Visiting a foreign country could be one of the most controversial experiences you could ever have. While it could be a refreshing and mind-opening time, it could also be frustrating and disappointing. The most you could do is research the place you are going to prior to your arrival – the rest is pure luck.

Let’s say you are not one of those people who rely entirely on their luck to have a good time and you do your homework of researching the destination prior to arrival. We’ve prepared a little city guide with some of the most popular places in Sofia that are also preferred by foreigners – especially for you. We hope you will find it handy and helpful. See for yourself…

Walking Around Shishman Street

Shishman Street is one of the many faces Sofia has – from small coffee shops, to underground clubs and fancy restaurants, and souvenirs, and bookstores, and boutiques and what not. Spare a few hours to walk around and you will sink into the many worlds that street has to offer.

One More Bar

12 Tsar Ivan Shishman Str.

Whether you have run into this place by chance or you were dragged by someone else there, you are likely to stay…for one more drink or one more chat with friends and strangers. And, you are likely to come back at least one more time, or better – every time you visit Sofia.

I still don’t know what’s so special about this place – it’s something in the air, I suppose. It’s always packed, and you may want to make a reservation upfront. Have a bite, or talk to the bar tender who will come up with a custom cocktail for you while enjoying the dim light and the background yet danceable music.

One More Bar also serves organic and vegan cocktails.

Elephant Bookstore

31 Tsar Ivan Shishman Str.

“Perhaps the coolest book and gift shop in Sofia, fresh deliveries every week and we do our best to find any book on the plane,” according to the guys at the Elephant bookstore…and they are right. Time could literally cease to exist while browsing through the books in English and the peculiar souvenirs neatly staged on the shelves. Don’t be surprised if you lavish your money for bizarre items that may not have a particular function but are simply cool and colorful.

Also, if you need to order a book – any book – the guys at the Elephant bookstore would simply “scout the world for a copy and let you know the price before you decide to order”. Isn’t that awesome?

La Bottega Restaurant

24 Tsar Ivan Shishman Str.

Whether you like fancy restaurants or not, La Bottega is not to be missed.  Its homey interior, warm welcome and tasty Italian food would take away the discomfort that usually accompanies “fancy” places. The staff will break the ice quite elegantly and will guide you through the menu choices.  The cozy atmosphere will predispose you to enjoy your wine with no rush.

You may need a reservation upfront here as well. The place is popular so planning your visit there a little ahead may be at your plus.

Roderic Bar

27 Tsar Ivan Shishman Str.

Walk a little farther and you will reach the Roderic Bar. It’s a coffee shop and a bar. It’s small but legendary, and it’s all about the atmosphere again. You go there in the evening and you may run into the live performance of an alternative band. You go there alone, and you will find a buddy to drink beer with, to chat and kill time.

Roderic is simply Roderic. Casual and charming.

The Little Things Restaurant

37 Tsar Ivan Shishman Str.

Speaking of charming little places, let’s not miss The Little Things. It’s the little things that add flavour in our lives, isn’t it?

The place is arty, romantic and with character. The little vintage decorations on the walls would engage you the moment you walk in, and you may completely forget to look at the menu. However, the food there is not to be forgotten – it’s simply delicious.

The Little Things would make you feel comfortable regardless of whether you are alone or you bring company. Make a reservation upfront if possible – the place is also popular.