A Weekend Getaway in Sofia, Bulgaria

  • Gold and green exterior of the Alexander Nevski Cathedral

  • white bowl with vegetables

  • Big rock formations at the Golden Bridges

  • Bulgarian cuisine on a red table

  • Side street in Bulgaria, Sofia

  • Pink cocktails with strawberries and mint

  • Exterior of the stone St. Nedelya Church

Sofia, Bulgaria is a key destination in Eastern Europe, it is a vibrant, cultural, historic yet trendy capital that will surprise you with its many facets. Get ready for a busy but rewarding weekend while you learn about Sofia’s rich history, let’s get started.

Either visiting Sofia for a short weekend getaway, traveling through the whole country or working on a long-term basis in the city, there are many secret gems that will surprise you and excite you.

Explore the city
First things first, take a stroll through Vitosha Boulevard, here you will come across many glamorous boutique shops, street artists, cafes, bars, and trendy restaurants. Vitosha Boulevard is always full of friendly locals, who take their time to socialize over coffee in the afternoon and cocktails in the evening.

The end of the street will take you to some of the best historic and cultural sights of the city – Serdika Ruins and St. Nedelya Church. Continuing the walk towards Sofia University, there are gorgeous government buildings, standing magnificently over the city. There are many cultural attractions to see here – the Alexander Nevski Cathedral, the National Gallery and the National Theater Ivan Vazon.

Finish the afternoon in the Borisova Garden – taking a walk through the park, renting a bike, playing some badminton or simply enjoying a beer in one of the outdoor cafes.

If you feel adventurous and love being outdoors, you can spend the next day in one of the many places near Sofia. Take an easy hike along the Ivan Vazov eco trail leading to the beautiful Skaklia waterfall. Another great option is taking a short 30-minute drive to Knyazhevo for an intermediate hike to the Golden Bridges. Once you reach the Golden Bridges you will be amazed by rock formations and the natural beauty that surrounds you.

Dine & Wine: Try something different
Traditional Bulgarian cuisine is simple and surprisingly delicious – we grill every kind of meat on the barbeque and they come out juicy and delightfully seasoned. On the table, we always have meat, fresh salads, vegetables, and potatoes. In many of our dishes, we add white cheese, the most popular dish that is a must try during your trip is French Fries with ground white cheese.

There are numerous restaurants that offer Bulgarian cuisine, but my favorite is Hadjidraganov`s Houses – their fare is delicious and affordable, and they offer live folklore entertainment. It is the perfect place to get a glimpse of authentic Bulgarian tradition.

Sofia, however, has become an emerging city of Fusion cuisine, trendy restaurants, Celebrity chefs and street food.

There’s one restaurant you can’t miss, Bagri, this modern restaurant is based on the slow food motion. Trendy, with a seasonal menu, this place is where you will experience different, healthy and modern offerings. Bagri is a perfect place to see the millennial side of Bulgaria, the atmosphere and locals are always welcoming and hospitable.

Usually, Bulgarians take their time to have dinner, we may sit at a table for hours, provided the food is good and friends are around. But as new trends emerge in Sofia, you will see something that is not traditional for us – street food trucks. Street Chefs is an amazing food truck for burgers, not common in Bulgarian cuisine, but the food is to die for. Grab a burger and have a seat to take a break from sightseeing.

Another common thread of ours is socializing over drinks. In Sofia, you will find various trendy bars where youngsters and locals meet to enjoy craft cocktails. 65 Fireflies is a place that offers a wonderful ambiance for drinks after work and is a great hang out for friends. They make lovely Strawberry mojitos that make you want to keep ordering more.

If you’re looking for a more upbeat place for drinks after dinner, Tabaco Garden Bar is a great choice where you can enjoy the outdoor party atmosphere over some very nice and my personal choice, gin-cocktails.

Experience Sofia, Bulgaria for yourself, these suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg. Sofia is a great destination for a relaxing weekend that includes a little bit of everything from dining to hiking. Start planning your next trip today!

This post was written by Hilton Suggests Team Member, Mariya D. Are you interested in traveling to Sofia? Let us know if we can help you with any other recommendations. Tweet us for more great local travel tips!

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