Backpacking In Sofia, Bulgaria

in Best Places To Backpack,Europe

Sofia, Bulgaria has begun hitting the radar of backpackers traveling through Europe in recent years, and with good reason. Sofia is a city of just over one million inhabitants, and its size makes it easy to navigate and learn about.

Getting to Sofia by plane will take you through Sofia Airport, the busiest airport in the small country. From there, you can get to the city by bus, shuttle, or taxi. Once you get to the airport, the city center is only about 10 kilometers away, making for a short and affordable ride to your hostel.

Hostel Mostel is Sofia’s cheapest hostel and is located within walking distance to the city’s main attractions and central train station. The hostel offers a free all you can eat breakfast, free wi-fi access and a free meal of pasta and one beer. There is also a free laundry service (convenient if you’ve been on the road for a while) and more. A one night stay at Hostel Mostel begins at about $9 USD.

sofia bulgaria street traffic

Getting around Sofia is easy due to its developed public transport system generally operates starting at 5 a.m. until midnight. The system consists of 15 tram lines, 95 bus lines, 9 trolley lines, and one metro line, but the metro line is expanding slowly. For about 4 euros, you get 10 transport tickets to use on the public transport system (including buses, trolleys, trams, or the subway line).

There is a lot of history in Sofia’s story, as it is one of Europe’s oldest cities. There are several must-sees, including several museums, the Ivan Vazov National Theater, and a number of places of worship.

The Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is an Orthodox cathedral and also one of the largest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in the world. Named after the Russian prince Saint Alexander Nevsky, the cathedral was constructed after Bulgaria was liberated from the Ottoman Empire following the Russo-Turkish War in 1877.

The Sofia Synagogue is also worth a visit as it is the third largest synagogue in Europe. Sofia once had a larger Jewish population that is an integral part of the culture of the city. The Jewish Museum of History can be found inside the synagogue.

sofia synagogue  russian church in sofia  banya bashi mosque in sofia

Your stomach will always be satisfied in Sofia. Cheap fast food options are plentiful throughout the city, and there are also restaurants offering diverse Bulgarian cuisine. With European, Russian, and Turkish influences, Bulgarian food has a bit of everything for everyone.

As for its safety, there are some places in Sofia that you may want to avoid during the evening hours. The bus and train stations, as in most cities, are not the most welcoming of places after dark, and staying in well lit areas throughout the city center are your best bet. Just be aware of your surroundings and try to familiarize yourself with the parts of town you need to be more vigilant in, and you will have a smooth trip.

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