Some people are really strange.
When we arrived to Sofia, and booked a 7 euro + breakfast deal in local hostel, which is, of course, spectacular, we read some really bad reviews and ratings on hostelworld about the place we were about to spend two nights in.
Don’t believe them. Hostel 44, located like 10 minutes walk from the city center, is amazing option for genuine backpackers. It’s clean, it’s cheap and this amazing price includes really decent breakfast option.
Not to mention that the place has two properties, one to each other, and the other one comes with an open space, a backyard where you can chill if you’re not wandering and checking out the streets and sights of Bulgarian capital.
To those people who left bad reviews and ratings… Go pay more for some fancy hotels, and stay away from budget options that are perfect for genuine travelers. You’ll find the right amount of comfort there.
Sofia, the capital and biggest city of Bulgaria, is everything I expected it to be. The city has this calm vibe that only in particular moments you can assume we’re talking about the city with more than 1.2 million inhabitants.
Loved the architecture, the prices (lol – but it’s a great budget travel destination, cause comparing to Western Europe, everything is significantly cheaper in Sofia), the energy, the food. And Pirinsko beer, of course.
So, without further ado, here are Indie Voyager’s recommendations for eating, chilling and shopping in Sofia:
We visited Hambara Bar and A:Part:Mental for chilling, and I do recommend both of these places – especially the second one where each room has a different vibe and different interior decoration – felt awesome to spend there a couple of hours (note: A:Part:Mental is more expensive, but I think it’s worth it);
We ate thanks to our Couchsurfing host in SunMoon – a cute vegetarian restaurant where we tried something like 8 different dishes. All were fresh, tasking amazing. They have a huge vegan/vegetarian offer; all made of local, organic and bio products with specialties from not only Bulgarian cuisine, but also Indian, Arabic, Moroccan and South American.
Shop in Magazinche – a few colorful shops located in several places around Sofia. “Everything offered in the shop is made with a lot of love and professionalism. We highly appreciate handcrafting and ingenious ideas. We want to be surrounded by beautiful and stylish things. The shop is a place that gathers over 130 Bulgarian designers, painters, handcrafters and artists of all kinds. If you want to come in possession of a unique jewel or make a one-of-a-kind present to someone close to you – come to us! Your purchase will not only bring joy to someone, but also contribute for the realization of Bulgarian creators in their home country.” (note: this place is more expensive, but I think it’s worth it)
SLEEP: Hostel 44 (Find them on hostelworld.com here)
EAT: SunMoon (Website)
CHILL: A:Part:Mental (Facebook)
SHOP: Magazinche (Website)
Random info: 1 euro is approx. 2 levs. Price of the metro ticket is 1.60 levs.
Cover Photo by Borislav Zlatkov