- Sofia & Region
Located in South Central Europe, Bulgaria’s capital Sofia is the center of economic, cultural and political life for the country. It is also wonderful as a walking city with many architectural and cultural buildings of importance including the Alexander Nevsky Catedral, the Public Theater Ivan Vazov, the Palace of Justice, the Bulgarian Academy of Science, and the Boyana, St.George and St.Sofia churches.
Today there are many archaeological sites in Sofia that display the city's diverse history. The town was established in the 8th - 7th century B.C. around a mineral spring which is now in the city center. The modern city of Sofia was named in the 14th century after the basilica St. Sofia from the Greek word for wisdom. Don’t miss a look at the castle gates and towers of Serdica, public buildings and streets, all thousands of years old. A large part of the ancient city of Serdica is underneath important modern buildings. The Roman thermal baths are under the Sofia Mineral Baths and a Roman residence with elaborate mosaics is below the "Rila" hotel.
Today Sofia boasts more than 1,200,000 residents and approximately 14 % of the country’s population. The city is located in the southern part of Sofia valley and at the foot of the Vitosha an Lyulin mountains. The city has always been famous for its many cold and thermal mineral water springs in and around it. Today springs may be found in the city center, as well as in the surrounding quarters of Kniazevo, Gorna Bania, Bankia, Ovcha Kupel and Ivaniane. The countless bars and cafés throughout the city are provide a non-stop social scene with a number of restaurants and shops open 24 hours. Locally produced wine and rakiya are excellent and reasonably priced.
HOW TO GET THERE
Sofia has the largest of 4 international airports in Bulgaria. In addition to Bulgarian Air, many of the major carriers fly to Sofia including British Airways, Air France, Alitalia, KLM, Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa, Malev and Olympic Airways. Flights can be found from over 20 UK airports including Gatwick, Heathrow, Stansted, City Airport, Bristol, Southampton, Birmingham, Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dublin and Belfast.
The public transport bus 84 runs a frequent service – every ten or 15 minutes, from the airport to Orlov Most, close to the city centre (approx. 20 minutes).
From Sofia there are 6 main lines – to Varna or Burgas on the Black Sea coast, to Plovdiv and beyond on the Turkish border, to Kalotina on the Yugoslavian border.