When it comes to getting creative when opening a bar, Sofia has more to offer than you’d expect. From underground bars to candlelit literary haunts, board games bars to a club with a skate ramp, here’s our guide to the best venues in the Bulgarian capital to visit if you crave a truly unique night out.
Hambara is a legendary place where poets and musicians used to gather semi-secretly (actually many people knew about the place but only a few had a key to enter). Later the venue opened to the public although even today you might have to knock on the door to be let in. Once inside, you can hear the wooden floor squeaking and quiet music playing, often performed live. There is no electric light, only candles making for a cozy, homey atmosphere. Still remaining somewhat wrapped in mystery, Hambara doesn’t have a website or any sign on the outside of its building. It’s open daily after 7 pm and you have to look carefully for a house set back a little from street level, in a courtyard. Load the address on your map app and when you get there, just knock on the door.
22, 6-ti Septemvri Str, 1142 Sofia
A:part:mental (The Apartment)
This bar is actually an apartment but you can call it many other names – a gallery, an art scene, a mini cinema, a chocolate parlor… There is a rich program of events, workshops, and concerts that turn the place in an urban cultural hub.
The 3 Trolls Board Games Bar
The 3 Trolls is a chain of two branch board games bars in Sofia, both located in the central area of the city – the ‘Basement’ at 80, Oborishte Street, and the ‘House’ at 21, Chataldzha Street. The ‘House’ has a summer garden making it a perfect spot for a hot summer evening with friends and you can also order a pizza or sandwiches if you have got carried away playing and need a bite to continue. There are more than 400 games in total and a choice of 40 local and imported beer brands.
Grindhouse Skate Club
Grindhouse Skate Club is an underground live music venue located a bit of a distance from the city center but that makes it even more special because every visitor here intended to have their beer here and nowhere else. The night club is the only one in Sofia that features a halfpipe skating ramp inside, a fact that gathers a dedicated crowd.
Top Secret Event House & Pool
Step through the door and in to the relaxing garden here to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Top Secret is a mix of garden, pool and bar&diner where you can listen to soothing jazz music while sipping your cocktail by the pool or in the jacuzzi at sunset.
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