Serving the capital city, Sofia Airport (SOF) is Bulgaria’s primary aviation facility. Situated 10km from the city centre, the airport is in a convenient location for travellers getting to and from the airport, with transport links offered in the way of buses, shuttles and taxis. If you take a taxi, the journey should cost only 10BGN ($7).
Passengers travelling through this airport can take advantage of the ATMS, currency exchange counters, cafes, restaurants, duty-free shopping, information desks, first aid services, and free WiFi.
Carriers typically flying to Bulgaria from Australia are Turkish Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, Emirates, Thai Airways, Aeroflot, KLM, Lufthansa, and Singapore Airlines.
Why visit Sofia?
Welcome to Bulgaria’s capital, a city that boasts treasures that reach back as far as the Roman Empire, and touch on history as recent as the Soviet Union. You’ll find that travelling to Sofia will give you an opportunity to learn about its history and traditions by strolling through its museums, admiring the art in its galleries, and enjoying the scented breeze in its landscaped gardens. Step into stunning Sofia for a real taste of Bulgarian culture.
Things to do in Sofia
Spend your first morning in Sofia ambling around the pedestrianized city centre, considered to be the city’s open-air museum. Here you can see the Central Market Hall, and poke your head in the boutique shops that like Vitosha Boulevard, and when you get hungry, fill up on the hearty Bulgarian cuisine in one of the restaurants.
Then hit up the National History Museum, renowned in the country for its expansive collection of artefacts that traces the history of this nation. This museum is set in the outskirts of the city in Boyana, and attached to the UNESCO listed Boyana Church.
Visiting the museum will help you understand the significance of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, built at the turn of the 20th century, and one of the largest Orthodox cathedrals in the world. You won’t miss it; this building is unmistakable with its gilded domes, and neo-Byzantine architecture. Of course, you can always see the St. Nicholas the Miracle-Maker church, considered to be the prettier of the two churches, and a nice contrast in style.
Then do something more interactive by experiencing a show in the impressive Ivan Vazov National Theatre, or attend your first opera at the dedication National Opera and Ballet hall in the eastern part of the city.
For a little nature, to Vitosha Nature Park, where you can hike the highest peak in the park, the Cherni Vrah, or if you visit in winter, ski from the Aleko sports centre. Or if mountaineering isn’t your thing, there is the lovely Lake Pancharevo, where you can bring a picnic, and some togs, and enjoy a dip in the fresh water.
Best time to visit Sofia
· The high season is the summer, especially on the Black Sea, but tourism is popular in the city because the temperatures can reach highs of 27°C, and the days are primarily sunny.
· The spring (March-May) and autumn (September to November) is also a lovely time of year to see this city, as it is cooler (at 15-21°C), and hotels’ rates drop.
· Winters are for skiers, and those that want to experience a snowy Christmas. Expect averages of 1-2°C.
Arriving in Sofia by plane
· Travelling to Sofia will frequently involve two layovers, but sometimes you can get away with one. Usually in Doha (DOH), Dubai (DXB) or Istanbul (IST).
· Bulgarian Lev (BGN).
· Bulgaria allows Australians to enter the country and stay for up to 90 days without a visa. Visit the Smart Traveller page on Bulgaria run by the Australian Foreign Affairs Department for up-to-date travel advice and information.
Please note that information is correct as of December 2016
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