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“Really enjoyed it and would recommend”

Central Market Hall (Tsentralni Hali)
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Market Food Tour
Ranked #32 of 198 things to do in Sofia
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Reviewed 23 October 2013

A little bored with hotel and restaurant food we went to Gala supermarket across the road (behind the mosque) bought plastic plates, plastic cutlery and a cheap kitchen knife and then headed back to the Central Market. There's all the stuff I need for the meal of my dreams: freshly baked breads and pastries, fruit and vegetable, a wide variety of local cheese, smoked meats including pastourma and a shop selling a very wide range of Bulgarian wine with a proprietor both knowledgeable and agreeable. There's also shops selling sweets including various different baklavades, kataifia and other syrup sweets. A delightful place with helpful people and I've bought enough food for the next two days at less than the visit of three beers in the Hilton! Even took a breather at the cafe where I had a pint of the local draught and a cheese pie from a bakery. Lots of fun...

1  Thank Brumtravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 13 July 2013

What a great space this is. We walked in to look around, and found some lovely food available, at reasonable prices! Fresh juices, cheeses etc. it was interesting to walk around, but there could be a lot more done to encourage more people in.

Thank Horse91dancer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 July 2013

The place reminded me of the traditional shopping mall in Zagreb. This one got DM on the 1st floor and some potions of Roman ruins on the basement. The foods sold in the mall are pretty cheap and fine taste. The basement has a cheap traditional food fast-food restaurant. If you eat there, you can enjoy the view of the remains of Roman walls. That should be quite attractive for the tourists.
And watch out for the pickpockets outside the mall to near the mosque nearby. I got my wallet pickpocketed and had to stay in Sofia for extra few weeks to wait in the hostel to get my credit/bank cards to move out. When I tried the Sofia Free Walking tour, the tour guide mentioned about the pickpockets in the city. So, if you visit the shopping mall, stay away from the strangers trying to walk very close to you or trying to walk very close to your bags. I liked the pickles and cooked fish sold in the mall.

2  Thank WonderingTourist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2013

I went to the Central market but frankly it is a bit sterile. Maybe that's the point. It was clean and organized almost like an American indoor mall. For a real traditional market I recommend the women's market.

Sofia’s largest and busiest market, Zhenski Pazar (Women’s market) has a wide range of seasonal fruit and vegetables, cheese, cured meats, dried fruit and nuts, homemade halva and other Turkish-inspired goodies.

The stands’ owners are not always very kind and helpful but it is a picturesque place that you should visit to get some taste of the locals’ life. There are also many shops and restaurants owned by Arab immigrants as well as cheap hotels in the area. It is not exactly the best place you can visit, but still its an interesting place where you can find a bargain or two especially if you haggle.

I purchased some pottery here and the prices ( once discounted by the vendor) were the best bargains I found.

You’ll also find people siting on the side of the street trying to sell what little they have harvested from they’re garden that morning. You can perhaps buy homemade pickles from the village women who spend the whole day selling 2-3 jars of it or explore the antique dealers who offer cheap stuff from both pre-socialist and socialist times.

Cherries were in season and they were about 90cents for a kilo (2.2 pounds). Delish.

The stall-holders here were originally all women but now both men and women from the surrounding hills travel down daily to sell their produce. A few basic cafés selling coffee and savoury pasties provide refreshments for shoppers.

I was told to watch out for pick pockets and gypsies. However I never felt threatened. The cab driver took me there from the Sofia Hilton for 8 Levas.

It will give you a feel for "real" Bulgaria shopping.

3  Thank TravelingFarmer V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2013

The Central Market Hall, deserves its name because it is in the center of Sofia, near the mosque, the old mineral baths (closed) and not far from the Sheraton Hotel. It is located in a very beautiful and well preserved old building and the inside is as nice as the outside, well maintained, clean and with some nice features, a cafe in the middle, a fountain and a pretty flight of stairs at the back of the building. There you will find vegetables, fruits, wines stalls, baker, ice cream place and patisseries. One stall sells delicious olives, another one very good ready food if you want to sample some local cuisine. There are also shops selling leather goods (very nice gloves, belts and bags) and a new big shop at the mezzanine level for beauty products (all sorts of make up) and toiletries (soap, shampoos...). The Tsentralni Halite is well worth a visit, even for just ten minutes on the way to another attraction but I would recommend a little caution because there is a very mixed crowd around and it is one of the very few places in Sofia where I didn't feel safe in day time for a moment or two. Too many people are coming really too close on the pretext of looking at whatever you are looking at and I didn't feel entirely comfortable at that time, just be a little aware and careful.

1  Thank Jeanne70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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