Sofia Journals

Undiscovered Bulgaria

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An August 1995 trip to Sofia by jwagner

Quote: Regular European travelers looking for more exotic locales will find it all in Bulgaria: friendly people, cultural treasures, a rich history, fine museums, beautiful scenery, and an underrated cuisine

Undiscovered Bulgaria

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Overview

Quote:
Dive into the city. Visit the university area, the downtown shopping district, the government buildings, etc. Pay attention to the rich diversity of the Bulgarian people, their sense of place and celebration of freedom after 700 years of outside rule, their desire to make Bulgaria a better place. Although I was fascinated by Bulgaria's attempt to document its history in a series of museums, I enjoyed most the moments I spent among the people (and away from the tourists). Quick Tips: Expect the unexpected. Police bribes, tiny hotel rooms and unreliable transportation seems like an after thought when you begin experiencing Bulgarian hospitality. Bulgarians are fascinated with America...Read More

Sheraton Sofia Hotel Balkan

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Hotel | "Sheraton Hotel Balken"

Quote:
The Sheraton is nice by any standards and is a welcome respite when you tire of the challenges of visiting Bulgaria. The whole hotel was carefully remodeled in the early 1990s and the staff is very helpful. You'll find a lobby bar where the beer is actually cold and a decent resataurant. Busy downtown Sofia is right outside your door and lots of restaurants abound. Close to museums, the interest mega-department store that used to be state run (and still feels like a museum) and other attractions. Splurge for a night or two. You'll save enough on other accomodations to stay within your budget.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 23, 2000

Sheraton Sofia Hotel Balkan
5 SVETA NEDELYA SQUARE
Sofia, Bulgaria
359-2-9816541

Melnik

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Melnik is a mostly forgotten town in the southwest corner of Bulgaria. With a stay in Sandanski, it makes for a good weekend journey or--from Sofia--a longish day trip. The town was built amongst rock crags and is well-known for its wine. Order from a local restaurant and the owner will dip a pitcher into a big wooden barrel. Be sure to have a translator with you since English is almost impossible here The city offers interesting architecture and Byzantine ruins that are practically void of tourists. A part of your day must include a trip to the desolate Rozhen Monastery, one of scores of monasteries around the country. When I visited, one Eastern Orthodox priest lives in the sprawling...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 23, 2000

Quote:
This sprawling museum is hands-off, a bit of a surprise for Disney sensitized Americans. But room after room of artifacts, not always sequenced in a logical order, gives you the thrill of snooping through Grandma's attic. You never know what you'll find.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 23, 2000

National Museum of History
2 Vitosha Blvd
Sofia, Bulgaria

Quote:
A huge, sometimes impenetrable collection of flora and fauna, rocks, etc. Just dive in because there's no way you can see it all (and you probably wouldn't want to.) Still, for natural history buffs, a treasure trove of artifacts.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 23, 2000

National Museum of Natural History
1 Tsar Osvoboditel Blvd.
Sofia, Bulgaria

National Ethnographic Museum

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Attraction

Quote:
With a translator, this is the best of the big-three museums. A little easier to do than some of Sofia's other museums (see other entries) but I'm not sure whether that's because of careful selections or because that's all they have to show. With a little imagination and a bit of preparation, this is a worthwhile stop for travelers who want to understand Bulgarian life. There are more than 10,000 exhibits that portray customs, etc.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 23, 2000

National Ethnographic Museum
1 A. Battenberg Square
Sofia, Bulgaria

Walking Tour of Sofia

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Attraction

Quote:
You won't find a trolley here to show you the sites of Sofia. But what better way to see the city than a get-lost-and-immerse-yourself walking tour of the downtown area?

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 23, 2000

Walking Tour of Sofia
Throughout Sofia
Sofia, Bulgaria