A lively city of great charm
One of the oldest settlements in Europe
Bulgaria’s capital Sofia has a population of around 1.2 million, making it the country’s largest city and also its political, economic and cultural center. The history of Sofia, one of the oldest settlements in Europe, goes back 7000 years, and the city is crammed with traces of Thracian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman times.
Present-day Sofia is a city of contrasts, where bleak housing blocks and brutalist edifices built under communist rule rub shoulders with historic cultural landmarks, such as Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the Rotunda of St. George, and Boyana Church which is one of Bulgaria’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites and has frescoes dating back to the 13th century.
Bulgarian cuisine features elements borrowed from Balkan cooking, such as the generous use of yoghurt and a preference for paprika. Typical Bulgarian specialties include a wide range of different types of sausage, like the caraway-flavored pepper sausage lukanka, and a seemingly endless variety of spirits, with the plum brandy rakiya at the top of the list. Whoever said that you will find a bar on every corner in Sofia was absolutely right! There are also plenty of other places to have a good time. Many clubs are located in the city’s big hotels.