where to stay in sofia bulgaria

Where to stay in Sofia Bulgaria: Best Areas and Hotels

If you’re wondering where to stay in Sofia Bulgaria, or where is the best area to stay in Sofia, you’re in the right place.I will give an insight into 8 best places to stay in Sofia for first time visitors, couples, families, backpackers, all budget travelers; read on as I show you the best of Sofia.

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.

The goals of this article are to show you the best locations, to choose the most suitable place for you, and to make your journey easier and joyful.

Where to Stay in Sofia: Tips & Info 

When choosing where to stay in Sofia there are so many options that it can be hard to decide. Location is the most important place when choosing for your vacation. In the meantime, if you are planning a big city trip, you will have to take into account the prices of Sofia. 

For example, many travelers in Sofia decide to find accommodation 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 accommodation is close to the metro, bus or tram, which can easily take you to the best sights. If you are a family with kids, then chooses 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 ones.

Where to stay in Sofia Bulgaria – 8 Best Area and Neighborhoods in Sofia

Sofia is one of the liveliest capital cities in the Balkans. If you are looking for fun, there is no better place to visit than this cool, vibrant town. Here you will find museums, landmarks, galleries, and restaurants around every corner. 

From foodie districts to cultural areas, these neighborhoods in Sofia have it all. Each of the neighborhoods listed in the article offers you a different set of attractions. So, let’s look at them in detail and choose the best one for you.

So, Where is the best area to stay in Sofia? In this section, we’ll help you to explore the 8 best areas to stay in Sofia are: Sofia City Center, Vitosha District, Lozenets, Studentski grad, Oborishte, Lyuben Karavelov, Sofia Airport District, Zhenski Pazar.

Where to stay in Sofia Bulgaria Map

Where to Stay in Sofia Map
Where to Stay in Sofia Map

To see the detail of the Where to Stay in Sofia Map, go to Google Map;

1. Sofia City Center,Where to Stay in Sofia for History Lovers

Where to stay in sofia Sofia City Center
Sofia City Center 

Sofia City Center is an area that is full of historical landmarks, beautiful buildings, cafes, and shops.

Don’t miss to take a walk on the “Yellow Pavers” or visit St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. You can visit 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. 

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.

YOU SHOULD STAY IN SOFIA CITY CENTER IF:

  • 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 don’t mind noisy places
  • You don’t mind the big car traffic

Best Hotels 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 20-minute 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.

2. Vitosha District, Where to Stay in Sofia for Families

Where to Stay in Sofia Bulgaria: Vitosha
Vitosha

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 and the National History Museum.

YOU SHOULD STAY IN VITOSHA DISTRICT IF:

  • If you are looking for a place near the other districts of Sofia and the city center 
  • 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 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 an 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 ambience 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.

3. Lozenets, Where to Stay in Sofia Safe

Where to Stay in Sofia Bulgaria: Lozenets
Lozenets @kirilhristov

Lozenets is located south of the central part of Sofia and near Vitosha district. 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 and restaurants in the area are one of the most sophisticated and expensive in Sofia.

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

YOU SHOULD STAY 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 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.

4. Studentski grad, Where to Stay in Sofia for Easy Transportation

Where to Stay in Sofia Bulgaria on budget: studentski grad
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.

YOU SHOULD 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 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 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.

5. Oborishte , Where to Stay in Sofia Close to the City Center

Where to Stay in Sofia Bulgaria quiet place: Oborishte
Oborishte @Francisco Anzola

Oborishte is a small neighborhood and is almost part of the city 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. One of the most famous landmarks in this location is the monument of Vasil Levski (one of the greatest Bulgarian heroes). 

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.

YOU SHOULD STAY IN OBORISHTE 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 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 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 the 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 centre of Sofia, just steps away from the Lavov 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.

6. Lyuben Karavelov, Where to Stay in Sofia Close to Tourist Attractions

where to stay in sofia for safety: Lyuben Karavelov
Lyuben Karavelov @Georgi Varzonovtsev

Lyuben Karavelov Street is in the central part of Sofia. It 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 nice cafes and shops and very good middle-class restaurants. This area of ​​Sofia is considered one of the safest places because here 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 a quiet 
  • You don’t mind a high car traffic

Where to Stay in Sofia – Lyuben Karavelov

7. 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 Bulgarian capital. 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, cafes, and social hotspots.

YOU SHOULD STAY IN SOFIA AIRPORT DISTRICT 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 a high car traffic

Best Hotels in Sofia Airport District

  • Best Luxury Hotel:  Best Western Premier Sofia Airport Hotel is a mordern 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 two-way complimentary scheduled Airport Shuttle which is available to book upon request.
  • Best Mid-Range Hotel: Ibis Sofia Airport Hotel – Park & Fly offers free airport shuttle and free parking. A restaurant with garden views is available. Free WiFi access is provided throughout. A bus stop is 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 apartament close to The Mall shopping centre.Good access by the public transport.The metro Station InterExpo within 10min walk.

8. Zhenski Pazar, Where to Stay in Sofia for Budget Travelers

Where to Stay in Sofia Bulgaria: Lion's Bridge
Lion’s Bridge @Deensel

Zhenski Pazar is located in the central part of the city near to 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 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.

YOU SHOULD STAY IN JENSKI PAZAR IF:

  • You are looking for a communicative place Near the central part of Sofia
  • You would like an affordable price
  • You need a convenient public transport
  • You don’t mind a big movement of people
  • You don’t mind a High Car Traffic

Best Hotels in Jenski Pazar 

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, 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.

Where To Stay In Sofia For Nightlife?

If you are a party animal, in Sofia you will find many places to spend more than pleasant. One of them is the City Center where are some of the most elite clubs and nightlife festivals. You definitely need to be financially prepared for this location. 

But the best place for nightlife and entertainment remains Studentski Grad. This is the place that never sleeps. Many clubs are next to each other and offer different genres of music. 

The hotels are of a lower class but are reasonable and reasonably priced. There are hostels on every corner with good accommodation. 

Where To Stay In Sofia On A Budget?

If you are a budget traveler, the best places to stay in Sofia are Jenski Pazar and Lyuben Karavelov. The locations are close to the city center and with quick access to the most interesting places in Sofia. The hotels and hostels in these areas are mostly middle class and are quite good. 

Jenski Pazar is a very communicative place with any kind of transport. Lyuben Karavelov is considered one of the safest places in the Bulgarian capital. The near to most landmarks and social hotspots makes these two locations preferred for budget travelers.

Where To Stay In Sofia With Family?

The most appropriate places for you if you are a family with kids are Lozenets and Vitosha. These are the safest areas in Sofia and offer great places to stay in. But, you should pay attention to the fact that they are also the most expensive places in Sofia.

Unlike Lozenets, Vitosha does not have a large selection of public transport. If you are a family on a budget, then the best place for you is Oborishte. 

The neighborhood is quiet, safe, and close to the center. The hotels there are affordable and quite nice. You will be pleasantly surprised by the various restaurants located in the area.

Where To Stay In Sofia For Foodies?

If you are a street food traveler, then the Center of Sofia is your place. A huge range of restaurants and food venues await people like you. Many Bulgarian and foreign culinary chefs opened restaurants in the center of Sofia. 

In the central part of Sofia, you will have a choice of some of the best restaurants on the Balkan Peninsula. In the street food places, you can try the most delicious doner kebabs, baklava, or Garash cake. 

Here you can find Italian, Spanish, Mexican, Asian, Balkan and many other great cuisines. The best place for this type of tourism is Vitoshka Street.

Where To Stay In Sofia For Backpackers 

You can find a suitable place for this type of tourism in each of the locations listed in the article. Sofia offers a range of hostels and rooms for rent. City Center and Jeniski Pazar are the best places where you can find very good options to stay in.

Hostels in these areas are mostly in communicative places and close to public transport stations. Sofia offers a wide choice of places you can stay and have a great time. Vitosha and Lozenets are not recommended due to the high prices of hotels and restaurants and are not suitable for backpacks.

Sofia Vacation Travel 

Conclusion

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 Bulgarian capital is not difficult at all, even without a reservation.



About Author

I'm Linda Smith. I'm passionate about traveling and I'm here to share with you all my travel experiences and tips. I hope all these things will make your travel easier.

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