No matter how big of a sightseeing fan you are, you simply can’t spend an entire city break wandering through the streets and exploring ancient buildings, museums and parks. At one point you just have to sit down and have a bit of fun. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered in that department; here are 5 places to relax and enjoy some downtime in Sofia.
Central Market Hall
Looking for a break in between paying a visit to Banya Bashi Mosque and the old synagogue? Sofia’s oldest market hall is situated right in between these two buildings and offers a variety of food shops. Make sure to taste one of the yummy pastries filled with spinach, olives and cheese in the bakery at the end of the ground floor and sit down and enjoy a coffee among locals in the big coffee bar.
Socia Cafe Bar & Kitchen
In Bulgaria’s capital modern, funky cafés seem to pop up everywhere. My favourite happens to be located right on Sofia’s shopping boulevard, Vitosha, and offers all kinds of coffee as well as food. I would especially recommend the Oreo milkshake, which will make sure that you receive both, a little bit of diabetes and loads of happiness. It is the perfect spot to sit down for a while and observe people walking by while giving your feet a break. If you need a place to sit and work on remote for a while, the Social Café also offers excellent WiFi. But don’t forget to actually follow the café’s motto, and be at least a little social.
Craving some really yummy vegetarian and healthy food? The Sun-Moon café is located in the southern part of the city centre and kept getting recommended to me by fellow travelers. To cut a long story short: the food in this place was the best I had on the entire trip and if you had only time for one meal in Sofia, you should come and find it here.
Don’t get me wrong: I am not opposed to enjoying a local beer in a good old pub but there is nothing better than discovering an unusually decorated bar that offers more than just your average cocktails. This beautifully decorated bar in the centre of Sofia used to be an inhabited apartment in a gorgeous building from the early 20th century. It surely still looks like an apartment but now its sofas, armchairs and chairs are occupied by guests looking for a fancy drink or something to eat. It sure feels a little weird to enter an actual set up kitchen to order your drink but the raspberry wine and quiche taste spectacular! We spent an incredibly cozy night at this bar and I cannot wait to return to A:part:mental!
There is no way you are going to find this little gem on your own, so get to know some locals and let them take you down the dark and hidden alley that leads right to Hambara Bar. You might feel a little concerned when you knock at the old, battered door but as soon as someone opens you will find a beautifully candle-lit room full of interesting people. This place used to be a safe haven for opponents of the Communist regime and is still a well-kept secret of Sofia.