Where to Stay in Sofia, Bulgaria: 14 Best Areas

The best areas to stay in Sofia for tourists are the neighborhoods of Sofia City Center, Vitosha District, Lozenets, Studentski grad, Oborishte, Lyuben Karavelov, Sofia Airport District, Zhenski Pazar. This post will help you to decide where to stay in Sofia for nightlife, budget backpackers, foodies, and family.

With a population of 2 million, Sofia is one of the oldest cities in Europe and has gathered culture from several eras – Roman, Greek, Ottoman, and Soviet. Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria, a seat of government, embassies, and many local universities. But also have a large hotel base, unique restaurants, and many entertainment venues.

According to European rankings for living in cities, Sofia is defined as one of the safest capitals. In Sofia, street crime is minimized and present only in the most remote neighborhoods. Many travelers in Sofia decide to find accommodation options outside the city center. Sofia is one of the cheapest capitals in Europe, so you can easily make your trip on a budget without worrying.

If you are without a personal car, you will also need to consider your proximity to public transport. If you decide to stay away from the center, make sure your Sofia accommodation is close to the metro, bus or tram, which can easily take you to the best sights. If you are looking where to stay in Sofia for family with kids, then choose a safer location that does not have a lot of car traffic.

Hotels and hostels in Sofia are a great opportunity when looking for an easy trip. Hotels in the Bulgarian capital offer good accommodation and friendly service regardless of their rank. Many mid-range hotels have good rooms, parking, gym.  Sofia occupies one of the top places in the rankings for hostels and middle-class hotels, the same applies to luxury hotels.

If you’re wondering “how many days should I stay in Sofia“, I would say 3 to 5 days is an ideal duration of vacation in Sofia. This is a time when you can visit the most beautiful places in the city and its surroundings.

💖 Best Area:Sofia City Center
💎 Best luxury hotel:InterContinental Sofia 
🏨 Best mid-range hotel:Best Western Plus Bristol Hotel
💰 Best budget hotel:Rila Hotel Sofia


📌14 Best Areas to stay in Sofia

1. Sofia City Center, where to stay in Sofia for first time visitors

Where to stay in sofia Sofia City Center
Sofia City Center 

Sofia City Center (also known as Centrum) is an area that is full of historical landmarks, beautiful buildings, cafes, and shops. The city center is home to famous tourist attractions such as the National Palace of Culture, the National Theater, the Russian Monument Square, Eagle Bridge, many museums, and churches within the narrow streets.

Sofia City Center also has well-connected public transport, great nightlife, shopping with many shops, cafés, restaurants, and bars. It’s is the best area to stay in Sofia for first-time tourists.

Don’t miss taking a walk on the “Yellow Pavers”, St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, and the beautiful Royal Palace in the heart of the city center.

An interesting fact is that Serdica Metro Station is among the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Serdica and is just below the seat of the government. You can also take a day trip to Rila Monastery and Boyana Church from Sofia’s central train station.

Most of the hotels in the center are luxurious and are part of world brands. But there is also a middle-class nice hotel suitable on budget. If you are a shopping maniac, then must visit Vitoshka Street, where you will find many boutiques and shops.

The center of Sofia offers a wide range of restaurants for every taste. The nightlife is in full swing and you can find clubs for almost any style of music.

Stay in Sofia City Center if you are looking for a communicative and social place; you would like to be close to places for fun and relaxation; you want to see many historical landmarks; you’re looking for the best areas to stay in Sofia for a foodie; you’re traveling on a budget, backpackers.

Best Places to Stay in Sofia City Center:

Best Luxury Hotel: InterContinental Sofia is a 5-star hotel, located in the heart of Sofia city center. Guests at the hotel will be able to enjoy activities in and around Sofia, like hiking, skiing, and cycling. The property’s location also provides easy access to the main historical and cultural buildings, as well as the main shopping area.

Best Mid-Range Hotel: Best Western Plus Bristol Hotel is situated 500 m from Serdika Metro Station and a 10-minute walk from the central Vitosha Boulevard, Best Western Plus Bristol Hotel provides a stylish lobby bar, and a restaurant serving international cuisine. The major city attractions like Alexander Nevski Cathedral, Parliament and Sofia University are reachable within walking distance.

Best Budget Hotel: Rila Hotel Sofia is located in the heart of Sofia, just 50 m from Sofia’s main shopping street and within a short walk of Sedrika Metro Station, Vitosha, Rila Hotel has a bar, a modern restaurant and a 24-hour front desk. It offers spacious rooms, most with views over the city and Vitosha Mountain.


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2. Vitosha Boulevard, where to stay in Sofia for shopping

One of the most attractive pedestrian zones, Boulevard Vitosha (Bv. Vitosha) is one of the most high-end destinations in Sofia. Vitosha Boulevard is named after the fourth highest peak in Bulgaria, Vitosha Mountain, and stretches from St. Nedelya Square to Southern Park.

It is one of the most expensive shopping streets in the world. Designer shops are abundant in the area, and the hotels and restaurants are of a similar calibre, making it the perfect destination for those looking to spoil themselves. 

Full of luxury real estate, you will be surrounded by many of the city’s wealthiest residents. On the days when you want to relax you have the stunning Yuzhen Park to explore, while attractions such as the National Palace of Culture (also known as “NDK”), the Sveta Nedelya Orthodox Church, and the Sofia Court House ensure you will always have something to keep you entertained.

Stay In Boulevard Vitosha If you want to stay in one of the most exclusive parts of the city; you love shopping and staying in designer hotels; you want to explore a fabulous park; you are looking to purchase real estate in the area.

Best places to stay in Boulevard Vitosha:


3. Vitosha District and Dragalevtsi, where to stay in Sofia for mountain views

Dragalevtsi and Vitosha District, where to stay in Sofia for mountain views

The southern district of Vitosha is located on the outskirts of Sofia in the heart of Vitosha Mountain and near the Ring Road. It is definitely one of the most expensive places to live in the Bulgarian capital. In this neighborhood are the residences of the government, the diplomatic corps, and the presidential palace.

Vitosha District is one of the quietest and safest places to stay in Sofia. In this area, you can visit, the unique ten centuries old Boyana Church Museum which is the UNESCO World Heritage-listed, Boyana Waterfall, the National History Museum, Botanical Garden, and the Dragalevski Monastery,

Dragalevtsi is located between Simeonovo and Boyana quarters. Along with neighboring Simeonovo, Dragalevtsi is considered one of the gates to Mount Vitosha, offering stunning views, as well as scenic hiking trails off into the countryside.

There is also a number of other parks and beautiful landscapes located in the surrounding area if a mountain hike sounds too much. If you don’t like walking at all, there’s even a chairlift to take you to the top of the mountain, so you don’t have to miss out on the stunning views from its peak.

Fabulous traditional restaurants and stores are abundant in the village, giving you the chance to indulge in authentic cuisines and wares.

Stay in Vitosha if you want mountain views and outdoor activities; you want a quiet and very safe neighborhood; you want a place suitable for family choice; you would like a place with the cleanest air in Sofia; you don’t mind expensive hotels and restaurants; you don’t need a wide choice for public transport.

Best Hotels in Sofia in Vitosha District:

Best Luxury Hotel: All Seasons Residence Hotel is located in a picturesque residential district of Sofia, just a 10-minute drive from Sofia city centre. It has a stylish restaurant with garden views, and a lobby bar, where guests can enjoy a variety of drinks. The hotel also includes a kids club, a 24-hour front desk, and free WiFi access.

Best Mid-Range Hotel: Family Hotel Bansko Sofia is situated at the foot of the Vitosha Mountains, this traditional, family-run property fuses a warm ambiance with an array of impressive facilities. Just 15 minutes from the bustling heart of Sofia, utilise it as an ideal base for exploration or relaxation. Sip refreshments and enjoy live acts in the vibrant tavern upon request, taste a host of delicacies in the rustic restaurant and unwind in the spacious lobby.

Best Budget Hotel: Family Hotel Saint George is located in the heart of Vitosha National Park in Sofia’s district of Simeonovo, Family Hotel Saint George offers rooms with panoramic mountain views.


4. Lozenets, coolest place to stay in Sofia

Lozenets, coolest place to stay in Sofia
Lozenets @kirilhristov

Located south of the city and near the Vitosha district, Lozenets stretches from South Park in the west to the Borisova Gradina Park in the east. It has been considered a cool area since the Communist era. it is one of the best residential and famous neighborhoods in Sofia.

It was constructed during the communist era, today it is one of the most expensive areas in the Bulgarian capital. The hotels, bars, cafes, and restaurants in the area are some of the most sophisticated and expensive in Sofia.

The most famous landmark is the “Lozenets Residence” built in the 50s of the 20th century, today it is a place for social events and weddings.

Stay in Lozenets if you are looking for the safest place; you want a place near to the city center; you would like public transport to connect with all other areas in Sofia; you don’t mind the high prices of hotels, restaurants, and social services; you don’t need a parking space.

Best Hotels in Sofia in Lozenets:

Best Luxury Hotel: Hotel Marinela Sofia the newly redesigned Hotel Marinela Sofia features an indoor pool, 6 restaurants, 4 bars, a fitness club, and scenic city and mountain views. The unique Japanese Garden is suitable for relaxation or brain storming sessions.

Best Mid-Range Hotel: Hotel Zoo Sofia (ex. Silver Hotel) is next to a large green park, perfect for relaxation. Sofia City Zoo is only 200 m from Hotel Zoo Sofia. Paradise Center, a vast shopping and entertainment centre, is 2.5 km away. Interpred business area is a 12-minute drive away.

Best Budget Hotel: Best Western Lozenetz Hotel is only 200 m away from the European Union Metro Station for easy access to all destinations in the centre of Sofia and offers modern rooms, private parking and free Wi-Fi. Hotel Lozenetz is also 800 m from the National Palace of Culture and 1 km from the Vasil Levski National Stadium.


5. Studentski grad, where to stay in Sofia for nightlife

Studentski grad, where to stay in Sofia for nightlife
Bulgarian Parliament @Dennis Jarvis

Studentski grad (Student town) is the most colorful place in Sofia.  In this part of the city are located almost all universities and the most popular clubs. This neighborhood never sleeps and is a paradise for nightlife fans. 

Here are all the student dormitories, which is why the name of the area. If you are a party animal, then this is your place. You can find many low and middle-class hotels and hostels at low prices.

Restaurants and taverns are ready to offer you a wide range of delicious cuisine and entertainment. If you get hungry in the middle of the night, Duner kebabs are waiting for you on every corner.

Stay in Studentski grad if you want to use all types of public transport; you are looking for a communicative place; you would like a large selection of restaurants and places to stay on a budget; you don’t mind place which is not a quiet and safest; you don’t mind a high car traffic; you don’t need a parking space.

Best Hotels in Sofia Studentski grad:

Best Luxury Hotel: Olives City Hotel offers access to a paid indoor pool and a free fitness centre, as well as an à la carte restaurant, Olives City Hotel is located in a quiet residential area in Sofia, just a 12-minute walk from Sofia Zoo. The city centre can be reached in a 10-minute drive. Sofia Airport is 7 km away.

Best Mid-Range Hotel: Hotel Vega Sofia is Strategically located between Airport and Sofia City Center. 12 minutes by car from both. Very clean with full amenities. Nice fluffy towels and very nice and clean.

Best Budget Hotel: Turquoise and Magenta Apartment This is a fantastic studio apartment in the vibrant Studentski Grad area, is set within the Studentski Grad district in Sofia, close to Sofia Ring Mall, American Embassy Sofia.


6. Oborishte, where to stay in Sofia for families

 Oborishte, where to stay in Sofia for families
Oborishte @Francisco Anzola

Located within walking distance from downtown Sofia, Oborishte is a small neighborhood and is almost part of the center. It is often considered one of the quietest and safest areas in Sofia, which makes it very popular as a place to stay. 

If you are a fan of theater and cinema, here you can find the National Opera, Sofia Drama Theater, Puppet Theater, and the House of Cinema and Theater. Some of the most famous landmarks in this location are the monument of Vasil Levski (one of the greatest Bulgarian heroes), the Doctor’s Garden, Zaimov Park, and the National Museum of Military History.

The hotels and restaurants in this area are quite nice and affordable. Oborishte is suitable for solo travelers, couples, families with kids, budget travelers, and first-time visitors.

Oborishte is the best place to stay if you are looking for a safe and quiet place; you want a place close to the central part of the city; you are looking for a strategic location near important roads; you don’t need a parking space.

Best Hotels in Sofia in Oborishte:

Best Luxury Hotel: Arena Di Serdica Hotel is located in the heart of the city and is an excellent choice for business and cultural trips. The hotel is steps away from the main administrative, financial, and shopping district, as well as the cultural and historical sights. The Hotel is easily accessible from Sofia International Airport (10 km) and the Central Railway station (4 km).

Best Mid-Range Hotel: Sofia Residence Boutique Hotel In the heart of Sofia, the stylish hotel is a 14-minute walk away from both Alexander Nevski Square and Sofia University Metro Station. Serdika Centre Sofia Shopping mall is located a 13-minute walk away and the Vitosha Boulevard central pedestrian street is reachable within 2 km.

Best Budget Hotel: Hotel Lion Sofia is located in the center of Sofia, just steps away from the Lavrov Most Metro Station and a few minutes’ walk from Alexander Nevski Cathedral and the Vitosha shopping boulevard. Guests can benefit from the business corner equipped with a PC, copier, fax, and internet access.


7. Lyuben Karavelov, a safe and well-guarded area in Sofia

Lyuben Karavelov, a safe and well-guarded area in Sofia
Lyuben Karavelov @Georgi Varzonovtsev

Lyuben Karavelov Street is in the central part of Sofia. This upper-class neighborhood connects two of the most popular places, Orlov Most, and the National Palace of Culture / NDK /. 

This location is very communicative and offers many nice places you can stay in. It also provides visitors with nice cafes and shops and very good middle-class restaurants. This area of ​​Sofia is considered one of the safest places because there are the embassies of several European countries. 

Suitable for solo visitors, budget visitors, families with kids, couples, first-time visitors, and tourists. Some of the sights you can see are the Knyazheska Gradina, the Mausoleum of Prince Battenberg, and the Baroque buildings on Orlov Most.

You should stay in Lyuben Karavelov if you want a large selection of public transport; you are looking for a safe and well-guarded place; you would like a location close to the most important places in the city center; you don’t mind a place which is not quiet; you don’t mind high car traffic.

Where to Stay in Sofia – Lyuben Karavelov: Sunny studio on ulica Lyuben Karavelov

8. Sofia Airport District, where to stay in Sofia near airport

Sofia Airport District has located 10 km from the city center. Although on the outskirts of Sofia, this is one of the busiest areas, with thousands of people passing by every day. One of the most important connections in Sofia is between the airport and the center. 

Sofia Airport is the only passenger airport in the capital of Bulgaria. This district is one of the noisiest and most communicative areas in Sofia. Hotels and restaurants range from low to high class, with most of them in the middle-class category.

Sofia Airport District is suitable for solo travelers, budget travelers, tourists. You can take a walk in Business Park Sofia or go to Mladost where you will find malls, coffee shops, and social hotspots.

Sofia Airport District is the best place to stay if you need a 24-hour transport connection with all regions in Sofia and the center; you are looking for a place close to the ring road; you would like affordable prices for hotels and restaurants; you don’t mind a location Far from the center and the main attractions in Sofia; you don’t mind a noisy place due to the proximity of the airport; you don’t mind high car traffic.

Best Hotels in Sofia Airport District:

Best Luxury Hotel: Best Western Premier Sofia Airport Hotel is a modern 4-star hotel, located in a new business district, only 750 m away by car from Sofia International Airport Terminal. The hotel offers room service by a robot. The hotel provides a two-way complimentary scheduled Airport Shuttle which is available to book upon request.

Best Mid-Range Hotel: Ibis Sofia Airport Hotel – Park & Fly offers a free airport shuttle and free parking. A restaurant with garden views is available. Free WiFi access is provided throughout. A bus stop is a 1-minute walk away, while Airport Sofia Metro Station is 800 m from the hotel.

Best Budget Hotel: Flower home & Private parking included Nice modern and clean apartment close to The Mall shopping centre.Good access by the public transport.The metro Station InterExpo is within a 10min walk.


8. Zhenski Pazar, a budget-friendly area to stay in Sofia

Zhenski Pazar, a budget-friendly area to stay in Sofia
Lion’s Bridge @Deensel

Zhenski Pazar is located in the central part of the city near Lion’s Bridge. The name of the district comes from the largest and oldest open-air market in Sofia, founded almost 2 centuries ago.

The place is very communicative due to the high traffic of people every day. Here you can find a wide variety of places to eat, especially fast food. The street food tourists can try here is the most delicious Bulgarian kebabs. 

If you are looking for places to stay it is here full of small hotels at reasonable prices as well as hostels. The district is suitable for solo travelers, street food/foodie, backpackers, and budget travelers.

Stay in Zhenski Pazar if you would like an affordable price; you are looking for a communicative place Near the central part of Sofia; you need convenient public transport; you don’t mind a big movement of people; you don’t mind a High Car Traffic.

Best Hotels in Sofia Jenski Pazar:

9. Cathedral Saint Alexander Nevski Area, upper-class neighborhood

Constructed at the beginning of the 20th-century, the stunning Neo-Byzantine architecture of the Cathedral Saint Alexander Nevski is quite a sight to behold. Named after the Russian Saint Alexander Nevsky, it was built to commemorate the lives lost during the Russo – Turkish War of the late 1800s.

Covering more than 3,000 square meters, it is the largest Eastern Orthodox Cathedral in the world, capable of holding up to 10,000 people. It also gives you the opportunity to learn about a religion that many people will be unfamiliar with.

Located in the highest part of Old Town Sofia, it is surrounded by beautiful, historic buildings, and expensive hotels, making it a perfect destination for a sophisticated, cultured trip.

Stay In Cathedral Saint Alexander Nevski Area If you want to explore the Cathedral Saint Alexander Nevski; you want a break filled with history and sophistication; you aren’t worried about money.


10. NDK Area, for event at the National Palace Of Culture

NDK stands for Natsionalen Dvorets na Kultura, which translates to National Palace Of Culture. It is the largest multifunctional conference and exhibition centre in southeast Europe, first opened in 1981 to celebrate Bulgaria’s 1,300th birthday.

It hosts many of the most important events and conferences in the country, with some of the world’s most famous and important people often traveling here for business.

As you can imagine, this makes it one of the more expensive areas in the city, so everything from hotels to amenities will cost you more. However, it is ideal for anyone who wants a classy break, rubbing shoulders with the elite, as well as anyone attending an event at the palace.

Stay In NDK Area If you are attending an event at the National Palace Of Culture; you want to stay in one of the most upper-class areas of the city; you aren’t worried about money.


12. Sofia Central Railway Station, for travel on a budget

Located 1km north of the city centre, the Sofia Central Railway Station is the main passenger train station in Bulgaria. Located immediately next to the Central Bus Station Sofia, this area is ideal for anyone traveling to the city using public transport.

As is often the case in mass transit areas, it is one of the shadier parts of the city, so you aren’t going to find high-class hotels or gourmet restaurants located here.

However, there are plenty of affordable accommodation options available, as well as low-cost bars and shops, making it an ideal destination for anyone traveling on a budget.

Stay In Sofia Central Railway Station If you are traveling on a budget; you are traveling in and out of the city by either bus or train; you don’t mind staying in one of the shadier parts of the city.


13. Mladost, for vibrant atmosphere and nightlife

Mladost translates to “youth”, which is an incredibly accurate representation of the area. The residents of Mladost primarily consist of young families and students, taking advantage of the lower prices on offer. For the same reason, it also has a very diverse mix of cultures from all across Europe.

Formed during the communist era, the architecture on display is very indicative of that time. Businesses in the area are designed to cater to the younger crowd, so you’ll find many of the most vibrant bars, clubs and nightlife hotspots dotted around.

While it is a little further from the city center than many would like, it has incredibly reliable public transport links. This means you can enjoy the value and vibe Mladost offers, without being cut off from the rest of the city.

Stay In Mladost If You are traveling on a budget; You don’t mind being outside the city center; Nightlife and a vibrant atmosphere are important during your stay.


14. Boyana, one of the most authentic Bulgarian locations

Located at the foot of Vitosha Mountain, on the outskirts of the city, Boyana is a historic district, containing numerous buildings of historical significance.

The 10th century Boyana Church is one of the city’s most visited locations. Included on the UNESCO World Heritage List, it is one of the oldest Bulgarian Orthodox Churches in existence. You also have the National History Museum, to give you all the information you could want on the history of Bulgaria.

Located quite a distance from the center of the city, you will need a car if you hope to explore some of the city’s most famous attractions. However, anyone wanting a classy, authentic experience during their stay will find everything they want in Boyana.

Stay In Boyana If you aren’t worried about money; you want to learn about the history of Bulgaria; you want to stay in one of the most authentic Bulgarian locations; you don’t mind being quite away from the city center.


Check out my virtual tour of the best places to stay in Sofia in this video or continue reading:

Where to stay in Sofia: Best Areas to Stay in Sofia, Bulgaria

Where are the Best Places To Stay In Sofia Bulgaria?

Sofia is a city with many opportunities for different types of tourism. You can find a lot of restaurants, hotels, social hotspots, and attractions. 

If you are a party animal undoubtedly your place is Studentski Grad. If you are looking for something that is on a budget, then your areas are Lyuben Karavelov and Jenski Pazar. For those who want a quiet place, Oborishte is your place. 

For lovers of luxury hotels, the Vitosha and Lozenets neighborhoods can definitely exceed your expectations. If you are a social person and looking for a communicative place, then Sofia City Center and Airport District are your places.

How Long To Stay In Sofia?

If you are a first-time visitor, 3-4 days are enough to enjoy most attractions in Sofia and its suburbs. Apart from the historical landmarks in the city, you can also go to Pancharevo Lake or take a walk in Vitosha Mountain. 

If you are a street food traveler, then you will never have enough time because Sofia is perfect for this type of tourism. If you are a party animal, you can choose from the thousands of party festivals in Sofia that usually last from 3 to 5 days.

Is Sofia a safe place to visit?

According to European rankings for living in cities, Sofia is defined as one of the safest capitals. In Sofia, street crime is minimized and present only in the most remote neighborhoods. 

Most of the metro stations are guarded by a police officer on duty, who is always ready to help you. This is one of the capitals in the European Union where there has never been a terrorist act.

The locals are always friendly and willing to help you. Even if you get lost, don’t worry if you don’t speak or understand Bulgarian, most of the young locals speak English and will be happy to guide you.

Is Sofia Bulgaria worth visiting?

Sofia is one of the oldest cities in Europe and one of the most beautiful Balkan capitals. Here you can see the remains of Roman buildings, churches from the Middle Ages, beautiful baroque buildings, and heritage from the communist era. 

If you are wondering if it is worth visiting Sofia, then definitely do it no matter what the purpose of your trip. Sofia has many opportunities for all kinds of tourism.  The hotels are many of a different class, there is no shortage of hostels and rooms for rent at very good prices. 

Some of the best restaurants in the Balkans are positioned in Sofia, with some of the best chefs in Eastern Europe. Sofia is also the pearl of street food tourism, offering all types of food local and from different parts of the world.

Where Should I Stay In Sofia?

The places I recommend you to stay during your visit to Sofia are Oborishte or Lyuben Karavelov. These locations are suitable for all types of tourism. Their proximity to the city center offers easy access to all kinds of attractions and social hotspots.

Hotels in the regions vary and are of all types, you can also find quite comfortable hostels. There is a large selection of restaurants, cafes, and shops. There are many theaters, cinemas, malls, and clubs close to both areas. 

They are also suitable for families with kids. Both locations are considered one of the safest due to their proximity to state institutions and embassies.

How many days should I spend in Sofia?

Sofia is a large city with many interesting things to do and see. Every traveler can easily spend more than a week and not be bored. But, those who go on a short vacation in Sofia or have only a weekend can still feel the great atmosphere of the city.

The ideal duration of vacation in Sofia is 3-5 days. This is a time when you can visit the most beautiful places in the city and its surroundings.

 You can break into a crazy party or go around the places with the most delicious food, the choice is yours. There are so many affordable hotels in the city that this is the smallest problem to think about.

Sofia is one of the most dynamic and beautiful capitals in Europe. The city has been repeatedly identified as the safest, most accessible, and cheapest. 

Many global companies rank Sofia as the best for starting a business. From the Balkan capitals, Sofia offers the largest and most diverse selection of hotels, hostels, and places to stay. Finding your place in the capital of Bulgaria is not difficult at all, even without a reservation.

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