Hostel Mostel – The most affordable and comfortable hostels in Sofia, Veliko Turnovo and Plovdiv

What to do in Sofia

Downtown Sofia is one of the most amazing surprises you will find in Europe today!

You can walk around the ancient ruins, museums, churches, galleries and restaurants. Eat traditional Bulgarian cuisine (still organic). Then have a peek in small Bulgarian shops and end the day at one of the many nightclubs where you can dance until dawn. And for the nature lovers here is Vitosha Mountain Natural Park – 20 km away from the city center.

SIGHTSEEING

Great walking tour starting from the hostel is available.

For a small fee, we will tour you around everything that is worth seeing in Sofia.
Join us to find out more about:
  • Why Emperor Constantine the Great liked to say, “Sofia is my Rome”?
  • How could Bulgaria save its Jews from the Nazi camps of death?
  • Back to communist times
  • Why Bulgarian police has Porsche convertible cars?
  • Sofia at the gates between East and West

Or simply do a sightseeing walk by yourselves.

Here are some of our Walking Tour highlights:
  • Lady’s Market
  • The Synagogue
  • The Mosque
  • The Central Mineral Baths
  • St. Nedelia Church
  • Slaveikov Square
  • National Palace of Culture
  • Lover’s Bridge
  • Earth and Man Museum
  • Communist Party Head Quarter
  • Presidency
  • St. Georgy Church
  • National Art Gallery & Ethnographic Museum
  • Russian Church
  • Central Military Club
  • Monument of Unknown Soldier
  • Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
  • Synod Palace
  • Bulgarian Academy of Science
  • National Assembly
  • Gallery for Foreign Art
  • Sofia University
  • Eagle’s Bridge
  • National Theater ”Ivan Vazov”
  • The City Garden
  • Sofia City Art Gallery
  • Archaeological Museum
  • Serdika – Sredets Fortress

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RILA MONASTERY

Come with us on our unforgettable day trip to the Monastery.

If you have to see only one thing in Bulgaria this has to be Rila Monastery.

  • The most impressive Bulgarian historical, cultural and religious place, embraced by the majestic slopes of Rila Mountain
  • Discover the secrets of more than 8 centuries of history
  • Make a wish in front of the magical icon of St. Ivan Risky

Rila Monastery is surrounded by high mountain peaks, covered with centuries-old forests. The nature is so gorgeous by itself that even without the monastery it is well worth going there.

Even today, there is a palpable sense of isolation, and it is easy to see why John of Rila (Ivan Risky) chose this valley to escape the savagery of feudal life and the laxity of the established monasteries at the end of the ninth century. To disciples drawn to his hermit’s cell, John preached, “he who would be chief among you must be as he that doth serve.” What began as a hermitage became an important spiritual center after his death, and the Rila Monastery played a major role in Orthodox Christianity throughout the middle Ages.

Every year about a million of pilgrims, tourists, scholars and men of art from different parts of world visit the Rila Monastery to enjoy its beauty and get familiar with the fine art and religious collections. Now they arrive by bus or car rather than a foot or by mule, as did the pilgrims in the old days.

In 1980, the International Federation of Travel Writers and Journalists (FIJET) distinguished the Rila Monastery with Golden Apple, the highest award for familiarization and cultural tourism.

In 1983, the Rila Monastery was put on the List of the World Cultural Heritage Sites because of its cultural value.

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VITOSHA MOUNTAIN

Our guides are eager to hit the mountain paths together with you on a great one day hiking adventure.

Not many of the world’s capitals are blessed with a high mountain massif as their natural decor. Mountain Vitosha is just 20 km (12 miles) away from downtown Sofia. Its highest peak rises to 2290 m (7000 feet).

Locals and the tourists come to Vitosha mountain to picnic, gather wild herbs and berries, savour magnificent views or to ski in the winter. The ascent of its highest peak, Cherni Vrah (The Black Peak), has become a traditional test of stamina for hikers.

Two gondola and a chair lift take up to the ridge which commands a majestic view of Sofia. Walking in summer will take visitors to the cool woods, rippling brooks and sunny meadows strewn with flowers and berries. In winter Vitosha is excellent for skiing, with a good network of lifts and rope-tows, and a renowned ski school.

There are two main tourist centres – Aleko and Zlatnite Mostove (The Golden Bridges). The first is at about 1800 m above sea level in the eastern part of the mountain and is one of Bulgaria’s biggest ski-centres. Aleko is the starting point of the Bulgarian section of European hiking route E-4. Above it is the huge slope Stenata – the biggest natural ski-track in Bulgaria. Aleko is also the starting point for climbing the Cherni Vrah. The steep climb, at a difference in altitude of approximately 500 m typically takes 1.30 hours, and for those who think it is difficult, there is a lift to Mt. Malak Rezen, from where they can proceed along a flat route and reach the dreamed peak in 30 minutes only. All routes to the peak are marked by high metal pickets or pass by skiing facilities, thus reducing to the maximum the possibility of one getting lost. Still it is not recommended to climb the peak in bad weather!

A unique natural phenomenon are the so-called “stone rivers” (moreni) – piles of huge rounded granite stones along many of the river valleys, reaching up to 2 km in length and 50 m in width. Especially beautiful are the moreni in the Zlatni Mostove area (Golden Bridges). In old times this was a place where gold was washed out of the sands, hence the name of the place. Zlatnite Mostove is also a starting point to Cherni Vrah (about 3 hrs.), which route passes by one of the oldest and most beautiful chalets – Kumata (1 hr).

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DAY OFF :)

Shopping, Eating, Drinking, Dancing, Shooting, Bowling

Shopping

Sofia’s big fashion stores , small markets and tiny hidden shops in the narrow streets of the city center are hard to resist.
The main shopping areas are on Vitosha Blvd. (You have there all the high class shops of the world famous labels – Sisley, Benetton , Pepe,Levi’s etc ), Graf Ignatiev Str., Rakovski Str., Pirotska Str. (It has been transformed into a continental style pedestrian area with a variety of shops and street cafes) and all the streets leading-off from them.

Our recommendations:

NDK Bazaar and Sofia Hall

Under Construction

Muhomorka shop

45, Ivan Shishman Str.
Aladdin’s cave of colorful clothes and eastern-influenced textiles. They also sell large-format cigarette papers but we don’t understand what these might be used for.
Open: 10:00 – 20:00, Sunday: Closed
GIFTS AND SOUVENIRS

Crafts market around the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Here you can find all kinds of typical Bulgarian souvenir items. Embroidered table cloths, jewelery, lace, Russian dolls, handmade toys, ceramics, wooden items, imitation icons and paintings, as well as so called antiques. They sell everything there, Nazi stuff, Russian Communist times stuff, Bulgarian medals, daggers, etc. from the WW I and WW II periods. Of course, they will swear that whatever they sell is authentic but you never know :)

There are also plenty of serious Antique shops around which may hide a treasure or two. Never pay more than what it is worth to you, and check whether you require an export certificate when buying genuine antiques.

Our recommendations for souvenirs include: Bulgarian wine, Rakia (the schnapps) sealed in ceramic urns, Bulgarian carpets, Bulgarian rose oil, icons and also some of the famous Troyan pottery especially the earthenware casserole dishes, which make great inexpensive oven to tableware.

BOOKS

“Slaveikov” Square open area book market

With its open air book stalls is a great place to browse and you may well find foreign language books about Bulgaria as well as dictionaries etc. There are also several stalls selling pirated Cd’s and software.

Orange book shop

15, Graf Ignatiev Str.
One of the best of the high-street bookstores, with a good selection of English, French and German paperbacks, art books, and international guidebooks (Eyewitness, Rough Guides and more).
Open: 08:30-20:30 except Sunday: 10:00 – 20:00
MARKETS

Graf Ignatiev Str.

Graf Ignatiev Str.
More bananas than you can shake a cucumber at, and vice-versa.
Open: 09:30 – 19:00

Zhenski pazar

Stefan Stambolov Str.
Vast open-air bazaar selling flowers, foodstuffs, cheap clothes, broomsticks, spare parts to machines you never even knew existed.
Open: down to dusk
SHOPPING CENTERS

Mall of Sofia

101, Aleksandar Stamboliiski Blvd.
Sofia’s newest shopping mecca is an enormous retail, business and entertainment center boasting over 130 shops (many selling international brand-names), fancy cafés and restaurants. To enjoy your stay in the mall completely, you can visit the first on the Balkan Peninsula 3D IMAX cinema.
Open: 10:00 – 22:00

The Central Department Store (TsUM)

2, Mariya Luiza Blvd.
Three floors of expensive fashion, accessories and cosmetics, and a first-floor café where young ladies like to sit and pout after a tiring day looking at clothes.
Open: 10:00-21:00 Sunday: 11:00 – 20:00

City Center Sofia

Bulgaria’s first big-box shopping mall. Located in the center of the city on the corner of Arsenalski Blvd. (No.2) with Cherni Vrah Blvd.

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Eating

There are Mc Donalds, Pizza Huts and KFC’s everywhere, but that is not the place to play it safe when it comes to food. Bulgarian cuisine is an interesting variation of the Mediterenian culinary establishment. You have to be very careful, because even lunch typically starts with a massive shot of “rakia”. This is basically grappa brandy with an unreasonably high proof and demonic strength. In fact, it is so powerfull that Bulgarians only drink it while eating a salad. The logic behind it, is that the oil and vinegar dressing absorbs some of rakia’s strength.

The “shopska” salad is a Bulgarian institution and includes tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, green peppers and industrial amounts of feta cheese. “Ovcharska” and “Selska” salads are even better if not as popular. Be brave and try the surreal cold soup “tarator”, made out of yogurt, water, cucumbers, garlic, parsley, salt and olive oil. It sounds rather insane, but the taste is surpisingly good. Some of the best Bulgarian dishes include guvetche, kavarma and the local version of musaka. Be prepared for a lot of feta cheese, potatoes and pork. Most food is organic, very tasty, rich and the prices are comically low.

If you are reluctant to dive into a Bulgarian gastronomic adventure, there are chinese restaurants everywhere and, strangely enough, a number of TexMex joints.

Bulgaria is the birthplace of yogurt. Yogurt junkies, this is your promised land for the quality, taste and choices for yogurt here are unsurpassed!

Our recommendations:

BULGARIAN CUISINE

Pri Yafata

28, Solunska Str.
A cult place, a folk-style restaurant, situated in an extraordinarily beautiful and impressive three-story house.
Open: 10:00 – …
PIZZA

Ugo

  • 45, Vitosha Blvd.
  • 68, Neofit Rilski Str.
  • 2, Han Krum Str.
Open: 24h

O!Shipka

  • 11, Shipka Str.
  • 13, Budapeshta Str.
Open: 24h

Don Domat

  • At the corner of Rakovski Str. / Slaveikov Sq.
  • At the corner of 6th Septemvri Str. / Slavianska Str.
  • At the corner of Triaditsa Str. and Veslets Str.
Open: 11:30 – 02:00
INTERNATIONAL

Divaka

  • 41A, 6ti Septemvri Str.
  • 54, Gladston Str.
  • 16, Hristo Belchev Str.
Open: 24h

Happy Bar&Grill

  • 145, Rakovski Str.
  • 4, Sveta Nedelia Sq.
  • Mall Sofia
  • 101, Al. Stambolijski Blvd.
Open: 10:00 – 24:00
CHINESE

Ivailo

19 Ivailo Str.
Open: 10AM
FAST FOOD

The nearest ones:

Mc Donald’s

  • 69, Gladston Str.
  • At the corner of Alabin Str. and Vitosha Blvd.
  • 2, Bulgaria Blvd. – next to National Palace of Culture
  • 23, Kniaginia Maria Luiza Blvd.

KFC

  • 2, Angel Kunchev Str.
  • 28, Alexander Stamboliski Blvd.

Pizza slices takeaway

Everywhere

Duner kebab

Everywhere

Trops – University canteen style place

22, Alabin Str.
INDIAN

Ramajana

17, Hristo Botev Blvd.

Taj Mahal

11, 11ti Avgust Str.
VEGETARIAN

Vegi House

10, Patriarh Evtimi Blvd.
PASTRY SHOPS

Dvete Fukli

13, Hristo Botev Blvd.

Villa Rosiche

26, Neofit Riski Str.
ICE CREAM

Jimmy’s

  • 39, 6th Septemvri Str.
  • 11, Angel Kanchev Str.
  • 2, Bulgaria Blvd. – next to NDK

For more than 100 others check on line at www.programata.bg

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Drinking

BARS

The Apartment

68, Neofit Rilski Str.

Bilkova

22, Ivan Shishman Str.
Open: 10:00 – 02:00

Hambara

22, 6-th Septemvri Str.

Motto

18, Aksakov Str.
Open: 09:00 – 02:00
www.motto-bg.com

B29 – Piano bar

29, Vladaiska Str.
Open: 10:00 – 03:00

Toba&Co

6, Moskovska Str.
Open: 10:00 – …

Buddha Bar

15A, Lege Str., Rila Hotel
Open: 00:00 – 24:00

Chocolate

193, Georgi Sava Rakovski Str.
Open: 09:00 – …

Vino bar

7-9, Tzar Osvoboditel Blvd. (Military Club, entrance from Rakovska Str.)
Open: 10:00 – 01:00

Baskerville

16, Denkoglu Str.
Open: 09:00 – …

Blaze

36, Slavianska Str.
Open: 10:00 – 03:00

Opera

113, Georgi Sava Rakovski Str.
Open: 09:00 – …
BEER-HOUSES

Pri Kmeta

3, Paris Str.
Open: 11:30 – 04:00
www.prikmeta.com

Pette Kiosheta

25, Skobelev Blvd.
Open: 11:00 – 23:30

1516

2A, Tzar Assen Str.
Open: 10:30 – …

El Corazon

12, Graf Ignatiev Str.
Open: 09:30 – 06:00
IRISH PUBS

Irish Harp

7, Sveta Sofia Str.
Open: 10:00 – 24:00

JJ Murphy’s

6, Karnigradska Str.
Open: 12:00 – 00:30

Dublin Cool House

54, Alabin Str.
Open: 00:00 – 24:00

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Dancing

CLUBS

My Mojito

12, Ivan Vazov Str.
Finely crushed ice gently chopped lime; sugar with the scent of caramel; fresh mint leaves; genuine rum; softly whispering soda – this is My Mojito. One of the most popular clubs in Sofia
Open: 21:00 – 05:00

Chervilo

9, Tzar Osvoboditel Blvd.
Place for the fashionable and music loving party people. DJ’s combine elements of progressive house, tribal rhythms and smooth tech-house grooves
Open: Thu – Sat 22:30 – …
www.chervilo.com

Gramofon

6, Budapeshta Str.
Music mix + Great Bar
Open: 00:00 – 24:00

Tri Ushi

1, Tri Ushi Str., behind the Court House
Underground club. Non-commercial music
Open: 20:00 – …
www.3ushi.com

Alcohol

127, Georgi Sava Rakovski Str.
Open: 18:00 – …

Briliantin

3, Moskovska Str.
A perfect choice of retro music which you will remember for days on end. Just select your outfit, perfume, company and look and have fun.
Open: 19:00 – 04:00
www.briliantin.com

Babbles

22, Tsar Ivan Shishman Str.
Ultra fab designer bar. The lively atmosphere is back up with house music supplied by popular Bulgarian DJs.
Open: 17:00 – …
www.babblesclub.com

Cabaret

12, Hristo Belchev Str.
Situated in the basement of an antique house. It is turned into a modern club, where you can party all night.
Music: retro, ethno, dance
Open: 19:00 – 04:00
www.club-cabaret.net

Legloto (The Bed)

20, Todor Aleksandrov Blvd.
The real retro club…all to you!
Open: 22:00 – ..

Cool House Dali

6, Shipka Str.
Bar + Dance music
Open: 21:00 – …

Bibliographer Cool House

88, Vassil Levski Blvd., Narodna Biblioteka
The style of Bibliotekata can be defined easily – prepossessing.
Music: Disco, Retro, Jazz
Open: 21:00 – …

?iffany Club

12-14 Denkoglu Str.
Bar that turns into Disco Club after 23:00.
Open: 10:00 – …
http://www.facebook.com/club.tiffany.sofia

Cucaracha

10, Lege Str.
Open: Wed – Sat 18:00 – …

Oscar Club

Slavjanska Str. / Dobrudja Str.
Open: 16:00 – 04:00

Planet Club

1A Oborishte Str.
Disco, house, chill out make up the club’s music scheme and bring in the spirit of the European capitals.
Open: 09:00 – 04:00

Pulse

50 Tzar Samuil Str.
Open: Mon – Sat 22:00 – 08:00

Saray

Underground pass Fr. Nansen Str. and Vassil Levski Blvd.
The real place of original Oriental music and belly dances. Different style for different people…
Open: 22:00 – 06:00

Sax

67, Vassil Levski Blvd.
Open: Sun – Thursday 10:00 – 04:00, Fri – Sat 10:00 – 06:00

Sugar

1, Graf Ignatiev Str.
Music for your soul! Free enter for Ladies
Open: 20:00 – 05:00

Double Vision

Underpass of Hilton Hotel
Open: 22:00 – …

Solo

8, Pozitano Str.
Situated in the very centre of the Bulgarian capital – at the well-known Positano Str., with a capacity of about 400 people (150 seats on two floors) and plenty of space for dancing
Open: 22:00 – …

My Club

18, Angel Kanchev Str.
Open: 22:00 – 04:00

Fans

114, Vassil Levski Blvd.
Open: 18:00 – 03:00

Amor

Underground pass Bulgaria Blvd. and Fr. Nansen Str.
Open: 22:00 – 05:00
STUDENTSKI GRAD

(Student’s town)

Fire

Studentski Grad, next to Block 13
Fire Club pays compliments only to the formula “a never-ending party”.
Open: Mon – Sat 22:00 – 06:00

Jim Beam Club

Studentski Grad, 3 Atanas Manchev Str.
A cult hot spot of Sofia at night
Open: 22:30 – 06:00
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jim-Beam/81715297007

Traffic

Studentski Grad, 1 Atanas M?nchev Str.
With its two separate halls on 1100 sq.m, Traffic is the biggest nightclub in Sofia.
Open: 22:30 – 05:00

Anastell

Studentski Grad, next to 24 Block
Open: 21:00 – 06:00

Marseille

Studentski Grad, 5, Prof. Dr. Ivan Stranski Str., between Block 55 and Block 56
Every night the party is guaranteed with DJ parties of various kinds – retro, house, funky and the latest pop hits. Attractive female dancers add the final touch to the club’s color.
Open: 08:00 – 02:00

Stroeja

Studentski Grad, Block 23, Enter B
Open: 10:00 – 04:00
LIVE MUSIC

O!Shipka

11, Shipka Str.
Indie, underground and alternative artists perform their own music – anything from Jazz, Hip-Hop and Ska through experimental electronic music, Hardcore, Nu-metal, crossover and even Black Metal
Open: 00:00 – 24:00

Swingin’ Hall

8, Dragan Tzankov Blvd.
Its main feature is live music – jazz, pop and rock. Bulgarian and international musicians perform regularly here.
Open: 21:00 – 04:00

Back Stage

100, Vassil Levski Blvd.
Live performances by many Bulgarian artists. Every Wednesday is Blues Night
Open: 21:00 – 04:00
POP FOLK

Nai Club I

10, Narodno Sabranie Sq.
Open: 20:00 – …

Planeta Club

6, Graf Ignatiev Str.
Open: 00:00 – 24:00

Biad Cool House

16, Gurko Str.
Open: 22:00 – …

Sin City Folk Club

61, Hristo Botev Blvd.
Open: 00:00 – 24:00

Sheherezada

1A, Vitosha Blvd.
Open: 21:00 – …

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Shooting

Shooting Live Ammunition Split between Pistol and Shot Gun.

The most modern shooting range in Bulgaria, equipped according to the European standards offers:

  • 4 corridors with moving and falling targets for precise and combat shooting from 7, 10, 15 and 25 meters distance
  • A strong air-conditioning system changes the whole air each 2 minutes
  • Shooting with the latest models guns on great variety of targets
  • A professional instructor is always at hand

A shooting license is not required.
If you are under 18 years of age (proved with a passport) you are allowed to shoot with air guns only.

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Bowling

Mega Extreme Bowling covers an area of 2,000 sq. m. and offers:

  • 18 tracks of AMF – Bowling equipment No 1 in America
  • X-treme bowling – playing under unique light effects and ultraviolet lighting
  • Unique game programming functions
  • 6 pool tables
  • 5 electronic darts
  • Simulators and many other games

In the disco area a super powerful equipment of 8,000W knocks you off. Every week the hottest names of the Bulgarian music scene perform here.

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KOPRIVSHTITSA

Our day trip to the picturesque village of Koprivshtitsa will take you centuries back in time.

White stone walls overgrown with ivy and wild geranium are fencing-in gardens full of flowers. Vaulted stone bridges run across the bubbly Topolnitsa river. Heavy, iron-studded gates hide blue, yellow and red houses with verandas, bay windows and eaves and the spacious rooms are lit up by brightly colored rugs and cushions, carved ceilings and cupboards, copper vessels and ceramics. Architects say that every house in Koprivshtitsa is a work of art.

The small town of Koprivshtitsa is reachable in about 2 hours. The town is a true ethnographic museum of Bulgarian Renaissance architecture.

Koprivshtitsa’s charm and ancient spirit has hardly any rivals in Bulgaria, probably except for the seaside town of Sozopol. Yet the two towns’ similarities end with their narrow and steep cobbled streets. Koprivshtitsa’ old houses are all painted in different vivid colors (yellow, orange, red, blue, green) with their stone walls rising high above the ground. Walls were built thick and high for purely practical reasons – i.e. during the Ottoman rule, this was done in order to prevent Bulgarian women from being beheld by Turkish soldiers. The walls’ height was also ensuring that any plots or revolutionary gatherings against the Turkish authorities were not to be heard or seen by the latter.

Once being a crafts and trading center, at present the town of Koprivshtitsa lives primarily on tourism with most of its houses being turned into cozy family hotels with welcoming mehanas – traditional Bulgarian restaurants on their ground floors or in their cellars. The atmosphere including the cuisine are traditionally Bulgarian. This makes the town a favorite weekend destination for guests of Sofia.

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BOYANA CHURCH AND NATIONAL HISTORICAL MUSEUM

Under Construction

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