The way to Sofia from Russia runs through the territories of Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Serbia. Muscovites have the largest choice. From the capital’s airports Domodedovo, Vnukovo and Sheremetyevo, several dozen flights depart daily to Sofia. Air travel is the fastest and most economical way. In addition, trains and buses run between the Russian and Bulgarian capitals.
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You can also get to Sofia directly from Pskov, Veliky Novgorod, Smolensk, Chelyabinsk and other cities.
Residents of the northern capital have only two options – plane and bus. Pulkovo ‘s schedule includes only connecting flights, but by air it is still faster and cheaper than by land. From any city in Russia you can set off on your own car. But not everyone can afford such a trip – you will have to spend more than one day behind the wheel. Read more about routes and fares on the page ” How to get to Sofia “.
Districts of Sofia
Geographically, Sofia is divided into 24 districts, each of which has its own administration. The locals call them communities. From a tourist point of view, only a few of them are interesting, although there are picturesque parks and beautiful buildings in many neighborhoods, and small gardens and squares in every microdistrict. No wonder Sofia is considered one of the greenest European capitals – only in the central part there are more than 10 natural zones.
Sredets is the historical center, most of the sights are concentrated here. These streets will tell you about the rich history of the ancient city better than any museum. The architecture clearly traces, closely intertwined, Western and Eastern motifs. Here, the ruins of an ancient structure have been preserved – the fortress of Sreditka, adjacent to buildings of much later eras – the library. Cyril and Methodius, the Cathedral of the Holy Week and others. On the territory of Sredets stands one of the most symbolic buildings – the church of St. Sophia. The seemingly unremarkable church once gave a new name to the Bulgarian capital.
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The most expensive hotels in the city are located in the Sredets community and nearby areas, the average price per room is from 150 BGN. Thrifty travelers should pay attention to the areas of Nadezhda and Lyulin, where you can check in for 35-50 BGN per day. The prices on the page are for August 2021.
Those who come not so much to admire Sofia as to get medical treatment can choose the western outskirts of the city – the Bankya district, where the thermal resort of the same name, the most famous in the country, is located. The communities of Vitosha and Dragalevtsy are elite areas, the local ruble. In addition to luxurious villas and fashionable hotels, Boyana Park and the National Historical Museum of Bulgaria attract attention.
There are corners in Sofia where a tourist should not wander, and certainly you should not settle nearby. These are “gypsy ghettos” that are scattered throughout the city. In total, there are more than 20 makeshift settlements in the capital, consisting of wagons and barracks. Most of them are located in the Krasna Polyana and Faculty areas.
An extensive network of public transport routes connects all communities and the nearest suburbs of Sofia. In addition to the metro, buses, trolleybuses and trams, minibuses run in the city, but local residents and tourists practically do not use them.
The price of tickets for surface transport and metro is the same – 1.60 BGN for one trip and 12 BGN for 10, but the travel documents are different. They are sold in ticket machines at bus stops and in subway lobbies, as well as ticket offices and urban mobility centres. Unlimited travel cards for a day (4 BGN) and 3 days (10 BGN) are valid for all modes of transport.
Machines at stops and in metro lobbies do not give out change and only accept coins.
The subway in Sofia consists of 2 lines, the 3rd is just about to be laid. The first line goes from the Vitosha station through the center and the Lyulin district to the airport, the second – from the Sofia business park in the Mladost community through the Serdika stop to the final Slivnitsa.
There are many taxi companies in the city; when choosing a carrier, you need to be more careful not to pay more than it should be. Standard rates are BGN 0.70 per landing and BGN 1.50 per km.
Many tourists prefer to get acquainted with the Bulgarian capital on a bicycle. There are especially many lovers of outdoor activities in parks and squares. So far, only private rental offices operate in the city, the price is from 20 BGN for 3 hours and from 30 BGN per day. Although there seems to be enough of them, the local authorities decided to install 30 municipal bike stands, where you can also rent two-wheelers.