Sofia – Hilly Haven

Early records inform us that the city of Sofia as we know it today was known as Serdica. People from this region are supposed to be related to the Thracian Serdi tribe. Other names for Sofia have been known to be Triaditsa and Serdets. This central Balkan city, located in west Bulgaria, happens to be a lovely pristine spot practically hemmed in by verdurous mountains. To get into the city you need to get through three mountain passes. Several low rivers criss-cross the city including the Perlovska and the Vladaya that later merges with the Iskar River flowing nearby.

Most visitors, on gaining entry into Sofia, are left speechless thanks to the gorgeous mountain ridges, crags and cliffs. Against the velvety green and undulating landscape nestle houses with turreted rooftops making the Bulgarian capital look even more picturesque.

There are plenty of places to stay in at Sofia thanks to a proliferation of hotels, inns, and hostels. For those looking to sample a high living standard during their stay, there are five star hotels’ galore. Those seeking a convenient location need to look no further than the Sofia Sheraton which is an old building converted into a five star luxury hotel. Most tourists prefer this five star hotel over others in view of its proximity to the National Opera, Saint Sofia Church, National Theatre, The Central Baths etc.

And if you are looking for something a little more exotic, then try the luxury hotel Hilton Sofia with a glass rooftop through which you will be able to contemplate the stars! All the guest rooms in this luxury hotel have internet access, an in-room safe, mini-bar, tea and coffee-making facilities, satellite and pay TV, etc.

Besides, there are quite a few other five star luxury hotels such as the Rodina, Holiday Inn Sofia, and Best Western to pick from.

Taking a walk around the city you will come to realize that Sofia is a place of churches, monasteries and ancient buildings. Not too far from the five star hotel Sofia Sheraton stands the Church of Saint Sofia (known as Tsurka Sveta Sofia in the local language). This is the oldest Eastern Orthodox Church in all of Sofia and has been built on the site of several ancient places of worship, even an old Roman theatre.

If you go into the Presidency yard you’ll come across the oldest architectural structure in the city, St. George Rotonda. The monument that was erected during the fourth century has served variously as a baptistery, church, a mosque, and church over time.

Apart from churches and museums, Sofia is also famous for its natural beauty. A stroll up and down Vitosha Street (named after Vitosha Mountain) reveals as much. You can stop by and buy some rare antiques such as Old Bulgarian swords and medals. It is a good idea to have a local to do the bargaining for you so you don’t end up getting ripped off.

Once again, not too far from the Sheraton is the famous TZUM Mall, a capitalist remnant of the communist era where you can buy almost everything.

Have fun!

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