The capital of Bulgaria
, is a bustling metropolis where Eastern and Western European influences come together. The Balkan city offers visitors stunning architecture, great cultural events and an abundance of bars. From cheap and cheerful to more exclusive establishments, here’s our guide to the top 10 bars in the city.
Bar, Restaurant, Bulgarian, $$$
is a Bulgarian restaurant which transforms into a bar and night club once the sun has set. Pop-art inspired artwork adorns the walls of the main restaurant, and the floor-to-ceiling windows look out onto the adjoining terrace and garden, ensuring the whole place is light and airy. The drinks menu is extensive with many bottled and draft beers, wines, cocktails, mocktails and entertainingly named shooters to choose from. Take a seat on one of the stylish sofas or relax in the calm and spacious garden to the rear of the bar.
Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
French 75 takes its title from the Champagne and gin-based cocktail of the same name. The stylish bar is kitted out with exposed brick walls, stripped-back wooden furniture, and high stools and comfortable sofas dotted around the rooms. Mingle with the stylish crowd who frequent this establishment and try the eponymous ‘French 75’ or any other of their delicious drinks.
One More Bar
Bar, Pub Grub, Vegan, $$$
From the outside, One More Bar
looks more like someone’s house than one of Sofia’s most popular drinking spots. This chic bar, located in the very heart of the city center, is housed in what appears to be an apartment block in a residential area. Step inside, however, and you will be greeted by a colorful, playfully designed interior and fashion-forward clientele. The bar is open throughout the day as well as into the early hours of the morning. Stop by and sample one of their famous original cocktails, including some of the first vegan and organic cocktails in the city.
Rakia Raketa Bar
Bar, Restaurant, European, Bulgarian, $$$
Just across the road from Sofia’s beautiful Park Zaimov you’ll find Raketa Rakia Bar. This venue specializes in rakia, a fermented fruit brandy which is Bulgaria’s unofficial national drink. Raketa has a varied menu of hearty meals to sample before moving on to its namesake drink, of which it offers a wide range of flavors. If the fiery tipple isn’t to your taste however, there are lots of other soft and alcoholic drinks to enjoy in the quirky surroundings.
Raffy Bar & Gelato
Restaurant, Bar, Bulgarian, Asian, Sushi, Mediterranean, Italian, $$$
Raffy is one of the busiest spots on Vitosha Boulevard serving both food and drinks. It has a heated winter garden on the pedestrianized boulevard and a terrace for you to people watch from above. The bar has a high-energy, party vibe and is open 24/7, so you can be sure the fun never stops here.
The Egg Bar
The Egg Bar offers beer connoisseurs a great variety of craft beers from all over the world. Set in a corner building on a quiet street just one minute away from the central Serdika subway station, this casual bar has just a few tables on the ground level and a few more on the first floor. Watch out for their happy hours and if you visit it in winter, don’t miss out on trying its mulled wine and their traditional Bulgarian rakia boiled with honey.
Masterpiece Whisky Bar
Bar, European, $$$
is a stylish whisky bar with more than 800 varieties on its menu and a friendly staff willing to help you choose your perfect whiskey. You can choose drinks from Japan, Ireland, USA, Scotland, Canada to Australia, Sweden, and Taiwan. In summer, you can enjoy the shady bliss of its garden. The bar is located in Studentski Grad, the university students quarter in Sofia.
Bar, Cocktail Bar, European, $$$
a legendary rock bar that has been the local go-to for more than seven years now. It is frequented by a light-hearted, natural mixed crowd of locals and foreigners who enjoy their beer watching a sports game, their favorite band’s concert or just catching up with friends. Definitely worth a visit if you’re a karaoke fan.
DaDa Cultural Bar
Bar, European, $$$
If you feel like having your drink with interesting, culturally minded people, head to DaDa Cultural Bar
. The venue is a hub for the fringes of society. The club hosts art and cultural events, exhibitions, book presentations, live concerts, cinema screenings, and theatre nights. Make sure you try their homemade rum or, if you’re in the mood for something more mellow, their Baileys-flavored drink is also delicious. They also offer a great selection of craft beers.
Bar, Cocktail Bar, Nightclub, European, $$$
At night, :PM Club is a dancing venue, which turns into a bar during the day. It is a stylish and fancy place often frequented by Sofia’s trend setters and local celebrities. The bar has several resident DJs who play dance retro, R’n’B, EDM, and house music, and is one of the Sofia’s main nightlife hubs.