Discovering Sofia: An Eastern European Jewel

In Sofia, Tourist Life by Virginie0 Comments

When we decided to go live in Greece for a while, we were expecting to pay less than average for an EU country. Well, when we started checking our bank account daily and seeing all our money disappear because of food, we had to adjust. No, we weren’t going to starve ourself, so we decided it was better for our budget to move. And our tourist visa was running to an end anyway, so we needed to get out of the Schengen Zone.

When we chose to go to Sofia, we weren’t expecting much. For us, it was going to be a place where we’d be able to work more than a place to explore. Bulgaria happens to be the 7th country in the world with the fastest Internet, so that was the perfect place to launch our next business.

What we didn’t expect was how beautiful the city was going to be and how much we’d love it! First, let me explain that prices are ridiculously cheap here. The local currency is worth half of the euro, but we still pay the exact same amount for groceries, which means we’ve cut our food budget in half. That’s already amazing, also considering our new apartment is a bargain. That’s probably why Wikipedia says that Sofia was the most affordable European city to visit in 2013…

But the best part of Sofia? Its beautiful architecture and its countless parks.

(Please, excuse the poor quality of the pictures. I apparently had my camera on low settings when I left the house, and didn’t notice until I came back home. So I’d love to introduce all of you to Bulgaria, but my pictures won’t do it justice!)

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Our first stop was the iconic Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, which is a minute away from our apartment. It’s an absolutely gorgeous building that looks a lot older than it actually is. Built during the last century, it is still in use today. We were able to go inside and take a quick peak. Of all the churches we’ve seen during our travel, this one was definitely the most impressive and memorable.

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Whether it’s from inside or inside, the cathedral is impressive! Have you ever found a church that looks better on the side than from the front? I hadn’t until I got here! I love the neo-byzantine style, full of gold, arches and high ceilings.

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The cathedral was the only monument I knew I’d find in Sofia (since I’d seen it multiple times on Google). After checking it out, we didn’t really know what to look for, so Chris and I just started walking around, deciding to turn here and there. After all, we’d decided to spend the day outside so we might as well go where our heart to us. And it was a beautiful walk!

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What I love the most about Sofia is how open it is. The streets are huge; there are tons of parks everywhere, and the people are really nice! There might not be as many attractions to visit in Sofia compared to other European cities like Paris or Barcelona, but it’s definitely worth stopping for a day or two.

And the most awesome thing? Fall is coming here too! After spending months in the Greek heat, I was due for some fresh air and sweaters. It’s great to put a jacket on and walk in the orange-ish parks!

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But even though I’d love to be walking around Sofia every day, it seems to rain quite a bit here, and we haven’t had one of those sunny days in a long time. So on most days, this is what we look like:

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But we do enjoy the amazing restaurants, the cheap street food and the blazing-fast internet! Life’s not too bad around here… 🙂

Have you ever heard of Sofia before? Is it on your bucket list now?

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