There’s a city in Eastern Europe that everyone needs to get to ASAP. Or maybe not, don’t want to ruin it.
We had arrived in Bulgaria, sour from our terrible bedbug experience in Montenegro and constant disappointments in Albania. Bulgaria had A LOT of pressure to impress us. Expectations were high and first up was its capital : Sofia.
Let me tell you right now, I fell in love immediately. It’s a good sized city (about a 2 million population) that makes it big enough to explore and have tons to do but small enough to avoid getting annoyed. Great restaurants, shops, neighbourhoods ; this is a city that begs a weekend visit.
Need more convincing? Here are our reasons we loved Sofia so much.
It’s friggin pretty.
A friend once told me to beware of a city whose first attribute is its looks ; it usually means the city is boring. I beg to differ. After spending weeks in Albania, full of litter everywhere, it was amazing to be in a city that looked so damn good. The fresh September air made for beautiful strolls. Flowers are everywhere. Restaurants are adorable. Recycling bins are also existent (believe me, a rarity in Eastern Europe). This city is friggin pretty.
It oozes effortless cool.
Sofia is like that cool girl in university who doesn’t wear lots of makeup but still manages to look stunning while listening to Them Crooked Vultures on her oversized headphones. Catch my drift? This city may seem like a classic town full of churches and museums but dig around and you’ll find a cool attitude in the streets. Take a stroll on Tsar Ivan Shishman street to get a good feel of funky cafés and even funkier shops.
It’s a perfect base for daytrips.
One of Sofia’s perks is its accessibility to gorgeous regions. Buses are reliable and cheap, what’s not to love! We were able to have getaways in more remote areas without enduring long horrible bus trips. Bansko, Malyovitsa, the Rila Mountains, these were all highlights of our trip to Bulgaria, all about 1 or 2 hours away from Sofia.
There’s WIFI, everywhere. Seriously.
This may sound like a minor detail but the amount of wifi access in Sofia is mindblowing. Don’t have an internet connection in your hostel? No worries, there’s probably a gazillion other connections. I’ve never been to a city that has such reliable internet, for free, literally everywhere! And I’m not kidding : there are even taxis with their own wireless feed. Hello WORLD? Catch up, ’cause Sofia’s got it going on!
I absolutely fell in love with Sofia and Bulgaria and am sure to be back. There isn’t a big number of tourists yet which makes it the perfect destination of the moment! Don’t be surprised if Sofia and Bulgaria start making the top destination list of 2013.