27 May 5 hangouts in Sofia
You’re in the middle of the work week and you can’t wait for the weekend to come, but you have too much work and cannot dedicate enough time for the night life? It’s okay, we got this.
This is the place to be, every day, every night! It’s a mixture of different people, all having fun with a beer in their hands. I have to be honest with you – this is one of my all-time favorite spots in the whole city. Not only because if you know someone here in Sofia, this is the ultimate spot to meet them, but if you’re not in the mood to make any certain plans, this is the place where you could meet all your friends without further expectations. Some consider the lack of public restrooms a flaw. There are only two bathrooms in the so-called park, belonging to the two bars. Especially at night, there are huge lines of girls. It’s actually a con if you want to make an acquaintance.
National Theater Ivan Vazov
If you are new in Sofia you will notice the huge amount of people who prefer this place for a hangout spot. The National Theatre is the jewel of Sofia, an outstanding building surrounded by a beautiful garden. It’s rich in history but now it’s mostly a spot where the local youth congregates when the weather is good to chat, relax and have a good time. Of course, every local is familiar with this social circle. There are a lot of benches and green spots where you can have a coffee during the day or a beer at night. The place is very communicative surrounded by “Squat Shops” and good cafes. As much as we like spending spring-summerish nights there, we always have it in mind if we want to have a more casual meeting with a cup of coffee from the nearest Costa coffee house. You could also see a peculiar dude, who made a coffee bar out of his car.
Vitosha Boulevard or simply “Vitoshka” (Bulgarian “Витошка”) as it is locally known is Sofia’s spine. It leads from St. Nedelya Church all the way up to the National Palace of Culture. Yellow trams used to creak up and down the boulevard, but after extensive renovation works Vitoshka is now a car-free zone lined up by countless shops, cafes, restaurants, and eateries. This is the place where young folks prefer to have their coffee and their Instagram picture taken. Also, there is a very peculiar Bulgarian tradition – wearing your Sundays best, taking a stroll through Vitoshka. Don’t be surprised if the venue reminds you less of a pedestrian street and more of a fashion runway. It is probably the most crowded place in the whole city, but there are delicious restaurants nearby.
It is a small park, with old trees and a playground right behind the National Library. Also, it’s located between two of the most beautiful streets in Sofia- Oborishte and Shipka. The neighbourhood is very artsy and the atmosphere makes you feel all the history the location holds. Right across the garden is the National Music School and while you’re enjoying a good cup of coffee you could actually hear the students rehearsing. This is one of the unique characteristics of the place. We can’t wait to spend our spring and summer nights there when The Smugglers Collective organizes Vintage garden parties. It’s a great place to hang out with your friends, sitting on a blanket in the park, enjoying great jazzy-swing music, to which a couple of people are always dancing.
Slicker hint: If you want a successful date, we recommend bringing the girl of your dreams here.
Don’t get us wrong – this isn’t the place the cartoon is based on. It’s actually one of the most popular parks in the capital. It has numerous cafes and places to eat, asphalt paths for walking and bicycle paths between trees suitable for extreme riding. The park has an excellent location – at the borders of the park are the U.S. embassy and Kempinski Hotel (now Marinella). The main entrance of the park is located on the most popular shopping boulevard – Vitosha Boulevard. Sofia Center (NDK) is located at 10 minutes’ ride by bicycle and 5 minutes by car from the park (or 20 minutes’ walk). The South park of Sofia is a favorite place for walks and sport for locals and visitors of the capital of Bulgaria. Although there are plenty of places to eat, we love to grab a pizza from Dominos (which is situated at the main entrance), a cider and enjoy the nature of the park.
If you are aiming for a more peaceful walk or you’re looking for a greenery location to relax your mind and read a book, the Military Academy is the perfect spot. We discovered the beauty of this park not long ago when Absolut started making parties in the abandoned pond. Even when they have stopped bringing people together there, we continue to love this spot. We will give away one slicker secret: it is our most favorite place to hang a hammock and forget about our everyday worries.
So those were our prime hangouts in Sofia. Do you feel like you can contribute to the list? Please share in the comment box below.
 An interesting fact that you’ll learn during your stay in Sofia is the existence of Squat Shops. Now, before your imagination runs away with you, Squat Shops are shopfronts that run from basement windows in a residential home and appear on street level at knee-height. So, you need to squat to collect your purchase of liquor, snacks, cigarettes. They’re like the home basement business version of 7-11, some open 24 hours a day.