Sofia or as it is sometimes called Sophia Bulgaria is the capital of Bulgaria as well as being the largest city in the country. The ancient city of Sofia dates back thousands of years and once upon a time, it was a Thracian settlement named Serdica.
Over the centuries, it has survived numerous bloody sieges and conquests and today, the city of Sofia is a thriving metropolis and worthy focal point of any visit to Bulgaria, whether for business or pleasure.
A great way to see the city is by staying in a hotel in Sofia. The city is an eclectic mix of Stalinist neoclassical architecture and decorative buildings designed by 19th Century Russian and Viennese architects.
Remnants of the Ottoman Empire can be found in the centre of Sofia where a few neo-Byzantine Orthodox churches are all that remain of over 500 years of Ottoman rule. But despite being steeped in 7,000 years of history, modern everyday life continually rubs shoulders with the past in Sofia Bulgaria, and there are plenty of 5-star hotels and brash shopping malls nestling amongst the Red Army monuments.
It is a buzzing, fast-paced city, full of cosmopolitan vibe. Trendy nightspots and flash bars line every city centre street and at night, the city truly comes alive. There are plenty of museums, art galleries, and excellent restaurants on offer in Sofia, and if architecture is your passion, you will be in seventh heaven.
St Sofia is a magnificent Eastern Orthodox Church dating back to the 4th Century. At the other end of the timeline, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is a fine example of Russian 20th Century architecture. If you want a taste of local Balkan culture, why not visit the National Ethnographic Museum, which is housed in the former Royal Palace. It contains a fascinating collection of traditions, arts and crafts, all relating to the lifestyle of the Bulgarian people.
There are many other museums worthy of a visit, but if you would rather spend your time outdoors, the city is blessed with several sprawling parklands, including Tsar Boris’s Garden in the centre of Sofia. Many visitors simply pass through Sofia on their way to the beach or Bulgarian ski resorts, and therefore miss out on so much beauty.
Sofia or sometimes spelt Sophia Bulgaria, is worthy of much more of your time than that.
To truly do the city justice, you need to walk around and explore the ancient streets and modern thoroughfares, before finding a small café where you can sample some delicious Bulgarian cuisine and enjoy a glass of splendid Bulgarian wine whilst watching the people scurrying by.