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one week in Sofia

Geneva, Switzerland
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11 posts
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one week in Sofia

My husband and I will be staying for one week in august in SOfia. We wanted to visit the city and then take a few day trips to nearby towns. Any suggestions? Thanks

Sofia
Destination Expert
for Sofia, Bulgaria
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525 posts
75 reviews
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1. Re: one week in Sofia

Hi! In August you have to expect most probably hot weather (mixed with showers) and relatively quiet city of Sofia with less traffic, as many people are somewhere out for holiday. Go for a walk in the city, visit some museums if you are interested, enjoy good food and wine in a cool restaurant garden...

Here are my suggestions for 1-day trips:

1. Rila Monastery;

2. Koprivshtica;

3. Boyana church and Vitosha mountain (I see you come from Switzerland :)

Have a great time in Sofia and contact me if you have any further questions!

RF2
Dimitrovgrad
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389 posts
4 reviews
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2. Re: one week in Sofia

Another suggestion for 1-day trip is Plovdiv and Bachkovo monastery.

Sofia is not worth for more than a day or 2.

california
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371 posts
9 reviews
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3. Re: one week in Sofia

The first weekend of August is the every 5 years big dance festival in Koprivshtitsa. So time your going there based on how much you are interested in Bulgarian folk dance vs how much you want to be with crowds/

I'll be there in the crowd.

Sofia
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126 posts
31 reviews
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4. Re: one week in Sofia

Hi coccinella1,

Suggesting destinations very much depends on what you are interested in. I see from your profile that you've been to mostly out of the beaten track places.

Do's:

Rila monastery

Plovdiv - old town

Belogradchik

Koprivshtitsa - if in time for the festival or anyway

Kazanluk - tracian tomb

Troyan and Troyan monastery

Don't s

Vitosha mountain - especially for a swiss

In Sofia do go to the Boyana church

also if you have time, visit the Black sea (not Sunny beach though) for one reason I've never heard it being advertised for - it smells so intense of sea. and the sand is really golden :] Have fun in Bg.

Geneva, Switzerland
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11 posts
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5. Re: one week in Sofia

thanks everyone! you have been really nice and given me lots of ideas! Unfortunately I will be going on the 13th of August, so I wil miss the folk dance festival, which is a real pity! I will probably also have to hike in the Vitosha mts, 'cause my husband loves hiking, but I think it will be very interesting anyway, because it is increadible how different mountains can be! Unfortunately thought I don't think we will make it to the sea because it would probably take us at least 2 days, and I'd rather see the beautiful towns you have advised me!

Just one more question: how do you advise us to travel to all these places? Public transportation or rent a car? My husband loves driving in foreing countries, but I am a bit concerned that all the road signs will be in cyrilic..... Do car rentals rent also GPS systems?

Thanks again for all your help, and if you have any other "off the beaten track- non turisty tips" I would love to hear them!

Have a nice day

Geneva, Switzerland
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11 posts
2 reviews
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6. Re: one week in Sofia

thanks everyone! you have been really nice and given me lots of ideas! Unfortunately I will be going on the 13th of August, so I wil miss the folk dance festival, which is a real pity! I will probably also have to hike in the Vitosha mts, 'cause my husband loves hiking, but I think it will be very interesting anyway, because it is increadible how different mountains can be! Unfortunately thought I don't think we will make it to the sea because it would probably take us at least 2 days, and I'd rather see the beautiful towns you have advised me!

Just one more question: how do you advise us to travel to all these places? Public transportation or rent a car? My husband loves driving in foreing countries, but I am a bit concerned that all the road signs will be in cyrilic..... Do car rentals rent also GPS systems?

Thanks again for all your help, and if you have any other "off the beaten track- non turisty tips" I would love to hear them!

Have a nice day

RF2
Dimitrovgrad
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389 posts
4 reviews
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7. Re: one week in Sofia

Hm, if you like hiking, I would recommend Rila mountain. It is the highest in the Balkans and Musala peak (2925 m) is not difficult. If you are more experienced you may climb Maliovitsa peak (2729м) - it is more difficult. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malyovitsa. On your way up, you will see the Rila monastery right under your feet, nestling among the surrounding hills and deep forests. The view is spectacular.

…blog.bg/photos/5325/original/S6302448.JPG - something like this, but this is zoomed-in a lot. The real view is from much higher altitude.

I suggest renting a car. You will be much more flexible and time efficient. Rent-a-car companies provide GPS, but you have to ask for it. Make sure they have loaded a dedicated map of Bulgaria, not a general Europe map.

Toulouse
7 posts
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8. Re: one week in Sofia

hi, I would advise you something else. As you are staying in Sofia, you have to make one day trips in order to see the towns that you would like. Instead of renting a car an idea can be to book day trips - it is with a car, driver and a guide. From Sofia, as RF2 says, Rila mountain is not far if you like hiking and you will see incredible things. Malyovitza peak id really very beautiful, but it is for hard hiking, not difficult, but long and with big height gain/loss. Another option are the Seven Rila lakes - as well one day trip and hiking is soft. There you can find all those trips, it is an agency that I strongly reccommend, they are specialists in alternative tourism, and their specialty is hiking http://zigzagbg.com/one_day_trips_eng.php

Sofia
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126 posts
31 reviews
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9. Re: one week in Sofia

If you are into hiking I would suggest Rila mountain as well. The problem of Vitosha is that it is mich like an out-of-city park because it's overcrowded.

Rent-a-car is a perfect option - do not worry about road signs most of them in english - rent a GPS or buy the good old map . What I suggest is a rent-a-car go to Rila monastery, then go on trough Kirilova polqna to the end of the road(app.17 km) and then climb 1 hour to the picturesque Fish lakes (ribni ezera) The path is in Rila Monastery National park and is a "botanical itinerary". Musala is another option and 7 Rila lakes(through Panichishte) as well, there is a gondola to the feet of both.

USA
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103 posts
19 reviews
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10. Re: one week in Sofia

Others have already provided great suggestions, but if you enjoy the mountains and wilderness, I'd suggest Trigrad and the area around it in southern Bulgaria as another possibility.

I would also suggest renting a car. It is easy to drive, and despite what the locals say, the roads are in pretty good condition. Of course, driving in Sofia is no fun, but it is no different from most European towns for someone like me who visits from the USA.

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