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Found in the very heart of the Balkans region, Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria as well as its largest city. Formerly known as Serdica, Sofia is one of the oldest cities in Europe and was once a major trade center in the Roman Empire. The city has a deep history and was chosen as the capital after the Bulgarians gained independence during the 19th century.
Often overlooked by incoming visitors, who typically visit the ski resorts or coastal areas of the country, Sofia has slowly gained a reputation as a laid-back city worth seeing. Because of the rich history, travelers can expect a myriad of old architecture, educational institutions, landmarks, and more.
More and more people are starting to appreciate Sofia’s one-of-a-kind “east meets west” atmosphere. Furthermore, because of its up-and-coming tech scene, the city has been named one of the best places in the world to form a start-up business, particularly in the information technology industry. Whether you’re a local playing tourist, a business traveler, or a curious foreign visitor, Bounce can help you with your luggage woes. By simply locating a Bounce partner in your area, you can safely leave your heavy items before exploring the city.
As a booming commercial center and a tourist destination, Sofia regularly welcomes thousands of people. As more and more people enter the city, the demand for reliable storage services also increases. Quickly find a convenient place to stow your gear by downloading the Bounce app.
Top Things to Do
Although not as popular as other cities in the region, Sofia is gradually becoming part of tourists’ European “to-visit” list. The city has seen it all - from Romans and the Balkan tribes to Russians and Ottomans, all of which influenced the city’s culture and traditions one way or another. To get the best out of Sofia, here are some recommended places you cannot miss.
The city of Sofia has lots of stories to tell, and the best place to learn more about the city’s past and history is through its museums. As a matter of fact, Sofia is home to nearly 30 museums, all of which are unique in their own right. If you’re not sure where to start, check out Bounce’s recommendations for Sofia museums worth visiting.
National History Museum: Established in 1973, this museum is the biggest one in Sofia and one of the largest museums in the entire Balkans region. Home to over 700,000 exhibits, the National History Museum offers visitors an in-depth and complete overview of the past up to present-day Bulgaria. (Bag policy: The museum has a dedicated cloakroom for big bags or luggage. Another option would be to store your things at a Bounce location nearby before entering the museum).
The Earth and Man National Museum: One of the world’s biggest mineralogical museums, this facility was founded in 1985 and covers 4000 square meters of land. Inside, you will find several rooms with rare artifacts such as crystals, stones, and other minerals. (Bag policy: There are size limits to the bags that guests may carry inside the venue. To avoid any issues, leave your things with Bounce beforehand.)
Sofia History Museum: Located in the former Central Mineral Bath building, this museum houses a collection of nearly 120,000 pieces that played a role in the past of the Bulgarian capital. There are eight themed rooms inside the building, each of which tells the story of Sofia. (Bag policy: Guests aren’t allowed to bring big bags or backpacks inside the galleries. What you can do is find a Bounce partner in the area and stow your things there.)
Ever since the communist rule was abolished, Sofia has slowly become a haven for shopping enthusiasts. The city has much to offer those who want to spend some money – from numerous shopping malls to markets and locally-owned boutiques. While the options may not be as abundant as in other European cities, there’s no doubt that you will find a little bit of everything in Sofia’s retail spots.
Mall of Sofia: One of the biggest malls in Bulgaria, the Mall of Sofia is located in the Sofia Tower and is arguably the most popular shopping mall in the city. Peruse over 130 shops, including both Bulgarian names and international brands that sell everything from wardrobe, shoes, jewelry, homeware and more. The mall is also home to the only IMAX cinema in the city.
Central Department Store (TZUM): Known more popularly as TZUM, this department store is found in the heart of Sofia, near the Council of Ministers. The complex is lined with countless shops that carry recognizable brands such as Adidas, Tissot, Victorinox and several others.
Vino Orenda: Bulgarian wine is considered among the best in the world, and the only place worth checking out in Sofia to buy them is Vino Orenda. An institution in Sofia, Vino Orenda is small but well-known, and the shopkeeper is exceptionally knowledgeable. The shop carries over 300 wines sourced from 60 different wineries all over Bulgaria.
The culinary scene in Sofia is wonderful and unpredictable; the traditional Bulgarian dishes are consistently being interpreted across different restaurants. Moreover, several other eateries have their own version of international flavors and cuisine. If you want to taste the best food in the city, check out the following restaurants.
Shtastlivetsa: Bulgarian for “lucky man,” this restaurant is one of the best places in the city to taste authentic and traditional Bulgarian cuisine. They also serve a local variation of different international dishes. Due to its popularity, it's best to book a table at Shtastlivetsa ahead of time.
Taj Mahal: You might be wondering why an Indian restaurant is listed in the best places to eat when in Sofia, but Taj Mahal is definitely worth trying. Locals agree that this is the restaurant to go to if you’re looking for authentic Indian dishes. They also serve beer and cocktails, which can be paired perfectly with your meals.
Little Things: Found within a tiny house, you might not initially get why this charming restaurant is an excellent choice for dining in Sofia. Don’t let its size fool you though, the servings are huge, and everything is homemade. Little Things serves traditional Bulgarian food as well as international dishes, including bestsellers such as creamy fish, handmade meatballs and their popular dessert, the fig cheesecake.
How much does luggage storage cost in Sofia?
The price for luggage storage in Sofia is just $5.90/bag for the entire day.
Where are there luggage storage locations in Sofia?
There are multiple locations all around Sofia which can be booked through the Bounce platform including near Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Russian Church, Vitosha Boulevard and many other areas.
Is it safe to store your bags in Sofia?
Yes. Every bag is tagged with a security seal and comes with the $5,000 Bounce Guarantee. Every location is required to uphold tight security precautions. You may be asked to show ID and you will be required to use a credit card to book through Bounce in advance. With hundreds of thousands of bags stored, you can count on Bounce to handle your baggage in Sofia.
Are there storage lockers in Sofia?
Yes. There are storage lockers and many other luggage drop off points in Sofia. Bounce has multiple locations throughout Sofia where you can conveniently store your luggage with full security and the $5,000 Bounce Gurantee.
Where are the best places to stay and eat while in Sofia?
The most popular restaurants to visit are Hadjidraganov's Houses, La Cattedrale, and Shtastlivetsa. Additionally, the highest ranked hotels within Sofia are Hotel Rodina, Hotel Marinela Sofia, and Crystal Palace.
Where are the best parks and nature attractions in Sofia?
Sofia offers several scenic parks including City Garden, Boris' Garden Park, and Doctors' Garden.
Where can I find tourist information and guideposts in Sofia?
You can find local tourist information at Free Walking Tour (11am, 6pm) and Tourist information Sofia.
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