From the category archives:

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.

Cheap Hotels For Backpackers

Florence Boboli Gardens

For anyone planning a purse-friendly backpacking trip around Europe, keeping costs down is a priority. However, this doesn’t mean sticking to hostel dorms with communal bathrooms. The increase of cheap hotels, in addition to the rising costs of many hostel chains, means that it’s possible to get a hotel room at the same price as […]

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Places To Backpack In Europe

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral Sofia bulgaria

Getting Around Getting a Eurail train pass is the most economical way to get around to all of these places and travel throughout Europe. The train system throughout the continent is comfortable and convenient, and will get you anywhere you need to go. There are several Eurail train passes to choose from, so you can […]

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Backpacking In Ireland

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Dublin is perhaps one of the best cities to backpack in terms of ease of travel, the size of the city, and the nightlife. Ireland in general is a easy to travel around, and getting to Cork or the west part of the island is easy and relatively cheap. Hostels vary and prices start from […]

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Backpacking In England

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Much like the rest of Europe, backpacking in England is easy due to its good public transportation system, plentiful hostels, and low crime rate. Backpackers from the US will find England particularly easy to visit based on the simple fact that it’s an English speaking society. England also shares many cultural similarities with the United […]

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Backpacking In Germany

been in germany

Germany is a delightful place to backpack, one of the most modern countries in the world, with an excellent public transportation system, and low crime rate. You can travel throughout Germany with ease and it’s especially a good place to travel if the only language you speak is English. Germany is expensive though so you’re […]

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Backpacking In The Czech Republic

prague at night

If you were hoping to make it to the Czech Republic to enjoy the low prices, you should try to plan your backpacking trip before 2013. That’s the expected date of Euro adoption and consequently when prices should see a dramatic increase. The Czech Republic, more expensive than many other eastern European countries it borders, […]

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Prague

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The Czech Republic, in particular the city of Prague, has quickly become one of the premier backpacking destinations in the world. It’s less expensive than the rest of Europe but relatively close to cities that make for great combination trips, Krakow-Prague-Budapest-Munich, has an excellent public transportation system, and is a great mix of history, great […]

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