).

Mountain Romance ul. Zahari Stoyanov 54, tel. +359

749 91 299/+359 885 992 333, mountain_romance@, Located in the new part of

Bansko, this hotel makes a nice vacation place for winter or
summer holidays alike. The place is just 10 min away from
the Gondola and 15 min away from the historical part of the
city. They have studios and apartments with kitchenette,
twin or double beds, sofa, telephone and satellite TV. The
bathrooms are either with shower cabins or bath tubs. They

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

22 Where to stay Where to stay 23

Sofia’s accommodation scene has been transformed by Pub and the London Casino are on the ground floor of the,
a rash of hotel building in recent years, and there is now Symbol key same building), the hotel itself is nicely quiet. Q133 rooms Not in the crowded center, but situated only 15 minutes from
a big choice in all categories. The advertised star ratings (singles €130 - 205, doubles €156 - 220, suites €260 - 290). it and 10 minutes from the airport, this art decorated hotel
are reasonably accurate guide to quality in most cases, P Air conditioning A Credit cards accepted POHARUFLGKDW hhhhh offers cozy and luxury rooms and apartments. Its proximty
although they don’t always mean that all the rooms in O Casino H Conference facilities to Inter Expo and Congress Center makes it perfect for your
particular establishment are up to the stated standard. Sheraton Sofia Hotel Balkan B-3, pl. Sveta Nedelya business trip. The hotel has two restaurants, a lobby bar,
Hotels invariably list their prices in euros, although you can T Child friendly U Facilities for the disabled 5, MSerdika, tel. +359 2 981 65 41, fax +359 2 980 casino with piano bar, sauna and fitness. From the large
pay the equivalent rate in leva if you wish. R Internet L Guarded parking 64 64,, www. windows you can enjoy the view to Vitosha mountain. Along Sofia’s longest-established with the paintings on the walls and the stylish furniture
F Fitness centre G Non-smoking rooms
Cream of the crop K Restaurant M Nearest metro station
luxury hotel, and part of the Sheraton chain for a decade and
a half, this urban landmark in the heart of downtown Sofia
you have all the necessary “equipment” for your business
stay - “a signature room” made for signing contracts and
Arena di Serdica B-3, ul. Budapeshta 2-4, MSerdika, combines traditional five-star frills with high-tech amenities. business meetings, wi-fi internet and 3 conference halls.
tel. +359 2 810 77 77/+359 2 810 77 88, fax +359 D Sauna C Swimming pool The building itself is a showpiece of 1950s architectural Q99 rooms (63 doubles €90 - 138, 5 suites €145 - 177,
2 810 77 70,, www.arena- 6 Animal friendly W Wi-Fi connection style, featuring sweeping staircases, long and spacious cor- 27 Executive rooms: €110 - 163, 4 Junior suite: €165 - 197). This hotel really is one of a kind, imagine ridors, and chandeliers on every floor. “Classic” rooms are POHAR6FLEGBKDXW hhhh
going to breakfast walking in the footsteps of Roman gladi- contemporary in style with blue and orange decor and classy
ators. That’s what you get at the Arena di Serdica. During a rent-a-car service.Q245 rooms (202 singles €110 - 190, bathrooms. “Executive” rooms boast near-antique furniture, Casa Boyana G-6, ul. Ivanitza Dantchev 23, Boyana,
the initial excavation of the foundations, they discovered 26 doubles €110 - 190, 16 Junior suite: €230 - 310, 1 Presi- flat-screen TVs and coffee-and-tea-making facilities. Spacious tel. +359 2 805 08 00, fax +359 2 805 08 05, hotel@
a Roman amphitheatre. Not put off by this inconvenience, dential suite: €1200). PHAR6UFLGKDCW ground-floor lobby areas and a chic cafe-restaurant provide, A boutique-
they built the hotel around it. And they’ve done a wonderful hhhhh the icing on the cake. Rates do not include breakfast and VAT style hotel in the mountain-side suburb of Boyana, close
job. The excavations are huge and take up a large part of tax. Q184 rooms (164 doubles €330 - 425, 11 Junior suite: to the National History Museum and with great city-facing
the subterranean floor. It’s not unlike staying in a museum. Holiday Inn Sofia H-8, bul. Aleksandar Malinov 111, €445 - 460, 8 Executive suite: €490 - 505, 1 Presidential views from the windows of its restaurant. Rooms come with
And, it’s a great place for expositions, launches and such as tel. +359 2 807 07 07, fax +359 2 807 07 08, info@ suite: €1210 - 1310). POJHAR6UFLG� Italian furniture, bold colours and swanky bathrooms, and
it generates a truly cultured atmosphere. The rooms aren’t, Dependable KDXW hhhhh the attention-to-detail staff are as helpful as can be. Q16
bad either. They’re beautifully decorated in terracotta and standards of 5-star comfort and service from an experienced rooms (7 singles €105, 7 doubles €125, 2 suites €165).
a deep yellow that reflects the incoming sunlight, giving the
rooms a fairly unique homely feel. They’re well sized even by
chain. Rooms feature flat-screen TVs, wireless internet and
bathrooms with separate bath and shower. Located next Upmarket PHARUFLGBKDXW hhhh

5 star standards and come with all the expected mod cons. to Business Park Sofia in Mladost it’s a popular choice for Anel B-2, bul. Todor Aleksandrov 14, tel. +359 2 911 Central B-2, bul. Hristo Botev 52, tel. +359 2 981 23
The Arena di Serdica offers all the usual fitness centre and business folk, and the centre of town is only a 20-minute taxi 99 00, fax +359 2 911 99 06,, 64/+359 888 507 209, fax +359 2 986 45 61, central@
sauna stuff (not unexpected in a Roman ruin, I suppose), and ride away. International cuisine in the all-day Brasserie and If you want to stay in a top-class hotel,, A relatively
is excellently situated near the Alexander Nevski Cathedral. InCanto restaurant provide excuses to linger on-site, as do which has more character than the international chains, then new hotel in a convenient downtown location, this is reason-
They also boast a truly lovely restaurant on the top floor, the fully-equipped gym and 19-metre swimming pool. The this modern building on the fringes of downtown Sofia just ably good value for the facilities on offer. Rooms are decorated
with superb cuisine and wines at a very good price. A bit of a range of conference facilities on offer make this a choice venue about fits the bill. It’s stuffed to the gills with contemporary in modern, functional style; most have showers rather than
hidden gem amongst Sofian restaurants and well worth a visit for hard-headed get-togethers. Breakfast and VAT tax is not Bulgarian paintings and sculptures and has the feel of a top full-size bathtubs. They allow smaller size pets.Q28 rooms
even if you’re not staying there. All in all, the Arena di Serdica included.Q130 rooms (116 doubles €70 - 100, 4 suites international gallery when you first cross the threshold. The (17 singles €95, 17 doubles €110, 17 triples €138, 3 suites
offers what very few hotels in the worl can offer; top notch €120 - 150, 10 Executive rooms: €90 - 120). PHARU� rooms themselves come in bold blues and browns, and €120 - 175, 3 apartments €120 - 175). PYJHA6E�
modern amenities in a classical setting. Really a class apart. FLEGBKDXCSW hhhhh there’s an exotic on-site Spa centre with a water-surrounded GBKDXW hhh
Q63 rooms (35 singles €150 - 230, 6 doubles €150 - 230, café-bar approached by bridge. Q57 rooms (8 singles €270,
14 suites €300, 1 apartment €420, 7 Junior suite: €280). Kempinski Hotel Zografski Sofia G-7, bul. Dzheims 31 doubles €290 - 300, 1 Presidential Suite €1000, 6 Junior Central Forum G-7, bul. Tsar Boris III 41, tel. +359 2
PJHARUFLGBKDXW hhhhh Baucher 100, tel. +359 2 969 22 22, fax +359 2 969 Suite €320, 3 Panorama Suite €340, 8 Executive suite €370). 954 44 44/+359 888 506 102, fax +359 2 954 33 33,
22 23,, www. PTJHARUFLGKDCW hhhhh, Re-
Grand Hotel Sofia B-3, ul. Gurko 1, MSerdika, tel. Five-star comforts can be taken for cently renovated block in a part-residential, part-commercial
+359 2 811 08 11, fax +359 2 811 08 01, reservations@ granted here, although the hulking, high-rise nature of the Art ‘Otel C-2, ul. Gladston 44, tel. +359 2 980 60 00, area about 1km southwest of the downtown action. The, Quality writ place will not suit those who want a cosy intimate retreat. fax +359 2 981 19 09,, www.artotel. rooms are not all that spacious but come in stress-reducing
large. It is bang in the middle of town - on the doorstep of the Rooms are currently decorated in onyx-blue and green, biz. A joint Bulgarian-Spanish project occupying a re-vamped creamy colours. Unusually for what claims to be a four star,
National Theatre, the City Art Gallery, within walking distance although some floors are being gradually refitted in beige. 1930s apartment block. Fine textures, unusual shapes, most rooms come with shower, so you’ll need to fork out for a
from the Bulgaria Concert Hall and the Alexander Nevsky Now part of a German chain, the Zografski was originally built leather furniture, fireplaces and a smattering of contemporary “luxury” room if you need to soak in a real bathtub. On the plus
Cathedral. The staff are professional from top to bottom, by Japanese investors and designed by the famous architect paintings justify the hotel’s name. Just a block away from bul. side we were rather excited to see electric kettles in some
the rooms are huge, and the classy furnishings are built to Kisho Kurokava in the 1980s, and you’ll still find a few uniquely Vitosha, the location is as central as they come, and some of the rooms - something of a first for Bulgaria. Smaller size
last rather than just look good. The spacious bathrooms oriental touches here - notably the Japanese garden, one of a rooms on the upper storeys come with excellent roof-level pets are allowed.Q51 rooms (12 singles €95, 12 doubles
come with both bathtub and shower. The ground-floor Grand kind on the Balkan peninsula. They have 10 conference halls views of the surrounding cityscape. Q22 rooms (5 singles €110, 12 triples €138, 6 suites €120 - 175, 6 apartments
Cafe, facing out towards the City Garden, serves up some with a separate entrance, 5 restaurants, 3 bars and the larg- €105 - 145, 10 doubles €110 - 150, 3 suites €155 - 160). €120 - 175). PYHAR6UFLEGBKDXW
spectacular cakes. Q122 rooms (105 doubles €150 - 340, 3 est hotel swimming pool in Sofia.Q442 rooms (singles €160, PHARLKDW hhhh hhhh
suites €400 - 540, 12 Junior suite: €230 - 370, 2 Presidential 418 doubles €180, 5 triples €220, 20 Junior suite: €240, 1
suite: €500 - 640). PTJHARUFLEGB� Presidential suite: €950). PHAR6UFLEGB� Best Western Hotel Europe H-9, ul. Liditse 1, tel. Central Park Hotel C-2, bul. Vitosha 106, tel. +359
KDXW hhhhh KDXCW hhhhh +359 2 970 15 00, fax +359 2 970 15 11, info@hotel- 2 805 81 81, fax +359 2 805 87 87, reservations@, Contempo-, This
Hilton D-2, bul. Bulgaria 1, tel. +359 2 933 50 00, fax Radisson SAS Grand Hotel B-4, pl. Narodno sabranie rary building in a suburban street offering rooms decorated newish 4-star hotel enjoys an enviable city-centre location
+359 2 933 51 11,, 4, tel. +359 2 933 43 34, fax +359 2 933 43 35, info. in cheerful citrus-fruit colours. Some have large bathrooms right in front of the National Palace of Culture and a stone’s Enduringly popular choice with visiting, with bathtubs, although you can’t always bank on getting throw from the main shopping, eating and drinking areas. The
businessfolk, with a handily central location and the attention- Occupying the prime site opposite Bulgaria’s parliament and one of these. The top floor Sky Bar has fantastic views rooms are comfortable and well-equipped, most coming with
to-detail service that you would expect from the chain. Rooms the Aleksandar Nevski Memorial Church, the Radisson offers west towards the city and south towards Mount Vitosha. views of the nearby park and (in some cases) Mount Vitosha
come in a soothing combination of blues, yellows and greens, the kind of understated luxury that the chain is famous for: They have an outdoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi. Q119 in the distance. The restaurant does a good line in modern
and the generously-proportioned bathrooms feature both soothing colours, deep-mattressed beds, classy marble- rooms (40 singles €80, 40 doubles €100, 25 triples €110, European cuisine, complemented by a strong selection of
shower cabin and bathtub (so you can wash yourself twice floored bathrooms (featuring both bathtub and shower), 4 suites €140, 5 apartments €145, 3 Junior suite €125, 2 wines. A full range of business services and secretarial as-
at the same time!). Guests have free use of pool and gym, and electric kettles in every room. Standard rooms on the Presidential Suite €160). PTYHAR6UFLG� sistance is offered by the business center. Q77 rooms (29
and all rooms come with coffee and tea-making facilities. south side of the building are perfectly adequate, but it’s the BKDXCW hhhh singles €165 - 205, 45 doubles €185, 3 suites €240 - 260).
There are a bar, exacutive floors and an executive VIP lounge, business class doubles and junior suites on the north side PYJHARLGK hhhh
washing and dry cleaning, 24/7 room service, shops, a beauty that come with fabulous views of Narodno sabranie square. Best Western Hotel Expo G-8, bul. Tsarigradsko shose
saloon, a travel agency, souvenir and luxury goods shops and Notwithstanding the surrounding nightlife (both Flannnagans 149, tel. +359 2 817 81, fax +359 2 974 30 90, reserva-

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

24 Where to stay Where to stay 25

Crystal Palace Boutique Hotel B-5, ul. Shipka 14, tel. Maxi Park Hotel & Spa H-8, bul. Simeonovsko shose, A
+359 2 948 94 88, fax +359 2 948 94 90, reservations@ rooms (singles €160 - 180, 96 doubles €180 - 200, 17 110, tel. +359 2 892 00 00, fax +359 2 892 00 50, recently renovated nineteenth-century building on a charac-, suites €240). PTHARUFLGBKDXCW, If terful, pedestrianized shopping street, this is as pleasant a
The Crystal Palace emerged somewhat controversially from hhhh you want to stay in the middle of a fully-equipped leisure downtown location as you’ll find. The rooms are decorated in
the conversion of a nineteenth-century apartment block, complex then you can’t go far wrong with the Olymp, plunked bright blue and yellow, with light and comfortable bathrooms.
which involved mounting a huge glass-and-steel superstruc- Les Fleurs Boutique Hotel B-2, bul. Vitosha 21, tel. in the middle of a landscaped park dotted with swimming Note that regular doubles have showers, “luxury” rooms
ture on top of the historic building. Conservation issues aside, +359 2 810 08 00, fax +359 2 810 08 01, reservation@ pools and gazebos. The rooms come in fresh colours and come with proper bathtubs. Q76 rooms (30 singles €90, 30
it’s one of the best hotels in the city as far as service and, A style- brave modern shapes, and many of them have good views of doubles €100, 6 triples €120, 3 suites €160, 1 Presidential
elegance are concerned, offering sunny, spacious rooms conscious boutique hotel in a prime downtown position, Les Mount Vitosha to the south. It’s a 15-minute drive to the city Suite €250, 6 Junior Suite €110). PYJHAR6U�
with repro furniture and all the creature comforts. The Fleurs looks as if it has jumped straight from the pages of centre from here, but with a restaurant decorated in the style FLEGKDW hhhh
health-and-fitness club, moodily lit and decorated in coffee an Italian interior design magazine. Artistic flair extends to of a nineteenth-century Russian parlour, and a glass-roofed
and cinnamon shades, is the ideal place to wind down after every detail, from the floral motifs inlaid into the hardwood cafe area stuffed with potted plants, there’s plenty to explore
a hard day spent closing deals. Q63 rooms (53 doubles floorboards to the glass-bead table lamps, flat-screen TVs, on-site. Q62 rooms (singles €96, 52 doubles €126, 2 suites
€170 - 210, 10 suites €250 - 270). PHARFLEG� and swish bathrooms with cylindrical shower cubicles. Bal- €180 - 220, 8 Business: €126 - 156). POTHARU�
BKDXW hhhh conied top floor rooms have great views of the city centre. FLGBKDXCW hhhh
All rooms are irregularly shaped, and the corridors bend their
Dedeman Sofia Princess F-7, bul. Maria Luiza 131, way across the building rather than leading directly from A Park Hotel Vitosha H-8, ul. Rosario 1, MMusagenitsa,
tel. +359 2 933 88 88, fax +359 2 933 87 77, sofia@ to B. The dodgy-looking black uniforms worn by the front-of- tel. +359 2 816 88 88, fax +359 2 962 29 25, reserva-, If you’re house staff make up the only element of the hotel that doesn’t, www.vitoshaparkhotel.
the kind of person for whom size matters then the Princess quite fit. Q31 rooms (13 singles €145 - 170, 10 doubles com. Brand-new Scandinavian-style designer hotel full of
is probably your kind of place. It’s the biggest hotel in Sofia, €155 - 180, 2 suites €270, 6 Executive). light colours and nice wooden surfaces. Rooms are fitted
it also boasts the biggest casino in the Balkans - so it’s the with cooking facilities, and the on-site wellness amenities are
perfect place to throw your money away in lavish style. Rich . PJARUILGBKXW hhhh perfect if you’re in need of a bit of pampering. In park-like sur-
colours, tasseled curtains and fluffy cushions give the rooms roundings on the southeastern edge of the city. Q170 rooms Triada G-8, ul. Venera 5, tel. +359 2 970 67 67, fax +359
a satisfyingly luxuriant feel. Q 601 rooms (589 doubles Light A-3, ul. Veslets 37, tel. +359 2 917 90 90, fax (60 singles €89, 80 doubles €119, 24 suites €119 - 139, 6 2 970 67 10,, www.hoteltriada.
€85 - 125, 12 apartments €135 - 170). POHARU� +359 2 917 90 10,, Vip studios: €100). PHARFLGBKDXCW com. Relatively new building offering big, light rooms deco-
FLGKDXCW hhhh Classy modern hotel in a quiet cobbled street that hhhh rated in different nuances of blue. The top-floor sky bar has
seems miles away from the bustle of central Sofia. The public excellent views of Sofia’s mountainous surroundings. The
Greenville Hotel & Apartment Houses G-7, ul. Ata- areas are boldly contemporary but the rooms themselves hotel offers perfect conditions for business meetings and
nas Dukov 36, tel. +359 2 819 19 19, fax +359 2 819 19 have a chintzy cosiness - note however that some come seminars. The restaurant offers every thematic evenings with
18,, www.greenville-sofia. with a shower cabinet while others have a nice big bathtub. live music.Q62 rooms (9 singles €65 - 99, 48 doubles €90
com. A 3-building complex set in leafy parkland south of Q31 rooms (10 singles €90, 18 doubles €115, 2 suites - 119, 5 apartments €100 - 150). PHARUFLEG�
the centre, offering a mixture of standard rooms and studio €140 - 150, 1 Presidential suite €180). PJHARU� BKDXW hhhh
apartments. The rooms are light and luxurious, with flower FLGKDXW hhh
bouquets and oil paintings adding a homely touch. Q113
Alexander Palace H-7, ul. Nartsis 1, Dragalevtsi, tel.
+359 2 967 11 84, fax +359 2 967 31 46, reservations@, www.svetasofia-alexan- A small-sized modern building in the mountainside
suburb of Dragalevtsi, a 20-minute drive from the centre.
Residence Oborishte G-8, ul. Oborishte 63, tel. Rooms are spacious and the staff seem like a cheerful, helpful
+359 2 814 48 88, fax +359 2 846 82 44, contact@ bunch. If you want a relaxing, secluded out-of-town location,, www.residence-oborishte. then this fits the bill. Q18 rooms (doubles €26, apartments
com. Supremely comfortable and relaxing establishment €43, VIP apartment €72). PAFLKD hhh
made up almost entirely of two-room apartments, with warm
rich colours predominating throughout. The just-married Atlantic H-8, ul. 19 (devetnadeseta) 2, Simeonovo, tel.
apartment with an inviting bathtub by the wide double bed +359 2 961 34 00/+359 2 961 34 01, fax +359 2 961
almost had us rushing to the registry office. An informal 21 32,,
make-yourself-at-home atmosphere adds to the welcoming Located in the relative seclusion of Simeonovo, a suburb on
feel. Q9 rooms (doubles €80 - 180, suites €80 - 180, Junior the lower slopes of Mount Vitosha, this extremely plush place,
Suite: €80 - 180, King Suite: €80 - 180). PARIGB� braced by a pair of fancy turrets, makes for an ideal out-of-
KXW hhhh town retreat. Bathrooms are on the small side but rooms
are otherwise extremely cosy. The top-floor restaurant offers
Sofia Plaza F-7, bul. Hristo Botev 154, tel. +359 2 813 great views towards the city. The apartments have Jacuzzi.

Hotel Arsena
79 79, fax +359 2 813 79 12, office@hotelsofiaplaza. Q20 rooms (10 doubles €55 - 65, 4 triples €85, 4 suites
com, It’s about time there €82, 4 apartments €90 - 95, 2 Presidential Suite: €105).
was a comfortable mid-price hotel in the vicinity of Sofia’s PHARIFLGBKDXCW hhh
main railway station, and Sofia Plaza seems to fit the bill. Its
Bulgaria, Nessebar, 50 rooms have been squeezed into what is essentially a tall Casa Ferrari Bed and Breakfast C-1, ul. Lyulin Planina
thin building, but the result is cosy rather than cramped. The 16, tel. +359 898 43 67 00, fax +359 2 980 84 14, info@
South beach rooms themselves feature blue carpets, peachy furnishings, This centrally
and fabrics, TV, minibar, and enough desk-space on which to located small hotel is situated on a quiet street within walk-
tel. +359 554 46 610 park the average laptop. Apartments come with kitchenettes ing distance of Sofia’s main tourist attractions. Decorated
and extra fold-down beds. Q50 rooms (10 singles €80, 36 with classic Italian furnishings, an atmosphere is produced
+359 554 46 650 doubles €110, 2 apartments €200 - 250, 2 Studio: €130). combining luxury with relaxed charm. In addition to the three
PHARFLGBKDXW hhhh tastefully styled guest rooms, is a large, bright breakfast
fa +359 554 46 550 room, an ideal place for getting the day off to a good start, or
Sveta Sofia A-2, ul. Pirotska 18, tel. +359 2 983 50 reminiscing about your trip’s highlights. The married couple,
33/+359 2 981 26 34, fax +359 2 983 17 23, market- who serve as your hosts, are congenial and very helpful in

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

26 Where to stay Where to stay 27

planning the most effective way to see the sights in Sofia. Renaissance B-2, pl. Vazrazhdane 2, tel. +359 2 986 An early twentieth-century villa houses the
All-in-all, the Casa Ferrari is a very pleasant home away from 09 38, fax +359 2 986 09 39, reservations@hotelre- Red House cultural centre as well as this charming B&B. The
home. Q3 rooms (singles €60, doubles €85, triples €95)., If rooms come in a variety of different styles: some feature
PTJARGW hhh you don’t mind a bit of kitsch you’ll quite like this place, with soothingly pale decor while others are kitted out in sensu-
its loud colours, copper engravings of renaissance paintings ous reds and greens. Toilet and bathroom are located in the
Diter C-3, ul. Khan Asparuh 65, tel./fax +359 2 989 89 Еlate Plaza Hotel and retro furniture. Panoramic view of Sofia from the top-floor hallway, but you do get breakfast delivered to your room.
Mladost 1, Sofia
98,, Located terrace. Q29 rooms (14 singles €55, 14 doubles €65, 1 The top-floor terrace is a great place to hang out when the
corner of Aleksander Malinov Blvd
in a sensitively-restored nineteenth-century house in a quiet & Andrey Sakharov Blvd
apartment €90). PHAGKW hhh weather gets warmer. Q6 rooms (singles €25 - 35, doubles
but superbly central street, this is a real find. Rooms come phone 974 4948, 0886 83 12 82 €40 - 50). RKW hh
in mood-enhancing blues and oranges and are equipped with
minibar, TV and safe. Generous provision of desk space is,
Budget RotasaR G-8, ul. Liditse and Kosta Lulchev (at the
a major plus, as is the provision of state-of-the-art mas- Brod H-8, bul. Simeonovsko shose 66, tel. +359 2 968 corner), tel. +359 2 971 45 71, fax +359 2 971 45 74,
sage nozzles in the shower cubicles. The T-shaped room 19 80, fax +359 2 968 19 84,,, Smallish hotel with
no. 302 (a single) will suit the idiosyncratic travellers down A suburban hotel of recent construc- a cosy feel, in a residential neighbourhood 2km east of the
to the ground. Q 21 rooms (7 singles €78, 12 doubles Elate Plaza tion offering excellent value in this price range. All rooms are centre on the way to Sofia airport. Rooms come in different
€98, 2 suites €108). PHARLGBKX hhh neatly kitted out in a mixture of pastel and terracotta shades sizes and colour schemes but are all equipped with a small
- “luxury” rooms have good-sized bathtubs, while others come TV, minibar and bathroom. Colourful contemporary prints in
Elate Plaza H-8, Mladost-1, corner of bul. Aleksan- with a simple shower unit. Simeonovsko shose itself is hardly the rooms and hallways add a bit of character. Breakfast in
dar Malinov and bul. Andrey Saharov, MMladost Sofia’s most inspiring street, but you’ll feel quite at home here the downstairs restaurant costs an extra €3. Q17 rooms
1, tel. +359 2 974 49 48,, once the friendly and helpful staff have told you where the (8 doubles €37 - 44, 6 apartments €57 - 67, 3 Studio: €51). Five minutes drive south from local cafés, shops and bus-stops are. And taxis to/from here PARGKXW hh
the airport in a residential neighbourhood this is a small- aren’t going to break the bank. Q46 rooms (13 singles €40
ish comfy and charming hotel. Rooms come in different - 50, 24 doubles €48 - 60, 5 suites €56 - 70, 4 apartments Shipka G-7, bul. Totleben 34A, tel. +359 2 915 14 87,
shapes and sizes, contemporary in style, decorated in €64 - 80). PHALGBKXW hhh fax +359 2 953 12 30,, www.
wine-red, with light bathrooms. Suites have bathtubs. Twenty minutes’ walk southwest of the
An informal make-yourself-at-home atmosphere and Harmony E-1, bul. Arsenalski 4, tel. +359 2 866 53 centre, this Defence Ministry-owned establishment is a bit
attentive staff complete the picture. The fitness centre 77, fax +359 2 866 25 37,, care-worn and institutionalised at first glance, but it’s far from
is an additional plus. Q19 rooms (5 singles €45 - 65, You won’t be drowned in luxury being a boot camp. Rooms are adequate and come with TV,
7 doubles €55 - 75, 3 triples €70 - 90, 1 suite €90 - here but you’ll certainly find everything necessary for a pleas- fridge and WC/shower: those in the ‘lux’ category have the
100, 1 apartment €85 - 130, 1 Junior suite €80 - 90, 1 ant and restful stay, and the small scale of the place makes added benefits of plush carpets and jolly colour schemes.
you feel looked after. It’s right next door to one of Sofia’s most The fab subterranean fitness complex looks like a training
popular indoor and outdoor swimming pools, which you can centre for special agents: saunas, steam baths, gym, well-
use free of charge the first time, after which a small entrance ness treatments and hairdresser’s saloon. Q134 rooms
Q26 rooms (10 singles €50 - 55, 15 doubles €70 - 75, 1 fee comes into operation. Q16 rooms (singles €42, doubles (126 doubles €34 - 50, 6 apartments €61, 2 Apartment VIP:
apartment €80). PALGKW hhh €63, apartments €76). PHALK hhh €93). PJHR6UFLBKDXW hhh
Lozenetz E-3, bul. Sveti Naum 23, tel. +359 2 965 44
44, fax +359 2 965 44 45,, Madrid G-8, ul. Dragovitsa 12, tel. +359 2 944 89 52, Sofia Garden Bed and Breakfast C-3, ul. Angel A contemporary building in a fax +359 2 943 31 44,, www. Kanchev 21A, tel. +359 2 987 05 45/+359 888 378
residential area just south of the city centre. Rooms are light Legends G-7, bul. Cherni vrah 54-56, tel. +359 2 961 Intimate hotel in a quiet area just east of 930,,
and spacious, although some of the bathrooms are a tight 79 30, fax +359 2 961 79 33,, the city centre, offering simply furnished en-suite rooms and Located in the same centrally-located nineteenth-century
squeeze. There is a small but relaxing garden attached to the Situated in the Hladilnika district little in the way of extras. Difficult to beat at this price. Q15 building as the ever-popular Art Hostel (see “Hostels” below),
restaurant. Q31 rooms (13 singles €52, 14 doubles €62, 1 4km south of the centre, Legends offers all the business-class rooms (2 singles €20, 10 doubles €28, 2 triples €33, 1 quad Sofia Garden offers simply-furnished but characterful rooms
apartment €75, 3 Junior suite €75, Extra bed). PHAL� comforts but has the added advantages of medum-sized- €40). PJAW h with wooden floorboards, distressed chairs and wardrobes,
GBKXW hhh hotel intimacy and medium-range prices. The bronzy-brown and high ceilings. Toilet and shower are across the hallway.
rooms come with desk space and bath-tubs. An internet Niky C-2, ul. Neofit Rilski 16, tel. +359 2 952 30 58, There’s a communal hall with homely ceramic stove, and a
connection for your laptop costs an extra €5 per day. De- fax +359 2 951 60 91,, www. small kitchen complete with kettle and toaster. Room price
spite the neighbourhood’s relative lack of decent bars and This superbly located and friendly place has includes breakfast. Q6 rooms (4 doubles €26 - 36, 2 quads
restaurants, transport links are good: trams no. 9 and no. a lot of admirers, so be sure to book in advance. The handful €14). TJHAR6GBKXW h
10 will whisk you into town, while bus no. 66 powers its way of single and double rooms come with modern furnishings,
up to Aleko on Mt Vitosha. Q49 rooms (3 singles €64 - 74, minibar, TV and WC/shower. However the majority of rooms
40 doubles €76 - 86, 2 apartments €94 - 104, 4 Apartment are roomy apartment-style affairs featuring kitchenette and
houses €104 - 114). PALK hhh bathtub. The garden restaurant, famed for its grills, comes
into its own in spring and summer. Q23 rooms (3 singles
Out of town
€40 - 45, 3 doubles €45 - 50, 16 apartments €60 - 105, 1
Meg Lozenetz D-3, ul. Krum Popov 84, tel. +359 2 double luxury €50 - 55). PARUGKW hhh SPA Hotel Bankya Palace bul. Varna 70, Bankya,
965 19 70, fax +359 2 965 19 71, reservation@meg- tel. +359 2 812 20 20, fax +359 2 997 70 64, hotel@, Inviting mid-sized Pop Bogomil A-4, ul. Pop Bogomil 5, tel. +359 2 983, The
hotel in residential streets just south of the centre, near the 11 65, fax +359 2 983 70 65, hotelpopbogomil@dir. Bankya Palace was renovated in 2005 and some parts
City Center Sofia shopping mall. The deep carpeted rooms bg, Welcoming and of it are really state-of-the-art. Rooms are not too spa-
Latinka G-8, ul. Latinka 28A, tel. +359 2 870 08 48, fax are decorated in warm colours and come with a lot of desk intimate place in an area of cobbled residential streets a cious, but are light and decorated in fresh colours. Most
+359 2 870 08 56,, www. space. They also come in irregular shapes, which makes a few minutes’ walk from the city centre. Rooms are on the bathrooms are with bathtubs. The on-site Spa centre of- Sleek and modern outside, comfy nice change from the perfect rectangles on offer elsewhere. small side and feature mix-and-match furnishings that might fers a large number of superb remedial, recuperation and
and charming within, this is an exceedingly good mid-range The hotel restaurant looks semi-tropical with its rattan chairs, not quite make it into the pages of a design magazine, but relaxation programs (including aromatherapy, chocolate
choice indeed. About 3km southeast of the centre, it’s only wooden decking and house-plants - appropriately enough, everything else about this hotel seems tidy and comfy. Some or honey massage, wine-therapy and thalasso-therapy).
5 minutes’ walk away from the huge expanse of greenery that it is home to an enormous green parrot. Q17 rooms (4 rooms have bathtubs, some have showers, so ask in advance The complex has its own bowling hall and a big outdoor
is Borisova Gradina park. Rooms are decked out in mood- singles €75 - 90, 4 doubles €85 - 100, 4 triples €95 - 110, 4 if you’ve got a preference. Breakfast costs a few leva extra. swimming pool with mineral water. Q72 rooms (19
enhancing primary colours and come with telephone, cable suites €95 - 110, 1 apartment €135 - 150). PYAR6� Q10 rooms (doubles €30 - 33). LW hhh singles €42 - 53, 41 doubles €53 - 69, 12 apartments
TV, internet connection and mini-bar. Ask for one of the top- UGKW hhh €84 - 111). PHARUFLGBKDXCW
floor rooms with attic ceiling if you want a bit of atmosphere. Red Bed and Breakfast C-4, ul. Lyuben Karavelov 15, hhhh
tel./fax +359 2 988 81 88,, www.

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

28 Where to stay Where to stay 29

Variety E-3, ul. Yoan Ekzarh 20, tel. +359 2 963 31 51, Orient Express Hostel C-2, ul. Hristo Belchev 8A fl.3, available at any time. Prices vary between the high and low
Apartment hotels fax +359 2 866 15 57,, www. tel. +359 888 384 828/+359 889 138 298, orientex- season, summer and winter accordingly. There are TVs all
Apartment House Iztok G-8, ul. Atanas Dalchev 6, tel. Variety offer well over 20 properties in, www.orientexpresshostel. over the place and a common room for gatherings. Check out
+359 2 970 01 00, fax +359 2 970 01 28, aphouse_iz- central Sofia and the inner-ring of suburban districts, with com. Right opposite a grocery shop open 24/7 and a few time is 11:30 and there is no problem to leave your luggage, Fully short- or long-term apartments ranging in size from 2- to stories above one of the better bars in the city, Orient Express for the rest of the day.
serviced apartment block on the southeastern fringes of 4-bedroom. Interiors are neat and tasteful, some feature a Hostel has the perfect central location. The building it occu-
the centre. The smallest studio apartments are no different very high standard of interior design indeed. The apartments pies is from the 1920s with high ceilings and situated on a
to a mid-price hotel room, but providing you steer clear of are fully serviced and secure. Q Prices vary between €40 busy street with numerous cafes and restaurants. The rooms
these you should have no complaints. Expect lam floors, and €70 depending on the size of the apartment, with dis- are decorated tastefully and have a modern luxurious look.
warm colours, and modern bathrooms with tubs. Break- counts for long term stays. ALW Art hangs from the walls and big LCD screen TVs are available
fast is brought to your room, and there’s a strip of garden with satellite channels. There is one spacious room with tall
complete with kids’ play area out the back. Q32 rooms (4
singles €110, 4 doubles €120, 5 apartments €190, 8 Busi- Hostels dorm beds, two bigger double bedrooms and a small room
for two. The common room and kitchen are merged into one
ness studios: €135, 6 Family apartments €150, 5 Big family Art-Hostel C-3, ul. Angel Kanchev 21A, tel. +359 2 987 and smoking is allowed only in there. A list of activities ready
apartments €170). Rates fall in proportion to length of stay. 05 45,, to be organized upon request from the visitors, is posted on
PTARLKW hhh The original idea behind this little place was that it would the wall. It includes pub crawl, paintball, paragliding, horse
be a hostel-cum-art gallery where people could meet and riding and bow shooting. If you prefer the atmosphere and
exchange ideas. It doesn’t always live up to its cultural mis- prices most hostels offer, but you wouldn’t mind a notch of
sion but it’s quirky, friendly and central all the same. There luxury, this is your place Q (singles 20 - 25BGN, doubles
are two dormitories equipped with double-decker bunks, and 25 - 30BGN, Dorm bed 8 - 10BGN). PJNW Sofia Guesthouse C-3, bul. Patriarh Evtimiy 27,
a communal sitting room with soft furnishings and occasional tel. +359 2 403 01 00/+359 884 001 056, info@
exhibitions. The weirdly decorated downstairs cafe-bar is Red Star Hostel C-3, ul. Angel Kanchev 6, fl.3, tel., Spacious and
reason enough to stay. Price includes a modest breakfast +359 889 138 298/+359 888 384 828, redstarhostel@ relaxing hostel with fresh-smelling, air-conditioned dorms,
(served at a nearby cafe-restaurant, not on the premises). In the very heart of Sofia downtown this hostel a healthy number of toilets and showers on each floor, and
Q Dorm bed €11. JAR6GBKW h will meet your every basic need and it is be affordable. The a big sitting-room-cum-socializing area near the reception
rooms are neat and spacious decorated in warm pastel desk. Plus there’s a basement breakfast room and TV
Be My Guest C-4, ul. Ivan Vazov 13, tel. +359 2 989 colours. The staff are there 24 hours a day ready to assist room. Use of internet terminal and washing machine for a
50 92,, www.bemyguest-hostel. you in whatever you need. There are four rooms with capacity small extra fee. Breakfast included. Q €10-18 per person.
com. Centrally-placed hostel with a rambling collection to host up to 18 people. There are no double rooms but you PJAR6GBXW
Apartment House Dunav A-4, ul. Dunav 38, tel. +359 of rooms and a cosy if cramped living room. The dorms could rent a whole room as a couple. Breakfast is included in
2 983 30 02, fax +359 2 983 38 04, reception@dunava- and doubles are functional in the extreme but funky ethno the price and served between 9 and 11 in the morning with, furnishings will make you feel at home. The 5-bed split-level the kitchen available to use at your whim. Laundry service
A range of delightfully light and spacious apartments with apartment, decorated with kooky paintings, is well worth costs 2.50 euro per load. There is no Wi-Fi, just a PC with
parquet floors, neutral colours, kitchenette, TV and WC/ getting hold of if you’re travelling as a family or with friends. Internet, which is docked in one of the bedrooms and unless
shower. The 2-bed family apartments on the top floor come A basic breakfast is included. Q €10 -12-15-20 per bed. the rest of the guests don’t mind the keyboard clatter it is
with attractive attic windows. Breakfast can be delivered PJARLGBW
from the nearby Tabiet restaurant, if you’re too lazy to cook
your own. Handily located in a downtown area characterized Hostel Mostel B-2, bul. Makedonia 2A, tel. +359 889
by quiet cobbled streets. Q14 rooms (14 apartments €58 223 296,, www.hostelmostel.
- 88). Rates fall dramatically the longer you stay. PTAR com. Lurking behind an unlikely-looking metal doorway,
hhh Hostel Mostel is one of Sofia’s hidden treasures, occupying a
reconstructed nineteenth-century inn which plonked surreally
in a city-centre courtyard. The simple, mattress-on-the-floor
accommodation is neat and clean: individual dorms can be
Apartment House Sofia G-7, ul. Golo bardo 2-4, tel. booked as private rooms by twosomes or threesomes for a
+359 2 960 28 88, fax +359 2 960 28 60, info@aphouse- few extra euro during the low season. The spacious ground-, Tidy new block in a floor social area, including pool table, internet terminal,
residential area just south of the centre, offering comfy apart- kitchen, and oriental, cushion-strewn divan, is a major feature.
ments ranging in size from 2-person studios to 2-bedroom Q €10-15 per person. JRGBW
family flats. All have laminated floors, pastel-coloured furnish-
ings, TV, kitchenette, and bathrooms with full-sized tubs. Hostel Sofia B-2, ul. Pozitano 16, tel. +359 2 989 85
Apartments are serviced daily. If you don’t fancy self-catering, 82, Sofia’s first-ever backpacker-
you can eat very well at the Carrera restaurant on the ground friendly hostel is still going strong, with two floors of pine-
floor. Q (28 apartments €120 - 180). Long-stay rates are floored, bunk-filled dorms (ranging in size from 12-bed to
substantially cheaper. PTARLK 4-bed) in a central apartment block. It still has the feel of a
cosy private flat, with teddy-bear wallpaper in some of the
Apartment rental dorms, lounge furniture stuffed into the hallway, and a small
but fully-equipped kitchen. Breakfast included. Q €10 per
City Hotels Ltd. C-5, bul. Evlogi Georgiev 85, tel. +359 person. PJR6ILGBKXW
888 509 199,, www.rentinsofia.
com. This firm have around 30 apartments at their disposal, Internet Hostel B-3, ul. Alabin 50A, 2nd floor, tel.
of varying sizes and at various locations around town. Judging +359 889 138 298, fax +359 2 989 94 19, interhostel@
by the one we saw, furnishings are tasteful, colour schemes A place that always seems to be full of nice
are soothing, and kitchens and bathrooms are fully equipped and friendly young travellers. Clean and tidy rooms ranging
with modern gear. Apartments are serviced on a daily basis. in size from a single to a six-bed dorm. It’s a bit difficult to
Q The prices range from €40 for one bedroom apts, to find at first: enter the shopping arcade at Alabin 50, look for
€60-80 for a 3-bedroom family dwelling. Prices decrease the plain white door on your left, then head up the stairs. Q
according to how long you stay. From €9-10 per person - dorm room, €25-30 double room,
€30-35 for studio, €35-40 triple room. R

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

30 Restaurants Restaurants 31

decked out in folk textiles and nineteenth-century domestic places, that seems to occupy its own bubble in space and
Symbol key nick-nacks. It’s an excellent place in which to sample the time - Ruritania in the 1950s being the most likely coordi-
standard Bulgarian repertoire of grilled meats, backed up nates. The prices are stuck in the 1950s too - you can eat
P Air conditioning A Credit cards accepted by an array of healthy salads and some superb spicy bob handsomely here for the price of a salad in some other Sofia
E Live music S Take away (baked beans Balkan-style). Some of the cheaper wines restaurants. The menu is vaguely central European padded
are a bit rough though. QOpen 10:00 - 24:00. (6-12Lv). out with Bulgarian grills. For something authentically Czech
T Child friendly U Facilities for the disabled PAEBSW order the goulash or pork served with knedliky - fantastically
G Non-smoking areas L Guarded parking filling sliced dumplings. The well-kept Staropramen beer is
another reason to make the trip. QOpen 12:00 - 22:30.
O Casino M Nearest station Closed Sat, Sun. (6-10Lv). JGBSW
R Internet 6 Animal friendly
New restaurants are opening all the time in Sofia, but Happy Bar & Grill B-3, ul. Golo Bardo 4, tel. +359 888
there aren’t enough good chefs to go round and standards 18 10 68,, If you’re the
tend to yo-yo as a result. Service is traditionally on the kind of person who likes bright neon lights, laminated menues
slow side, but things are picking up in this department. and electric guitars on the walls, then this is most emphatically
The prices in brackets refer to the average cost of a main the place for you. Expect to dine on grilled chicken and pork
course. dishes, followed by an array of excellent sweets. The large
choice of alcoholic substances ensures that this is a popular
venue in which to spin out an evening. It’s a huge place that’s
Armenian constantly busy, so be prepared to squeeze in wherever the
wait-staff can find you a place.Home delivery :
Egur, Egur B-4, ul. Dobrudzha 10, tel. +359 2 989 QOpen 08:00 - 24:00. (6-12Lv). PJAGBSW
33 83, Armenian food, superbly prepared Tchergata B-5, ul. Shipka 34, tel. +359 2 944 77 77,
fax +359 2 944 00 44,, www.
and presented with old-school elegance, in a restaurant,
owned by Bulgarian-Armenian jazz singer Hilda Kazasyan. This restaurant, located just several metres Greek
No-holds-barred carnivores should plump for the Cauca- from Sofia University, skillfully combines its modern interior Kumbare B-3, ul. Saborna 14, tel. +359 2 981 17
sian flame-grilled kebabs, although there’s plenty by way with folklore elements. The place is both cosy and spa- 94/+359 897 806 390,, www.kum-
of subtly-spiced stews and loads of vegetarian options cious; it seats 200 people inside and 150 people in the Pretty much everything you would expect from
involving aubergines, peppers, courgettes and other tasty summer garden. The menu is available both in English and a Greek restaurant is here in abundance, with a succulent
fresh things. There’s an extensive list of both Bulgarian in Bulgarian and the traditional Bulgarian meals, served in repertoire of grilled lamb and fish dishes accompanied by
and international wines, expensive vintage tipples included. restaurant Vratata a very original way, prevail. A piece of advice: try the salad luxuriant salads - all prepared under the watchful eye of the
Q O p e n 1 2 : 0 0 - 2 4 : 0 0 . ( 2 0 - 3 0 Lv ) . P J A called Tchergata, served in a bread cup (7.50Lv), as well head chef. The loud and exuberant music will soon put you
and chairs, a generous choice of domestic and international as some of the lamb specialties and the meals from the in the right mood to dive into the selection of ouzos and
beers, and rock or blues on the sound system. Very popular, Rhodope Mountains. Relax on the cool terrace and enjoy retsinas. Chandeliers, flowers, and Ionian columns create a
a glass of full-flavoured high-quality wine while your food
Bulgarian so be sure to reserve at weekends, especially in the garden.
There’s another branch at C-1, bul. Praga 18. QOpen 10:00 is being prepared on the barbecue with charcoal. Cheers!
winning Mediterranean ambience, an impression enhanced
by the sharp-looking team of young men in starched white
Etno B-3, ul. Alabin 35, tel. +359 2 988 75 75, etnoe- - 24:00. (5-15Lv). PJNGBXS QOpen 10:00 - 24:00. (8-20Lv). PJAILGB shirts that make up the wait-staff. Kumbare’s position on Spread out in a large basement in the heart of central Sofia’s main tourist route ensures a constant stream
Manastirska Magernitsa C-3, ul. Khan Asparuh 67, of diners - so you’d better make a reservation. Oh, and just in
the downtown shopping area, this is a rather elegant take on
a familiar down-on-the-farm rustic theme. Starched napkins tel. +359 2 980 38 83/+359 899 94 94 00, www. French case you were wondering, “Kumbare” means “best man”, and
and fancy cutlery adorn the tables, while garlic and corn Sheltered in an elegantly decorated is also the name of a traditional Greek dessert prepared from
cobs hang on rough whitewashed walls in the background. nineteenth-century house, the restaurant offers an imagi- cake fingers, mascarpone and nuts. QOpen 11:00 - 24:00.
The menu aims to provide down-to-earth home cooking native approach towards traditional Bulgarian cuisine - the (7-34Lv). PJABXSW
from around Europe (I’m sure we saw a Wiener Schnitzel in owners have collected traditional recipes from Bulgarian
here somewhere), although the accent is on Bulgarian meat monasteries and reproduced here. Although the menu is so
favourites - it’s a nice change to see Bulgarian grill-snacks long that it takes an eternity to decide what to eat, it features Chinese
given the serious cuisine treatment. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. a lot of things you won’t find elsewhere and has plenty of Devette Drakona B-4, bul. Tsar Osvoboditel 8A, tel.
(10-35Lv). PJAGXSW choice for vegetarians. Service can be slow, but you won’t +359 2 981 88 78. Ignore the gaudy signs advertising the
find many finer settings for a long leisurely meal. QOpen “Gentlemen’s Club” on the ground floor of the building and
Hadzhidraganovite Kashti F-7, ul. Kozloduy 75, tel. 11:00 - 02:00. (12-18Lv). PJABX head upstairs to find one of Sofia’s better oriental eateries.
+359 2 931 31 48,, www.kashtite. The excellent, if familiar repertoire of pork, beef and duck
com. Hugely enjoyable theme restaurant located mid-way Pod Lipite D-5, ul. Elin Pelin 1, tel. +359 2 866 50 53, dishes has never disappointed, and the décor’s quite nice
between the town centre and the train station, consisting One of Sofia’s longest-established too: soothing shades of Burgundy prevail, and apart from
of four large rooms, each designed in the folk style of a and most enjoyable traditional restaurants, with a suite of L’Etranger A-3, ul. Tsar Simeon 78, tel. +359 2 983 14 a pair of enormous vases each big enough to house a fair-
particular region of Bulgaria. Traditional musicians drift from rooms done out in the style of a timber-beamed small-town 17/+359 887 523 376, sized panda, there’s a reassuring absence of far-eastern
room to room during the course of the evening, ensuring tavern. The menu is extensive and doesn’t really have any Homely bistro offering very reasonable food - good place for kitsch. The no-smoking corner is relatively well secluded.
that no-one misses the show. The lengthy menu covers just weak points - the succulent shashlik-style skewer-grilled a quick lunch or a more leisurely three-course meal. The chef QOpen 11:30 - 23:30. (4-12Lv). PJNGXSW
about everything in the Bulgarian culinary repertoire, and kebabs constitute one particular treat. Vegetarians can as- is a Frenchman who owns the place together with his Bulgar-
the list of rakias will have you scratching your head wonder- semble a handsome feast from the courgette-, aubergine- and ian wife, so it’s a real family restaurant. Good service and Kitayski Drakon (Chinese Dragon) B-2, ul. Ivailo 19,
ing which to try next. QOpen 11:30 - 02:00. (10-15Lv). pepper-based dishes listed as starters. Service is brisk and meals that live up to expectations. QOpen 12:00 - 15:00, tel. +359 899 006 061/+359 2 953 07 60, vel@vel-bg.
PA6UIEBS enthusiastic, and live folk music is a feature at weekends. 18:00-22:00, Sat 18:00 - 22:00. Closed Sun. (14-22Lv). PA com, The food is of course Chinese and
The place gets packed out even at lunchtimes, so it’s wise they have lots of spicy dishes. The menu is impressive with
Halbite C-3, ul. Neofit Rilski 72, tel. +359 2 980 41 47, to reserve in advance. QOpen 12:00 - 01:00. (8-20Lv). more than 200 dishes, most of which have the choice of small One of central Sofia’s most endur- PILNGBXSW Czech or large portion. For delivery you can order by phone or online.
ingly popular beer hall-cum-eateries, with a predominantly Cheshki Club B-5, ul. Krakra 15, tel. +359 2 944 13 They have another restaurant on ul. Slavyanska Beseda 3.
Bulgarian menu - but without the kitsch touches you get in Pri Yafata B-2, ul. Solunska 28, tel. +359 2 980 17 27, 83,, With its QOpen 11:00 - 22:30. (4-10Lv). PNB
some of the more self-consciously touristy places. Expect, plain wood furnishings, plain tablecloths and busy waiters,
instead a relaxing jumble of rough-and-ready wooden tables Traditional Bulgarian cuisine served up in a suite of rooms the Czech Club is one of those reassuringly old-fashioned

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

32 Restaurants Restaurants 33

Magnolia B-2, ul. Tri ushi 2, tel. +359 2 987 11 20. modern European setting: think whitewashed walls, moody some more mystique to the atmosphere. The Music Hall has
Bare-topped tables and a minimum of décor provide a suitably Decoding the menu lighting, minimal furnishings and comfy cushioned benches. an elegant white grand piano. They organize karaoke every
functional environment in which to feast upon cheap, filling Starters and salads The fresh pasta is very good, but main courses are a bit Tuesday, Wednesday is Lady’s night, Thursday, Friday and
and well-prepared food. The menu sticks to tried-and-trusted Shopska salata ( шопска салата) Baked peppers, more hit-and-miss - let’s just say that the duck with orange Saturday’s guests are entertained by the Magnito’s Band,
pork and chicken favourites - with the welcome addition of cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and white cheese. sauce will get to your taste buds more quickly than their not- and various guest musicians play here on Sunday. QOpen
some fiery Sechuan dishes you won’t find elsewhere in town. Snezhanka (снежанка) Yogurt, chopped quite-there-yet attempt at British-style fish and chips. Oh, 10:00 - 04:00. Admission: 8Lv. PAEGBW
Last time we were here the staff were playing a sequence cucumbers and garlic. and portions are on the small side too. However service is
of pounding techno tracks that seemed to be on a perma- Katak (катък) Strained yogurt, mied with excellent and the location on trendy Shishman street means Maraia Bar & Diner D-4, Corner of bul. Bulgaria and
nent loop - if this was intended as a digestional aid it was white cheese. Sometimes you can find it with baked that it’s the perfect place for a bite to eat after shopping for ul. Hristo Smirnenski, tel. +359 882 333 555, info@
certainly a new one on us. QOpen 11:00 - 24:00. (6-12Lv). peppers, garlic and oil in it. frocks - or before hitting the downtown bars. QOpen 11:30, Elegant and stylish
PNGXS Zelena salata (зелена салата) Fresh green - 23:30. (10-15Lv). PJA6GXSW restaurant in the city centre. Whether you prefer this place
salad, fresh onions and olives. for your morning coffee or evening drink, you will be satisfied
Cookies Bar & Dinner cafe pl. Slaveykov, tel. +359
Indian Ovcharska salata (овчарска салата)
tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, ham, peppers, eggs
2 488 17 22. A stylish place, where you can have either
by both the service and the things that they served. Pastel
tones predominate in the interior, which is entirely of natural
Kohinoor C-2, ul. Khan Asparuh 3, tel. +359 2 53 25 and cheese. lunch (they offer daily lunch menu) or just drink a cup of cof- materials - leather and wood. The bar looks like ship keel
41,, 1st street off Redena salata (редена салата) Sliced tomatoes, fee. It is a French-style place, with small tables for two and which comes to reinforce the sense of exotic deck of a yacht,
Hristo Botev at the Five Corners lies the Kohinoor. And, like cucumbers and a piece of white cheese. 3 comfortable bars. The café is airy enough; the staff are a designed by the owners. Stylish pictures, pleasant and quiet
its namesake it’s a real diamond. The menu is as predictable Soups little bit bored, but beautiful. There’s a large choice of dishes, music, supplemented the relaxing atmosphere. The menu
as most Indian menus and the food is great. Huge portions Bob chorba (боб чорба) Beans, different good Mediterranean meals, soups, salads and, of course, includes salads, soups, vegetarian dishes, and fresh fish.
too. Nice spacious downstairs restaurant with great space kinds of vegetables and typical Bulgarian herbs. cakes and cookies for dessert. You can just sit here, listen- Maraia has its own pastry shop. QOpen 00:00 - 24:00.
between the tables and an excellent bathroom. The bathroom Shkembe chorba ( шкем бе чорба) Tripe soup, ing to Italian music and observe the crowds and the trams (10-30Lv). PAULGBXW
alone is worth a visit. The food is brilliant. Service comes with boiled with milk and served with garlic, vinegar and outside, without hearing them - the place is situated at the
a real smile. And, with a bill that is actually a pleasure to pay, grounded chilly pepper. corner of a very busy area - just in front of Slaveykov square. Marmo food & wine H-8, Mladost-2, bl. 218A, tel.
all in all it’s worth a visit. QOpen 11:30 - 23:30. Closed Sat, Supa Topcheta (супа топчета) Small meatballs, QOpen 09:00 - 00:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 00:00. (8-10Lv). +359 2 490 40 40/+359 888 276 276, info@marmo.
Sun. (8-15Lv). PJAGBXSW boiled with vegetables and herbs. PJAGX bg, You can hardly find this place among
Tarator (таратор) Cold soup made of the concrete jungle of Mladost 2 district. Therefore, carefully
Taj Mahal B-4, ul. 11-i avgust 11, tel. +359 2 987 36 cucumbers, walnuts, oil and yogurt. Divaka C-3, ul. Gladston 54, tel. +359 2 989 95 43. follow signs that will direct you to the restaurant. When you are
32,, Very Zelenchukova supa (зеленчукова супа) Vegetable The “Savage” is extremely popular among younger locals there, however, you will feel enchanted by the elegance and
good tikka masalas, rogan joshes and other familiar dishes in soup for its relaxed informal atmosphere and good, inexpensive tranquility. The interior is stylish in beige and dark chocolate
a relaxing three-storey location. There are plenty of vegetarian Pileshka supa (пилешка супа) Chicken soup food. There’s a big choice of huge salads, the grilled pork brown. Quiet music, unobtrusive presence on the staff. Tables
options, great samosas, decent naan bread and other au- Supa Leshta (супа леща) Lentils, herbs and chicken dishes are dependably delicious, and even the rotate with comfortable booths, spectacular vases, and wood
thentic extras. Although the soothing orangey interior doesn’t and vegetables. vegetarian shish-kebab is surprisingly tasty. There are other paneling adding interior comfort. The menu includes dishes
go overboard with theatrical touches, the same cannot be Meat dishes branches at C-3 ul. Hristo Belchev 16 (a bright, minimalis- from the Greek, Italian, Indian cuisine, seafood and barbecue.
said for the background music, with sitar versions of rock Shishche (шишче) Small pieces of chicken tically-decorated place that looks like a smart canteen for They offer special seasonal spring menu, and every Thursday
classics looping through the meal. Most expats agree that the or pork meat, peppers and onions, lined up on a skewer yuppies); and at C-3, ul. 6-ti septemvri 41A. QOpen 10:00 sushi. We are waiting eagerly to try the delicious meals in the
food and service are some of the best in town, although the and grilled. - 23:30. (7-12Lv). PJNBX new summer garden. QOpen 10:00 - 23:00. (8.50-23Lv).
bill can be a little difficult to swallow.QOpen 12:00 - 24:00, Pileshki drobcheta (пил PTAULGBXSW
Mon 18:00 - 24:00. (15-18Lv). PABSW ешки дробчета) Chicken liver, fired with onions Elate Plaza H-8, Mladost-1, corner of bul. Aleksandar
Parzhola (пържола) Steak Malinov and bul. Andrey Saharov, tel. +359 2 974 49 48, Mediterraneo B-5, ul. Oborishte 9B, tel. +359 2 944 95 Glass-fronted bar & diner, stylishly 82. Hidden in the courtyard, in what looks like a cosy garden
International Kyufte (кюфте)
in it. Can be grilled or fried.
Flat meat balls with onions
designed in white and dark red colours, with comfortable shed, is this very suave and comfortable eatery specializing
Am-Gul C-5, ul. San Stefano 3, tel. +359 2 943 44 16, Kebapche (кебапче) Grilled oblong meat modern furniture. Alongside the traditional Bulgarian special- in southern European cuisine. There’s a generous choice of, An old house in Gyuvech (гювеч) Vegetables, herbs and ties, the restaurant offers a huge international menu of salads pastas, veal-cutlet dishes and fish on the menu, backed up
the center of Sofia, converted into a restaurant. Actually, the pieces of meat, baked in an earthenware dish. and starters, well-prepared steaks and chicken dishes. The by an attractive range of desserts. Also, it’s one of the rare
place is separated into two parts in different buildings. One Gyuveche : (гювече) Small earthenware service is helpful and friendly. It’s a superb place for a relaxed restaurants in Sofia where they automatically put a bottle of
of them is covered with a partly glass ceiling, a fountain in dishes, filled with onions, tomatoes, cheese, sausages drink in the evening with its wide range of wines and spirits. real olive oil on the table. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. (7-25Lv).
the middle of the room and a big barbecue. The other part and an egg. QOpen 17:00 - 24:00. (8-25Lv). PALBW PJAEGBXSW
is the second floor of a house, separated into three rooms Vegetarian dishes
with no doors between them - you feel like you’re at a private Yaytsa po panagyurski (яйца по панагюрски) Eggs, Checkpoint Charly C-4, ul. Ivan Vazov 12, tel. +359 Seasons D-2, Hilton, bul. Bulgaria 1, tel. +359 2 933
party, but sitting on different tables. There are two fireplaces sauced with yogurt, garlic and a little fried red pepper. 2 988 03 70, With pictures of 50 62. As you’d expect from an expensive restaurant in an
and retro style interior. The menu is rich with pizzas, salads Sirene po shopski (сирене по шопски) White cold-war Berlin on the walls, and copies of Rabotnichesko international hotel chain, standards here are consistently high.
and barbecued dishes. Portions are really big and tasty. So, cheese, baked with tomatoes in a small pot. delo (Bulgaria’s communist-era daily newspaper) used as The modern European cuisine is as well prepared as they
enjoy your wine! QOpen 10:00 - 23:00. (5.00-16.00Lv). Kashkaval pane (кашкавал пане) Yellow cheese place-mats, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this was just come, the service is flawless, and the setting strikes the right
IGXSW fried in eggs and bread-crumbs another ironic post-communist theme bar. It’s actually a great balance between comfort and elegance. On Sundays they
Chushki byurek (чушки бюрек) Peppers, filled restaurant, offering superbly prepared chicken, duck and have brunch from 12:00-15:30 with life music and children’s
Butchers C-5, ul. Sheynovo 4A, tel. +359 887 104 with eggs and cheese steak dishes, and some delicious vegetarian concoctions indoor playground (50Lv/person).QOpen 06:30 - 23:30.
378. This place does indeed look like a butchers’ shop Zadusheni kartofi (задушени картофи) Potatoes, on the starter menu. There’s live jazz at the weekends, and (20-30Lv). PTJAULGXSW
at first glance, with a bloke in an apron standing behind stewed with butter and served with garlic and dill few diners leave here disappointed. QOpen 11:30 - 22:30.
a counter stocked with Spanish hams, Mediterranean Mekitsi (мекици) Fried pieces of dough, (15-25Lv). PJAGXSW Trikrakoto Pile B-2, ul. Denkouglu 3, tel. +359 2 986
delicatessen goodies and fine wines. Behind the counter a usually served with jam or white cheese 26 53/+359 884 587 418, Situ-
private-looking passageway leads through to a back room Banitsa (баница) Baked pastry, filled Magnito Bar & Dinner B-4, bul. Knyaz Dondukov 17, ated on a quiet street, not far from the bustle of bul. Vitosha,
filled with distressed furniture and bohemian-looking wine- with miture of white cheese and eggs tel. +359 888 144 777, Magnito this tightly packed suite of rooms with no-nonsense wooden
quaffing patrons. The menu is composed of whatever the Mish mash (миш-маш) Mied and fried peppers, is located in the central city area and for an year already is furniture is a relaxing and informal venue for lunch or dinner
chef feels like cooking that day: expect gourmet cold meats, tomatoes, onions, eggs and white cheese among the most visited places in Sofia. Upstairs salon is a with friends. The name means ‘three-legged chicken’ which
exquisite quiches, and other Franco-Hispanic treats. QOpen Desserts place where you can try different specialties, originally made explains the strong presence of chicken dishes on the menu.
11:00 - 01:00. (5-12Lv). Kiselo mlyako s orehi I med (кисело мляко с орехи и sushi menu and enjoy the rich wine list. So called Dinning Q O p e n 1 1 : 3 0 - 2 3 : 0 0 . C l o s e d S u n . ( 8 - 2 0 Lv ) .
мед) Yogurt, sauced with honey and cracked walnuts. room is entirely in white and black leather furniture with an PJALW
Comercial C-4, ul. Ivan Shishman 27, tel. +359 897 Krem Karamel (крем карамел) Milk and elegant bar. In the underground part is where the Music Hall
931 291/+359 899 845 085,, eggs, baked over a caramel in small cups. is located. The main colors here are gold and black. The light- Troyantsite B-5, ul. Shipka 46, tel. +359 2 944 19 34, Modern European cuisine in a ing is moody, each table has a small candleholder, which give, Relaxing

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

34 Restaurants Restaurants 35

restaurant on two storeys with soothing décor and eager-to-

please staff. An international menu of steaks, grilled chicken Italian Fast food Pizza
and freshwater fish dishes is augmented by a well-chosen Victoria B-4, bul. Tsar Osvoboditel 7, tel. +359 2 986
selection of Bulgarian specialities - the dzholan (leg of beef KFC B-2, bul. Aleksandar Stamboliyski 28, www.kfc. 32 00,, This
baked in a pot) and grilled buffalo meat balls are hard to fault. bg. For delivery call 0700 11 999. Also at B-3 ul. Angel is many people’s favourite pizzeria in Sofia, due to its gener-
Vegetarians should opt for the zapekanka (tasty cheese and Kanchev 2, B-3, bul. Dondukov 5. QOpen 10:00 - 24:00, ously proportioned pizzas and reasonably high standards
spinach bake). QOpen 11:30 - 24:00. Closed Sun. (6-12Lv). Sun 11:00 - 24:00. PJLB (the dough tastes sort-of Italian even if the toppings don’t).
PJAGBXSW Soups, pastas and grilled Bulgarian staples help to fill out
McDonald’s Rock’n’Roll D-2, bul. Bulgaria 1, the menu. Tends to get crowded, and you might have to wait
Vishnite D-4, ul. Hristo Smirnenski 45, tel. +359 2 963 next to NDK, tel. +359 884 000 305/+359 2 960 for a table. Also at G-8 ul. Ivan Asen II 66. City-wide deliver-
49 84/+359 899 866 730, This 40 20, Restaurant with Juke ies on tel. +359 2 911 00 and tel. +359 (0) 887 911 000.
tiny, four-table restaurant, located in a residential area just box, McDrive, found just next to NDK (National Palace of QOpen 00:00 - 24:00. (6-27Lv). PJAB
south of the centre, is a firm favourite with Bulgarians who Culture), under the Lover’s bridge. On the 14th of Feb they
know a thing or two about food, so it’s wise to book before
heading out. Expect flawless service, elegantly-laid tables
organize 24 hour Rock’n’Roll marriage with McDonald’s
certificate, a Cadillac drive and surprise present. QOpen Russian
piled with classy cutlery and glassware, and a small but well- Gioia B-2, ul. Tsar Samuil 60, tel. +359 2 986 08 54, 00:00 - 24:00. PTJAGBS Gara za Dvama B-4, ul. Georgi Benkovski 18, tel. +359
chosen menu of modern European dishes, prepared with flair, It is 2 989 76 75, The restaurant,
and imagination. Sat. and Sun. you can book the restaurant the perfect place to enjoy Italian cuisine with ingredients Mimas C-4, bul. Vasil Levski 68. Sofia’s first real named after the cult Russian movie is designed as a train
for private events. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. Closed Sat, Sun. imported directly from Italy and desserts, prepared on the takeaway burger joint and still the best. It’s packed at wagon- four separated coupes with real old train seats. The
(15-22Lv). PA spot. It has a decade of serving clients, behind their backs. lunchtimes and remains the venue of choice for after-club atmosphere is quite buzzing - loud merrymakers, drinking orig-
They have both a Bulgarian and Italian menus and the staff munchies. Burgers come with a wad of deliciously greasy inal Russian and Ukraine vodka, eating typical Russian meals
Vratata (The Door) D-3, ul. Kokiche 13, tel. +359 speaks English, Bulgarian and Italian. It seems the owner French fries stuffed inside. Doner kebabs and felafel fill and singing Russian songs in full voice. The place is small, so
889 235 866/+359 2 866 90 05, vratata@restaurant- is quite concerned if his clients are satisfied by food and out the menu. QOpen 00:00 - 24:00. JS you may need a reservation in advance. Staying in the small, The restau- service. The restaurant has 60 seats and is calm, with a wagon-like boxes will make you feel as on if you’re a long train
rant is situated in a 100-year old house. Very elegant, cozy friendly atmosphere. The menu offers fresh pasta, fish and Trops Kashta C-4, ul. Gurko 38, www.tropshouse. journey in good company. It is not very airy, but do you think
and stylish place where, as the owners say, “East meets seafood specialties and the wine list ranges from 30 to 70 bg. If you want a crash course in Bulgarian cuisine it will make any difference with all these vodka, music and
Lv. Gioia is definitely on the leading spot in Sofia, when think- then this ever-reliable order-at-the-counter canteen will cheerful people around? Good spirits are the most important.
ing of Italian food. QOpen 10:00 - 24:00. pasta (14-35Lv). have mass-catering versions of most Balkan dishes on QOpen 12:00 - 22:00. (15-25Lv). PXW
PAUGX display. It may be lukewarm, but it’s cheap. QOpen
08:00 - 21:00. JG Moskva B-3, ul. Lege 2, tel. +359 2 980 24 24/+359
896 860 340,, This
Japanese Tsentralni Hali B-3, bul. Maria Luiza 28. Head to the is the sort of place, which will make you feel totally decadent
Maraia Fusion Bar & Dinner B-4, ul. Rakovski 123, top floor of this covered market to find an array of counters almost as soon as you walk in to be welcomed by a crimson
tel. +359 2 980 62 60/+359 882 666 777, maraia_fu- serving sandwiches, pizza slices, basic grills, and Chinese carpet, cherry curtains, elegant staff and live music being, Brand-new sushi noodles. There is no quicker and easier way of stuffing played on a grand piano with violin accompaniment. The
restaurant in the downtown area just close to the Central your face. QOpen 07:00 - 24:00. PG music, posh surroundings, first-class service, and excellent
Military club and Alexandar Nevskij Memorial Church. Warm food all combine to create an atmosphere that will transport
feelings embrace you as you enter thanks to welcoming you back in time to imperial Tsarist Russia. You are only to
West”. Varied cuisine such as game dishes, different kinds smiles and cozy surroundings of wood and leather. Try the be reminded of the present by the latest bathroom technol-
of European, Greek and Turkish meals and a number of sushi menu - Migiri Sushi and Sashimi set (14-23Lv) are hand- and teriyaki dishes also available. QOpen 10:30 - 23:00. ogy and a waiter, hinting the tip is not included in the bill.
sophisticated salads and desserts. The wine list is rich with somely presented and deliciously refreshing. We recommend (3.50-37Lv). PAGSW Expensive, but not excessively so, and although some of
Argentinean, Italian, Spanish and Bulgarian wines. The staff also to try one of the hot Japanese specialties (choose them the wine costs far more than a main course your “nazdrave”
are polite, without being slavish. An interesting and intimate from the different menu they offer) or the Gunkam Sushi. will produce a dull sound, definitely not the cling of crystal
detail is the key. Each client puts their key for The Door over They also offer various fusion cuisine. Delicious prepared Lebanese glasses.QOpen 11:00 - 24:00. Closed Mon, Sun. (20-40Lv).
the fireplace. There are different keys, varied from big and pork and veal meat, lamb and freshfish, starters, pasta & Tazka C-1, bul. Makedonia 48/+359 2 951 54 29, PJAUEGXS
old to small and ordinary. The atmosphere reproduces the risotto are in the menu list.QOpen 08:00 - 02:00. (20-30Lv). We took both a vegetarian and
aristocratic, bohemian face of old Sofia. Among the clients of PAUGBXSW a carnivore to this friendly restaurant and both came away Ruski Klub E-3, ul. Lozenska planina 22, tel. +359
the restaurant is His Majesty Simeon Saks - Koburg -Gotha, very happy indeed. The animal lover feasted on starters 2 866 50 74/+359 888 626 994, dobripetrov@
of the Bulgarian royal family. This is a place, where you can Sakura G-7, Kempinski Hotel Zografski, bul. Dzheims like houmous, baba ganouj, a delicately spiced aubergine An unpretentious doorway on a quiet resi-
find elegance, personal treatment and good cuisine.Bring this Bauchar 100, tel. +359 2 969 24 20. This rather charming and tomato salad, and fatayer (spinach pies), while her dential street leads through to this cosy little place where
issue of Sofia In Your Pocket with you and you will get 10% place is located in a pavilion in the garden of the Kempinski companion’s bloodlust was more than satiated by the fat- you’ll be soothed by friendly service and lilting Russian
discount, especially for our readers.” Sled tova si ostava iz- hotel. It’s approached over a very picturesque bridge that you teh (chicken, chick peas and herbs covered in yoghurt). The melodies. Embark on a round of vodkas, accompanied by
rechenieto “For sure you will be back.For sure you will be back. might expect to see adorning a set of willow-pattern crockery. arak (an aniseed-flavoured spirit which turns cloudy when you selyodka (marinated fish) before moving on to the gorgeous,
Q Open 11:00 - 24:00. (12-30Lv). PA6UIG� Paper partitions, low tables (you can kneel on cushions or add water) went down very well indeed. Live music and belly home-made pelmeni (meat-filled dumplings) or the Steak
BXSW sit on a stepped depression under the table) and nimble dancing pulls in the crowds at weekends, so be sure to book a la Français. They have excellent range of homemade
waitresses swishing around in kimonos help to set the mood. ahead. Sundays are child-friendly..QOpen 11:00 - 23:00. sweets. Bring this issue of Sofia In Your Pocket with you
Zhadnata Lamya D-3, ul. 13-ti mart 2, tel. +359 2 Assuming that you haven’t the time to fly to Tokyo and dine (18-20Lv). PNGW and you will get 5% discount, especially for our readers.
964 06 40. The name means “Thirsty Dragon”, which we out there, the impressive range of sushi and main courses QOpen 12:00 - 23:00, Sat 19:00 - 23:00. Closed Sun.
is authentic enough. A full meal with sake will set you back
took as an immediate invitation to down several flagons of
the excellent Czech Starobrno beer which is served on tap a small fortune by Sofia standards, but for a great evening Moroccan (8-30Lv). JAGBXS

here. The food is a mixture of Bulgarian and central European out with a difference, it’s money well spent. QOpen 12:00 - Annette C-3, ul. Angel Kanchev 27, tel. +359 2 980 Vagabond G-8, ul. Svetoslav Terter 5, tel. +359 2 944
meat dishes, but the real pleasure of dining here comes from 22:30. (15-30Lv). PALGBW 40 98/+359 885 139 676,, www. 14 65. This is one of those warm and intimate places where
the friendly service and homely décor (note the fabulously A combination of North African music, flicker- you feel as if you are dining in someone’s living room, while a
eccentric picture gallery lining the walls), all of which adds to a Sushi Bar B-2, ul. Denkouglu 18, tel. +359 2 981 84 42. ing candlelight and star-shaped lanterns should lull you into family friend busies themselves in the kitchen. Sashed velvet
highly enjoyable atmosphere. The fairy-tail atmosphere in the Conveniently situated just around the corner from the fashion- the perfect frame of mind to enjoy an authentic Moroccan curtains and curious murals of balloons in flight provide added
garden with all the lights inside the green bushesh and trees is able shops of bul. Vitosha, this smart but affordable oriental menu which takes in tajini, couscous and some lush healthy atmosphere. The menu is European-meets-Bulgarian with a
worth to feel.QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. (6-24Lv). PNB eatery offers a lengthy menu of different types of sushi, all salads. Finish off with Moroccan mint tea with cedar nuts, or a healthy number of Russian favourites thrown in: a round of
excellently prepared and accompanied with portions of fresh lengthy puff on the narghile. QOpen 11:00 - 23:00. (8-18Lv). vodka with marinated herrings on toast is the obligatory way
ginger and wasabe paste. Ordering a set menu will allow you PJAGBXSW to kick off the evening. The pelmeni are excellent too. Recom-
to sample a broad range of what they offer. Noodle soups mended main courses include Chicken Kiev and Moscow Cut-

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

36 Restaurants Restaurants 37

lets (cheese and ham wrapped in pork then breadcrumbed),

although there’s a lot more besides. Mains are served with Out of town Wine, beer, rakia or boza… Swiss owners themselves. They offer traditional Swiss
cheese-fondue, Raclette, chocolate-fondue, Swiss salads,
an optional variety of weird and wonderful sauces such as
a delicious green sauce flavoured with spinach and basil. Boyansko Hanche H-6, pl. Sborishte, Boyana,
what to drink in Bulgaria Roesti and Bündnerfleisch, different steaks and more. The
restaurant indeed looks like a Chalet with wooden seating.
QOpen 17:00 - 24:00. Closed Sun. (8-26Lv). JING� tel. +359 2 956 30 16. Situated in the heart of the Bulgaria has some typical drinks which can be found Once inside you will forget the surrounding neighbourhood
BXS mountainside suburb of Boyana, not far from the historic only here, and some that have a similar (but not the blocks. Not far from the centre, on the road to Varna. After
Boyana Church, Boyansko hanche is a long-standing fa- same) equivalent abroad. If you come to Bulgaria, we the Eko Petroleum gas station turn right, you can not miss it.
QOpen 18:00 - 24:00, Sun 12:00 - 22:00. Closed Mon,
Seafood vourite among visitors, not least because it’s one of the
handful of places in the capital where you can enjoy a rea-
recommend you to try some of these:
Tue. (8-25Lv.). X
Aegean C-5, ul. Sheynovo 18, tel. +359 899 798 879, sonably authentic programme of folk songs and dances. Alcoholic drinks:, The Performances usually start at 9pm but not necessarily on
name of this small, cosy and stylish restaurant is not chosen every night of the week - so phone beforehand if you’re
• Bulgarian wine, which is exported to many European
countries. It is very tasty, with various sorts, some of
by chance- all the fish and seafood are directly delivered from going specifically because of the music. The menu of which are typical only for this region. We recommend Back Home B-5, ul. Vrabcha 24, tel. +359 2 843 03
the Greek Aegean sea . It is a real fish restaurant - they offer traditional Bulgarian fare with international-looking steaks Mavrud (this sort of wine cannot be found anywhere 53,,
fish dishes, seafood, some carefully chosen salads and diver- doesn’t pull too many surprises, but doesn’t inspire many else) – a strong dark wine, suitable for red meat and cold If you think that the vegetarian cuisine is boring, the young
sity of wines. The place is separated into 3 small venues, one complaints either. Q Open 11:00 - 23:30. (5-10Lv). winter evenings. Despite the good quality, Bulgarian wine people who work here will change your mind. Everything we
of which has a fireplace. The quiet Greek music, the Uzo and PTRILENB is not expensive and is very appropriate for a present tried was extremely tasty, made with imagination and care.
the delicious fish dishes make it perfect for romantic or busi- from a holiday in Bulgaria. The menu is very rich and varied through humus, sweet sal-
ness meetings. The beautiful garden, sheltered between the Dedo Matso G-6, terminal station of tram 5, ads, chick-peas dishes and quite a long list of the traditional
old Sofia houses will be opened as soon as the spring comes. Knyazhevo. Situated at the foot of Vitosha Mountain in • Bulgarian beer: many regions have their local beers, India drink Lassi - yogurt with whatever you can imagine in
QOpen 11:00 - 23:00. (15-35Lv). PJAIGBXW Knyazhevo district this place will really surprise you - from most of them with a typical genuine taste, so we suggest it - quite refreshing and satisfying every taste. In a contrast
the outside it looks like a colourful caravan and you can you choose from: to other vegetarian restaurants they didn’t forget the smok-
Captain Cook C-1, bul. Pencho Slaveykov 12-14, tel. +359 never imagine what you’ll get once you are in - recipes, Blagoevgrad Pirinsko, Strumsko pivo ers and the wine and beer lovers - there is a smoking hall
2 954 90 98/+359 882 999 001, collected from all over the world, nice music, a fireplace, Burgas Burgasko pivo, Slavena and wonderful warmed up wine with black pepper, clove
and it is only a part from the great atmosphere the owner Lom Almus, Shopsko, Sofia and honey in it. Maybe you will need to be a little patient
creates - she makes you feel at home with her approach Mezdra Ledenika, MM, Varna, Haberman until your order is ready, so enjoy the garden and the music
to the guests, sitting with them with a glass of wine in Pleven Storgozia, Ataman, Pleven Q Open 12:00 - 23.30. (6-8lv). PT6ENGBX�
sweet talks under the pine-trees outside the small venue. Plovdiv Kamenitsa (Light, Extra, Dark, Red and SW
The perfect place for escaping the hot and dusty city. Soft), Astika
QOpen 11:00 - 20:00. (4-6Lv). 6INBX Shumen Shumensko Dream House B-3, ul. Alabin 50A, tel. +359 2 980 81
Sofia Kmetsko (Light, Wheat, Red, Dark) 63,, www.dreamhouse-bg.
Lebed ul. Samokovsko shose 83, Pancharevo, tel. Stara Zagora Zagorka, Ariana, Stolichno com. This bright and cheery first-floor restaurant is initially
+359 2 992 11 11,, Veliko Tarnovo Nashensko, Balkan, Bolyarka a bit difficult to find: once you’ve entered the small shopping Five kilometers south of mall at ul. Alabin 50 you need to pass through the white door
• Rakia is often compared to brandy or tequila, but its
the Coral Swimming Complex, Lebed (“The Swan”) was on your left and proceed up the murky stairwell. Dishes range
not like anything else. Usually most Bulgarians drink it
opened in 1961 as part of the preparations for that year’s from a deliciously delicate bamboo soup to savoury spinach
in the evening, before or during the meal, accompanied
World Student Games, and has enjoyed near-legendary balls, and tofu in various sauces. Flavours are on the bland side
by salad or pickles. It SHOULDN’T be drunk like tequila,
Fish dishes in Sofia’s mainstream restaurants generally leave status ever since. Once the place where Bulgaria’s top - our biryani needed a jug-full of chilli sauce to help it go down.
but slowly, sipping, with delight. Most common types
a lot to be desired, so it’s nice to have specialist places like pop stars used to entertain diners, it fell into decline On Sunday afternoons there’s an all-you-can-eat buffet for 7
are grape and plum rakia. We recommend you also try
Captain Cook’s around. It’s in a slightly out-of-the-way loca- until recent refurbishments provided the old bird with leva.Home delivery for the area around the restaurant only.
the fig and pear rakia, if you have the chance, which is
tion, but it is in the centre and the delicious range of grilled a new lease of culinary life. The menu (providing you
unusually aromatic.
QOpen 11:00 - 22:00. (5-7Lv). PAGSW
and pan-fried fish - both fresh- and saltwater varities - should can negotiate your way through the spelling mistakes)
make the trip worthwhile. Fish is priced by the 100g - so features a lot of seafood and freshwater fish, although • Almond liquer (which is slightly similar to amaretto, Kibea C-3, ul. Dr. G. Valkovich 2A, tel. +359 2 980
don’t rush to order until you’ve inspected what’s available prices are on the steep side and staff are not noted for but different). It is quite sweet and is recommended 30 67,, There’s
in the chiller cabinet and asked a member of staff to plonk their speed of service. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. (10-40Lv). unlimited consumption; however reasonable drinking is always at least one meat dish on the menu at this upmarket
it on the scales. Absolutely superb quality. During the warm PALGBXW extremely pleasant. healthfood restaurant, but its the exquisitely prepared
months you can enjoy yourself also in the beautiful garden • Mastika (similar to ouzo and absinthe, but should be vegan and macrobiotic dishes that get top billing. The cool
and why not take a dip in the open-air swimming pool next Vodenitzata Dragalevtsi (next to the chairlift), drunk in a different manner: either with ayran or tarator minimalism of the interior provides the perfect environment
door. Bring this issue of Sofia In Your Pocket with you and tel. +359 2 967 10 58/+359 888 818 518, fax (see Bulgarian food section), or with mint liqueur (VERY in which to focus on the classy concoctions which have
you will get 5% discount, especially for our readers. Enjoy! +359 2 967 50 07, Housed good cocktail for sea evenings, however very strong and made head chef Elliot Prag something of a local celebrity.
QOpen 12:00-23:00 (10-35Lv). PA6UGBXSW in an old mill near the Dragalevtsi chairlift, Vodenitsata can be dangerous for inexperienced drinkers. Actually it QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. Closed Sun. (7-20Lv). PAG�
is one of those restaurants that’s a destination in its doesn’t give you a feeling that you’re getting drunk; you SW
Serbian own right. The stone clad interior is crammed with folksy
ornamentation, and the cuisine consists of superbly
just suddenly realize that this is a fact.) This drink contains
anise and has a sweet flavour.
Pri Miro G-8, ul. Murphy 34, tel. +359 2 943 71 prepared and presented Bulgarian classics. The breezy
27/+359 889 512 964,, www.res- garden, complete with water features, turtles and fish, is a Soft drinks: Both Serbia and Bulgaria share a similar great place to while away a hot summer afternoon. Every • Boza (actually with Turkish origin, but the Bulgarians
culinary repertoire of grilled meats - it’s just that the Serbians night a folklore ensemble provides a thrilling repertoire drink it for so many years that it can be considered local).
do it with more style. The cevapcici (grilled meat rissoles) of traditional songs and dances, occasionally featuring It is prepared from fermented wheat or millet. Its colour is
and pleskavice (minced meat patties) on offer at Miro’s nestinari dancing on live coals - don’t try and join in no beige and its taste is sweet-sour taste (some foreigners
are infinitely more succulent and spicy than anything you’ll matter how many rakiyas you’ve had. QOpen 12:00 - find it quite peculiar).
find in a traditional Bulgarian joint. Ajvar (a relish made from 24:00. (10-20Lv). ALEB
aubergines and hot peppers) makes the ideal accompani- • Bulgarian yogurt (this is different from any other yogurt;
ment, and there’s an irresistible range of fiery plum brandies people have tried to export the world famous lactobacillus
to wash it all down. Both service and atmosphere are classy, Swiss bulgaricus (named so because it was discovered in
and an extra personal touch is provided by chef and owner Chalet Suisse G-9, bul. Botevgradsko shose 50, tel. Bulgaria); the result was a different taste.)
Miro himself, who likes to circulate among diners to see +359 884 249 450,, www. • Ayran (traditional local drink prepared from yogurt, salt,
who is enjoying what. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. (10-12Lv). A must visit place for all cheese lovers. water, sometimes pepper). This is a very refreshing drink
PLNGBXSW In case you are new to this kind of cuisine, no worries, good both for heat and chill.
the friendly staff will help you out and maybe even the

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

CafÉS 39

Cafes windows make this a good vantage point from which to ob-
serve the traffic pulsing across the Orlov bridge. Waitresses
Before & After C-3, ul. Hristo Belchev 12, tel. +359 2 dressed in fetching Bulgaro-Tyrolean dirndls help to complete
981 60 88/+359 889 966 689,, the picture. QOpen 08:30 - 22:00, Sun 10:30 - 22:00. With art-nouveau wall decorations, and PJABSW
furniture that wouldn’t look out of place in nineteenth-century
Paris, this place is a world away from central Sofia. Expect O’Nice B-3, ul. Stefan Karadzha 18, tel. +359 2 980 02
coffee strong enough to give an elephant heart palpitations, 32,, This place has a neat
luxuriant hot chocolate, and an appetizing range of salads and atmosphere complemented by walls of fresh pastel colours
snacks. The place is frequently taken over by tango lessons and modern-looking interior. The bagel sandwiches it special-
in the evening, which helps explain the alluring photographs izes in are imported from Germany and the United Kingdom
of buttock-waggling dancers adorning the walls. QOpen and you can find at least nine different flavours offered every
09:00 - 24:00. (10 - 13Lv). PJAGXSW day. One bagel may be insufficient to fill you up so take your
time to decide. The coffee is also a special blend, the fresh
Bulgaria B-4, bul. Tsar Osvoboditel 4, tel. +359 2 988 squeezed fruit juices are more than a dozen kinds and the
53 07. Taking up most of the ground floor of the Grand Hotel croissants, baked every morning are imported from France.
Bulgaria, this is a comfortable and rather stately place in which The bagel and juice bar is appropriate for a quick stop at lunch-
to overdose on caffeine and sweets. Slightly more expensive break or on the way to work in the morning. The service will
than average, but well worth bearing in mind if you’re plan- not slow you down or disappoint, and they deliver. It almost
ning a posh city-centre rendezvous. QOpen 08:00 - 22:00. sounds too nice. QOpen 07:00 - 20:00, Sat 10:00 - 20:00,
(12-18Lv). PTJNXSW Sun 11:00 - 20:00. (7-20Lv). PAGXW

Coffee House B-4, ul. 6-i septemvri 1, tel. +359 2 986 Onda Coffee Break B-4, bul. Tsar Osvoboditel 8, tel.
66 12. Modern-style coffee-shop with a decent line in drink-in +359 2 987 49 20. This coffee bar is a bright, comfortable
or takeaway espressos, lattes, mochas and the rest. Mouth- and really quite groovy place offering order-at-the-counter
watering cakes and freshly-made sandwiches are superior lattes, macchiatos, muffins, cookies, and other comfortingly
to the standardised fare on offer at some of Sofia’s other familiar concoctions. Surprisingly for Bulgaria, the sandwiches
high-street coffee shops. Vivid comic-book murals by graphic in the chiller cabinet are actually edible. The upstairs lounge
artist Yasen Zgurovski give the Coffee House an absolutely comes with a great view of the Russian Church and its
unique vibe. Also at H-8, Business Park Sofia. QOpen 07:30 pimply bouquet of domes. QOpen 07:00 - 21:00. (5-10Lv).
- 20:00. PJNBW PJGXW

Laguna (Vienski salon) C-3, ul. Hristo Belchev 13, tel. Starbucks café C-4, Corner of ul. Gurko and bul. Vasil
+359 2 980 30 01,, www.laguna-bg. Levski, tel. +359 2 986 32 94, When
com. Welcoming two-tier café whose in-your-face kitsch you enter the newly opened Starbucks café you may forget
furnishings will leave you grasping for words fit to describe that you are in Sofia - it looks exactly the way it looks all over
them. Our editor compared this place to a mid-seventies Dr the world and what you expect it to be - coffee aroma, young
Who set, but his glamorous assistant was too busy screaming staff and loads of delicious cakes. There are seven tables
to take any notice. This is a great place to come and pig out outside, where even in winter you can enjoy your coffee break,
on pancakes and cakes they offer. QOpen 10:30 - 24:00. despite the awful traffic around. QOpen 07:00 - 22:00, Sat
(4-10Lv). PJNGXSW 08:00 - 22:00. PJGBW

The Bookies C-1, ul. Dospat 37, tel. +359 2 851

90 87. Great little place directly across from the NDK, off
Vitosha Boulevard. One of, if not the, finest gardens in Sofia.
Beautifully enclosed just off the boulevard, the garden was
designed by the owner and she has created a real beauty.
Wooden 2 seater swing, a couple of trees, plenty of sundry
flora and greenery augment the directors chairs and sofas. It’s
a beautiful sun trap too with some great shade. They knock
up a fabulous Mojito, amongst other cocktails, and they do a
really top coffee. The garden seats about 40. The bar inside
is a lovely little place. It seats about 20 and has a real coffee
house atmosphere with bookshelves on the walls. The locals
will greet guests with open arms, and much fun has apparently
been had down The Bookies. QOpen 09:00 - 24:00, Sat,
Lavazza Club B-2, bul. Vitosha 13, tel. +359 2 987 34 Sun 09:30 - 24:00. JBWSofia is simply swarming with
33/+359 887 979 890, Situated quirky watering holes, cool designer bars and dance-till-you-
in downtown Sofia this place is already crowded since early disintegrate clubs. Just try not to get carried away.
in the morning. Its two floors, charming garden and young
pretty waitresses, obviously make it a preferred location
by everybody from young couples to business people and Bars
foreigners alike. The menu list offers a big selection of coffee, Apartament 52 C-3, ul. Parchevich 52, tel. +359 896
cappuccino, cocktails, sandwiches and fresh pastries and 652 087. Sinking into the comfy corner sofas of this lounge
creams. Yummy. QOpen 07:30 - 23:00. PABXW bar is a pleasant way to end a hard day pacing the mean
streets of central Sofia, although there never seems quite
Lucky (Vienska sladkarnitsa) C-5, bul. Tsar Os- enough going on here to keep you for more than a couple of
voboditel 21, tel. +359 2 943 33 44/+359 889 506 drinks. A good place to kick-start the evening before moving
251. Bright, roomy and rather elegant café with a generous on elsewhere. QOpen 10:00 - 02:00. JAGBXW
choice of fancy cakes and other sinful goodies. Floor-to-ceiling

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

40 Nightlife Nightlife 41

Barabar B-5, ul. Shipka 43A, tel. +359 886 787 982. Hambara C-3, ul. 6-i septemvri 22. Knock on the wooden showroom, with rigid lines of fancy chairs and couches and and a big barbecue. The other part is the second floor of a
This small but perfectly formed café-bar may well be a doorway in an alleyway behind the Hitriyat Petel restaurant not many people sitting in them. QOpen 10:00 - 24:00. house, separated into three rooms with no doors between
15-minute walk east of the centre, but its cosy-living-room and you’ll be ushered into this strange candle-lit barn full of PABW them - you feel like you’re at a private party, but sitting on dif-
atmosphere makes it well worth seeking out. The vintage nocturnal humanoids sitting on high wooden stools. It may ferent tables. There are two fireplaces and retro style interior.
Bulgarian film posters on the walls make a great change from seem as if you’ve stumbled onto the set of a vampire movie, Orisha Bar & Dinner B-2, ul. Solunska 50, tel. +359 The menu is rich with pizzas, salads and barbecued dishes.
the beer adverts and commercial logos cluttering up other but the hedonistic arty set who hang out here seem friendly. 2 953 32 94/+359 886 31 88 91. This is a warm and Portions are really big and tasty. So, enjoy your wine! QOpen
establishments of this ilk. The Bulgarian-Scottish bar crew For those who like a bit of culture with their alcohol, Hambara’s welcoming place situated in the city center, near bul. Hristo 10:00 - 23:00. (5.00-16.00Lv). IGXSW
serve up excellent toasted sandwiches too. In fridays there sporadic programme of live jazz, studio theatre and other Botev. The menu offers a wide range of cocktails from all over
is live music. QOpen 09:30 - 24:00, Sat 17:00 - 24:00. arty happenings provides an added inducement to drop by. the world with vodka, whisky, rum, gin, tequila and champagne. Flannagans B-4, Radisson SAS Hotel, pl. Narodno
Closed Sun. PE QOpen 19:00 - 02:00. Most popular of them are Bronx Perfect, Alabama Slammer, sabranie 4, tel. +359 2 933 47 40, flannagans.sofia@
Original Singapore Sling and a favourite of the American, Unusu-
Bash Bar C-5, ul. Ivan Asen II 31, tel. +359 2 943 43 97. Chocolate C-3, ul. Rakovski 193, tel. +359 896 624 writer, Hemmingway Special. The names of the food from the ally for an establishment located on the ground floor of an
This small bar is the place for good music lovers and modern 265,, w w w.chocolate. menu are long and descriptive, with exotic sounding words. international hotel, Flannagans succeeds in being a lively
young people, who are bored of going to discos, and foremost bg. Chocolate is an accurate description of the dominant Seafood and chicken dishes are predominant. The bar’s and welcoming venue, even if the prices are a touch more
and crowded places. The bar consists of two levels, as the colour scheme, although the grassy fabrics and ethnic wall name is interesting. An Orisha (orixa) is a spirit reflecting a expensive than elsewhere in town. The draught Guinness and
first is only bars and the second level is cosy, with comfortable decorations made us think we were in a beach bar some- particular aspect of God in the belief systems of Candomble Kilkenny are well-kept enough to keep you coming back, and
sofas and shaded light. QOpen 8.30 - 01.00. BXW where in the South Pacific. Pounding music, a drinks menu in Brazil, and Santeria and Luccumi in Cuba and Puerto Rico the menu of quality pub food is better than the fare offered
several pages long, and a stylish clientele help to make this among others. A friendly owner as well as house and chill by many of Sofia’s “international” restaurants. Major inter-
Basic C-3, ul. Neofit Rilski 55, tel. +359 2 986 36 72. a worthwhile inclusion on any downtown bar crawl. QOpen out music add to the cozy atmosphere. An excellent place national sporting events are given the big-screen treatment.
The welcoming array of deep white sofas will lure you into 09:00 - 02:00. PAW for business meetings and private parties. QOpen 08:00 QOpen 12:00 - 00:30. (20-40Lv). PAUGBXSW
this stylish little spot just off ul. Rakovski - just make sure - 24:00. PNBW
you don’t end up squatting on one of the cube-sized pouffes McCarthy’s B-3, ul. Alabin 50A, tel. +359 878 666 Irish Harp B-2, ul. Sveta Sofia 7, tel. +359 2 989 92
otherwise you’ll have backache come the morning. There’s 130,, Tea House (Chay vav fabrikata) B-4, ul. Georgi Benk- 26, Smart but slightly lived-in, and with
an appetizingly wide range of cocktails and spirit shots, and Finally an Irish bar run by authentic Irish men. Just 10m from ovski 11, tel. +359 887 051 080, teahousesofia@gmail. friendly staff always ready to ask whether you need a refill,
the designer toilet is cool enough for even the sassiest of Mc’Donalds (on bul. Vitosha), turn right into the arcade, the com. Located behind an unlikely-looking metal door (look for this is the kind of pub that you’ll find yourself drifting back to
supermodels to feel proud to drop their pants in. QOpen first door to the left - you will see the sign. Climb the stairs the sign hanging above), this combined café and art gallery is whether you’re eager for ex-pat chit-chat or simply in need
09:00 - 02:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 02:00. PA and you will dive right into the clamour of the cheerful crowd. the perfect place to wind down over a brew. Yogi tea, of which of a relaxing drink. Murphys and Guinness on tap, and the
It seems that time has stopped here - laughter, dancing and innumerable varieties are available, seems to be the house fancy drinks and cocktails aren’t bad either. With several TV
Bilkovata C-4, ul. Ivan Shishman 22, tel. +359 2 986 singing replace the hectic life outside. The place is cosy, favourite, although there are several beverages of a more screens tuned to sports channels, this is an ideal place to
49 05. Hardly anyone remembers the herbal pharmacy decorated, the owners claim, as an old style Irish pub from alcoholic nature to get acquainted with too, Antique furniture catch live matches, or simply nervously await the incoming
which once stood here (Bilkovata means “The Herbal”), but the 70’s, no annoying TV-sets to keep you from singing and oil paintings combine with post-industrial design touches football results on Saturday afternoons. QOpen 10:00 -
the basement bar on this spot is one of the most frequented along. Large windows present you with a “spy” view to the to produce a slightly distressed, bohemian vibe. There’s usu- 24:00. PJALEW
places in Sofia. It’s sparsely furnished, smoky, and overcrowd- Court House and the busy Alabin street. Pints of beer, great ally some form of non-mainstream music on the CD system
ed at weekends, but a combination of off-the-wall background atmosphere, cool people, live music on Sundays. This place (world music, jazz or similar), and a regular programme of J. J. Murphy’s B-2, ul. Karnigradska 6, tel. +359 2 980
music and gregarious drinkers lurching around help make it is simply a must experience. QOpen 08:30 - 24:00, Sun off-beat and jazz musical events. Indian-influenced vegetarian 28 70, fax +359 2 980 08 60. Restrained lighting, lots of
one of those cult Sofia locations that you have to visit at least 11:00 - 24:00. PJEXW food, which they make on the spot, makes a welcome ap- dark-brown wooden furniture, and a variety of environments
once. QOpen 10:00 - 02:00. PJNBXW pearance on the evenings.Every Thursday Ayurvedic cuisine (you can either prop up the bar, watch football on the big
Mediterrani C-4, ul. Ivan Shishman 37, tel. +359 897 and every Thursday and Sunday Tea House is only for non- screen, or sit in a quiet corner) all help make this place a
Blaze C-4, ul. Slavyanska 36, tel. +359 888 354 004. 931 291. We’re not sure what they have to do with the Medi- smokers.QOpen 10:00 - 23:00, Sun 11:00 - 18:00. (6-9Lv). comfortingly familiar home-from-home. They pull a mean pint
This brash, tight squeeze of a DJ bar has been around for years terranean, but the combination of whitewashed walls, black PLENGXSW of Murphy’s, and if Bulgarian cuisine has left you pining for
and never seems to be in danger of going out of fashion. If you couches and mellow music put us in the right mood to embark Sheperd’s Pie, this is the place to tuck in. QOpen 12:00 -
are dying to meet young trendy locals then you’re in the right on a relaxing evening of alcohol-oiled conversation. Initially Toba&Co B-3, ul. Moskovska 6A, tel. +359 2 989 46 24:00. PENGBXW
place here. Getting a drink at weekends can require superhu- a bit difficult to find: head into the courtyard of the Mamma 96, Head round the back of the National
man patience, and waiting for the toilet can sometimes take Mia pizzeria and dive down the stairs to your immediate left.
so long, that you’re on first-name terms with everyone else QOpen 11:00 - 01:00. PAGXW
Art Gallery and you’ll come across this curious little café-bar,
occupying the cast-iron pavilion in which the mercurial Tsar Clubs
in the queue, by the time you finally penetrate the porcelain Ferdinand once kept his butterflies. The cocktails aren’t that Babbles C-4, ul. Ivan Shishman 22, tel. +359 2 980
sanctuary. QOpen 10:00 - 03:00. PW Memories C-2, ul. Knyaz Boris I 66, tel. +359 2 952 great but who cares; everything else on the menu is perfectly 65 79, Ultra-fab designer bar
62 50. One of the few bars in Sofia with over 10 years of drinkable, the wooden chairs add a dash of Parisian-café which looks like a space-ship, a children’s cartoon or a kooky
By The Way C-3, ul. Rakovski 166, tel. +359 2 980 38 history. The interior resembles an old English pub. Believe charm, and when DJs turn up they usually spin something Sixties’ film set, depending on how many drinks you’ve had
36,, If you really it or not the bar opens in the morning so it’s a good place more interesting than Top-40 teen fodder. QOpen 09:00 already. It’s the brainchild of owner Kremena Halvadzhian,
care about the quality of your cocktails then this split-level bar for coffee or tea. In the evening, especially during summer - 05:00. PNB who also happens to be one of Bulgaria’s top stylists. The
is the place to come. The setting is stylish and cosy, and the nights, it’s quite difficult to get a table as the place is perpetu- lively atmosphere is backed up with house music supplied by
high proportion of beautiful young things among the clientele ally full with young crowds. QOpen 09:00 - 01:00. (3-5Lv). Upstairs C-2, bul. Vitosha 18, tel. +359 2 989 96 96, popular Bulgarian DJs. If the cheerful colours aren’t enough to
makes it the perfect place for people-watching. QOpen PJNGBXSW, cheer you up, you can resort to a classical cocktail or straight
09:00 - 01:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 01:00. PAW First-floor bar overlooking Sofia’s busiest downtown shopping drink. QOpen 17:00 - 00:00.
Motto B-4, ul. Aksakov 18, tel. +359 2 987 27 23, street, with comfy lounge-bar furniture inside, and a line of
Cappuccino bar & dinner B-2, ul. Pozitano 8, tel. +359, The red- stools along the verandah providing the perfect vantage point Black Box B-2, ul. Pirotska 5. Boasting three dancefloors,
896 645 362,, brick walls, comfy sofas and designer lampshades of this from which to observe the goings-on below. There’s a menu of chillout area and V.I.P. lounge, Black Box is something of a Despite its short life, Cappuccino seems roomy bar and diner attain just the right mixture of snazziness fancy food, and a list of cocktails that runs to several pages. haven for hard-core techno and drum & bass freaks - so
destined to become one of the most crowded new additions and comfort. There’s a huge menu of cocktails and spirits, Glamorous without making too big a deal out of it, this is just if an after-work dance around the handbag is what you’re
to Sofia. Preferred for business lunches, dinners, parties or and a selection of light dishes if you’re hungry. The service what boulevard Vitosha needs. QOpen 09:00 - 02:00, Sun after then you’d be better off heading elsewhere. Most of the
just for a cup of coffee or excellent cappuccino, the interior lags, especially when the place fills up with Sofia’s fashionable 10:00 - 02:00. ABW clientele appear to be under 20, but then Black Box’s sanity-
is a mixture of expensive Italian furniture with a classical set, but then you’ll never be short of beautiful people to look challenging sound system and light show are something that
combination of midnight black and crisp white, delicate light- at. QOpen 10:00 - 02:00. PJABXW
ing and enviable sound system. The long menu specializes Pubs you have to be in the flush of youth to endure. The club is only
open when a specific DJ event is scheduled, so you really need
in Italian dishes, complemented by an excellent selection of Opera B-4, ul. Rakovski 113, tel. +359 2 988 21 41, Am-Gul C-5, ul. San Stefano 3, tel. +359 2 943 44 16, to interrogate your in-the-know Sofia friends before making
wine from all over world and a variety of cocktails, among the, This classy designer An old house in the center of Sofia, tracks. QOpen 22:00 - 06:00.
well-founded reasons this place will be sure to please even bar in the basement of the National Opera is well worth looking converted into a restaurant. Actually, the place is separated
the most capricious visitors. QOpen 08:00 - 02:00, Sun in on at the weekends, when DJs spin plastic and revellers into two parts in different buildings. One of them is covered Brilyantin B-3, ul. Moskovska 3, tel. +359 2 986
10:30 - 24:00. PAGXW flock round the bar. At other times it looks like a furniture with a partly glass ceiling, a fountain in the middle of the room 31 12, The name of this club is a

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

42 Nightlife Nightlife 43

tribute to the dancing skills of Travolta and Newton-John, sive mix of house and retro-disco rhythms, enhanced by the
as Brilyantin (“Brilliantine”) is the name by which Seven- presence of some of Sofia’s most cheerful and friendly staff.
ties’ musical Grease is known in Bulgaria. However you’re QOpen 23:00 - 07:00. Closed Sun.
unlikely to see any latter-day hep-cats jiving away in their
best rock-and-roll frocks - Brilyantin is actually one of Sofia’s Pulse Club A-2, ul. Tsar Samuil 50, tel. +359 898 52 01
prime hang-outs for stylish young professionals, wannabe 50. This small and cozy night club offers a nice environment
media types and expensive-cocktail conoisseurs. Matt in which to escape from the outside world. Designed to keep
black surfaces, the odd mirror-ball and a crowd-pleasing you on the dance floor, the club consists of one bar and tables
mixture of retro, house and dance-pop are the order of facing the dance floor. At the entrance of the club there are
the day. Hard to get into at weekends - when you might three bed - like sofas, where you can chill out on soft cushions.
have to reserve a table or arrive soon after opening time. Make sure you don`t leave your drink unattended ( even on the
QOpen 17:00 - 04:00. PJA bar ), as your half full beer bottle will be gone in no time and
of course the bartenders will know nothing of its mysterious
Club Liqueur B-3, ul. Pirotska 5 (corner with George disappearance. The cloakroom is tiny, so don`t rely on hav-
Washington), tel. +359 888 888 358, valdesn@abv. ing your coat hanging nicely. There are theme parties every
bg, The place plays retro, rock, Friday and they not only fill the place with a pleasant crowd,
evergreen, R&B and dance music. The decoration is mod- but they are also an atmosphere and experience you should
ernistic with columns wrapped in silver, the bar and bar plots not miss. For more information check our culture section.
are illuminated, the high chairs are with leather seating. The QOpen 22:00 - 08:00. Closed Sun.
overall luminous effects are state of the art in red, green
and yellow. Occasionally there is live music. There are also
special alcohol promotions for each day of the week. Just ask. Folk clubs
QOpen 22:00 - 06:00. Closed Sun. Admission: 3-5Lv. The Help B-2, ul. Hristo Botev 61, tel. +359 2 810 88 88,
club offers: on Monday Students’ party, on Tuesday - Black & Housed in the Sin City entertain-
Retro party, on Wednesday - BG music party and on Thursday ment complex, an expensively renovated former theatre,
ladies go in for free and they have Retro Commercial party. Help is the biggest and flashiest of the folk venues. There’s a
PJEXW lobby bar playing western dance-pop and an enormous main
hall crammed with tables (reserve in advance if you want
Colorama Club A-4, ul. Angista 6, tel. +359 893 414 to be sure of one), with a mix of DJs and live musicians laying
255. The club is a little bit difficult to find - it seems like you down chalga beats. Attracts dressed-up ladies and mean-
are entering a block to a private party. Going down the stairs looking macho types, so attire yourself accordingly.    QOpen
there are sweating people, dressed for Latino dancing and a 22:30 - 07:00. Admission: 5-30Lv. PALGBXW
low ceiling. Here is the place for all Latino dancers. Good rum,
salsa and merenge and professional dancers, come here to NAI-klub B-4, pl. Narodno sabranie 10, tel. +359 2
exercise and to show their skills. 981 27 47, Prepare for visual and aural
overload in his cavernous subterranean space, with cave
Escape B-3, ul. Angel Kanchev 1, tel. +359 889 paintings on the walls, leopard-print tablecloths, and four giant central street. The list of songs is quite rich and various:
990 000, Escape boasts feet holding up the ceiling. A foundation-shaking selection of people can choose from MTV hits to French chansons, Casinos
a huge dancefloor, four bars on t wo levels, a bone- Bulgarian and Serbian chart hits will have your hips swaying Russian chastushki, Bulgarian pop music etc. However
grinding sound system and an energized, foxy clien- convulsively after a few drinks. QOpen 22:00 - 07:00. Admis- drinks are not very cheep and Bulgarian alcohol is not
tele. Thursday is retro-disco night, while top-ranking sion: 3Lv. Ladies go in for free. available. Sometimes it is far too overcrowded. An entrance Casino Hawaii D-3, bul. Cherni Vrah 31 Hemus Hotel
house and techno DJs twiddle the knobs at weekends. fee of 2 lv is included in the bill at the end. You can sing Sofia, tel. +359 2 963 37 63. Located in the Hemus
QOpen 22:00 - 04:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed, Sun. Admis- Planeta B-3, ul. Graf Ignatiev 6, tel. +359 2 987 karaoke there all nights except for Friday and Saturday. Hotel, this casino offers table games - roulette, black jack,
sion: 10Lv. PJAL 94 94,, w w w.planeta-club. QOpen 18:00 - 04:00. PW Caribbean poker, and slot machines. The staff speaks
com. Not much in the way of fancy decor but hugely English and alcohol is free. QOpen 00:00 - 24:00. P
Chervilo B-4, bul. Tsar Osvoboditel 9, tel. +359 2 981 66
33,, Ten-year-old
enjoyable nevertheless, with a house band moving room
table to table, and belly-dancers shaking their assets in Live music clubs Casino London B-4, Radisson SAS, pl. Narodno
veteran of the Sofia clubbing scene that shows no sign of go- the direction of anyone who looks like a generous tipper.  8th Ball A-4, Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodiy 27. This underground sabranie 4, tel. +359 2 980 70 75, fax +359 2 980
ing out of fashion. Alongside leading Bulgarian techno DJs, the Q O p e n 2 0 : 0 0 - 0 6 : 0 0 . A d m i s s i o n : 3 - 1 0 Lv. basement cavern is a place for hardcore punks, hooligans 30 66. Roulette, black-jack, poker and more. QOpen
club frequently hosts star guests from abroad, and attracts and all types of tattooed weirdos. It is the place where fast, 00:00 - 24:00. A
a correspondingly hip crowd. It is divided into three halls and
though the major club nights are held in the Main Room, some Karaoke noisy, unknown and mostly young bands play with fierce
passion. Don’t mess with the bartenders, they are as local Casino Princess F-7, Sofia Princess Hotel, bul.
infectiously off-beat DJ events take place in a smaller space, Backstage Karaoke Bar C-4, bul. Vasil Levski 100, and as tough as you will never be. QOpen 20:00 - 04.00. Maria Luiza 131, tel. +359 2 933 87 00, fax +359 2
the cute Baby Box. QOpen 22:30 - 06:00. Closed Mon, Sun. tel. +359 896 84 01 61, A Admission: 4-5 BGN. 931 00 61. Southeast Europe’s answer to Las Vegas.
Admission: 5-20Lv. PJAEBW spacious club with wide variety of songs. Live concerts are Just don’t go crazy. QOpen 00:00 - 24:00. A
also organized there. The style is predominantly rock. Prices Social Jazz Club C-3, pl. Slaveykov 4, tel. +359 884
Life House B-2, bul. Vitosha 12, tel. +359 888 are not very low but the entrance fee is modest. The club 622 220,, www.socialjazzclub. Casino Rila B-3, Rila Hotel, ul. Kaloyan 6, tel. +359
241 016, The name says is divided into 2 halls, one of them with a pool table. Food is com. Buried beneath Sofia City Library is one of Sofia’s 2 981 80 67, fax +359 2 981 82 48. 10 total table
it all - this is one of the top venues for house music in not available, except for nuts. coolest music venues, offering a regular menu of live jazz games, restaurant. QOpen 00:00 - 24:00. AK
Sofia, with top local and international DJs doling out the including some top names from Bulgaria and the Balkans.
beats. Design is post-industrial and service is of the Yesterday Karaoke Bar B-3, ul. Rakovski 82, tel. Although there is standing space in front of the stage, it’s Casino Viva B-3, Sheraton Hotel, pl. Sveta Nedelya
kind usually experienced in Sofia clubs - slow but genial. +359 2 981 23 46,, www.pianobar- best to reserve a table if you want to watch the gig in comfort. 5, tel. +359 2 986 35 01. Good choice of slot machines
QOpen 23:00 - 06:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed, Sun. Admis- A nice small place underground in a noisy The bar serves imported drinks only and prices are on the and table games. QOpen 00:00 - 24:00. A
sion: 2-15Lv. PA high side, so do remember to visit the cash point before you
arrive. QOpen 22:00 - 04:00. 5-15Lv. PENW
PR G-8, ul. Cherkovna 87, tel. +359 895 500 500, www. Only a few months old and already seen as Swingin’ Hall D-5, bul. Dragan Tsankov 8, tel. +359 2
something of a jewel in Sofia’s night-life crown, PR offers stylish 963 06 96, Currently the best place in
interior, six bars and an amazing lighting rig. Enjoyable, all-inclu- town to catch local rock, blues, jazz and world-music acts,
with a six-day-a-week programme of live music. With three

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

44 Nightlife Nightlife 45

bars, two stages, and a brick-lined, cellar-like interior, it’s a

great place for a night out whoever is on the bill. Friendly
Have Your Say Gay and lesbian Sofia
party-inclined atmosphere draws musically-inclined Sofians
of all ages, and a generous sprinkling of ex-pats. QOpen If you have had an experience to remember at any of There are now several centrally-located gay venues in
21:00 - 04:00. Closed Mon. Admission: 5Lv. the venues listed in this guide, be it good, bad, ugly Sofia. Most are friendly places catering for a wide clientele
or downright sad, let the two million regular unique rather than special interests. Up-to-date listing of parties
The Club G-8, ul. Nikolay Kopernik 2, tel. +359 2 872 visitors to our website,, in bars and clubs can be found at
09 46. Once a cult rock club, this cozy 2-store hut is where all know about it. Every venue on our website now has One characteristic of Sofia’s gays and lesbian community
good and professional Bulgarian musicians play. Close to the a module below it for you to comment on the places is that many prefer to visit mixed clubs which are known
audience and with booze flowing from the bar. The owner is a we write about. You can agree or disagree with us, for attracting a tolerant, open-minded crowd: Chervilo,
respected Bulgarian alternative rock musician and producer, scold us or praise us, but do give us your feedback, Escape and Yalta (see our main “Nightlife” listings for
so sound quality is indisputable. Q Admission: 10 BGN. its essential! details) are good examples of these.

Adonis B-2, ul. Knyaz Boris 122, tel. +359 898

Adult entertainment 305 932. Cute little place specializing in Balkan folk-
Angels Club B-3, Sheraton Hotel, pl. Sveta Nedelya 5, pop, popular with transvestites and a younger crowd.
tel. +359 2 987 15 30. Lots of nice dancing girls. QOpen QOpen 22:00 - 06:00.
22:00 - 05:00. Admission: 7Lv. PJAL
Club 18+ C-2, bul. Vitosha 18, tel. +359 2 846
Dolls G-7, bul. Dzheyms Bauchar 100, tel. +359 2 82 54. Newish club on central Sofia’s main street with
963 39 64, Classy club with a different DJ styles on different nights. QOpen 20:00
long tradition, with a sizeable cast of dancing girls and a - 04:00.
programme of erotic shows. QOpen 22:00 - 04:00. Admis-
sion: 7Lv. PA Essence B-2, bul. Aleksandar Stamboliyski 29,
tel. +359 899 998 666,
Taboo Club B-4, pl. Narodno sabranie 12, tel. +359 2 Lesbian club with a wide spectrum of music. QOpen
987 08 70, Plush environment in closed, Fri, Sat 22:00 - 06:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed,
which to enjoy an array of lovely dancers. Fruit salad - served Thu, Sun. PGX

Exit Club B-6, ul. Lavele 16, tel. +359 888 140
133, Bar & Diner. Cosy place with
Guidelines to Bulgarian lifestyle, bars, clubs and discos a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails and a
DJ-party every evening. Not to be confused with the Exit
1. Try not to stare at women that are accompanied by their this could happen innumerable times during the course of Club on ul. Suborna, which is completely straight. QOpen
boyfriends, no matter how beautiful they are, it might be the evening) you have to clink your glass with absolutely 08:00 - 04:00. PJNXW
taken as an insult. everyone, no matter how many are sitting round the table,
2. Try to avoid conflict if you notice Bulgarian people stare making sure to look in the eye at the point of clinking. If you
at your wife/girlfriend, or at yourself, usually they will be fail to make eye contact, they will think you are disrespect-
just curious. Don’t forget some 19 years ago the majority ful (or just an uninformed foreigner). The custom comes Zagorka Beer – the leading Bulgarian beer
of people didn’t even meet foreigners from beyond the iron from ancient times. In days gone by kings, khans and
curtain, so you are still new and exciting. Bravo! other important figures would look deep into the eyes of Just 230 km. away from Sofia, in the heart of the historic Zagorka has always been, and always will be, committed to
3. Don’t try to act overly macho, particularly in more provin- the person they cheer to guess his intentions. Then they region of Trace, there lays the city of Stara Zagora. Besides providing Bulgarian beer lovers with a drinking experience
cial towns or cities. Unless of course you are Mike Tyson. would bang their glasses so hard, so that a drop of each its rich historical inheritance, the city of straight streets, of the highest possible standards. With its amber color, full
4. When in a bar do not shout or insult the waiters or other drink gets into the other (mixing the drinks would guarantee linden trees and poets, as it is known in Bulgaria, is famous taste, and rich aroma Zagorka represents the original taste
staff members, it may be taken very deeply. they are not poisoned). for being among the birthplaces of one of the most popular of the best Bulgarian beer. Throughout its history Zagorka
5. If you feel that someone is in some way being threat- 11. Be prepared to mix your own drinks. Whilst in England Bulgarian beers - Zagorka. has won a number of Bulgarian and international medals
ening or intimidating to you, it is often best to befriend a “vodka and coke” means a nice mixed drink from the bar, History and awards, including the highest in the world quality selec-
them. In many cases locals feel threatened by foreigners in BG it means 1 vodka (most likely large) and 1 coke. Mix it It all started in 1902 with the opening of the “Biraria” / tion - Monde selection.
and try to show themselves as tough but when you act yourself to your own perfect proportions. Cheers. the Beer House/. This is how people in Stara Zagora Zagorka is not only the highest quality lager, but also a
as equals and friends they will often almost immediately 12.  Bring a gas mask. Many Bulgarians are heavy smok- called the new brewing factory of local entrepreneur doc- leader and an innovator on the Bulgarian market. It was
drop this façade. ers although this becomes less with new generations. tor Kozhuharov. After he had tasted delicious Czech beer, the first beer brand to launch cans and the first to be
6. If however a conflict situation rises, leave immediately. Some bars can be closed in and stuffy places. Combine he decided to build a brewery when he came back to his exported.
Do not stay around and add on to the fire. Bulgarians are this with a crowd of 40 a day hardcore smokers and you home town. As the general sponsor of the National football team,
It was after World War II when a new period in Zagorka Zagorka confirms its image as the leading Bulgarian beer. In
very social and family driven and under a common goal a get quite a fog. history began. This was a period of reconstruction, modern- its support for the ‘Bulgarian Lions’, Zagorka has committed
big group of people is summoned very fast. 13. Take advantage of the hospitality of the Bulgarian soul. ization, and growth. A lot of investments were made. New itself to providing Bulgarian football fans with unforgettable
7. Good icebreakers are compliments on the country: The You might be invited to dinners, parties, cocktail parties, automated heavy duty equipment was installed, which was emotions. During the Bulgaria: Ireland football match on June
food, the football, the women, the inventions created by promotions, etc. Generally Bulgarians love foreigners. at a level comparable with the highest world standards. At 06, with the help of Zagorka nearly 40,000 fans took part
Bulgarians such as the Cyrillic alphabet and so on. As ad- 14. In bars you can not bring drugs, guns or other forbid- the same time, the special attention and care for the quality in the making of the biggest national flag in the history of
ditional benefit you might get an interesting story or two. den substances. Pretty much like most places you have brought good results. Bulgarian football .
Make them talk, they love it. been in your life. Zagorka was the pioneer in beer marketing as well. For In the last 14 years Zagorka has been participating actively
8.  Strong drinks (vodka, whisky etc.) come in quantities 15. Big fat silver chains that you could anchor a boat with the first time attention was paid to packaging and design. in the development of Bulgarian men’s tennis as well by
of 50ml for a small and 100ml for a large. In some places, are an absolute must. That is if you want to appear young, The portfolio of different tastes and flavors of beer was sponsoring the most prestigious local men’s tennis tour-
unless you specifically ask for small you will be handed a cool, like a gangster or simply need to anchor a boat. expanded. Zagorka – the Bulgarian beer - stepped on new nament – Zagorka Tennis Cup. In 2009 the tournament
large by default. 16.  If you are going out on a Friday night to a bar and markets – Turkey, Greece, Egypt, Libya, and others. grew to ATP Challengers tournament with a record prize
9. Rakia must only be drunk with shopska salad. Don’t ask want to blend in like a local, it is essential that you Today, more than a century after its foundation, Zagorka is fund of 85,000 EUR that attracted a number of TOP 100
us why, it just should. If you order one without salad you haven’t shaved for at least 3 days. Dressing entirely in a leading Bulgarian beer brand. More than any other brand players in Sofia.
may well be looked at as if you are from Mars. black is a bonus. it symbolizes long standing tradition, experience and rich This is why, more than any other beer brand, Zagorka is
history of excellent and constant quality. Zagorka stands in the symbol of long-lasting brewing traditions, an example
10. The Bulgarian for “cheers” is nazdrave, which literally 17. Girls, for you to catch the attention of Bulgarian men, high esteem and respect of Bulgarian beer connoisseurs. of high quality beer and the undisputable leader on the
means “to your health”. If someone proposes a toast (and just act natural and dress sexy. And even more – it is …The best beer of Bulgaria Bulgarian beer market.

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

46 Nightlife What to see 47

24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? Sofia may not have the grandeur of a great world city, but
its tree-lined, frequently cobbled streets are chock full of
absorbing oddities. As you’d expect for a town that’s over
T h e Hun garian exil e s in As well as these multinationals, Bulgaria, a young beer 7,000 years old, the centre of Sofia is like a walk-through
Shumen, Bulgaria, led by Lajos drinking country, still has a long list of locally owned history lesson, with Romans, Byzantines, Bulgarians, Otto-
Kossuth after the Hungarian breweries. Worth mentioning are Bolyarka, Balkan, man Turks and Soviet-inspired communists all having left
Revolution of 1848, brewed Habermann, Almus, MM, Ataman, Strumsko and Varna. their architectural imprint.
beer and are thought to have
found followers among the Additionally, it should be mentioned that the international
locals. However, their stay in
the city was short and they
beer brands dominate their own substantial piece of the
market with Stella Artois, Beck’s, Heineken, Staropra-
Essential Sofia
could not manage to introduce men, Tuborg and Amstel. All of these brewed locally Alexandar Nevski Memorial Church (Hram-
beer to the masses. in Bulgaria. pametnik Aleksandar Nevski) B-4, pl. Aleksandar
The Frenchman Ducorp, who Numerous beer festivals are organized yearly in the
worked as a railway engineer major cities all around the country, for example in Sofia,
near Sofia between 1873 and Plovdiv, Pleven, Gabrovo, Sevlievo, Bansko, Vidin, etc.
1876, opened a small brewery Beer is packed in various forms, with 0.33 and 0.5-litre
in Knyazhevo. The Czech Jiří glass bottles giving way to larger and typically more
Prošek, who first came to Bulgaria in 1873 to work on economical 1.5, 2.0 or 2.5-litre plastic bottles for home
the same railway line, noted that the local Shopi had the consumption, but still being popular in restaurants and
custom of brewing primitive beer at harvest time. And bars, where draught beer is also very common, while
primitive it was. Their recipe: soak grain in water, leave cans are preferred because of the higher quality.
it to sprout, dry it, add hot water and wild hops, let it
fermentate naturally and cool it. Bulgarians developed their own way of beer drinking. The
following sentence we dug from the latest MI5 handbook
Bulgaria’s earliest commercial brewery was established for spies: Along with your beer ask for a portion of tsatsa
in Plovdiv by the Swiss Rudolf Frick and Friedrich Sulzer (fish) or skara (barbecue), start talking and laughing
in 1876. It became a large and more modern factory be- loudly after your fourth cold fellow, to make people around
tween 1879–1881 with the help of another Swiss expert, mistake you for a local. Oh, and please do not forget to
Christian August Bomanti. Production began in 1882 in cheer the Bulgarian way, by looking all around you at martyrdom of St George run around the first-floor gallery,
the Kamenitsa area near the city and continues today, its each individual with a deep long stare in the eyes and a while a room full of exquisite medieval Bulgarian jewelry looks
successor being the Kamenitza brewery. The first brew- mumbled “nazdrave”. contemporary enough to provide today’s designers with a rich
ery in Varna dates back to 1884, when the contractors seam of inspiration. The bilingual Bulgarian-English labeling
Kasabov and Vtichev opened up a small factory. Thoughts about beer is unusually thorough, and the collection is just the right size
• Beer is the greatest invention. The bicycle is also not to be easily digestible in one trip. QOpen 10:00 - 17:30.
The professional Czech brewer Franz-František Milde bad, but it doesn’t go well with French fries. Admission: 10Lv.
established the Shumensko beer factory in Shumen • You have to know your limits when drinking beer oth-
in 1882, and helped in the foundation of the Bulgarian
Brewing Association the same year. Jiří Prošek and his
erwise you may drink too little. Boyana Church (Boyanskata tsarkva) H-6, ul.
• Consume a woman with beer and a beer without Boyansko ezero 1-3, tel. +359 2 959 09 39, fax +359 2
brothers founded the Vitosha brewery in Sofia in 1884; women.
they also bought Ducorp’s small brewery and owned 959 29 66,, www.boyanachurch.
• The strength is hidden in beer, the wisdom in wine and org. If medieval church art turns you on, then the UNESCO-
the Dalbok Zimnik cellar. Today, the Vitosha brewery is the microbes in water.
known as Ariana. listed Boyana church, will have you foaming at the mouth
• With beer even a shed is heaven. with excitement. Just about every square inch of the interior
• Better a beer in the hand than a woman on the
In 1899, Milde’s Bulgarian partners tried to deceive phone. is covered with bible scenes and saintly portraits, rendered
him, so he bought the Austrian Johann Habermann’s • A man without beer is like a flower without water. by thirteenth-century artists. Nobody knows the identity
brewery in Rousse (established in 1876) and started • Drink beer – the money will come by itself. of the painters, but their mastery of realistic depiction and
producing beer there. Fearing his competition, his • Beer is not like coffee - one glass is never enough. Nevski, tel. +359 2 988 17 04. Built by Russian architects, sophisticated use of colour puts them on a par with Italian
partners quickly paid their debts and Milde returned to • Half an hour of healthy laughter does not substitute inspired by the glories of ancient Byzantium, this multi-domed artists of the early Renaissance.
Shumen, leaving his brother Sebastian as the Rousse a litre of beer. cathedral has been Sofia’s visual trademark ever since
factory’s manager. • For the normal person 1 beer is just fine, 2 beers are its completion in 1924. It was built in memory of Russia’s It is a tiny church consisting of two parts: the oldest dates
a lot, 3 are not enough. nineteenth-century contribution to Bulgaria’s liberation, from the 10th century, when it served as the chapel of Boyana
In the late 19th and early 20th century, beer rapidly • You cannot drink too much beer – only the toilet is
grew in popularity among the Bulgarian middle class, although the Aleksander referred to in the title, is actually a fortress. A second floor was added in 1259 by the Sevas-
too far. medieval prince of Novgorod, who battled Teutonic Knights. tokrator (or local governor) Kaloyan, who used the church
and a large number of beer houses were established in • A sea of beer is not enough – an ocean is better.
most big cities. After World War I, there were already 18 Decorated from floor to ceiling with frescoes and illuminated as his family chapel. It was Kaloyan, who commissioned the
• Eat a box of chocolate and you’ll realize how much by flickering candles, the vast interior is as atmospheric as frescoes for which Boyana church is famous. Restored in
breweries in Bulgaria. Besides those already mentioned, better it is to drink a crate of beer.
these included the Stara Zagora factory of Dr. Kozhuharov they come. QOpen 07:00 - 19:00. Daily Liturgy - 08:00 and various stages over the past forty years, the main body of
• The national consciousness may have a different colour, 17:00; Vigil - Sat 18:30; Mass - Sun 09:30 the church was never open to the public in its entirety until
(since 1902), the Czechs Malotin and Hozman’s factory in consistency and alcohol content.
Lom, the Habermann and St Petka breweries in Rousse, • When drinking good beer, a person still wants to live December 2006.
the German Moritz Ratt’s Cherven Rak factory in Pleven, when he wakes up. Archaeological Museum (Arheologicheski muzey)
W. Ollinger’s in Koshava, others in Veliko Tarnovo and • The non-alcoholic beer is the first step to the rub- B-3, ul. Saborna 2, tel. +359 2 988 24 06, fax +359 2 988 Highlights include portraits of Kaloyan and wife Desislava
Gorna Oryahovitsa, etc. ber doll. 24 05, Housed in a beautifully restored dressed in sumptuous robes, and the earliest known portrait
• Look at the world through beer and it will seem golden fifteenth-century mosque, this attractive display of Thracian, of the white-bearded St John of Rila, Bulgaria’s national patron
Following World War II, as Bulgaria became part of the to you. Greek, Roman and medieval Bulgarian artefacts is by far the saint. QOpen 09:00 - 17:30. Admission: 10Lv. Combined
Eastern Bloc, all breweries were nationalized. Since the • Life without beer is like beer without tapas. most eye-pleasing museum that Sofia has to offer. Imposing ticket including National History Museum: 12Lv.
democratic reforms in 1989, the Bulgarian beer market • 24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? chunks of Greek and Roman masonry are strewn around the
has been dominated by some of the world’s largest
multinational beer companies, like InBev with Kamenitza, main hall, while upstairs lie many of the headline-grabbing Visitors are admitted to the church six at a time, at ten-minute
With the support of the Union of Bulgarian Brewers. Thracian treasures, unearthed by Bulgarian archaeologists intervals, so be prepared to wait.
Astika, Slavena, Plevensko and Burgasko; Heineken
with Zagorka, Ariana and Stolichno and Carlsberg with in recent years. Most mesmerizing of all is the solid gold
Pirinksko Pivo and Shumensko. burial mask of a fourth-century-BC Thracian ruler, excavated National Museum of History (Natsionalen is-
near the central Bulgarian town of Shipka in summer 2004. toricheski muzey) G-6, ul. Vitoshko Lale 16, Boyana,
A series of Orthodox church paintings depicting the life and tel. +359 2 955 76 04, fax +359 2 955 76 02,

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

48 What to see What to see 49, Located in a park- the places of worship in Sofia, this is the most vivacious, its nineteenth century. Portrayals of horse-riding warrior saints Holy Sunday Church (Tsarkva Sveta Nedelya) B-3,
shrouded former government palace on the northern side green steeple and five golden domes outshining pretty much such as George and Demetrius are particularly prominent: pl. Sveta Nedelya, tel. +359 2 987 57 48. The main city-
of the Okolovrusten put (Sofia’s main ring road), Bulgaria’s they served as potent symbols of struggle and survival during centre church and the preferred venue for Saturday-afternoon
National History Museum offers a highly enjoyable chrono- the long centuries of Ottoman rule. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00. weddings, this nouveau-Byzantine structure is the twentieth-
logical journey through oh, at least eight millennia of human Closed Mon. Admission: 4Lv. century incarnation of a church that has stood on this spot
civilization on the Balkan peninsula. The building itself is since medieval times. It has long been associated with the
a fascinating oddity, having served Bulgaria’s communist Sofia City Art Gallery B-3, ul. Gurko 1, tel. +359 2 987 miracle-working bones of Serbian king Stefan Urosh, which
leaders as an official residence until 1989. If anybody ever 21 81,, The Sofia are still kept in a wooden box to the right of the iconostasis. It
launched a lifestyle magazine for would-be dictators, the City Art Gallery possesses some of the richest collections is popularly believed that certain female health problems can
marble halls and ornate ceilings in evidence here would make of Bulgarian art: 3500 paintings, 800 statues, 2800 graph- be cured by leaving an appropriate piece of underwear in the
ideal front-page material. ics and drawings. The Contemporary Art and Photography box for 24 hours (and if you want to test this out you should
department was founded in 2004. really contact the priest, not us). The church’s other claim
A sweeping staircase leads to the display areas, where the to fame is the flamboyantly ambitious terrorist attack that
circular-shaped Neolithic Hall harbours vividly-decorated jugs With 1100 square meters of exposition space divided into took place here in 1925, when left-wing activists attempted
and clay figures. Representations of the Earth Mother God- four compartments the Gallery arranges some 30 exhibi- to bomb the Bulgarian royal family while they were attending
dess dating from the sixth millennium BC include a fabulous tions every year. Most of the exhibitions display works from a funeral. A huge explosion destroyed much of the church
pair of buttocks from the Sofia region. the Gallery’s collections. In addition visiting one-man, group and killed 100 mourners, but the royals escaped unscathed.
and general exhibitions of Bulgarian and foreign artists are QOpen 07:00 - 19:00. Daily liturgy 08:30 and 16:00.
Next up is the Thracian room: unfortunately, many of Bul- arranged. Studies on present-day art and work with young
garia’s most famous Thracian treasures are touring western artists became a special focus of the Gallery’s policy in Church of St Petka of the Saddlemakers (Tsarkva
museums at present, and it is not known quite when they will recent years. Sveta Petka Samardzhiyska) B-3, pl. Nezavisimost.
come home. However there is still plenty of Thracian gold- and It’s not often that you come across a fourteenth-century
silverware, fantastically decorated with mythical animals, to Sofia City Art Gallery is a museum with long-standing tradi- church stranded in the middle of a semi-submerged shopping
make a visit here worthwhile. tions. Its role is to present the facts of Bulgarian cultural his- mall, but this is the fate that befell St Petka when Sofia’s
tory in an analytical and modern way and to actively intervene post-war planners decided to run a two-lane highway round
Biggest disappointment is the medieval section, which is in art developments by original and impressive projects. either side of it. Incongruously surrounded by glass-fronted
largely based on replicas of items kept elsewhere, or on We recommend you to visit also the Vaska Emanuilova Gallery, souvenir shops, it’s a delightful, cramped space that feels
photographs of ruined castles and churches throughout branch of the Sofia City Art Gallery B-5 bul. Yanko Sakuzov more like a damp cave than a church, and features some
Bulgaria. It’s more of an educational theme-park than a seri- 15, tel. 944 11 75, QOpen 10:00 - 19:00, faded sixteenth-century frescoes.
ous museum display, but it certainly whets the appetite for Sun 11:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon.
further travel within the country.

Upstairs on the second floor lies a knock-out display of Churches

brightly-coloured folk costumes and kilims, and a fascinating everything else on this central boulevard. Built just before Church of the Holy Seven (Tsarkva Sveti Sedmoch- National Art Gallery
collection of posters, photographs and domestic nick-nacks World War I to serve Sofia’s Russian community and modeled islentsi) C-3, ul. Graf Ignatiev, tel. +359 2 987 80 23.
documenting the social history of twentieth-century Bulgaria. on Muscovite churches of the sixteenth century, it looks as if One of Sofia’s most handsome neo-Byzantine churches, with
QOpen 09:00 - 17:30. Admission: 10Lv. Combined ticket a small piece of the Kremlin has been plonked in the middle twentieth-century towers and domes tacked on to a much
including Boyana Church: 12Lv. English-language tours cost of the Balkans. A path to the left of the main entrance leads older central core - which served as an Ottoman mosque
20Lv and can be booked in advance on tel. 955 42 80. to the crypt, last resting place of Archbishop Serafim, who
served as head of the Russian church in Bulgaria in the early
Rotunda of St George (Rotonda Sveti Georgi) B-3, twentieth century. An enormously popular and pious man
pl. Sveta Nedelya 2. Hidden away in a courtyard behind the during his lifetime, Serafim is nowadays accorded almost
Sheraton Hotel, this dainty red-brick doughnut of a building saintly status by the Sofians, who come here to write prayers
on scraps of paper which are then posted into a box next to
his sarcophagus. QOpen 08:00 - 18:30.

Zhenski pazar A-2, A-3, ul. Stefan Stambolov. Zhenski

pazar literally means ‘women’s market’, although people
of all possible sexes, ages and pockets throng daily to this
half-a-kilometre-long strip of street stalls lined on either
side by poky shops. Fresh foodstuffs are the mainstay of
the market, but you can also buy flowers, cheap clothes,
household goods, ironmongery and more. There’s not much in
the way of fancy goods or souvenirs, but the raw street-level National Art Gallery (Natsionalna hudozhest-
vigour of the place makes it well worth a visit. It’s a location vena galeria) B-3, pl. Aleksandar Batenberg 1,
popular with pickpockets too, however, so take good care tel. +359 2 980 33 25, The country’s
is the oldest surviving structure in the city, which still serves of your belongings. flagship collection occupies one half of the former royal
its original purpose. Built by the Romans in the fourth century, palace, where creaky parquet floors and ornate stuc-
but much changed since, it’s justly famous for the twelfth- to
fourteenth-century frescoes inside the central dome. It’s a Galleries coed ceilings provide the perfect environment in which to
peruse an all-embracing overview of Bulgarian painting.
powerful ensemble, with an all-powerful Christ looking down Icon Gallery B-3, in the crypt of the Aleksandur Nevski Strikingly, canvases are hung in the middle of the room
on successive circles of white-bearded disciples and holy Memorial Church, tel. +359 2 981 57 75. Stunning col- rather than on the walls round the sides. Look out in
men. Painted over during the Ottoman period (when the lection of Bulgarian icons from the medieval period to the (then briefly as a Bulgarian prison) before reverting to its particular for the works of Vladimir Dimitrov-Maistora
building was used as a mosque), these frescoes were only original ecclesiastical function. The church honours ninth- (1882-1960), whose pictures of Bulgarian peasant girls
unearthed in the twentieth century. Admission: free, but century Saints Cyril, Methodius and their five followers - who surrounded by apples, apricots and other fruit have a
donations appreciated. QOpen 08:00 - 17:00. brought literacy to the Slavs and propagated Christianity timeless, spiritual quality reminiscent of Orthodox icons.
throughout Eastern Europe. QOpen 07:00 - 19:00. Daily If you have a hankering for more modern stuff then head
Russian Church of St Nicholas (Ruska tsurkva) liturgy 08:00 and 17:00 for the ground-floor galleries, where temporary exhibitions
B-4, bul. Tsar Osvoboditel 3, tel. +359 2 986 27 15. Of all

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

50 What to see What to see 51

The mosque fell into disuse during Communist rule but is now most central park is also the oldest, having served the
National Gallery of Foreign Art open for worship once again - you can hear the loudspeakers est multifunctional complex in southeastern Europe” is an Turkish governor of Sofia as a private place of repose in
on the minaret calling the Muslims of the city to prayer five attraction or an eyesore, but its dominating position at the the years before Bulgaria’s Liberation. It was laid out as a
times a day. The mosque is not officially open as a tourist southern end of bul. Vitosha makes it difficult to miss. Built in European-style public park soon after, and still retains an air
National Gallery of Foreign Art (Natsionalna attraction but visitors are welcome outside prayer times, of nineteenth-century charm, with carefully tended lawns,
galeria za chuzhdestranno izkustvo) B-4, pl. including women, if modestly dressed. neat flowerbeds, and even an Art-Nouveau newspaper kiosk.
Aleksandar Nevski 1, tel. +359 2 988 49 22/+359 The presence of fountains and open-air cafes on the Theatre
2 980 72 62,, www.foreignartmuseum.
bg. Wide-ranging collection of work by fair-to-middling Museums side of the park helps make the City Garden an important
focus of social life both day and night. It’s also Sofia’s prime
artists you probably haven’t heard of before. You’ll come Earth and Man National Museum (Natsionalen meeting point for chess players, most of whom are highly
across one or two famous names if you look closely Muzey “Zemyata i horata”) D-2, bul. Cherni vrah 4, accomplished and play for money. The stake is negotiable
enough, but much of the best stuff is of a small-format tel. +359 2 865 66 39, fax +359 2 866 14 57, earth. - from 0,50 to 50 Lv.
variety (a pastel by Renoir here, a lithograph by Picasso, Despite
there) - so it would be unwise to come here with high
expectations. There’s a fourth-century Roman tomb in
being housed in an impressively restored nineteenth-century
arsenal, this geology collection is less dramatic than its title Park Vitosha
the basement (labelled “room 19” on the museum plan), suggests, exhaustively cataloguing the earth’s minerals with Vitosha is popular in the winter, but come spring and
but it’s not always open. QOpen 11:00 - 18:30. Closed rows and rows of rock-filled display cases. The outlandish, watch what happens. The mountain attracts thousands
Tue. Admission: 4Lv. Guided tours in English: 15-30Lv brightly-coloured quartz crystals on the ground floor just of happy hikers, ready to explore the numerous tourist
(Monday free). about make a visit worthwhile. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00. Closed paths and trails. In fact, some destinations can get quite
Mon, Sun. Admission: 2Lv. crowded, especially on weekends. But there is choice.

Ethnographic Museum (Etnografski muzey) B-3,

Church of St Sofia (Tsarkva Sveta Sofia) B-4, ul. pl. Aleksandar Batenberg 1, tel. +359 2 988 41 91,
Parizh 2, tel. +359 2 987 09 71. A church since the fifth
century and rebuilt many times since, this was used as a
fax +359 2 980 11 62,, ethnography. Scintillating displays of folk arts and crafts, drawn
the 1980s this hexagonal lump of concrete and glass looks
like a child’s building block inflated to unearthly size. Inside
Old Sofia
mosque during the Ottoman period and then abandoned from the museum’s vast collection. Situated in the east wing lie thirteen concert halls of varying sizes, fifty-five congress
when an earthquake rendered it unsafe for services. With of the former royal palace. QOpen 10:00 - 17:00. Closed rooms, and innumerable offices, The basement level now
most of its medieval decorations and frescoes lost, it’s a com- Mon. Admission: 3Lv. accommodates a cramped shopping mall stuffed with inex- It’s been around 130 years since Sofia was liberated
paratively plain church by Sofia standards, but the patterned pensive fashions and accessories. and proclaimed Bulgarian capital in 1887. With about
brickwork provides the interior with enormous visual appeal. A Ivan Vazov Museum-House (Kashta-muzey Ivan 20, 000 population back then and only trams and
fragment of original Roman mosaic flooring, preserved under Vazov) B-4, ul. Ivan Vazov 10, tel. +359 2 988 12 70, The Central Baths (Tsentralna banya) B-3, bul. horse carriages roving the unpaved, muddy streets,
a pane of glass in the right-hand aisle, stands in testimony to Bulgaria’s most revered literary Maria Luiza. Built in 1911 and decorated with exquisite tile the city has changed tremendously and at the same
the church’s ancient origins. QOpen 09:00 - 18:00. figure, Ivan Vazov (1850-1921) is best known for writing mosaics, this wonderful Art Nouveau-cum-Nouveau Byzantine time has managed to preserve its historical appear-
Under the Yoke (Pod igoto), a sprawling novel detailing bathhouse is for many people the most beautiful building ance. The heart of one time old Sofia, enclosed by
Mosque small-town Bulgarian life at the time of the anti-Ottoman
uprising of 1876. The house where he lived from 1895 until
in the capital. Derelict for many years and now undergoing
restoration, it will in future provide much-needed exhibition
Konstantin Velichkov Boulevard and Skobelev Boule-
vard to the west, Banishora district and Maria Luiza
Banya Bashi Mosque (Dzhamia Banya Bashi) B-3, death is a charming period piece, with furnishings, crockery, space for the (currently homeless) Museum of Sofia. Boulevard to the north, Oborishte district to the east
bul. Maria Luiza. The last surviving mosque in Sofia still in bookshelves - and even the stuffed remains of Bobi the dog and Patriarh Evtimiy Boulevard to the south, quickly
use, the building consists of a large dome and an elegant - pretty much preserved as Vazov left it. QOpen , Tue, Wed, The Central Military club (Tsentralen voenen changed its face from an oriental to more western and
minaret and takes its name from the neighbouring Central Fri, Sat 10:00 - 17:00, Thu 13:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon, Sun. klub) B-4, bul. Tsar Osvoboditel 7, tel. +359 2 988 17 modern city in the first couple of decades after the
Baths - Banya Bashi literally means ‘many baths’. Dating Admission: 1Lv. Lecture 3Lv. 46. This three storey monumental building, designed in the Liberation.
from 1576, the mosque is said to have been designed by neo-renaissance style , houses a cafe, an art gallery, 2 refined
Hadji Mimar Sinan, the leading Ottoman architect of the day. National Museum of Military History (Natsionalen halls and an impressive concert hall. The plase looks like a
Voennoistoricheski muzey) G-8, ul. Cherkovna 92, tel. palace and the concert hall used to be a ball room. Even
+359 2 946 18 05, fax +359 2 946 18 06, though it is not a regular clubkeep your eyes and ears wide-, A couple of display halls, open for any event which might take place there, and consider Sofia districts
stuffed with uniforms and weaponry, and a hugely enjoyable yourself fortunate if you have the chance to attend one. The To know Sofia, you should learn about the town’s neigh-
outdoor section featuring all manner of tanks, jet fighters concert hall is often rented out for private party events and bourhoods, which number 90, by the way. Glamorous
and Soviet-era long-range missiles. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00. it is guaranteed that each one will be prestigious. and new, or crumbling and built by communists, with neat
Closed Mon, Tue. Admission: 2Lv. Lecture: 10Lv. houses and yards or greyish, dirty concrete blocks, these
The Presidency B-3, bul. Knyaz Dondukov 2. Directly living areas span for miles from the centre and millions
National Museum of Natural History (Natsionalen opposite the archeological museum is the entrance to the live in them.
Prirodonauchen muzey) B-4, bul. Tsar Osvoboditel 1, suite of offices where the Bulgarian president does his
tel. +359 2 987 41 95, fax +359 2 988 28 94, www. nine-to-five job, guarded by soldiers dressed in ceremonial Lyulin F-6. Rocks, insects, stuffed animals, creatures nineteenth-century uniforms. The changing of the guard, which Sofia’s biggest neighbourhood has been a grey, dirty, rusty
in bottles, and live reptiles slithering about optimistically in takes place on the hour, involves a lot of ritualistic marching and unfriendly place for years. Isolated from the centre it
search of small mammals - so keep a firm grip on the kids. about, and is well worth watching. exists as a town within the city. Somewhat dark, it is not a
QOpen 10:00 - 18:00. Admission: 2Lv. friendly place for those not used to it. Stray dogs and the
Tsentralni hali B-3, bul. Maria Luiza 28. Built at the homeless roam the litter-infested wasteland between the
Other sights same time as the Central Baths and in similar architec-
tural vein, this indoor market hall boasts some beautifully
huge concrete blocks of flats, which dominate the land-
scape. Living in them can be challenging as your neigh-
National Palace of Culture (Natsionalen dvorets restored period features - notably the glass roof, cast iron bours can hear you through the walls and are always ready
na kulturata) D-2, pl. Bulgaria 1, tel. +359 2 916 68 pillars and Victorian clock tower. Delicatessen stalls at to throw their trash from the window or balcony. Having
30, Opinions differ as to whether the “larg- ground level and fast food counters upstairs ensure a so many people, some of whom with a solid working class
constant stream of visitors. Q Open 07:00 - 24:00. background, on one small place, results in lots of tension
and violence as well as all types of criminal activities.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that Lyulin’s population
US$1 - 1.47Lv; €1 – 1.95Lv; Parks & Gardens consists of thugs and Neanderthals, in fact it is the area
£1 – 2.17Lv ( july 2009) City Garden (Gradskata gradina) B-3, . The city’s with the youngest population in our town. There are twelve

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

52 What to see What to see 53

high schools, two language ones and fifteen kindergartens captivity by the Ottoman Turks in 1393. It’s nowadays the
in the ten micro-areas of the neighbourhood. These are Ugly Sofia most popular meeting point in the city - if you’re going on a
numbered from one to ten and to get you more and more date or a bar crawl, the chances are you’ll rendezvous here.
confused, the closest to the centre is number 10. All “Popa” is Bulgarian slang for “priest”.
blocks in Lyulin have a three digit number, depending on
the micro-area.
Going to Lyulin is best by car, but otherwise you can try
the public transport. Trolley lines 6 and 7, tram number 8
and busses 42, 43, 53, 54, 81, 82, 108, 111, 309, 310,
go there, but using the fast and comfortable metro line will
probably save you a headache or two. Try to stay out of
trouble and don’t challenge locals who have the amazing
ability to gather a reasonable fighting posse in minutes.

Aleksandar Stamboliyski B-4, Corner of ul. Rakovski got its name from the Church of Sveta Sofia (“Holy Wisdom”)
and ul. Vrabcha. Leader of the Bulgarian National Peasants’ in the centre, and this statue was intended to symbolize the
Party, and Prime Minister from 1919 to 1923, Aleksandar connection. However it was far from clear how an abstract
Stamboliyski presided over a radical government that prom- Monument to the Bulgarian State (Pametnik concept like “Holy Wisdom” could be portrayed in a sculpture
ised fair land distribution and a revival of village life. Conser- na balgarskata darzhava) C-2, pl. Bulgaria. Sofia (is it a bird? is it a plane? is it a 24-metre-high bronze woman?),
vative circles feared a peasant revolution, and Stamboliyski is probably unique in Europe in being the only capital and Sofians remain unsure whether this shiny female with a
was overthrown, tortured, and chopped into several pieces by which can boast a decaying pile of junk as one of its dove in her right hand really fits the bill.
paid killers - it’s a shame that nothing like this ever happened major downtown focal points. Unveiled in 1981 to mark
to Todor Zhivkov, our communist dictator. Stamboliyski’s the 1300th anniversary of the founding of the Bulgarian Monument to the Tsar Liberator (Pametnik Tsar
statue now stands beside the Opera House (strangely, both state, this unimaginably shoddy memorial is an eloquent Osvoboditel) B-4, pl. Narodno sabranie. This 14-metre- Stefan Stambolov B-4, Corner of bul. Tsar Osvobodi-
the National Opera and the National Peasants’ Party share metaphor for much that has happened in Bulgaria in the high lump of bronze designed by Italian artist Arnoldo Zocci tel and ul. Rakovski. Prime Minister from 1887 to 1894,
the same building). intervening 25 years. It was barely a decade old when it honours Russian Tsar Alexander II who, by declaring war on Stefan Stambolov was the most talented - but also the
started falling to bits, and the question of who should pay the Ottoman Empire in 1877, liberated Bulgaria in the process.
Evlogi and Hristo Georgievi B-5, Sofia University, bul. for its refurbishment (or demolition) has been the object The reliefs surrounding the pedestal - including a scene in
Tsar Osvoboditel 15. The Georgiev brothers made their for- of inconclusive bickering ever since. The Parliament
tunes in nineteenth-century Odessa, then used their wealth to An angular piece of modern sculpture with statues
fund the establishment of Bulgarian-language schools. Their emerging absurdly from its summit, the monument The building of the Bulgarian Parliament is more than 120-
place in the country’s cultural pantheon assured, they now has long been the object of popular scorn - “the seven- years old now. It is a monument of historical and cultural
bask beside the steps of Bulgaria’s biggest university like a angled thing with five pricks” being the most enduring of significance, but with time, it has shown that it can hardly
pair of contented walruses. its many nicknames. Currently surrounded by hoardings provide the premises for the 240 members of Parliament,
to prevent bits of it from falling on the heads of passers its personnel and the numerous journalists and visitors. The
by, its future remains uncertain. interior has not changed since the beginning of the 20th
century and here and there, the plastering is falling apart.
The empty space in front of the National Gal- Recently, it was estimated that moving to a new building would
lery B-3, pl. Aleksandar Batenbeg. The empty space be cheaper than reconstructing the old one and the Former
in front of the national gallery stands in eloquent tribute Party House and its main hall Sveta Sofia, were appointed as
to the vacuous posturing of Bulgaria’s post-communist the new home for the Legislative Body. The irony of history
rulers. The building that used to stand on this spot remembers some violent times for both buildings, as the Party
was one of socialist-era Sofia’s principal landmarks, a House was pillaged and torched in the year 1991 and the
mausoleum, built to house the corpse of Bulgaria’s first Parliament Building saw the crowds clashing with the police
communist leader Georgi Dimitrov. Dimitrov’s body was and breaking windows and cars. That was back in the year
removed in 1990, but arguments about how it is best to 1997, when the democratic opposition organized month-long
use the building itself, dragged on for a decade. Eventu- street protests against the socialist Cabinet of Zhan Videnov.
ally the right-wing government of Ivan Kostov decided Things have changed since these “dark” days and now the
to blow the mausoleum up, believing that such an act activities of the legislators are much more transparent. To
would somehow symbolize Bulgaria’s triumphant march which the goddess of victory leads troops into battle - make strengthen this image, the architects, who won the compe-
towards democracy. President, prime minister and foreign for some stirring viewing. tition for reconstructing the Party House, intend to build a
dignitaries assembled to view the demolition in January glass dome and front for the new plenary hall. Bigger and
2000, only to discover that repeated detonations failed to Petko and Pencho Slaveykovi C-3, pl. Slaveykov. better rooms with modern furniture are planned, both for
bring the mausoleum down. Eventually the crowds drifted Bulgaria’s foremost father-and-son literary duo perch on a representatives and for their guests. Hopefully their work will
away, and the bulldozers were brought in. bench beside the square that, appropriately enough, now also improve and we will never again see people breaking or
hosts Sofia’s biggest book market. Educationalist, politician burning anything, built with taxpayer’s money.
and writer Petko Slaveykov (1827-1895) did much to preserve
Bulgarian literature’s links with its folkloric roots; while his son
Pencho (1866-1912) took things a step further by penning
modern verse influenced by Romanticism, Symbolism and
other modish western currents.

Monument to Holy Wisdom (Statuya na Sveta So- Popa C-4, corner of ul. Graf Ignatiev and bul. Patriarh
fia) B-3, pl. Nezavisimost. Once occupied by a behemoth- Evtimiy. This rather inconspicuous statue of a bearded
sized statue of Lenin, this prime city-centre site was left va- ecclesiastic honours Patriarch Euthymius (Patriarh Evtimiy in
cant throughout the 1990s, and it wasn’t until the millennium Bulgarian), the fourteenth-century church leader who presided
that this 24-metre-high bronze goddess - an allegory of “Holy over a flowering of Bulgarian culture before being led into
Wisdom” - appeared on the spot. The city of Sofia originally

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

54 What to see Crossword 55

Socialist Sofia
1 2 3 4
As with many authoritarian regimes throughout the and also one
ages, Bulgaria’s communist rulers suffered from an of t h e m os t 5
overweening desire to turn politics into a highly visible controversial.
part of the urban landscape. Government buildings were A skyline-dom- 6

conceived as grandiose statements of political order, inating 34-me- 7

while statues of socialist heroes employed simple, often tre-high pillar, it
childlike imagery to teach important ideological lessons. is crowned by 8
Despite the demolition of many communist landmarks a flamboyant
after 1989 (notably the rotund statue of Lenin that once statue of a Red 9 10 11

rose like a malevolent iron pig above the central pl. Army soldier
Nezavisimost), present-day Sofia still boasts a compel- leading a Bul-
ling collection of sites where you can examine socialist garian couple 12 13 14
art at first hand. to ward s t h e
Promised Land 15
Friendship Bridge (Most na druzhbata) C-4, of commu-
crossing of ul. Graf Ignatiev and bul. Evlogi Georgiev. nism. Bronze 16 17 18

Built in 1953 to symbolize brotherhood between Bulgaria bas-reliefs on

and the Soviet Union (a relationship in which one brother either side of
was always bigger than the other), this bridge boasts an the pillar show scenes from the October revolution, World 19 20
impressive ensemble of sculptures, with statues represent- War II battles, and Soviet troops entering Bulgaria to be
ing the peasantry, the intelligentsia and the armed forces. greeted joyfully by the locals. 21 22

Most telling inclusion is the pair of nineteenth-century

23 24
Russian and Bulgarian soldiers on the north-eastern pier: In 1993 Sofia City Council voted to destroy the monument,
a clever piece of propaganda suggesting that the Soviet pointing out quite rightly that it symbolized Bulgaria’s sub-
Union’s “liberation” of Bulgaria in 1945 was simply a repeat servience to a foreign power. Faced by opposition from the
performance of the Liberation of 1878. Bulgarian Socialist Party, and discouraged by the potential 25 26
cost of its demolition, the Council had no choice but to leave
Mound of Brotherhood (Bratska mogila) G-8, the monument as it is. For much of the last decade the area 27

Borisova gradina. Many of the artists responsible for the around the monument has become the favoured meeting
Soviet Army Monu- point of Sofia’s skateboarders, although construction work
ment also worked on on the Sofia metro has recently encroached on their space. 28 29
the Mound of Brother- Turn up on important dates like May 9 (the anniversary of
hood, a 42-metre-high Germany’s surrender in 1945) or September 9 (anniversary
obelisk that rises dra- of Bulgaria’s communist-led coup in 1944) and you’ll prob-
30 31
matically from a ridge ably see die-hard communists gathering at the monument
in the south-eastern to demonstrate their undying faith in the cause.
corner of Borisova
gradina park. Built in Statues outside Vasil Levski Stadium C-4, bul.
1956, it is intended to Evlogi Georgiev. Authoritarian regimes have frequently Across Down
commemorate those exploited the popularity of sport to build a cult of strength, 3.Name of Sofia Mayor 1.GAVE HIS NAME TO THE RUSSIAN CHURCH
who fought and fell discipline and order. Produced by a team of sculptors in 6.DISTRICT OF SOFIA 2.BULGARIAN FOR PLEASE
in various stages of the mid-fifties, these idealized statues outside the main 7.C RE ATI ON OF TH E ARC H I TEC T F RI E DRI C H G RU - 3.POPULAR MOUNTAIN DESTINATION
the struggle against entrance to the stadium are perfect examples of this cult ENANGER 4.ALEXANDAR BATTENBERG GOT REPLACED BY
fascism - from th e in action. Depicting footballers, athletes, gymnasts and 8.MOST POPULAR MEETING POINT IN THE CITY 5.NEEDED WHILE DRIVING OUTSIDE CITIES
Bulgarian communist other examples of socialist achievement and perfection, the 9.ANOTHER 5 START HOTEL 10.Bulgarian for No
uprising of Septem- statues were originally eight in number. An empty pedestal 12.MAIN PEDESTRIAN boulevard 11.CAPITAL OF BULGARIA
ber 1923 (a badl y- marks the spot where one of them went missing, presumed 15.BULGARIAN FOR FRIDAY 13.NAME OF THIS GUIDE
planned affair that stolen, in the mid-1990s. 17.NAME OF THE US PRESIDENT 14.HIGHEST PEAK
culminated with most of the participants being rounded 19.SOVIET ARMY MONUMENT 16.MEANING OF A BULGARIAN SHAKING HIS HEAD
up and shot) to the Red-Army offensives of World War II. A The Party House (Partien 20.SHE HAS HER OWN HOTEL IN SOFIA 18.SALTY PASTRY FILLED WITH WHITE CHEESE
monumental statue of machine-gun-toting partisans stands dom) B-3, pl. Nezavisimost. 23.HOME OF THE ST. SOFIA GOLF CLUB 21.SQUARE NAMED AFTER PETKO AND PENCHO SLAVEYK-
at the base of the obelisk, while bas-reliefs on either side Sofia may lack the bombas- 26.KILLED BY A POISONED UMBRELLA OVI
portray striking workers, and Soviet troops being greeted tic baroque skyscrapers be- 27.MAIN RELIGION in Bulgaria 22.FROM 1000-200 BC BULGARIA IS RULED BY
by Bulgarian civilians. stowed by Stalin on Moscow 28.Hotel with Japanese garden 24.ABBREVIATION NATIONAL PARK OF CULTURE
and Warsaw, but the local ruling 29.LEADING BEER 25.ONE OF BULGARIAS GREATEST HEROS
Soviet-style fresco E-4, wall of a school on ul. Sveti caste did at least make an ef- 30.PRIME MINISTER FROM 1919 TO 1923
Naum. Hidden from the street by a politically-prudish pair fort with this custard-coloured 31.POPULAR MOUNTAIN DESTINATION CLOSE TO SOFIA
of trees, this is one of the few examples of agit-prop art neo-classical edifice at the STAMBOLIYSKI—31. BOROVETS—
still to be found in the city. The fatherly face of Lenin beams end of pl. Nezavisimost. Built NDK—25. LEVSKI— KEMPINSKI—29. Z AGORKA—30.
down from one side of the wall, while a ruggedly handsome to house the Communist Party SLAVEYKOV—22. THRACIANS—24. MARKOV—27. ORTHODOX—28.
cosmonaut smoulders away quietly on the other. Central Committee, it once 16. YES—18. BANITSA—21. HILTON—23. RAVNO POLE—26.
sported a massive red star
Soviet Army Monument (Pametnik na Savetska-
atop its rocket-like spire - when
ta armia) C-5, Orlov most. Built in 1954 by a team of ar-
protesters attempted to torch BANSKO—4. COBURG-GOTHA—5. SYNAGOGUE—8. POPA—9. SHERATON—12.
chitects and artists working under Danko Mitov, this is one the building in August 1990, the star was hastily removed. NICHOLAS—2. MOLYA—3. 1. BORIS—6. LYULIN—7. 3.
of the best examples of socialist sculpture in the Balkans, The building now provides office space for Bulgarian MPs. Down Across

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

56 Golf 57

Golf in Bulgaria showed up at seven.

- Where the hell were you? – the wife yelled.
Contrary to the popular Bulgarian belief, golf is not just a - Something terrible happened, dear - answered Ivan.
small, trustworthy car from Germany, but one of the worlds – On the first hole Peter received a heart attack and
most popular contemporary sports, from Scotland. For died on the spot.
years, Bulgarians saw neatly dressed folks, hitting the white The wife felt guilty and said: - Oh my god, that’s just
balls around lush meadows only in the movies. There were terrible!
a few of them, who actually enjoyed golf, but only abroad - Tell me about it! For the rest of the game I had to hit
and with the unfortunate possibility to be ostracized as the ball and then drag Peter along!
filthy rich elitists. It was in the hungry, crisis times of the
early nineties, when golf entered the local media, with the
first ever project for a course in Bulgaria by the Japanese A man got stranded on a desert island and for ten years
business woman Masako Oya. Unfortunately, there are he did not see a single person. To his surprise one day
just few unfinished country houses left on the building site a gorgeous blonde with scuba gear came showed up on
today, haunted by disputes, as the land is still not used, or the beach and started tickling his long beard.
returned to its owners. - Hmmm, honey, how long has it been since you smoked
The birthday of golfing in Bulgaria is July 10th 2000, when a cigarette? – she asked.
the first 18-hole course Air Sofia opens in Ihtiman. There are - Ten years already – he answered.
three more functioning courses, the St. Sofia Golf Club in the She unzipped the pocket on the left sleeve of her neo-
village of Ravno Pole near Sofia, the second Air Sofia course prene and took out a pack of cigarettes and a lighter.
in the town of Sliven and the luxurious BlackSeaRama near He lit one, inhaled slowly and heaved a sigh:
Balchik to the north of Varna. A lot of planning and invest- - I was dying for a smoke. It is fantastic!
ment has already gone into several new courses, which When he finished smoking, she asked him:
will open in the near future. It appears that Bulgaria can - How long has it been since you had a drink of
be a desired golfing destination and this sport has a great whisky?
potential for development. But why is golf so big? - Ten years already – he answered.
It is an individual and recreational sport, practised in a Then she slowly unbuttoned her right neoprene pocket
calm, green environment. It combines pure dexterity with and took out a small bottle of whisky.
the primordial human desire to hit things with a club and - Oh my god, it’s just marvellous! – said the man after
although it looks boring, can be as entertaining and excit- he drank half the bottle. – I had forgotten how good
ing as sky diving. You don’t need to be an athlete to play it tastes.
golf, as even walking can be evaded by riding those fancy Then the blonde started to slowly unzip her neoprene
little carts. Going further, golfing has a lot more to it, than and temptingly purred:
putting the ball in the hole. The socializing opportunities of - And how long has it been since you had, you know…
this game can be of significant value, because business
contacts are easily made while playing the game and dining
in the relaxing atmosphere of the golf club house.
Maybe Bulgaria’s most anticipated golf course is Thracian
Cliffs to the north of Varna. Designed by Gary Player and
located directly at the northern Bulgarian Black sea coast
right at the edge of the cliffs facing towards Cape Kaliakra.
Finally we in Europe will become our own Pebble Beach.
Golf Jokes

The man could not believe how lucky he was:
- Oh, God, don’t tell me you brought golf clubs!

Ivan and Peter went golfing one Saturday afternoon, but

Ivan had a specific order from his wife to return before 4
o’clock, because he had to take her shopping. He did not
come home at four, then five, six o’clock and in the end

Sofia In Your Pocket April - June 2009

58 Getting around Crossword Getting around 59

Relax. There seem to be more signs, written in English

language on major roads, and there are more and more
Domestic train schedule the recently opened Terminal 2. Aeroflot, Alitalia, Air France,
Austrian, Bulgaria Air, British Airways, Lufthansa etc. fly from
pick up tram No 1 or 7 outside the train station (see above).
There is a taxi booking office just beside the main exit.
Bulgarians, who feel confident to talk “English”. After all, they Terminal 2 and the low-cost companies EasyJet, Sky Europe, Some international buses arrive at the Trafik-Market termi-
have been watching American subbed movies for years, and From Sofia To Sofia Wizzair, My air, etc. fly from Terminal 1, so double-check which nal mid-way between the main train and bus stations. As this
even some gas-pumping people have university degrees. Dep. Arr. Destination Dep. Arr. terminal you need before setting out (the terminals are not is nothing more than a parking lot bordered by ticket offices
The more you get stuck in traffic jams and the harder it is to 06:30 12:27 Burgas 05:30 11:40 within walking distance of each other). Both terminals have and café kiosks, you’ll have to walk to the main stations on
park, then you must be in the city centre. free Wi-Fi hot spot zone, limited eating and drinking facilities, either side to find any facilities.
07:20 14:00 Burgas 06:55 14:20
souvenir shop on Terminal 1 and souvenirs, leather goods,
13:45 20:52 Burgas 14:20 21:15 electronics, fashion, optics and tobacco shops on Terminal 2, By car
16:00 22:14 Burgas 15:40 21:55 as well as business class lounge at the Departure hall.
Airlines 22:40 06:02 Burgas 22:15 05:35
Regardless of your point of entry, you deserve plaudits for
being so brave. The first thing you need to do is reduce your
Aeroflot B-5, ul. Zlaten Rog 22 fl.1 office 2B, tel. +359 06:30 08:27 Plovdiv 06:00 08:37 To get to the airport from the city centre, a properly metered speed to avoid the many police checks on incoming roads.
2 962 10 01, fax +359 2 962 55 66,, 06:38 09:40 Plovdiv 06:30 10:09 taxi shouldn’t cost more than 16Lv (€8). Otherwise, head for Follow the lead of other cars (not the ones who overtake QOpen 09:00 - 17:00, Fri 09:00 - 16:00. 07:20 09:27 Plovdiv 07:00 09:18 Orlov Most (C-3) and take bus No 84 to Terminal 1, or No 284 and temporarily drive on the wrong side of the road) and get
Closed Sat, Sun. 08:30 10:48 Plovdiv 08:00 10:20 to Terminal 2. Tickets cost 1Lv, as well as each bulky piece patiently in line should you encounter a traffic jam, which are
10:40 13:04 Plovdiv 10:33 12:56 of luggage. Q PAULGKW unfortunately becoming more and more frequent, especially
Aerosvit A-3, bul. Maria Luiza 9-11, fl. 2, tel. +359 2 13:45 16:05 Plovdiv 11:45 14:20 during rush hour. Parking can be difficult to find in the city, and
980 78 80,, you should be aware that the blue zones cost 1Lv per hour.
QOpen 09:30 - 17:30. Closed Sat, Sun.
Arriving in Sofia Failure to pay can lead to clamping and your car being towed
16:30 18:29 Plovdiv 14:10 17:30 By plane away after 2 hours. Parking vouchers are sold on the spot by
Air France B-3, ul. Frityof Nansen 9, 3d floor, tel. 16:55 20:20 Plovdiv 15:40 18:17 ZSofia International Airport (Letishte Sofia), 10km east of parking attendants or you can just send SMS to 1302 with
+359 2 939 70 10, fax +359 2 939 70 35, mail.sofia@ 17:30 19:52 Plovdiv 17:25 20:30 the city centre, is divided into two terminals - the aging Termi- your registration number (for Bulgarian and transit license, QOpen 09:00 - 17:30. nal 1 and the recently opened Terminal 2. The arrivals halls plate numbers), and you will be notified when the time is up,
18:35 20:50 Plovdiv 18:10 20:46
Closed Sat, Sun. at both terminals boast cafés, car-hire and taxi counters, giving you the chance to pay for the next hour.
19:10 21:10 Plovdiv 19:40 21:55 information desk, ATMs and exchange bureaux (although
Alitalia C-3, ul. Angel Kanchev 5, tel. +359 2 981 67 22:40 01:10 Plovdiv 20:21 22:43 beware that rates here are not particularly generous, so it’s
02/+359 2 980 69 30, fax +359 2 981 67 04, 07:05 14:14 Varna 07:55 15:12 best to only change enough cash for immediate survival). Buses, QOpen 09:00 - 17:00. 09:55 18:05 Varna 09:20 18:17 Getting to town: avoid the taxi touts, thronging the arrivals Central Bus Station (Tsentralna avtogara) F-7, bul.
Closed Sat, Sun. 10:40 19:18 Varna 10:55 19:03 halls and head instead for the official ranks of yellow taxis Maria Luiza 100, tel. +359 0 900 21000/+359 2 18
13:25 21:18 Varna 12:40 20:40 parked outside (OK Supertrans and Taxi S Express). The fare 68, fax +359 2 813 31 44,
Austrian Airlines G-7, ul. Zlaten rog 12, tel. +359 2 22:20 08:00 Varna 21:40 07:35 into town shouldn’t cost more than 16Lv (E8). Opened in 2004, Sofia’s sparkly glass-fronted bus terminal is
806 00 00, fax +359 2 962 42 40, 23:35 07:50 Varna 22:30 06:32 Alternatively, you can catch the bus - No 84 from Terminal everything that the train station fails to be: bright, clean, and
com, Sofia Airport G-9, tel. 937 1 or No 284 from Terminal 2. Both run to Orlov Most (C-5) well furnished with toilets, cafes, and nappy-changing areas so
31 33. Open 07:00-18:00 QOpen 09:00 - 17:00. Closed For further information call tel. +359 2 932 42 80/ on the eastern fringes of the city centre, departing roughly delightful that we almost wish we still wore them. Finding out
Sat, Sun. +359 2 931 11 11 or visit every 10-15 minutes between 05:00 and 23:00. Tickets where to buy a ticket can be a bit of a hassle: a main ticket
*In Your Pocket is not responsible for changes. cost 1Lv from the kiosks beside the bus stop, or from the counter handles most services, but there are over 40 smaller
British Airways C-2, bul. Patriarh Evtimiy 49, tel. +359 driver. You also have to buy a separate ticket for each bulky sales desks serving individual bus companies - some of these
2 954 70 00, fax +359 2 954 80 00,, piece of luggage; otherwise, you run the risk of being fined offer a wide range of popular destinations in Bulgaria and Sofia Airport G-9, tel. 937 31 11. Open 09:00-, QOpen by ticket inspectors. abroad, while others operate a once-in-a-blue-moon service
17:00 QOpen 09:00 - 17:00. Closed Sat, Sun. 09:00 - 17:00. Closed Sat, Sun. to Outer Mongolia and precious little else. An information
By train desk near the entrance may direct you to the ticket desk you
Bulgaria Air D-2, ul. Ivan Vazov 2, tel. +359 2 402 04 Turkish Airlines B-3, ul. Saborna 11A, tel. +359 2 988 Sofia’s Central Station (Tsentralna gara), open 05:00 require, but only if the staff are in a good mood.
06, fax +359 2 986 24 88,, www.air. 35 96, fax +359 2 980 41 51,, - 24:00, is an unwelcoming concrete hangar 20-minute
bg. Sofia Airport G-9, tel. 937 33 70. QOpen 08:30 - 18:00, QOpen 09:00 - 17:00. Closed Sat, Sun. walk north of the city centre. Facilities include left-luggage, There are plenty of companies here offering direct services
Sat 08:30 - 14:00. Closed Sun. money exchange kiosks, ATMs, bars and fast-food outlets. to European cities: doing international trips by bus is usu-
Beware of pickpockets who hang around the station and the ally faster and more comfortable than by train. QOpen
Czech Airlines B-3, ul. Serdika 22, tel. +359 2 981 54 adjoining underpass. There are coin-operated left-luggage 00:00 - 24:00.
08, fax +359 2 981 13 86, ticketing.sof@czechairlines.
com, QOpen 09:00 - 17:00.
International train schedule lockers in the basement (2Lv for 24hrs), and a left-luggage
office (garderob) just off the eastern side of the main ticket Ovcha kupel G-6, bul. Ovcha kupel 1, tel. +359 2 955
Closed Sat, Sun. hall (open 06:00 - 23:00; 2Lv per item). 53 62. Several domestic services to destinations south
From Sofia To Sofia Cheapest way of getting to town is to hop on tram No 1 or 7 of Sofia (such as Dupnitsa, Rila Monastery and Melnik)
LOT Polish Airlines B-2, bul. Aleksandar Stamboliyski Dep. Arr. Destination Dep. Arr. (buy ticket from kiosks or from the driver - 1 Lv) from opposite leave from Ovcha kupel bus station, 5km southwest of the
27A, tel. +359 2 987 45 62, fax +359 2 980 32 93, 07:01 12:54 THESSALONICA 17:34 23:25 the station forecourt - head for the subterranean underpass centre. To get there take tram No. 5 from ul. Alabin or tram, QOpen 09:00 - 17:00. 17:05 22:52 THESSALONICA 23:49 06:30 to find the platform. Either of these will take you to pl. Sveta No. 19 from the Central Station.QOpen 06:30 - 18:30.
Closed Sat, Sun. 07:45 17:19 BUCHAREST 12:16 21:33 Nedelya, well placed for central Sofia’s amenities - get off Trafik-Market F-7, bul. Maria Luiza, tel. +359 2
19:30 05:44 BUCHAREST 20:04 06:00 when you see the Sheraton Hotel looming up on your left. 981 29 79. Many international bus services (including
Lufthansa B-3, Platinium Business Center, ul. Bacho 11:55 19:18 BELGRADE 07:50 17:40
The taxi drivers hovering outside the station are an unpre- plenty to Macedonia and Greece) leave from this parking
Kiro 26-30, tel. +359 2 930 42 42, fax +359 2 981 29 dictable bunch; check that their meters are switched on lot immediately to the west of the Central Bus Station.
21:20 04:48 BELGRADE 21:15 07:15
11,, www.luf Sofia or agree a flat fare before setting off; otherwise walk 200 There’s a timetable board detailing departures, a confu-
Airport G-9. tel. 937 31 41. Open 05:00-20:00 QOpen 19:10 08:19 ISTANBUL 22:00 10:50 metres east to the bus station (see below) where the taxi sion of kiosks selling tickets for individual services, and
09:00 - 17:00. Closed Sat, Sun. For further information call tel. 987 07 77 firms are more reputable. plenty of shops and cafés. There aren’t any other facilities
By busMost international and domestic buses arrive at the on offer here, but as you’re only a stone’s throw away from
Malev Hungarian Airlines C-3, bul. Patriarh Evtimiy spanking new Central Bus Station (Tsentralna Avtogara), the train and bus stations, this shouldn’t be a hardship.
19, tel. +359 2 981 50 91, fax +359 2 981 50 96, so- 200m east of the Central Railway Station. Compared to other Yug G-8, bul. Dragan Tsankov 23, tel. +359 2 872 23 45., QOpen 09:00 - 17:00. Airport points of arrival, the bus station is comfortingly civilized, with This hard-to-find bus station hidden beneath a road bridge is
Closed Sat, Sun. Sofia International Airport (Letishte Sofia) G-9, clean toilets, plenty of shops and cafés, a pharmacy, and an the place to catch buses to the town of Samokov southeast
bul. Christopher Columbus 1, tel. +359 2 937 22 ATM. There is a 24-hour left-luggage office (2-3Lv depending of Sofia, which is in turn the main jumping-off point for the ski
Olympic Airlines B-2, bul. Aleksandar Stamboliyski 55, 11/+359 2 937 22 12,, www. on size of bag) in the main ticket hall. resort of Borovets. To reach the bus station take tram No.18
tel. +359 2 981 45 45, fax +359 2 980 10 50, sofia@ Located 10km east of the city centre, Sofia To get into the centre of town from here, stroll either south
Airport consists of two terminals, the grotty Terminal 1 and down bul. Mariya Luiza (15-20 min), or walk 200m west to

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

60 Getting around Crossword Getting around 61
to the Hotel Moskva and walk the remaining 400m down 2 946 43 72, 439 09 50. Bring this issue of Sofia In Your
Dragan Tsankov. QOpen 08:00 - 18:00. Pocket and you will get 6% discount, just for our readers.
Tany 97 G-8, ul. Anton Chehov 69, tel. +359 2 970 85 00, Flight schedule, Sofia Air-
Car rental port, Arrivals hall G-9, tel. 0889 998 998. QOpen 09:00 - 18:00.
Avis F-6, ul. Orion 84, tel. +359 2 826 11 00, Thrifty Car Rental F-8, ul. Kozloduy 4, tel. +359 2 931 From Sofia To Sofia
fax +359 2 827 30 57, r eser, 60 00/+359 887 503 030, fax +359 2 931 60 09, reser- Days Dep. Arr. Destination Days Dep. Arr.
w w Sofia Airpor t, Terminal 2 G-9, tel.945 QOpen 09:00 - 17:30. Closed Sat, Sun.
92 24. Open 09:00 - 21:00. Q Open 09:00 - 18:00. Top rent-a-car C-3, bul. Vasil Levski 41, tel. +359 2
Best Rent and Travel B-5, ul. Shipka 24, tel. +359 981 53 81/+359 888 333 548, office@toprentacar. 1-34567 07:00 09:00 Amsterdam FB 1234567 10:40 14:10
884 797 108,, w w w. bg, -2----- 07:45 09:45 Amsterdam FB 1234567 10:40 14:10 Bring this issue of Varna In Your 1-3-5-7 12:30 14:15 Athens FB 1------ 09:00 10:15
Pocket with you and you will get 10% discount, especially for
our readers. QOpen 08:00 - 19:00. Closed Sat, Sun. A Car repairs 1234567
Budapest FB
Budapest FB
CarRent G-9, bul. Iskarsko shose 13, tel. +359 Dunev Motor Sport G-8, ul. Nikola Gabrovski 100, tel. 1-3-567 08:10 09:30 Berlin FB ---4-6- 10:10 13:20
2 960 14 08/+359 888 221 600, fax +359 2 +359 2 962 45 38, fax +359 2 962 08 52, dms@dir.
960 14 46,, w w w.carrent. bg. First-class service with English-speaking staff. QOpen 1-3-567 16:30 17:55 Berlin FB -----6- 13:50 17:00
bg. Free delivery/collection 24hours/day, 7days/week. 09:00 - 19:00, Sat 09:00 - 17:00. Closed Sun. 1234567 10:50 11:55 Istanbul TK 123---- 08:30 09:45
C a r R e n t a l B u l g a r i a H - 9 , b u l . Ts a r i g r a d - 1234567 17:40 18:50 Istanbul TK ---45-- 17:10 18:25
sko shose 62, tel. +359 2 974 36 63/+359 889
993 663, fax +359 2 974 18 81, office@carren- Public transport 123-5-- 14:35 16:20 London FB -2----- 08:55 14:00
12345-- 12:20 13:40 London EJ 12345-7 06:30 11:40, w w Q Open 09:00 - 18:00. Public transport
Sofia is amply covered by an interlocking network of trams, 1------ 19:45 21:05 London EJ 1------ 13:55 19:05
buses and trolleybuses, with services running from about 1-3-5-7 11:00 12:10 Milan WA 1-3-5-7 12:40 15:40
05:00 to 23:30. Despite some new additions to the fleet, 1234567 06:25 07:35 Milan AZ 1-3-5-- 15:05 18:05
however, vehicles tend to be antiquated, filthy, overcrowded 1234567 18:30 19:40 Milan AZ ------7 15:45 18:45
and above all slow: it can take half a lifetime to cross the city
from one side to the other. An additional problem is posed 1234567 08:00 10:00 Paris FB 1234567 11:40 15:25
by the lack of information concerning routes - while bus and 1234567 13:20 14:15 Rome AZ 123456- 10:30 13:40
City Rent H-8, Business Park Sofia, building 8C, tel. tram stops in the city centre are marked with numbers of 1234567 11:25 12:05 Vienna OZ 1234567 10:45 13:20
+359 2 489 82 08/+359 889 218 080, fax +359 2 services and details (in Cyrillic) of destinations served, those 1234567 15:15 16:00 Vienna OZ 1234567 13:45 16:25
489 82 09,, www.cityrent- in the suburbs are invariably rusty old shacks bearing no Q Open 09:00 - 18:00. Closed Sat, Sun. A information whatsoever. Your only hope is to buy a decent
Europcar B-2, bul. Aleksandar Stamboliyski 20b, city map with tram and bus lines marked on it - then study Airlines codes: AF - Air France, AZ - Alitalia , BA - British Airways, DU - Hemus Air, FB - Bulgaria Air, LH - Lufthansa, LO - Lot
tel. +359 2 981 46 26, fax +359 2 980 85 78, it for as many months as it takes to learn them all by heart. Polish Airlines, MA - Malev Hungarian Airlines , OA - Olympic Airways, OS - Austrian Airlines, OK - Czech Airlines, RO - Tarom
reser, w w From May 2009 there are 3 new bus lines which are almost Romanian Airlines, TK - Turkish Airlines For further information call tel. 937 22 11, 937 22 12.
Sofia Airport, Arrivals hall G-9, Terminal 1, tel. 945 92 83. non-stop and stop at the bus stops every one hour during
Terminal 2, tel. 945 92 66. Free delivery / collection, 7 the night. Bus 605A (from Druzhba 2 to Obelya Autostation)
days / week. Hot line 0884 816 666. Open 09:00-21:00. runs from 01:09 to 23:59, bus 606B (from Lyulin 3 to Mladost
Her tz G-7, bul. Nikola Vaptsarov 53, Seat show- 4) runs from 01:13 to 00:03 and bus 607C (from Levski G to
room, tel. +359 2 439 12 22, fax +359 2 439 12 Ovcha kupel 2) runs from 01:26 to 00:16.
25, office@her, w w w.her Sofia Airpor t, Single-journey tickets cost 1Lv and can be bought from street Bus schedule
Arrivals hall G-9, tel. 945 92 17. Open 08:30 - 23:00. kiosks or from the driver. Once on board each ticket must
QOpen 09:00 - 18:00, Sat 10:00 - 14:00. Closed Sun. be validated by punching it in one of the primitive pronged To Burgas 07:00, 08:00, 08:30, 10:00, 10:20, 11:00, 12:00, 12:30, 13:00, 13:30, 15:30, 16:15, 16:45, 17:00, 22:00,
machines positioned near the doors of the vehicle. A strip 22:15, 00:00.
(talon) of 10 tickets costs 7.50Lv but take care to use them To Bansko 07:00, 09:20, 10:30, 11:50, 12:30, 13:05, 13:55, 14:40, 15:10, 16:20, 17:30.
in sequence - tickets numbered 1 to 9 are not valid unless To Plovdiv – there are buses to Plovdiv at almost every half an hour from 07:00 to 00:00
you’ve still got the tenth one in your possession. Officially, To Ruse 06:15, 07:00, 08:00, 08:30, 10:30, 12:00, 12:30, 14:00, 14:30, 15:00, 16:00, 16:30, 17:00, 18:30, 22:00
you’re supposed to punch an extra ticket for each large item
To Varna – there are buses to Varna at almost every half an hour from 06:30 to 00:30
of baggage, but in practice this is rarely enforced - except
on buses to and from the airport. Inspections are frequent To Veliko Tarnovo – almost every bus going to Varna has a 15 minutes pause in Veliko Tarnovo
and there are spot-fines for fare-dodgers - officially 10Lv,
although unscrupulous inspectors delight in making foreign- For further information call tel. +359 0 900 210 00, +359 18 68 or visit
ers pay more. * In Your Pocket is not responsible for changes.
Passes valid for one day (karta za edin den - 4Lv), or one
month for one line(karta za edin mesets za edna linia - 23Lv),
are also available - but they can only be bought from kiosks
Hire My Car G-6, ul.Pirinski prohod 23, tel. +359 at major stops, not from the driver.
2 955 92 55/+359 888 55 92 55, fax +359 2
9 5 5 6 1 2 2 , o ff i c e @ h i r e m y c a r b g . c o m , w w w .
Several popular cross-town routes are operated by privately
Taxi companies Q Open 09:00 - 18:00. owned minibuses (marshrutki). Rather than being limited to
Miama r ent-a-car G-6, ul. Aleksandar Push- specific stops, they can be hailed at any point along their OK Supertrans tel.+359 2 973 21 21, for mobile 1TAXI,
kin 38, tel. +359 889 602 060/+359 888 route, and will drop passengers off on request. There aren’t Radio CV Taxi tel. +359 2 9 12 63,for mobile 12 63
778 866, inf, w w w. any tickets: simply jump in, press yourself into an avail- Taxi S Express tel.+359 2 9 12 80, for mobile 1280, Ricars Taxi tel.+359 2 9 11 14.
miama-r Lu xur y ren t-a-car s er vi c e. able corner, and pass 1.50Lv forward towards the driver.
National G-9, Sofia International Airport, Terminal Many people prefer marshrutki to regular buses because
2, tel. +359 2 937 35 94/+359 888 706 264, fax of their speed and convenience; others are turned off by
+359 2 945 92 09, airpor, the tendency of drivers to pack passengers in like sardines The have second office on and then career around the city like crazed drag racers. If
ul. Poruchik Georgi Kuymuyrdzhiev 22, et. 2, tel. 00359 you’re in any way prone to travel sickness, don’t forget to

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

62 Getting around Shopping 63

take a puke bag.

Trains Sofia’s smartest shops - including any number of interna-
tional designer outlets - jostle for attention along either Ploshtad Slaveykov
Central Station (Tsentralna gara) F-7, bul. Mariya Luiza, side of bul. Vitosha, the city’s main north-south pedes-
Metro tel.+359 2 931 11 11 / +359 2 932 33 33 (information trian, trams and police only, shopping street. Mainstream
One of the metro lines runs from Serdika station in the city in Bulgarian only). English-language timetable information on clothes, domestic and electrical stores can also be found
centre to the western suburb of Lyulin - which is great if you Despite recent renovation Sofia’s main train in abundance along consumer-clogged streets like ul. Graf
happen to live in Lyulin, but not much use otherwise. If you station remains a dispiritingly dingy hive, comprising two Ignatiev and ul. Pirotska.
fancy a ride just for the heck of it, tickets (1Lv) are differ- floors of queue-clogged ticket counters, functional cafes
ent from those used in trams and buses, and can only be
purchased from ticket counters in the underground stations
and hole-in-the-wall shops. Brightening things up consider-
ably is the flirty little steam engine (built by the German 24hr food and drink
themselves. The newly opened second metro line runs from Henschel company in 1918) parked right in the middle of Familia C-3, bul. Rakovski 147, tel. +359 2 980 71 05.
Vasil Levski Stadium to Mladost 1.For detailed information the main ticket hall. QOpen 00:00 - 24:00.
check the map at the back of the magazine. Always allow plenty of time to buy your tickets and board your
train: platforms are often numbered differently to the tracks Fantastiko B-5, bul. Madrid 8, tel. +359 2 988 65 90,
running either side of them, so you may find yourself scuttling QOpen 00:00 - 24:00.
Taxis up and down several stairways in an effort to locate your
There are over 15,000 taxis in Sofia: some of these are train. Tickets to Varna and northern Bulgaria are sold in the Magazin 345 B-3, ul. Veslets 4, tel. +359 2 988 98 75.
rusty crates driven by frustrated rally drivers; the majority main ticket hall; tickets to Burgas and southern Bulgaria are QOpen 00:00 - 24:00. PA
are roadworthy vehicles operated by more-or-less reputable sold in the basement. International tickets are sold by the Rila
office, which is located at the end of a corridor leading off the Ploshtad Slaveykov C-3, . This long rectangular
companies. Legitimate taxis are coloured yellow and have
an oval sticker on the windscreen; they also display a square main ticket hall to the left as you enter. Tickets can be bought Antiques & Collectables square is home to a hugely enjoyable book market. If your
sticker indicating the rates in BGN. Charges are supposed to in advance from two locations in the city centre: Transport Antikvariat Zlatorog A-4, ul. Pop Bogomil 10, tel. language skills aren’t quite up to the latest in Bulgarian
be metered, but some drivers will switch the meter off and Service Centre, in the basement shopping mall of the Na- +359 2 983 35 08,, www.antikvariat- fiction then you can at least browse your way through
demand an inflated fare if they think you’re a gullible foreigner. tional Palace of Culture (NDK), tel.+359 2 932 42 80. Open Offering everything from chintzy crockery to lavishly illustrated books on Bulgarian culture, or pick up
By law a receipt should be issued for every taxi ride you take. Mon - Sat 07:00 - 18:00. Closed Sun, and Railway Ticket dressing-tables, wardrobes and hat-stands, Zlatorog is a the Bulgarian-English phrasebook you always pined for.
The charges are cheap, ranging from 0.59Lv - 0.70Lv per Agency Rila /international lines/, ul. Gurko 5, tel.+359 2 987 must-visit for retro-furnishing freaks. QOpen 11:00 - 18:00, QOpen 09:30 - 19:00.
kilometre. The agreeing of flat-rate fares beforehand is a 07 77. Open Mon - Sat 07:00 - 18:30. Closed Sun. Sat 11:00 - 15:00. Closed Sun.
common practice, even in licensed cabs, especially for des-
tinations outside the city limits. A tip of 10-15% is common Letostrui C-3, bul. Vasil Levski 9, tel. +359 2 988 18 B-2, tel. 988 40 29, e-mail - officeeubcc@helikon.bgQOpen
practice. Most taxis hang around at the big intersections, Travel agencies 81. Furniture, porcelain and other oddments. QOpen 10:00 09:30 - 20:30, Sun 10:00 - 20:30. A
although you can order them by phone - just don’t expect to Alma Tour B-3, ul. Serdika 12, tel. +359 2 805 68 - 18:00. Closed Sat, Sun.
get through to an English-speaker (you can always ask your 00/+359 2 981 31 38,, incom- Interkniga B-5, ul. Shipka 6, tel. +359 2 944 41
hotel receptionist to do it for you). Don’t be surprised if your,, www. Strash A-3, ul. Tsar Simeon 41A, tel. +359 2 983 93 41/+359 899 973 966. Inside the headquarters of the
driver doesn’t have a detailed knowledge of the city and asks almatournet. QOpen 09:30 - 18:30, Sat 10:00 - 15:00. 08. If you collect stamps, old postcards or vintage cartoons, Bulgarian Artists’ Union, this bookshop has lots of full-colour
you for directions. Few drivers speak a foreign language. Jamadvice Travel Ltd. G-8, ul. Asen Zlatarov 10, tel. this is your place. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00, Sat 11:00 - 15:00. art books, and some English-language paperbacks. QOpen
You’d be well advised to stick to the taxi companies recom- +359 2 943 30 11, fax +359 2 946 12 61, mark@btibul- Closed Sun. 09:00 - 19:00, Sat 10:30 - 16:30. Closed Sun.
mended below in order to keep overcharging problems to a International airline tickets and business travel.
minimum, although you’re unlikely to survive without being Lyuba Tours D-4, ul. Tsanko Tserkovski 22, tel. +359 2 Viga Antiques B-3, ul. Alabin 50, tel. +359 2 980 54 Zig Zag Holidays B-2, bul. Aleksandar Stamboliyski
ripped off at least once during your stay. 963 33 43, fax +359 2 963 31 42,, 07. Antiques from folk costumes to clocks. QOpen 10:30 20, tel. +359 2 980 51 02,, www. Small-group weekend trips within Bul- - 19:30, Sat 11:00 - 19:00. Closed Sun. This independent travel agent has a better
Drink&Drive , tel. +359 886 600 602, www.drink-drive- garia to places of historical, cultural and ethnographic interest. selection of maps of Bulgaria than any other shop we’ve If you wish to drink and be driven home call to phone Polytours Tsar Asen 61, tel. +359 2 981 12 22, fax encountered in the capital. QOpen 09:00 - 19:00. Closed
above. They will come in 20 minutes. +359 2 980 41 25,, www.poly- Books Sat, Sun. A QOpen 9:00 - 18.30. Closed Sat, Sun. A Booktrading C-3, ul. Graf Ignatiev 50, tel. +359 2 981
Stars travel C-2, ul. Khan Asparuh 57, tel. +359 2 811 04 48. One of the best of the high-street bookstores, with
Tourist information 47 81/+359 888 42 57 84, fax +359 2 811 47 82, of- a good selection of English, French and German paperbacks, Clothes & Accessories
The National Tourist Information Centre B-3, pl., International art books, and international guidebooks (Eyewitness, Rough 525 C-4, ul. Ivan Shishman 8, tel. +359 2 980 64 10.
Sveta Nedelya 1, tel. +359 2 933 58 45, fax +359 2 989 airline tickets and business travel QOpen 09:00 - 18:00. Guides and more). QOpen 08:30 - 20:30, Sun 10:00 - Snazzy, locally-made clothes for the slightly off-the-wall
69 39,, Usit Colours C-3, bul. Vasil Levski 35, tel. +359 2 981 20:00. trendsetter, plus lots of eccentric accoutrements. QOpen
The Tourist Information Centre has undergone a far-reaching 19 00, fax +359 2 981 99 91,, 10:30 - 19:00, Sun 11:00 - 18:00.
facelift in the past few months, and now constitutes an Specialists in youth and student travel. Helikon C-2, bul. Patriarh Evtimiy 68, tel. +359 2 987
inviting and altogether quite chic info-boutique, equipped Zig Zag Holidays B-2, bul. Aleksandar Stamboliyski 19 19,, Atelie Mirella Bratova C-4, ul. Ivan Shishman 4, tel.
with designer bar-stools for tourists to perch on while helpful 20V, tel. +359 2 980 51 02, fax +359 2 980 32 00, info@ Browser-friendly bookstore on three floors with a smat- +359 2 980 71 56, Stylish
staff distribute free maps or search their databases for the, Bulgarian independent tering of English-language titles, international guide books bohemian fashion creations from the inspired Ms Bratova,
answers to all sorts of queries. They aren’t authorized to make travel specialists organizing hiking trips, B&B reservations, including Rough Guides, and a small cafe where readings are and aura-emanating ethno-pendants by Daniela Andreevska.
hotel reservations on tourists’ behalf, but they do distribute car rental, and tailor-made excursions into the great outdoors. sometimes held. QOpen 10:30 - 20:00, Sat 10:30 - 18:00. Closed Sun.
well-informed locally-published guides like this one. QOpen ZIP Travel C-1, bul. Praga 8, tel. +359 2 917 59 30, fax
09:00 - 17:00. Closed Sat, Sun. +359 2 917 59 49,, www.ziptravel. The other bookshop from the Helikon chain is on bul. Alek- Eco Hand E-2, ul. Tsvetna Gradina 6, tel. +359 888 532
bg. International company specialised in student travel and sandar Stamboliyski 17 086/+359 888 476 879. Reclaimed hand-made works of
Zig Zag Holidays B-2, bul. Aleksandar Stamboliyski training, exchange programs and low price air tickets. art, souvenirs, clothes, accessories and textiles.
20B (entrance from ul. Lavele), tel. +359 2 980 51 Ploshtad Aleksandur Nevski
02, fax +359 2 980 32 00,, www. Muhomorka C-3, ul. Ivan Shishman 45, tel. +359 2 958 The staff at this private travel agency spe- 29 85, Aladdin’s cave of colourful
cializing in individual and alternative holidays are a mine of Ploshtad Aleksandar Nevski B-4, . Open-air bric- clothes and eastern-influenced textiles. They also sell large-
invaluable information - be aware however that they charge a-brac market offering communist-era medals, stamps, format cigarette papers but we don’t understand what these
a 5Lv consultancy fee (which is deducted from the cost of postcards, junk from granny’s attic, and some genuine an- might be used for. QOpen 10:00 - 20:00. Closed Sun.
any arrangements you book through them). QOpen 08:30 tiques. Lace-makers and embroiderers sell their wares at
- 19:30. Closed Sat, Sun. the eastern end of the strip on the corner of pl. Aleksandur Punto & Kanela C-3, ul. Neofit Rilski 52, tel. +359 888
Nevski and ul. 11 August. QOpen 09:00 - 18:00. 413 749, Small but chic collection of
domestic designer woolens, and some imaginative necklaces

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

64 Getting around Shopping 65

Shopping smarts Shopping centres

Open Отворено Otvoreno City Center Sofia E-2, bul. Arsenalski 2, tel. +359
Closed Затворено Zatvoreno 2 865 72 85,, www.ccs-mall.
Push Бутни Butni com. Glossy consumerist temple comprising 3 storeys
Pull Дръпни Drapni of shops (including Bulgaria’s first Marks & Spencer), a
Monday Понеделник Ponedelnik cinema, and a floor of food options including sushi bar
Tuesday Вторник Vtornik and a brace of Italian restaurants. The ground-floor
Wednesday Сряда Sryada newspaper kiosk is a good place to pick up English-
Thursday Четвъртък Chetvurtak language press. QOpen 10:00 - 22:00. PTALK
Friday Петък Petuk Mall of Sofia B-1, bul. Aleksandar Stamboliyski
Saturday Събота Subota 101. Sofia’s newest shopping mecca is an enormous
retail, business and entertainment centre boasting
Sunday Неделя Nedelya
over 130 shops (many selling international brand-
names), fancy cafés and restaurants, and a 12-screen
multiplex cinema. QOpen 10:00 - 22:00. PTAK
and bracelets. QOpen 11:00 - 19:30, Sat 11:00 - 16:00. TZUM B-3, bul. Maria Luiza 2, tel. +359 2 926 07
Closed Sun. A 00,, Three floors of
expensive fashion, accessories and cosmetics, and a
The Earth Collection C-4, ul. Ivan Shisman 20, tel. first-floor café where young ladies like to sit and pout after
+359 885 807 764,, www. a tiring day looking at clothes. QOpen 10:00 - 21:00, For the first time in Bulgaria the well Sun 11:00 - 20:00. PK
known brand of environmentally friendly clothes made of
100% refined natural fabrics mixing raw silk, cotton, ramie,
hemp and linen. Lightweight, breathable, long lasting and
elegant clothes. Garments with versability, wearability and
comfort. QOpen 10:00 - 19:00. Closed Sun.

Casyopea C-4, ul. Ivan Shishman 19, tel. +359 2 852
64 78,,
Natural cosmetics store with enough varieties of soap to
keep you smelling sweet for several lifetimes and great Hypermarkets
variety of candles to lift your spirit. QOpen 09:00 - 17:00. HIT H-8, Mladost-3 bul. Aleksandаr Malinov 75, tel.
Closed Sun. A +359 2 817 51 00,, www. QOpen 08:00 - 22:00. AU
Flowers Kaufland H-8, zh-k Mladost -3 ul. Philip Avramov 3,
Bouquet C-3, ul. Rakovski 147, tel. +359 2 988 51 tel. +359 0800 12 220,
97. Phone orders taken on tel. 098 14 14. QOpen 09:00 bg, QOpen 07:00 - 22:00, Sun 08:00
- 23:00. - 21:00.

Metro Cash & Carry G-8, bul. Tsarigradsko shose 7,

Gifts & Souvenirs tel. +359 0 700 100 71,, www.metro.
Balgarski Dyukyan A-2, ul. Pirotska 11. Enough folksy bg. QOpen 07:00 - 21:00.
crockery, embroidered tablecloths, and Turkish-style copper
coffee pots to decorate that designer Balkan peasant kitchen
of your dreams. QOpen 09:30 - 19:30, Sat 10:00 - 17:00.
Closed Sun. Markets
Carpet House/Tchu kilim A-4, ul. Rakovski 38,
tel. +359 2 983 66 09,, www. Graf Ignatiev C-3, ul. Graf Ignatiev. Looks like a regular domestic carpet shop M ore b anana s t h an you can sh ake a cu cum-
from the outside but is also Sofia’s leading outlet for authentic b er at, and vice-versa. Q Open 09:30 - 19:00.
all-wool kilims made in the weaving town of Chiprovtsi. With Rimska Stena D-4, ul. Hristo Smirnenski. One
a selection of small rugs in stock, they also take orders for of the liveliest food markets, worth visiting for the
kilims if you have a couple of months to spare. QOpen piece of preser ved Byzantine for tress wall which
10:00 - 19:00, Sat 10:00 - 14:00. Closed Sun. A sticks up amidst the stalls. QOpen 09:00 - 19:00.
Sitnyakovo bul. Shipchenski prohod. Fresh produce
Ethnographic Museum Shop B-3, pl. Aleksandar market popular with the expat community - you might
Batenberg 1. Folk costumes, traditional crockery, ethno well find the kind of exotic fruit and vegetables that
jewellery and music CDs. It’s one of the best places to buy doesn’t turn up elsewhere. Q Open 09:00 - 19:00.
Bulgarian kilims - at 160Lv per square metre they’re prob- Zhenski Pazar A-2, ul. Stefan Stambolov. Vast
ably more expensive here than in their villages of origin, but open-air bazaar selling flowers, foodstuffs, cheap
authentic and affordable handiwork nevertheless. QOpen clothes, broomsticks, spare parts to machines you
10:00 - 18:00. never even knew existed, and kitchen sinks. QOpen
08:00 - 19:00.

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

66 Shopping health & Lifestyle 67

BGSF000111/. Aisle upon aisle of international food and bg, English centre - kin-
Music shops drink. Pile your trolley high. QOpen 08:00 - 22:00, Sun 446, fax +359 2 952 05 56,, www. dergarten. QOpen 08:00 - 17:00. Weekend daycare.
09:00 - 21:00. Complete cleaning services. Abonament
0.4.3. (O.Ch.Z.) B-2, ul.Tri Ushi 3, tel. +359 2 981 cleaning services. QOpen 09:00 - 17:30. Closed Sat, Sun. Uwekind G-6, Boyana, ul. 612 4, tel. +359 2 857 51
72 27, Everything about this hell-hole Piccadilly E-2, City Center Sofia, bul. Arsenalski 2, 00/+359 2 857 20 00,, www.
screams of bloody metal! From the millions of skulls on the tel. +359 2 819 45 67, fax +359 2 819 45 55, www. A privately run kindergarten and school
shelves and the thundering sounds, ravaging the stereo, Pretty much everything you need for your with a half day German programme.
to the metalheads, round the corner, who will always weekly shop is in here somewhere. Big deli counter, freshly
test your “metal-ness”, before even talking to you. CD-s,
t-shirts, accessoires and rock memorabilia…and that
baked bread, and aisle upon aisle of alcohol. Another at B-1,
Mall of Sofia. QOpen 09:00 - 22:00. Hairdressers
Motorhead shirt you’ve always wanted. They just have it Kalo Hair Studio B-2, bul. Vitosha 12, tel. +359 2 987
all! QOpen 11:00 - 20:00, Sat 11:00 - 19:00. Closed Sun. 01 54,, Also
SMF Music Hunter C-2, ul. William Gladstone 30A, Tobacco & Drinks on ul. Damian Gruev 15 and bul. Vasil Levski 82 A. QOpen
tel. +359 2 981 60 76, The most 100 Grama Sladki C-3, ul. Angel Kanchev 18A, tel. 09:30 - 19:00, Sat 10:00 - 16:00. Closed Sun. A
extensive collection of CD-s, DVD-s and T-shirts with +359 2 980 40 62, The name
unreadable band logos. Almost every important album of this treasure trove of a shop literally means ‘one hundred Stylist Kapanov C-2, bul. Hristo Botev 14, tel. +359
in rock, punk metal and enough bloody and satanic CD- grams of sweets’, although you’ll probably be drawn into 2 951 63 88, fax +359 2 953 30 12, botev@kapanov.
sleeves to give you nightmares for the rest of your life… buying more once you catch sight of the riches behind the net, One of the best in the business.
QOpen 10:30 - 20:00, Sat 10.30 - 19.30. Closed Sun. A counter. Custards, tarts, cakes and hand-made chocolates QOpen 08:00 - 20:00, Sat 08:00 - 16:00. Closed Sun. A
Vision A-3, bul. Maria Luiza 55, tel. +359 2 983 55 will appeal to the sweet-toothed, while mini-quiches are
09, One of the oldest shops for perfect for a more traditional lunch-snack. There’s a small
music t-shirt and accessories in Sofia. They offer spray- sit-down area for those who want to linger over a cup of tea Hospitals
cans for graffiti and can dress you up as a street maniac or coffee, but do be warned that the longer you spend hanging Isul A-5, ul. Byalo More 8, tel. +359 2 943 21 70/+359
from head to toe. There is also a tattoo parlour in the around here, the more things you will be tempted into buying. 2 943 21 32.
basement. QOpen 10:30 - 19:00, Sat 11.30 - 17:00. QOpen 08:00 - 21:00.
Closed Sun. Pirogov (Multiprofile Hospital of Active Treatment
Cheers B-4, bul. Tsar Osvoboditel 14, tel. +359 2 987 12 and Emergency Medicine) G-7, bul. Totleben 21, tel.
72,, Finest tobac- +359 2 915 44 11. Emergency tel. 150. Sofia’s main hospital
Praktiker H-9, bul. Tsarigradsko shose 323, tel. +359 co and cigars, pipes and smoking accessories, brand alcohol, for emergencies. QOpen 00:00 - 24:00.
2 817 01 20, fax +359 2 817 01 58, selected wines. QOpen 09:00 - 22:00, Sun 10:00 - 21:00. A
QOpen 08:00 - 21:00. Tokuda G-7, bul. N. Vaptsarov 51B, tel. +359 2 403
40 00, fax +359 2 403 40 10,,
Avi Center B-2, ul. Vitosha 18B, tel. +359 2 930 70
70,, High International schools
quality gold, diamonds and platinum jewellery. Q Open American College of Sofia H-8, Floyd Black Lane,
10:00 - 19:30, Sun 11:00 - 18:00. Mladost-2, tel. +359 2 434 10 08/+359 2 434 10 09,
fax +359 2 974 31 29,, Private
El Grado C-3, bul. Vasil Levski 61, tel. +359 2 986 24 secondary school founded in 1860 - the oldest American
80. Gold, silver, precious stones, orders of unique examples, educational institution outside the USA.
repairs. QOpen 10:30 - 19:00. Closed Sun.
American English Academy G-9, Druzhba 2, 150
Kindergartens School - Deliyska Vodenitsa, fl. 4, tel. +359 2 973 12
Photography International Children`s Creativity Centre H-7, Dra- 22/+359 2 973 88 81, fax +359 2 973 55 64, aeaof-
Kodak Express C-3, pl. Slaveykov 11, tel. +359 2 987 galevtsi, ul. Vaklinets 36, tel. +359 2 967 31 12/+359, Classes from kinder-
00 74. Develops your holiday snaps in a jiffy as well as sell- 88 940 763,, Accepts garten to grade 12.
ing film of all kinds and a range of professional kit. QOpen children between the ages of 2-6.QOpen 08:30 - 17:15.
09:00 - 20:00, Sun 10:00 - 18:00. A Anglo-American School of Sofia G-7, ul. Kozyak 16,
Teddy Junior H-6, Boyana, ul. Poetichna 6, tel. +359 tel. +359 2 923 88 10, fax +359 2 923 88 59, aasdi-
878 262 052/+359 878 262 053, tedidimitrova@mail., School founded in
Supermarkets 1967 by the American and British embassies.
Billa G-7, ul. Sofiyski Geroy 4, tel. +359 2 951 52
66,, 24hr pharmacies Deutsche Schule Erich Kaestner F-6, Lyulin-VI,
tel. +359 2 824 48 59/+359 2 826 72 80, fax +359
Adonis G-7, Zh.k.Hipodruma, bl. 121, ul. Urvich 1, 2 925 08 38,, www.kestnerschool.
Sports equipment tel. +359 2 859 21 82, fax +359 2 958 14 70, hipodru-, Also in jk Lozenets, ul.
com. German language school - kindergarten, primary and
secondary school.
Zlatovrah 4, Elemag, tel. 9620569, 0885 832 680. Q A
Makalu Sport B-1, ul. Vladayska 23, tel. +359 Ana D-1, bul. Vitosha 95, tel. +359 2 953 41 57. First English Language School B-5, bul. Knyaz
878 988 727, Specialized A r o n i a 2 0 0 1 G-7, bul. Pencho Dondukov 60, tel. +359 2 944 21 81/+359 2 944 83
climbing and mountaineering equipment. Information Slaveykov 6, tel. +359 2 953 13 08. 89,, Public secondary
about trekking, hikking, climbing and caving in Bulgaria. Saldzhi C-2, bul. Vitosha 35, tel. +359 2 980 58 school founded in 1958.
QOpen 10:00 - 20:00, Sat 10:00 - 16:00. Closed Sun. 96. Q A
Stenata B-2, ul. Bratya Miladinovi 5, tel. +359 2
980 54 91,,
Everything you might need for hiking, camping, climbing
and caving. Friendly advice from experts. QOpen 10:00
- 19:00, Sat 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Sun. A

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

68 health & Lifestyle health & Lifestyle 69

The French school E-3, bul. Sveti Naum 36, tel. +359 St. Pantaleymon H-8, Zh.k. Mladost 3 bul. Aleksandar
2 963 21 19/+359 2 963 29 64, fax +359 2 866 58 70, Tattoo & Piercing Malinov 63, tel. +359 2 974 10 00, fax +359 2 974 44 Medical Tourism’, 50,, Special-
Getting a tattoo can be a life-changing experience, izing Surgery Hospital. QOpen 00:00 - 24:00. A Although the term ‘Medical Tourism’ is widely used to define
Laboratories or just another cartoon on you to fight boredom with.
In Sofia, tattooing is much cheaper and as good as Thorax Clinics B-1, bul. Aleksandar Stamboliyski 57,
those people who cross borders to obtain treatment for
their ailments, these people are not usually interested in
Biocheck A-3, ul. Ekzarh Yosif 31, tel. +359 2 911 anywhere in the world. Bring your bravery, positive tel. +359 2 912 85,, sightseeing or visiting local attractions. Quite the opposite,
83/+359 2 983 33 93, QOpen attitude and ideas with you and leave everything to the Thorax 2 is on ul. Fridtjof Nansen 21, tel. 980 78 86. QOpen they come to seek treatment that is either too expensive or
07:30 - 19:30. Closed Sat, Sun. tattoo artist. Tattoo people are an underground breed 00:00 - 24:00. A has too long a waiting list in their home countries. In this new
of their own and sometimes have strange ethics and series of articles we will highlight the various aspects of this
Bodimed B-2, ul. Pozitano 24, tel. +359 2 986 38 code of life, so treat them with respect. Ignore their Vita Medical Center G-8, ul. Dragovitsa 9, tel. +359 2 industry for which people come, or should come, to Bulgaria
64/+359 2 986 66 76, QOpen prison-style looks and remember that they are profes- 960 49 50/+359 2 943 43 98, fax +359 2 944 13 43, as a viable alternative. This first article is about dentistry.
08:00 - 17:00, Sat 09:00 - 12:00. Closed Sun. sionals in the ancient rituals of desecrating the flesh., QOpen 00:00 - 24:00. A Your teeth are a valuable commodity, so you’ve decided
They can also make enough piercings on your body, to for one reason or the other that it will be best for you to seek
treatment abroad. You’ve looked at various options and are
Libraries trigger any airport metal detector!
about to make your choice. I suggest you keep on reading
British Council B-5, ul. Krakra 7, tel. +359 2 942 Kravay Tattoo & Body piercing Studio C-3, bul. this article since most of the recommendations given here
43 44/+359 887 424 344, fax +359 2 942 42 22, Patriarh Evtimiy 43, tel. +359 885 757 819. Just will apply to other countries as well. Our focus is Bulgaria., across the ugliest monument in Sofia, there is a little win- First of all, Bulgaria is rich in dental practices. Unfor-
bulgaria.htm. Up-to-date newspapers, magazines, and lots dow and a bell button. Ring on it and get some true blue ink! tunately, this doesn’t mean that just any dentist will suit
of lovely books. QOpen 10:00 - 19:30, Wed 10:00 - 13:30, Mania C-2, bul. Vitosha 45 B, tel. +359 887 260 Dentists your needs. You need to be able to communicate with
Sat 10:00 - 14:00. Closed Sun. 488/+359 886 689 141,, the dentist, not just with his or her secretary. You need A dr. Yovcheva D-3, bul. Cherni Vrah 7, tel. +359 2 963 to make clear in your own language so that both of you
French Cultural Institute B-3, ul. Dyakon Ignatiy 2, tel. crew of talented artists covering all styles of body art. You 49 31/+359 888 401 918,, understand each other. Good checks involve investigating
+359 2 937 79 22, fax +359 2 980 94 98, ccc-cours@ can purchase jewelry or obtain a piercing for almost every if the dentist is member of the Dental Association, does, Bookstore part of your body. 100% sterility and professional work. he or she have referrals from others, look at their digital
and library. Q Open 11:00 - 18:00, Sat 10:00 - 13:00. QOpen 11:00 - 20:00, Sat 11:00 - 18:00. Closed Sun. Medical Dent Consult E-2, bul. Dzheyms Bauchar 114, business cards such can be their web site, facebook, Hi5
Closed Sun. Trip House C-2, ul. Tsar Asen 52, tel. +359 887 tel. +359 2 963 07 37/+359 2 963 07 88, bkirilov@c- or other community portals. We live in modern times where
515 073,,, the Internet usage is wide spread, so it is in Bulgaria. It
Goethe-Institut Sofia B-4, ul. Budapeshta 1, tel. +359 triphousetattoo. Professional tattoo and body piercing . is definitely not so that every dentist has his or her own
2 939 01 00, fax +359 2 939 01 99, info@sofia.goethe. On-line shop: - all the necessary stuff Medstom Clinic B-4, bul. Knyaz Dondukov 26A, tel. website or Facebook profile, the more established ones
org, German you need for graffiti, body-piercing and tattoo activities. +359 2 981 00 00/+359 2 988 44 04, fax +359 2 988 do. A dentist who involves himself in the Internet can also
language library. QOpen , Mon, Fri 10:00 - 14:00, Tue, Wed, QOpen 11:00 - 20:00, Sat 11:00 - 18:00. Closed Sun. 31 80,, QOpen be seen as one that invests in his dental practice.
Thu 14:00 - 19:00. Closed Sat, Sun. Vision Tattoo & Bodypiercing Studio A-3, bul. 08:00 - 24:00. Closed Sun. A You need to talk about your budget, most health insur-
Maria Luiza 55, tel. +359 889 813 120. In the ances will cover your treatment received in Bulgaria, but
Instituto Cervantes Sofia B-3, ul. Saborna 1, tel. +359 dark alley hides a basement, where the magic of color Michaelangelo Dental Studio B-1, ul. Otets Paisiy still you are the one that has to prepay either in cash or by
2 810 45 00, fax +359 2 980 26 28, censof@cervantes. happens! 29, tel. +359 2 988 49 47, office@michelangelodent. credit card. In any case it is advised, unless you’re loaded
es, Spanish cultural centre. QOpen , com, with money and don’t know what to do with it, to check with
Mon 10:00 - 13:00, 16:00-19:00, Sat 10:00 - 13:00. Closed your insurance company as to whether the treatment you
Fri, Sun. Svedent Clinic C-3, ul. Solunska 9, tel. +359 2 981 are looking for is covered by your policy. Don’t expect that
Shops also on bul. Vitosha 74 and 23, bul. Maria Luisa 41, 96 31/+359 887 278 112,, www. one phone call or some email exchanges will establish the final cost, it may take a little time to get the exact figure.
Opticians bul. Kosta Lulchev 52, Sky City, bul. Alexander Malinov 77,
Princess Outlet Center, Sofia Airport, Terminal 2. QOpen Be aware that the dentist has not seen you before, thus
Cari Optics C-3, pl. Slaveykov 7, tel. +359 2 989 21 never had the possibility to look into your mouth in person.
26/+359 2 989 21 71, fax +359 2 981 84 14, caristyle@
09:30 - 19:30, Sat 10:00 - 19:00, Sun 10:00 - 18:00. A
Religious services, Q Open 10:00 - Opticlasa C-2, bul. Vitosha 40, tel. +359 2 988 34 86, Anglican church B-5, ul. Oborishte 5, the Catholic If you need treatment that involves multiple sessions, the
20:00. Closed Sun. A, ul. Alabin Chapel, tel. +359 2 872 21 30, anglicanbg@gmail. dentist should inform you about the expected length in days
31, bul. Stamboliyski, Mall of Sofia, ul. Solunska 14 and 37, com, and communicate regarding his availability. You don’t want
Eurooptic D-2, bul. Vitosha 92, tel. +359 2 953 11 32, Mladost 4, Business Park Sofia, building 8 QOpen 10:30 - htm. Holy Communion is celebrated every third Sunday of to run up against the desperate position that after the first, 19:30, Sat 10:30 - 18:30, Sun 11:30 - 17:30. A the month at 9:30 am. session of treatment your chosen dentist goes on holiday.
Also shops on ul. Sveta Sofia 8, tel. 987 24 92, ul. Tsar Ivan
Baha’i Centre G-7, ul. Boyanski Vazhod 8 A, tel. +359 I am in the lucky position of living in this wonderful Bulgar-
Shishman 19, tel. 987 28 49, bul. Stamboliyski, Mall of Sofia,
tel. 987 79 79 QOpen 10:00 - 19:00, Sat 10:00 - 17:00. Private medical clinics 2 955 58 33/+359 878 986 997,, www. ian country for years already and have visited 3 different
Closed Sun. A Gurgulyat Clinic C-3, ul. Rakovski 148 B, tel. +359 dentists all of whom lived up to my ‘western’ standards.
2 912 88/+359 2 981 03 31, fax +359 2 981 02 91,
Fox B-4, bul. Dondukov 26 A, tel. +359 2 980 02 18,, bul. Gen. Banya Bashi Mosque (Dzhamia Banya Bashi) B-3, Why Bulgaria should be considered as a destination to have, Other shops Totleben 21, tel. 952 05 00, ul. 20 April 30, tel. 954 98 85. bul. Maria Luiza, tel. +359 2 981 60 01, www.genmufti. your teeth fixed? The main reasons are already mentioned
on bul. Hristo Botev 73, tel. 981 98 93, ul. Serdika 18, tel. QOpen 08:00 - 20:00, Sat 09:00 - 18:00. Closed Sun. org. Prayer five times a day. within the first paragraph, cheaper than in most European
980 02 55, jk Liulyn, bl. 443, tel. 8258673, jk Mladost 4, countries and hardly any waiting lists plus in general using
Business Park Sofia, Building 10, tel. 489 94 88 and bul. Medical Center Dr. I.S.Greenberg H-8, Mladost-3 Baptist Church G-8, Interpred, bul. Dragan Tsankov quite modern or sometimes even the latest technologies
Dondukov 26A.QOpen 10:00 - 19:00, Sat 10:00 - 15:00. (in the building of XXV Polyclinic), tel. +359 2 974 48 36, tel. +359 2 971 17 50,, www. and well educated dentists. No matter what it is that makes
Closed Sun. AU 16, fax +359 2 971 29 95, Sunday teaching sessions at 10 a.m. and you want to come to Bulgaria use your common sense,
QOpen 00:00 - 24:00. worship services at 11 a.m. in English. don’t run yourself into a situation you may later regret. Take
Grand Optics C-4, ul. Graf Ignatiev 48, tel. +359 2 987 your time, choose well and you will be able to sort out that
23 64,, Hram Uspenie Bogorodichno ul. Lyulin planina 5, whitening or course of fillings at a fraction of the cost and
tel. +359 2 953 04 06/+359 2 952 29 59, proykov@ enjoy this wonderful city at the same time., Daily liturgy at 18:30, Sun 8:00 and 10:00. With the cooperation of dr. Konovski, michelangelo-
d en, dr_kon ovsk y@mi ch elan gel o d en

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

70 sports sports 71

Mariya Luiza G-8, Borisova Gradina, tel. +359 2 963

Chabad Bulgaria (Jewish Community Center) Vets Golf 00 54. An outdoor pool attractively situated amidst the
B-4, ul. Stara Planina 38, tel. +359 2 944 33 80, fax Animo C-4, Zh.k. Mladost 1A, bl. 508, tel. +359 2 974 Golf Club Air Sofia B-4, Ihtiman, ul. 6-i septemvri trees and meadows of Boris’s Garden, this has the feel of
+359 2 944 35 38,, www. 55 16/+359 889 780 180, QOpen 1(office), tel. +359 2 981 09 25/+359 888 678 144, an out-of-town resort - and is correspondingly popular with Prayer every day at 8 am, except for 00:00 - 24:00., Eighteen-hole course females clad in tiny strips of cloth. Three large pools are at
Friday when the service is held in the Synagogue. QOpen with a Par 71 rating. A round here costs 50Lv per person. your disposal: an Olympic size one, one with a waterslide, and
08:00 - 17:00. Closed Sat, Sun.
Bowling Equipment rental available on site. They might even pick
you up from your hotel in Sofia. In addition: fully staffed riding
a kiddies’ pool. There’s a café-bar next to the pool serving
reasonably-priced drinks, and a full range of snack food. If you
Sofia Synagogue A-3, ul. Ekzarh Yosif 16, tel. +359 Snooker and Billiard club “Century” E-2, ul. stables with 10 horses, football and basketball playgrounds, like pancakes, then it will take you several visits to munch your
2 983 12 73, fax +359 2 983 50 85, sofiasynagogue@ Chervena stena 4, tel. +359 899 988 376, snooker@ fitness club, hotel and restaurant. Q AFK way through the variety on offer here. There is also an open-, QOpen, The club is not air tennis-court, beach-volleyball and football playgrounds, a
08:30 - 16:30, Sa t 09:00 - 13:00. Closed Sun. very easy to find, although it is situated very close to St.Sofia Golf Club & SPA C-5, bul. Tsarigradsko Shose fitness-centre with a sauna, steam bath, solarium, and mas-
“Kempinski -Zografski” hotel. There are signs to follow, so 9 (office), tel. +359 2 943 45 05/+359 889 783 888, sage. QOpen 09:00 - 21:00. Entrance fee 4Lv. An umbrella
St Joseph’s Catholic Church C-2, ul. Knyaz Boris it shouldn’t be so hard to get there. Going downstairs, you fax +359 2 943 45 04,, www. and a couch together cost 3Lv.
146, tel. +359 2 811 46 56. Daily liturgy at 08:00 and will enter this elegant, not so big, but pleasant place. There In Ravno Pole village - 15 minutes drive
are 4 professional billiard and snooker tables, a small
17:30 in Bulgarian, Sunday and holidays at 09:00 in Pol
separated corner with a sofa, where you can have a drink
southeast of the city centre. Eighteen hole course with
English-speaking management. QOpen 08:00 - 19:00. Stadium
Natsionalen Stadion Vasil Levski C-5, Borisova gra-
Dance clubs or two, check your email, or just have a rest. Nice music,
plasma TV, an English-speaking staff will take care of your dina, tel. +359 2 930 06 66/+359 2 930 07 51.
pleasant stay. Bulgarian alcohol is not available, but the Horse-riding
Alfredo Dance Studio C-2, ul. Angista 6, tel. +359 899 prices are quite low for this type of club. The place is also Nova Zvezda G-6, Knyazhevo area, villa area Kiliyte, tel. Stadion Bulgarska Armia D-5, Borisova Gradina, tel.
222 088,, used for organized billiard and snooker tournaments. There +359 2 944 76 52/+359 888 466364, info@ezdabg. +359 2 963 34 77.
Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Hip Hop, MamboQ A are only 3 more billiard and snooker clubs in Sofia, but com, Horse-riding: 40 min-15Lv, 1 h-20Lv
that’s the only one, placed in the central part of the city. , 1 Day -70Lv. Equestrian tourism, bow and arrow, visiting of Stadion Georgi Asparuhov - Gerena F-8, kv.Suhata
Alima C-5, ul. Sheynovo 7, Fitness Central Park, Dance QOpen 11;00 - 01:00. PAXW hunting forestry, 1, 2 and 3 day tours, organizing of parties reka, tel. +359 2 945 30 46.
Zone, Oriental dances - begin- and team buildings with horses and exotic animals.
ner, intermediate and advanced levels. QOpen , Mon, Tue, Stadion Lokomotiv F-7, kv.Nadezhda, tel. +359 2
Carting 936 03 56.
Fri 18:00 - 19:00.
Carting Speedway Krasna Polyana G-7, bul. Ice-rinks
Lira Group Dance Company bul. Yanko Sakazov 17, Vardar 3A, tel. +359 2 920 14 47, kartingsport@abv. Slavia G-8, ul. Koloman 1, tel. +359 2 856 49 75/+359 Stadion Slavia G-6, kv. Ovcha Kupel, tel. +359 2 980
tel. +359 888 678 963/+359 888 503 213, info@lira- bg, Kilometre-long circuit. During 2 856 91 97, fax +359 2 855 21 37, 05 08/+359 2 980 49 87., Bulgarian folk dances, Cuban winter season they work from 10:00 до Works from September till March. Admission 4Lv. Skate rental
3Lv. QOpen , Wed, Fri 18:30 - 20:00, Sat, Sun 11:30 - 13:00,
salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Cha-cha-cha and Balroom dances.
QOpen closed, Mon, Thu 19:00 - 21:30, Sat 17:00 - 18:15.
18:00. 2Lv per lap, every 11th is for free. The track can
be hired also per hour or per day. QOpen 09:00 - 21:00. 17:00-18:30. Closed Mon, Tue, Thu. Tennis & Squash
Closed Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun. Academic Tennis Club ul. Nezabravka 3-5, Borisovata
Winter Sport Palace (Zimen dvorets na sporta) gradina, tel. +359 2 870 01 36,,
Pambos Dancing Centre B-3, pl. Garibaldi 2, tel. +359 Extreme sports H-8, Studentski grad, tel. +359 2 68 71 62. Out amongst Outdoor and indoor courts with
888 354 771/+359 888 981 769,, Air Sport Flight School B-1, ul. 20-i april 20, et.1, tel. the high-rise dorms of Sofia’s “student city”, 7km southeast professional trainers, sauna, massage and fitness in the park Salsa, flamenco and Greek dances. +359 2 951 56 43/+359 888 123 123, fax +359 2 953 of the centre. Admission fee: 6Lv, plus a three more leva for right in the heart of Sofia. QOpen 09:00 - 17:00, Sat, Sun
QOpen 18:00 - 23:00. Closed Sat, Sun. 15 47,, Training for skate rental. Works from September to March. QOpen , Wed 08:30 - 14:00. JFKD
ultra-light, sel (single engine land) aircraft, multi engine land 18:30 - 20:00, Sat 17:00 - 20:30, Sun 17:00 - :20:30.
Raul Torres Dance School C-3, ul. Hristo Belchev 3, (mel) aircraft, private pilots and aerobatic flights. Certified Maleevi Tennis Club G-7/8, bul. Nikola Vaptsarov 57,
tel. +359 898 971 083,, www.tor- flight instructors. QOpen 10:00 - 19:00. tel. +359 2 962 22 88/+359 878 622 282, fax +359 2 Salsa, rumba, guaguanco, mambo, cha-cha, Outdoor swimming pools 962 86 65,, www.maleevaclub.
guaracha, samba and merenge, hip-hop and modern ballet. Cross The Line B-2, ul. Tsar Samuil 38, tel. +359 2 987 Diana Complex ul.Nikola Gabrovski, Dianabad district, com. 09:00-19:00Tennis, squash, tennis school, fitness,
QOpen 18:00 - 22:00, Sun 17:00 - 22:00. 90 89/+359 887 402 525,, www. tel. +359 2 962 01 01. Another big swimming complex in massage, Thai massage, solarium, hairdresser, cosmetics, Alpinism, mountain climbing, caving, the city, recently renovated. It offers three outdoor swimming restaurant, bar, events hosting and shop. QOpen 09:00 -
Tanguerin ul. Krakra 15, Czech Club Ballroom, tel. +359 rafting, kayaking, canyoning, team building, paragliding and pools (two Olympic-sized pools and one with a high diving 19:00, Sat, Sun 09:00 - 15:00.
888 373 940/+359 898 817 906, fax +359 2 958 71 two-seater plane flights. board) and an indoor fitness hall. The complex has a beach
55,, Tango volleyball playground and a cocktail bar, a beer bar and a Maxi Club H-7, bul. Simeonovsko shose 110, tel. +359
argentino. QOpen closed, Mon, Wed, Fri 19:00 - 22:00. Parasof F-7, Svoboda, bl. 36, vhod G, apt. 55, tel. +359 barbecue. Kids will enjoy the bouncy Chinese castle with 2 962 23 04,, www.maxisofia.
Closed Tue, Thu, Sat, Sun. 2 898 94 42/+359 888 259 716, www.skydive-bg. water slide. There is a V.I.P. zone where you get a welcome com.
com. Parachute jumps, skydiving and paragliding. You have cocktail, access to a chairlounge, an umbrella, a table and a
Vai, Dudule! G-8, ul. Alfred Nobel 5, 138 school, tel. to be above 16. even a pillow! QOpen 08:00 - 20:00. Admission: 4Lv (all day).
+359 886 885 468/+359 889 502 744, dididami- Deckchair additional 3Lv; VIP Zone additional 7Lv. Bulgarian Folk Dances. “Vai, Dudule!” is Sky Mania H-8, Studentski grad, bl. 15, 514, tel. +359
an exclamaition used in a prayer, part of a bulgarian folklore 2 868 20 66/+359 888 903 536, delta_sky@hotmail. Lyulin Beach Lyulin-6, bul. D.Neru 30. Luxurious swim-
custom, performed to the saints to send rain in times of very com, Paragliding and motor pargliding ming complex completely in contrast with the endless rows
dry weather. Fri, Sat and Sun private lessons. QOpen , Mon, courses, flying equipment. of ugly grey flats that make up the surroundings. Three
Wed 19:20 - 21:30, Thu 18:30 - 20:30. swimming pools, one with artificial waves, and a beach area
Vertical World G-6, ul. 711-ta 3, Knyazhevo, tel. +359 covered with real sea sand. There’s a bar in the middle of the
10:30 in Bulgarian, 12:00 in Latin and 18:00 in Bulgarian. 888 484 700,, www. pool as well as a beach bar, pizzeria and barbeque. There’s
QOpen 08:00 - 18:30. Bungee jumping, alpinism, caving, a kid’s corner with pool, cradles, slides. Catch the metro to
trekking, biking and adventure tourism. Training and equip- Lyulin Station and some 10 minutes walk to get there. QOpen
The Bulgarian Lutheran Church D-3, Zh.k. Lozenets, ment provided. 09:00 - 19:00. Admission: 6Lv.
ul. Kapitan Andreev 4, fl. 2, tel. +359 2 963 42 44/+359
2 963 42 48. Sunday service in Bulgarian at 11.45am.
QOpen 09:00 - 17:00. Closed Sat.

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

72 Business directory Business directory 73

Bulbank - Uni Credit Group B-3, pl. Sveta Nedelya 7, British Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce G-8, ul. Privatisation Agency C-4, ul. Aksakov 29, tel./fax
Business & Officials tel. +359 2 923 21 11, fax +359 2 988 46 36, www. Nikolay Haytov 2, entr.5, 1st floor, tel./fax +359 2 971 +359 2 980 98 27,, www.
Ever wondered if cars can fly, swim or drive by them- 47 56,,
selves? Who knows, it might as well be possible since
everyday gadgets were considered science fiction twenty Corporate Commercial Bank B-3, ul. Graf Ignatiev 10, Bulgaria Economic Forum C-2, bul. Vitosha 86, tel. United Nations in Bulgaria C-3, ul. Khan Krum 25, tel.
years ago. The best way to learn everything about those tel. +359 2 980 93 62, fax +359 2 980 89 48, corpbank@ +359 2 951 52 59, fax +359 2 953 29 24, info@biforum. +359 2 969 61 00, fax +359 2 981 31 84, info@undp.
four, three and two wheel machines these days is not the, org, bg,
internet, but the annual Sofia International Motor Show in
the Inter Expo Center. First Investment Bank D-4, ul. Dragan Tsankov 37, tel. Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum C-4, ul. Slavyan- World Bank G-8, Interpred, bul. Dragan Tsankov 36, tel.
+359 2 910 01 00, fax +359 2 980 50 33, fib@fibank. ska 42, tel. +359 2 986 52 02, fax +359 2 986 56 25, +359 2 969 72 29, fax +359 2 971 20 45, itaushanova@
Accountants & Consultants
Deloitte B-1, bul. Aleksandar Stamboliyski 103, tel. HVB Bank Biochim B-4, ul. Ivan Vazov 1, tel. +359 2 Bulgarian Dutch Business Club B-2, ul. Sofroniy
+359 2 802 33 00, fax +359 2 802 33 50, bulgaria@ 926 92 10, fax +359 2 926 94 40. Vrachanski 1, tel. +359 2 987 99 11, chairman@bg-nl. Business facilities, com, Business Park Sofia H-8, Mladost 4, tel. +359 2 489
ING Bank D-1, ul. Emil Bersinski 12, tel. +359 2 917 90 81, fax +359 2 489 90 80, office@businesspark-
Ernst & Young H-8, Business Park Sofia, Building 10 64 00, fax +359 2 917 65 78,, Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Office space
fl.2, tel. +359 2 817 71 00, fax +359 2 817 71 11, office. A-5, ul. Iskar 9, tel. +359 2 987 26 31, fax +359 2 987 accommodating over 200 companies, restaurants, cafes,, 32 09,, shops, banks.
OBB (United Bulgarian Bank) B-2, ul. Sveta Sofia
Eurobalance Ltd. G-8, ul. Karnegi 10, tel. +359 2 980 5, tel. +359 2 811 28 00, fax +359 2 988 08 22, info@ Bulgarian Industrial Assosiation B-2, ul. Alabin Inter Expo Center (IEC) G-8, bul. Tsarigradsko shose
77 47,,, 16-20, tel. +359 2 932 09 11, fax +359 2 987 26 04, 147, tel. +359 2 965 52 20, fax +359 2 965 52 30, bul-,, Exhibition
Four Consult G-7, ul. Racho Dimchev 8, tel./fax +359 Poshtenska Banka (Bulgarian Post Bank) B-4, bul. and congress complex with 8 separate halls, restaurants
2 981 30 82, tel. +359 897 886 925, daniela@fourcon- Tsar Osvoboditel 14, tel. +359 2 816 60 00, fax +359 2 Bulgarian International Business Association B-1, and cafes., 988 81 10,, bul. Aleksandar Stamboliyski 55, tel. +359 2 981 95 64,
fax +359 2 981 91 69, Interpred World Trade Centre G-8, bul. Dragan
Grant Thornton C-3, ul. Uiliyam Gladston 54, tel. +359 Pro Credit Bank A-2, bul. Hristo Botev 131, tel. +359 Tsankov 36, tel. +359 2 969 50 52, fax +359 2 971 20
2 980 55 00, fax +359 2 980 48 24, office@gtbulgaria. 2 921 71 00, fax +359 2 921 71 10, contact@procred- Bulgarian Stock Exchange B-2, ul. Tri ushi 10, tel. 06,, Rentable office
com,, +359 2 937 09 34, fax +359 2 937 09 46, bse@bse- space, conference facilities.,
KPMG D-3, ul. Frityof Nansen 37, tel. +359 2 969 73 Raiffeisen Bank C-5, ul. Nikolay Gogol 18-20, tel. Sterling Serviced Office Group B-3, ul. Saborna 2A,
00, fax +359 2 980 53 40,, www. +359 2 919 85 101, fax +359 2 943 45 28, www. European Commission Representation B-3, ul. tel. +359 2 926 41 11, fax +359 2 926 41 00, sofia@ Moskovska 9, tel. +359 2 933 52 52, fax +359 2, The only
933 52 33,, www. serviced office centre in Sofia.
Price Waterhouse Coopers B-3, bul. Maria Luiza 9-11, SG Expressbank B-1, bul. Aleksandar Stamboliyski 73,
tel. +359 2 935 52 00, fax +359 2 935 52 66, pwc. tel. +359 2 937 04 76, fax +359 2 981 79 17, www., German-Bulgarian Trade and Industrial Chamber Foreign representations
G-8, ul. Fr. J.-Curie 25A, tel. +359 2 816 30 10, fax +359 Albania B-5, ul. Krakra 10, tel. +359 2 946 12 22,
2 816 30 19,
Advertising agencies Bulgarian officials
Huts JWT G-8, ul. Charlz Darvin 14B, tel. +359 2 971 Council of Ministers B-3, bul. Knyaz Dondukov 1, tel. Institute for Market Economics B-5, bul. Patriarh Austria B-4, ul. Shipka 4, tel. +359 2 932 90 32, fax
71 95/+359 2 971 71 96, fax +359 2 971 71 78, info@ +359 2 940 27 70, fax +359 2 980 20 56, gis@govern- Evtimiy 61, tel. +359 2 952 62 66,, www. +359 2 981 05 67,, www.aussen-,, QOpen 10:00 - 12:00.

Leo Burnett G-8, ul. Maragidik 6, tel. +359 2 943 44 Ministry of Foreign Affairs G-8, ul. Aleksandar Zhen- International Monetary Fund Representative Of- Belgium E-4, pl. Velchova zavera 1, tel. +359 2 988 72
51, fax +359 2 943 41 65, QOpen dov 2, tel. +359 2 948 29 99, fax +359 2 870 30 41, fice B-3, BNB, pl. Aleksandar Batenberg 1, tel. +359 2 90, fax +359 2 963 36 38,, www.
09:00 - 18:00. Closed Sat, Sun., 981 45 06, fax +359 2 981 25 24, Only in case of emergency out of office
hours call tel.+359 (0) 888 63 19 3.
McCann Erickson G-8, bul. Shipchenski prohod 63, National Assembly B-4, pl. Narodno Sabranie 2, tel. Invest Bulgaria Agency B-4, ul. Aksakov 31, tel. +359
tel. +359 2 971 96 41, fax +359 2 971 95 04, office@ +359 2 939 39, fax +359 2 981 31 31, infocenter@ 2 985 55 00, fax +359 2 980 13 20, Canada B-4, ul. Moskovska 9, tel. +359 2 969 97 10,,,, fax +359 2 981 60 81,

Ogilvy & Mather C-1, ul. Dospat 60-62, tel. +359 Presidency B-3, bul. Knyaz Dondukov 2, tel. +359 2 923 Italian Chamber of Commerce B-5, ul. Oborishte 1B, Cyprus E-3, ul. Plachkovitsa 1A, tel. +359 2 961 77 30,
2 952 34 00, fax +359 2 953 34 19,, 93 33,, tel. +359 2 846 32 80, fax +359 2 846 32 81, info@ fax +359 2 862 94 70,,
Czech Republic B-5, bul. Yanko Sakazov 9, tel. +359
Business connections North American Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce 2 946 11 11, fax +359 2 946 18 00, sofia@embassy.
Banks American Chamber of Commerce H-8, Business Park C-1, ul. Petko Karavelov 1A, tel. +359 2 951 53 87,,
BNP Paribas Bulgaria B-4, bul. Tsar Osvoboditel Sofia, Building 2, tel. +359 2 974 27 43, fax +359 2 974 fax +359 2 951 69 84,, www.
2, tel. +359 2 921 86 40, fax +359 2 921 86 95, 27 41,, Denmark B-4, bul. Knyaz Dondukov 54, tel. +359 2 917, www.bulgaria. 01 00, fax +359 2 980 99 01,, www. Atlantic Club of Bulgaria C-4, ul. Slavyanska 29, tel. OJB Shalom bul. Aleksandar Stamboliyski 50, tel. +359
+359 2 981 06 99, fax +359 2 981 57 82, natoinfo@ 2 870 163,

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

74 Business directory Business directory 75

Estonia B-3, ul. Bacho Kiro 26-30, tel. +359 2 937 99 Slovak Republic B-5, bul. Yanko Sakazov 9, tel. +359
00, fax +359 2 937 99 09,, www. 2 942 92 10, fax +359 2 942 92 35, embassy@sofia. Office Express H-9, bul. Tsarigradsko shose 135, tel. Thalasso treatments, massage, manicure and more. QOpen +359 0800 1 80 80,, 09:00 - 20:00. A
Office delivery service. QOpen 08:30 - 18:30, Sat 08:30
Finland A-3, ul. Bacho Kiro 26-28, tel. +359 2 810 21 South Africa A-3, ul. Bacho Kiro 26, tel. +359 2 981 - 14:00. Closed Sun. Picasso B-3, ul. Aleksandar Batenberg 10, tel. +359 2
10, fax +359 2 810 21 20, 66 82, fax +359 2 981 57 76, saembsof@techno-link. 989 66 99/+359 2 989 06 68,, www.
com. Studio for laser cosmetics. QOpen 09:00 -
France B-5, ul. Oborishte 27-29, tel. +359 2 965 11 Real estate 20:00, Sat 09:00 - 18:00. Closed Sun. W
00, fax +359 2 965 11 20,, Spain C-5, ul. Sheynovo 27, tel. +359 2 946 12 09, Address B-5, pl. Bulgaria 1, tel. +359 2 810 33 48,,, QOpen 09:00 Visages B-2, bul. Vitosha 50, tel. +359 2 988 42 51.
- 19:30. Closed Sun. Cosmetic services, massage, manicure, tatoos and more.
Germany G-8, ul. Fr. J. Curie 25, tel. +359 2 918 38 Sweden G-8, ul. Alfred Nobel 4, tel. +359 2 930 19 QOpen 09:00 - 21:00, Sat 10:00 - 18:00, Sun 11:00 -
00, fax +359 2 963 16 58,, www. 60, fax +359 2 973 37 95, ambassaden.sofia@foreign. Colliers International H-8, Business Park Sofia, Mla- 18:00., dost 4, Bulding 7B, tel. +359 2 976 99 77/+359 888
372 091,, Yves Rocher Beauty Center C-2, bul. Vitosha 63, tel.
Greece C-5, ul. San Stefano 33, tel. +359 2 843 30 85, Switzerland G-8, ul. Shipka 33, tel. +359 2 946 01 97, QOpen 09:00 - 18:00. Closed Sat, Sun. +359 2 986 31 64/+359 2 987 99 10. Various cosmetic
fax +359 2 946 12 49,, fax +359 2 946 16 22,, services with quality products. QOpen 09:30 - 20:00, Mon, Discover Bulgaria Properties H-8, Mladost-4, bl. Sat 10:00 - 19:00. Closed Sun. A
473, vh.2-3, tel. +359 2 881 57 14, fax +359 2 881
Hungary D-3, ul. 6-i septemvri 57, tel. +359 2 963 11 Turkey C-4, bul. Vasil Levski 80, tel. +359 2 935 55 00, 53 32,, properties.
35, fax +359 2 963 21 10, fax +359 2 981 93 58, QOpen 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Bulgarian language courses
Sat, Sun. A Atlas-S B-3, ul. Hristo Belchev 1, et. 3, tel. +359 2 987
China H-8, ul. Aleksandar fon Humbolt 7, tel. +359 2 Ukraine G-6, ul. Boryana 29, tel. +359 2 818 68 28, 20 08/+359 2 980 43 92, fax +359 2 980 55 79, at-
973 38 73, fax +359 2 971 10 81, webmaster@chinae- fax +359 2 955 52 47,, http:// Grato Investment G-7, bul. Bulgaria 102, Business, QOpen 09:00 - 18:30,, Centre Bellissimo, office 2, tel. +359 2 428 13 08/+359 Sat 09:00 - 18:00. Closed Sun.
885 665 730, fax +359 2 428 13 07, office@gratoinvest-
Ireland A-3, ul. Bacho Kiro 26-30, tel. +359 2 985 34 25, United Kingdom B-3, ul. Moskovska 9, tel. +359 2 933, QOpen 10:00 Sofia University Department of Language Learn-
fax +359 2 983 33 02, 92 22, fax +359 2 933 92 19, britembinf@mail.orbitel. - 18:00. Closed Sat, Sun. ing G-8, ul. Kosta Lulchev 27, tel. +359 2 871 00
bg, 69/+359 2 872 00 69, fax +359 2 870 53 28, office@
Israel D-2, pl. Bulgaria 1- NDK, tel. +359 2 951 50 44, Tvoyat Dom (Your Home) C-3, pl. Slaveykov 7, entr.B,, The only certified
fax +359 2 952 11 01, QOpen USA G-7, ul. Kozyak 16, tel. +359 2 937 51 00, fax +359 tel. +359 2 986 48 86, fax +359 2 987 52 88, info@ centre for testing of Bulgarian as foreign language. QOpen
09:30 - 12:30. 2 937 53 20,,, QOpen 09:00 08:30 - 17:00.
- 18:30. Closed Sat, Sun.
Italy B-4, ul. Shipka 2, tel. +359 2 921 73 00, fax York Learning Centre D-3, ul. Rakovska 187 A, et.
+359 2 980 37 17,, www. Lawyers 3, tel. +359 2 986 21 45/+359 898 457 433, info@ Arsov Natchev Ganeva B-5, ul. Shipka 36, tel. +359 Recruitment, QOpen 09:00 - 18:00,
2 943 40 66, fax +359 2 946 33 48, info@anglaw. Correct Consult Bulgaria Ltd. G-7, bul. Knyaz Boris I Sat, Sun 08:00 - 14:00.
Japan G-8, Lyulyakova gradina 14, tel. +359 2 971 27 com, QOpen 09:00 - 18:00. Closed 49, tel. +359 2 851 91 15,,
08, fax +359 2 971 10 95, QOpen 09:00 - 18:00.
Sat, Sun.
Korea H-8, bul. Andrey Saharov, Mladost 1, tel. +359 2 Dia Consult C-2, ul. Uzundzhovska 16, tel. +359 2 Lora Catering B-5, bul. Todor Aleksandrov, bl. 75,
77 53 48, saebyolkк 981 91 78, fax +359 2 980 20 26, diacon@techno-link. Babysitting and Homecare ent.D, fl.1, opposite Arena cinema Liulin, tel. +359 2
com, QOpen 09:00 - 18:00. Closed Detegledachki , tel. +359 888 816 309, info@de- 920 13 01/+359 888 800 548,,
Macedonia G-8, ul. Fr. J.Curie 17, tel. +359 2 870 50 Sat, Sun., Recruitment Professional catering services for
98, fax +359 2 971 28 32, agency for babysitters and homecare services. all occasions.
Dimitrov, Petrov & Co. C-3, bul. Patriarh Evtimiy 36,
Netherlands G-8, ul. Oborishte 15, tel. +359 2 816 tel. +359 2 987 70 96, fax +359 2 988 73 60, info@ Mery Poppins D-4, ul. Milin Kamak 40, tel. +359 2 Luxe B-3, ul. Triaditsa 5, tel. +359 2 980 02 03/+359
03 00, fax +359 2 816 03 01,, www., Q Open 09:00 - 18:00. Closed 865 48 10/+359 878 621 936, info@marypoppins-bg. 888 241 164,, Sat, Sun. com, Recruitment agency for Catering and event planning. Q A
babysitters and homecare services. QOpen 10:00 - 19:00.
Norway B-4, bul. Knyaz Dondukov 54B, tel. +359 2 Kambourov & Partners C-3, ul. Neofit Rilski 55, tel. Closed Sat, Sun. MDM Catering F-7, ul. Strandzha 132, tel. +359 2
981 11 06, fax +359 2 981 90 10,, +359 2 986 99 99, fax +359 2 986 99 95, office@kam- 833 40 83/+359 898 50 43 07, info@mdmcatering., QOpen 09:00 - 18:00. Tina V (G-8) ul. Nikolay Gogol 1, tel. +359 2 846 54 com, Business and corporate
Closed Sat, Sun. 85/+359 889 322 529,, www.tina-v. catering.
Poland C-3, ul. Khan Krum 46, tel. +359 2 987 26 10, com. Babysitting and homecare recruitment agency. QOpen
fax +359 2 987 29 39,, www. Stoychev, Valkov & Co. Law firm ul. Damyan Gruev 20, fl.4, apt.9, tel. +359 2 852 69 99/+359 2 852 49 99,
10:00 - 18:00. Closed Sat, Sun.
Cleaning services, QOpen United Phili C-3, ul. Angel Kanchev 28, tel. +359 78 Borivan Ltd. F-7, Zh.k.Obelya, bl. 118, vh. V, tel. +359
Portugal B-1, ul. Pozitano 7, tel. +359 2 921 68 68, fax 09:30 - 18:00. Closed Sat, Sun. 808 568, Babysitting and homecare re- 2 931 16 20/+359 886 520 055, fax +359 2 934 66
+359 2 921 68 21, cruitment agency. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Sat, Sun. 90,, Machine

Romania G-8, bul. Mihay Eminesku 4, tel. +359 2 971 Office supplies cleaning and washing, grinding and polishing. Contact tele-
phone for weekends and holidays 0885 405 610. QOpen
28 58, fax +359 2 971 36 19, Multirama C-3, ul. Solunska 2, tel. +359 2 400 66 Beauty salons 09:00 - 18:00.
20,, QOpen Charmant C-1, ul. Sveti Ivan Rilski 15, et. 2, tel. +359
Russia G-8, bul. Dragan Tsankov 28, tel. +359 2 963 44 09:00 - 20:00, Sun 10:00 - 18:00. A 2 952 34 30,, Vasilka Cleaning Agency G-7, ul.Kamen Andreev 24,
58, fax +359 2 963 41 03, fl.4 ,office 404, tel. +359 2 952 34 34/+359 889 245
Office 1 Superstore G-8, bul. Tsarigradsko shose
Serbia G-8, ul. Veliko Tarnovo 3, tel. +359 2 946 16 33, 139, tel. +359 0 700 10 700, tm@hq.office1, www.
fax +359 2 946 10 59,, www. Q A

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

76 Index Streets & Maps 77

1:110 000
Street Index Denkoglu B-2/3 Ivan Shishman B/C-4, C-3 Oborishte B-5 Stefan Kardzha B-3/4
Dragan Tsankov bul. C/D-4, D-5 Ivan Vazov B-3/4, C-4 Orlov most C-5 Saborna B-3
11-ti avgust A/B-4 Dunav A/B-4 Sv. Naum bul. E-3/4
13-ti mart D-3 Dyakon Ignatiy B-3 Kaloyan B-3 Panayot Volov A-5, B-5 Sveta Nedelya pl. B-3
20-ti april B/C-1, C-2 Dzheims Baucher E-3/4 Knyaz Boris C-1/2 Parchevich C-2/3
6-ti septemvri B-4, C-3/4, D-3 Knyaz Dondukov bul. B-3/4/5 Patriarh Evtimiy bul. C-2/3 Todor Aleksandrov bul. A-1, B-1/2
Ekzarh Yosif A-2/3/4/5 Kozloduy F-7 Pencho Totleben bul. C-1
Aksakov B/C- 3, C-4 Elin Pelin D-4/5 Kozyak G-7   Slaveykov bul. C-1, D-1/2 Tri ushi B-2
Alabin B-2/3 Evlogi Georgiev C-4/5, D-3 Krakra B/C-5 Pirotska A-1/2, B-3 Triaditsa B-3
Aleksandar Krum Popov D-3/4 Pop Bogomil A-3/4 Tsar Asen B-2, C-2
  Batenberg pl. B-3 F. Z. Kyuri G-8 Krastyo Sarafov D-3/4 Pozitano B-1/2/3 Tsar Osvoboditel bul. B-4, C-5
Aleksandar Nevski pl. B-4 Frityof Nansen C-3, D-2 Karnigradska B-2 Praga bul. C-1 Tsar Samuil B-2, C-2
Aleksandar Tsar Simeon A-1/2/3/4
  Stamboliyski bul. B-1/2 Garibaldi pl. B-3 Lavele B-2 Rakovski A-4, B-4 Tsarigradsko shose G-8, H-9
Angel Kanchev B/C-3 Georgi Benkovski A/B-4 Lege B-3 Tulovo C-5
Antim I A-2, B-1/2 Gladston C-2/3 Lyuben Karavelov C-3/4, D-3 San Stefano C-5 Tundzha C-1, D-2
Arsenalski bul. E-2 Graf Ignatiev B-3, C-3/4 Serdika A-3, B-3
Atanas Dalchev G-8 Gurko B/C-3, C-4 Madrid bul. G-8 Sheinovo C-5 Vasil Levski bul. A-4, B-5, C-3/4
Makedonia pl. B-2 Shipka B-5 Veliko Tarnovo G-8
Baba Nedelya pl. D-2 Han Asparuh C-2/3 Maria Luiza bul. A-3, B-3 Simeonovsko shose G-8, H-8 Veslets A/B-3
Bacho Kiro A/B-3 Han Krum C-3 Moskovska B-4 Sitnyakovo bul. G-8 Vitosha bul. B/C/D-2, D/E-1
Budapeshta A-3/4, B-4 Hristo Belchev B-3, C-2/3 Slaveykov pl. C-3 Vladayska B1
Bulgaria bul. D-1/2 Hristo Botev bul. A-2, B-2, C-2 Naicho Tsanov bul. F-7 Slavyanska B-3/4, C-4 Vladimir Vazov bul. G-8
Bulgaria pl. C-2 Hristo Smirnenski D-4, E-4 Narodno sabranie pl. B-4 Sofiiski geroi G-7 Vazrazhdane pl. B-1/2
Neofit Rilski C-2/3 Sofroniy Vrachanski A-2, B-2
Cherkovna G-8 Iskar A/B-4, B-3 Nezavisimost pl. B-3 Solunska B-2, C-3 Yanko Sakazov bul. B-5
Cherni vrah bul. D-2/3, E-3 Ivailo B-2 Nikola Vaptsarov bul. G-7/8 Stara planina B-4, A-5 Yuri Venelin C-4

Index Captain Cook 35 Kapri 24 Residence Oborishte 22

4km Party Centre 43 Cargo 40 Kempinski Hotel Zografski 20 Retro club Gramophone 45
8th Ball 46 Casa Boyana 21 KFC 30 RotasaR 25
Adams restaurant 39 Casa de Cuba 40 Kohinoor 30 Ruski klub 34
Adonis 44 Casa Ferrari Bed and Kolikovski Hotel 24 Salsa plus 45
Alcohol 43 Breakfast 23 Krivoto  33 Scotty's Boutique Hotel 25
Alexander Palace 23 Central 21 Kumbare 29 Seasons 32
Am-Gul 41 Central Forum 21 Kushtata s chasovnika 31 Sheraton Sofia Hotel Balkan 20
Amsterdam 41 Central Park Hotel 21 Latinka 24 Shipka 25
Anel 20 Chalet Suisse 36 Lavazza Club 38 SkyWay Hotel 22
Angels Club 46 Checkpoint Charly 31 Lebed 31 Social Jazz Club 46
Annette 33 Chepishev 31 Legends 24 Sofia Guesthouse 26
Apartament 52 39 Chervilo 45 Les Fleurs Boutique Hotel 22 Sofia Plaza 22
Apartment House Dunav 26 Chillout Bar & Dinner 36, 40 L'Etranger 29 Starbucks café 39
Apartment House Iztok 26 Chillout Lounge 40 Life House 45 Stroezha 47
Apartment House Sofia 26 Classic 33 Lion 24 Sushi Bar 32
Aris 25 Club 703 40 London Minute 38 Sveta Sofia 22
Art Club Museum 38 Club Liqueur 44 Lozenetz 24 Swingin' Hall 46
Arte 23 Club Sugar 44 Magdanoz (Parsley) 28 Taboo Club 46
Art-Hostel 26 Coffee House 38 Magnito bar & dinner 31 Taj Mahal 30
Art 'Otel 20 Comercial 31 Magnolia 30 Tambuktu 35
Atlantic 23 Cookies bar & dinner cafe 31 Manastirska magernitsa 29 Tazka 33
Avenue 47 Costa Coffee 38 Maraia fusion bar & diner 32 Tea House 41
B29 Piano Bar 46 Crystal Palace Boutique Maskata 47 The Black Lodge 40
Babbles 43 Hotel 21 Maxi Park Hotel & Spa 22 The Blue Box 40
Bacardi Box 47 Dedeman Sofia Princess 22 McCarthy's 40 The Bookies 39
Back Stage 46 Diter 24 McDonald's Rock'n'Roll 30 The Club 46
Backstage Karaoke Bar 41 Don Domat 33 Meg Lozenetz 24 The Net 47
Bar & Diner Maraia  30 Egur, Egur 28 Miss Kapriz 33 The Rooms 26
Barabar 39 Elate Plaza 21, 31 Moderato 32 Toba&Co 41
Bar na kraya na vselenata 47 Escape 45 Mon Ami 33 Toucan Bluzz & Rock 47
Basic 39 Etno 28 Moskva 34 Triada 23
Baskerville 39 Exit Club 44 Motto 41 Trikrakoto pile 32
Be My Guest 26 Fix Mix 38 NAI-klub 46 Trops Kushta 30
Best Western Hotel Expo 21 Flannagans 42 Niky 25 Troyantsite 32
Biblioteka Cool House - Piano Gioia 32 Onda Coffee Break 39 Tsarsko Selo 23
Bar 41 Grand Hotel Sofia 20 Opera 41 Tsentralni hali 30
Bilkovata 39 Greenville Hotel & Apartment Orient 33 47 Tunka Chervena Linya (Thin Red
Bistro Zita 30 Houses 22 Orisha bar & dinner 41 Line) 41
Bitburger 37 Hadzhidraganovite kashti 28 O'Nice  38 Ugo 34
Blaze 40 Halbite 28 O! Shipka  34 Uno Enoteca 32
Boyansko hanche 31 Happy Bar & Grill 29 Palms Merkur Casino 38 Upstairs 41
Brilyantin 44 Harmony 25 Park Hotel Vitosha 22 Vagabond 35
Brod 25 Hilton 20 Planeta 46 Variety 24
Buddha Bar 39 Holiday Inn Sofia 20 Pod lipite 29 Vega Sofia Hotel 23
Bulgari 23, 28 Hostel Mostel 26 Pop Bogomil 25 Victoria 34
Bulgaria 38 Hostel Sofia 26 Pri Latsi 29 Vishnite 32
Butchers 31 Internet Hostel 26 Pri Miro 35 Vodenitzata 31
By The Way 40 Irish Harp 42 Pri Yafata 29 Vratata (The Door) 32
Cabaret 44 Jim Beam Club 47 Radisson SAS Grand Hotel 20 Zhadnata Lamya 32
Cactus 31 Jimmy's 38 Red Bed and Breakfast 25 Yalta 45
Cappuccino bar & dinner 40 J. J. Murphy's 42 Renaissance 25 Yesterday Karaoke Bar 46

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

78 Streets & Maps Streets & Maps 79

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

80 Streets & Maps Streets & Maps 81

Sofia In Your Pocket July - September 2009

Sofia In Your Pocket

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