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Living in Sofia for 4 month - what to know

Bamberg, Germany
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Living in Sofia for 4 month - what to know

Hey,

I'll be spending 4 month in Sofia because I'm doing an internship at an IT company.

My stay will be from June until September.

Therefore I've some question regarding the living quality in the town in general:

How is it to live in Sofia? How are the people? Is it easy to meet new people? How well can Bulgars speak English? Is it easy to come around for non-locals, I mean I can neither speak, nor understand nor read the language, so will I be lost? :D

What is important to know before I arrive? How high are the living costs regarding food, drinks, cabs, Internet on the smartphone etc.?

I'd be excited if you just can tell some stuff that's good to know about the city.

Yours,

Tobi

Sofia
Destination Expert
for Sofia, Bulgaria
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538 posts
75 reviews
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1. Re: Living in Sofia for 4 month - what to know

Hi!

I'm sure you'll like Sofia and the living here! Locals are friendly,most of the people (esp. the younger) speak English well, German is also relatively widely spoken! Nobody will be surprised that you can't understand or read in Bulgarian :D The city is great too, nice streets, interesting places (also outside Sofia - you should visit Rila Monastery, Koprivshtica, etc.), open area bars and restaurants in summer, you'll feel the city buzz!

Some prices - public transport ticket is 1,- lv.; taxi - appr. 5-6 lv. for an average distance (use ONLY licensed taxis!); beer in a pub: 2-3 lv.; 3-course dinner with a glass of wine is 20-30 lv.; cinema ticket - 8,- lv.

Wish you a nice stay in Sofia!

Sofia, Bulgaria
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2. Re: Living in Sofia for 4 month - what to know

Hey yo !

Just mingle with the locals - we're friendly folks in general and you'll get to know the real deal lifestyle and not stay isolated. Otherwise you'll have to explore it all by yourself, thus having the great chance of missing a lot.

Hit me up if you need an intro once you land in the land :)

I work in the IT industry as well, what is your company doing ?

Bamberg, Germany
3 posts
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3. Re: Living in Sofia for 4 month - what to know

Hey,

thanks for your answers and sorry for my late reply. My week was very busy.

Yeah that sounds really good! So the prices are relatively low, that is nice. But can I also pay in Euro or just Leva?

How is the Internet coverage over smartphone? Means, can you get LTE in Sofia or high-speed Internet in general on your smartphone?

And I've one question regarding the cinemas: are the movies in Bulgarian or English?

@Boris: The company I'll be working for is Bulpros. They're specialized in outsourcing services.

Yeah I can definitely hit you up, an introduction to the land and people would be really nice!

Sofia, Bulgaria
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90 posts
5 reviews
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4. Re: Living in Sofia for 4 month - what to know

Hi there,

Internet connection Bulgaria is one of the fastest in Europe. There is free WiFi almost everywhere in the center of Sofia.

Here is a link to one of the mobile providers in Bulgaria - VIVACOM. You can try the others as well, but in my opinion regarding mobile internet this is the best. vivacom.bg/en/…_data_

Movies in cinemas are in English with subtitles in Bulgarian.

In Bulgaria you can pay only in Leva! The good news is that we have a currency board, meaning we always have the same exchange rate 1 Euro = 1.95 Leva. but still you can only pay in Leva.

Hope this is useful

Have fun in Sofia

Kris

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Sofia, Bulgaria
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5. Re: Living in Sofia for 4 month - what to know

I can add that once you come here, you'll soon find out that Bulgarians just love interacting with people from other countries coming here. We love showing foreigners the best of the best, so get prepared to get a lot of support on the social life from your future colleagues. :)

Most of the restaurants have at least English menus apart from Bulgarian ones.

Just an idea - you can check the google street view map and explore a bit of the city before coming.

Bamberg, Germany
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6. Re: Living in Sofia for 4 month - what to know

Thank you both very much for the tips and information!

I think I'll be really excited to see Sofia and meet all these different people.

And thanks for mentioning Google Street View, that's a cool way to explore the city.

Best regards,

simpty

Toronto, Canada
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7. Re: Living in Sofia for 4 month - what to know

Hi Tobi,

Others already pretty much answered your questions. You will be fine with the locals.

Before I leave in 2010 I did a quick video-tour with interesting sites you can visit within a day and everything is in Downtown Sofia pretty much - click the playlist "Sofia - virtual tour":

http://www.youtube.com/user/raverwild

Please excuse my English there, in 2010 I used to speak much worse. Sure there is more to see, but as I said my plan was to compile a quick list and I was filming with a regular point-and-shoot small Sony camera so no good quality. Hope to be in Assistance.

Not sure in which neighborhood your hotel and office are. If you're downtown - you're fine without any transport - downtown is small, compared to big european cities, you can walk in most times and usually it's faster than waiting for a street car.

Hm. Just checked your company - you will be located in Mladost 4 neighborhood, into the Business Park Sofia area. While the area is nice, the place is located in the very end of Sofia. Your hotel should be around too I guess. But it's far from downtown. Better get a taxi to get there. The good thing - as far as I remember, the area is not far from the lift-station Simeonovo - get it and you get high up the mountain. From there you take a second lift and you're on the summit Cherni Vrah.

One thing I recommend: Go to Ruski Pametnik square, wait for route taxi ("marshrutno taxi" - they are vans, not cars) No.10 - they run there every 30 mins, if they still run there, if not - ask a friend with a car. For a funny small fee the route taxi will take you to the Vitosha mountain, a place called "Zlatnite Mostove" (golden bridges) - it's very calm, green and pretty there. Take the path up, for about 10 minutes and on the path itself you will see a small not very pretty tavern (there are other aside the path, prettier too, however) -- there they make great nettle soup! For a funny price. They make other things too, but the nettle soup is the thing I always love to go there. Finally you can get back to the city using the same route taxi - no.10, just beware, the last one to go to the city as I remember was like in 16:30-17:00.

Basically Vitosha is super pretty during the warm summer months and is right next to the city -- the distance from Sofia downtown to the Zlatnite Mostove is 40min car drive! Wish I had this here in Toronto :((( Going to the mountain summit is little longer, but again - it's next to the city.

During the weekend you can take the bus to visit Plovdiv - very pretty city - visit the "old city" - ancient amphitheater there and lot of artistic atmosphere. You can also take a trip to Veliko Tarnovo - huge ancient fortress there.

And something special - my favorite sweet shop in Sofia is "100gr sladki" (100gr sweets), located almost on the corner of bul.Vitosha and ul.Angel Kanchev. Don't go there! They make too good sweets. Both our wedding bread and wedding cake were from there.

Have a good time in Bulgaria!

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Mladost
Mladost
21 Reviews
Sofia, Bulgaria
Toronto
Toronto
Ontario, Canada
8. Re: Living in Sofia for 4 month - what to know

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