Located in the stunning Sofia Valley at the base of Mount Vitosha, Sofia is one of Europe’s oldies, having a history that dates back some 7,000 years. And having played host to Romans, Byzantines, Bulgars, Turks and Communists over the years, this city has a rich cultural heritage. Check out its grand Russian-style Neo-classical boulevards and its array of churches and Ottoman mosques to see what we mean. From 4th century Byzantine basilicas to huge onion-domed cathedrals, Sofia is a culture vulture’s paradise when it comes to historical riches too. And, of course, there’s all you could wish for in terms of museums and galleries, with some of the most impressive historic collections in Eastern Europe. The National Museum of History is a must see for anyone interested in European history.
Since the fall of communism, Sofia has taken on a new character with the opening of glitzy new hotels, shopping centres and a whole host of nightclubs and bars that will keep you going until the early hours. And what’s more, after a night out here, you’ll still have change in your pocket. But this is also a city with a distinctly laid back vibe where the locals like to spend their time sipping coffees in the many open-air cafes, or strolling through the city’s beautiful parks. Summer months are all about lazing by the nearby Pancharevo Lake with its warm mineral springs, while in winter the slopes of Vitosha attract the ski set. One of the newer members of the city break brigade, Sofia is a holiday destination that is definitely here to stay.