(16-19 May 2017)
The venue place of the OPERA’s Consortium meeting in Sofia is at Best Western Hotel Expo , which is located outside of the city center. То reach it you can use the metro from Terminal 2 or a taxi (location). If you want to visit the center of the town, you can easily do it by catching the metro to Serdika metro station.
Sofia is a joyful town and one of the cheapest to live and party capitals in the European Union. Please refer to the map below for some recommendation of restaurants, pubs and hotels.
Currency in Bulgaria
The official currency is the Bulgarian lev (BGN). Euros are very rarely accepted. There are plenty of ATM around the city from where you can withdraw cash. If you want to exchange money it is better to do this in a bank rather then a random change bureau. Use your common sense and do not exchange money at the airport.
There are various ways to move around the city – buses, trolleybuses, trams and underground (subway). Tickets costs 1.6 lev (roughly 0.8 euro cents). The fastest way is using the underground. There is a metro station at terminal 2 of Sofia Airport. Taxis are also cheap charging about 0.77 levs (40 euro cents) per km, making a journey from the airport to Sofia’s center about 12 levs (6 euro). As everywhere there are some rip off taxis in the center and around Sofia Airport. At Terminal 2 at Sofia Airport better book you taxi ride from the boot of OK Supertrans.
Sofia is a generally safe to travel and walk about city. However pickpocketing can occure in the center or around the Central Train Station.
There are myriad of hotels in Sofia, but as last year Ryan Air started a lot of new flights to numerous European destinations the hotels are getting quickly booked. May is one of the busiest period. Book as soon as possible. A savvy way to book is using booking.com. Here are some hotels we do recommend and are marked on the map provided above.
This is the hotel where the meeting will take place. It is outside of the center. You can obtain a special price of 60 euro per night in a single room on BB with free access to sauna and fitness. You can book a shuttle to the hotel for more confort.
One of the highly rated 3-star hotels in the absolute center of Sofia. It is close to a lot of pubs, restaurants and most the tourist attractions. The hotel may be fully booked soon. It is very close to Serdica metro station as well.
Located close to the main pedestrian street Vitosha hotel Nicky provides good price/comfort ratio. The easiest way to get to it from Sofia Airport is by taxi.
It is also close to Vitosha Boulevard and with a central location. It is the cheapest options from all the nearby 3-star hotels.
Meets the requirements of Best Western. Centrally located and usually a bit more expensive than the other hotels.
Definatelly one of the greatest 4-star hotels in Sofia in terms of comfort, service and location.
NOTA BENE: Avoid hotels which are close to the Central Train Station and Lions Bridge, as there are a lot of prostitutes and criminal elements in this area after 9 pm.
If you one to mix up with the locals then try Divaka, which is centrally located and not touristy. If you want to eat in a more traditional setting, you are welcome to eat at Hadjidraganovite izbi, but note that it is a place for tourists rather then locals. A nice place for dinner with delicous food made of organic produce is Lubimoto. There you can meet locals and tourists as well.
If you are like to have a chat with friends in the evening over a beer then Hablite or Ale House are a great places to do so. Both bars offer variety of bears and serve food as well.
If you have some free time in Sofia center definatly make use of Sofia Free Tour. It is fun, educational and free. http://www.freesofiatour.com/
A interesting and healty way to explore the city and some of its parks is Sofia Green Bike Tour http://www.sofiagreentour.com/
Sofia city center is compact and can be explored in full in half a day. If you want to venture further in the countryside book a day tour with Traventuria at www.sofiadaytours.com