The Neighborhood Guide to Sofia

A view of Sofia from Vitosha Mountain | © Bin im Garten/WikiCommons
A view of Sofia from Vitosha Mountain | © Bin im Garten/WikiCommons
Photo of Maria Angelova
8 April 2017

According to Wikipedia, Sofia has more than 90 neighborhoods; official statistics divide the capital into 24 units, each of them comprising of one or more neighborhoods. It’s impossible to get to know all of them, but if you visit Sofia and want to know it better, you should have at least a general idea of some its neighborhoods and what you will find there.

The center of Sofia

If you book a hotel, it’s better to choose one with a central location, as most of the attractions, food, and entertainment venue are located here (a few exceptions are the National History Museum, Boyana Church, and the Museum of Socialist Art). All the theaters, galleries, and museums (other than the above mentioned) are in the center.

The center of Sofia | © Boby Dimitrov/WikiCommons

Dragalevtsi and Simeonovo – the gates to Vitosha Mountain

These two neighborhoods are bases for many marked trails across Vitosha Mountain. You can also take a chairlift (Dragalevtsi) or cabin lift (Simeonovo) up if you don’t feel fit enough but want to enjoy Sofia from almost a bird-eye’s view. Both Dragalevtsi and Simeonovo are home to some famous Bulgarians who want to live close to the mountain.

The chair lift in Dragalevtsi | © Elena Chochkova/WikiCommons

Boyana – the heritage neighborhood

Boyana is yet another neighborhood at the foot of Vitosha Mountain with some local celebrities living here. It’s where you’ll find some of the national historical treasures – like the National History Museum and the UNESCO-listed Boyana Church.

Boyana Church | © Todor Bozhinov/WikiCommons

The Mladost, Lyulin, Nadezhda, Druzhba, and Obelya neighborhoods

These neighborhoods were built during the Communist era and are notorious for their old crumbling blocks of flats and lack of greenery. Lyulin is the biggest residential complex in Bulgaria, with more than 120,000 people currently living there. All of these neighborhoods are accessible by subway, so it’s easy to visit them if you are curious to explore some Communist-style architecture.

Obelya Neighborhood | © Ivanov id/WikiCommons

Pancharevo – a weekend getaway

A weekend getaway for many Sofia dwellers, the Pancharevo neighborhood stretches along the coast of Pancharevo Lake. You can enjoy many forest trails, restaurants, and outdoor activities there.

Pancharevo Lake | © Kralowec/WikiCommons

Students Town

Students Town (Studentski Grad) is a part of Sofia with lots of students dorms, universities, and an intense nightlife. This is one of the best areas to party and for meeting Bulgaria’s youth.

Students Town in Sofia | © Apostoloff/WikiCommons

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