Archive for January, 2007

Mall of Sofia

Usually in my weekend schedule there is always booked visit at Mall of Sofia. I like this place not because of shopping possibilities but because this is a place where young people love to go for a coffee, to meet friends, to watch the latest movies and of course there are hundred shops.

Watch the atmosphere at Mall of Sofia

Usually we fist go to the third floor to buy cinema tickets, because the good seats are sold very quickly – I like to watch movie at the center of the row and at the center of the cinema hall. You need to buy thickets minimum one hour in advance if you want to have good seats. I like to have 2 hours for coffee and shopping before watching movie.
»» Mall of Sofia

Sofia Shopping Ideas – Pretty Things Shop

Even you are devoted to Sofia shopping it is less probably to get into Pretty Things shop. This small store is at the heart of Sofia, very close to the Patriarh Evtimii Str. (one of the important streets in Sofia), but its entrance is from 6th September Str. UPDATE: The shop is not at this address any more :( I don’t know where they move.

If you go there with taxi cab, tell to the drive to bring you to the corner of the above streets. The exact address is 21B Patriarh Evtimii Str, entrance is on 6th September str.

Pretty Things Shop in Sofia

This small store is amazing, full of colors and brightness. Even if you don’t buy anything it is nice view for your eyes.
»» Sofia Shopping Ideas – Pretty Things Shop

Toilets in Sofia – Public or…

I don’t like this topic and this is the reason I write a page about the toilets in Sofia. Okay, there is not much to say, just want to warn you not to use the public toilets. They are bad managed and not in good condition.

The alternative is to use toilets in the cafes, restaurants and hotels. Even the local residents skip the public toilets. The good news is that there are many, many restaurants and you can ask for toilet.

Most of the toilets in Sofia are paid, something about 0,50 BGN (0,25 euros). The reason toilets are paid is that the restaurant owner doesn’t pay to somebody to take care for toilets, and the toilet fee is a salary for the cleaner-man. Don’t expect to be given receipt, it is absolutely impossible :).
»» Toilets in Sofia – Public or…

Internet in Sofia – Where to Find It?

If you are addicted to World Wide Web like me, one of the first things to find out is how to hunt for Internet in Sofia. I swear that to find Internet in Sofia is many times easier and cheaper than in New York or London. Internet cafes are very popular, and you can use computer and internet for only 1-2 BGN (0.5-1 Euro) per hour. There is Internet service in the Computer Games Clubs, these are places where teenagers play network games, but you can check there your e-mail.

It is common to combine computer games and Internet service in one place, this way the owner has two independent income streams.

Reputable hotels have Internet services, but it is good to call to hotel Reception in advance and to check how you can use Internet. For example in Kampisnki Hotel, there is wireless Internet and you can use it everywhere in the building and in a close distance to the hotel. I tried it in the lobby – it is good and free – yes, they didn’t charge me or asked me for a password.
»» Internet in Sofia – Where to Find It?

Do You Need a Visa for Bulgaria?

Before you book a ticket for Sofia, check if you need a visa for Bulgaria. Most of you have ordinary passport type, but because I took this information from Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they support complete list with all types of travel reasons, I decided to put the complete information.

So, if you just travel, check whether you need a visa for Bulgaria at the last column “Ordinary passport”.
»» Do You Need a Visa for Bulgaria?

Money Exchange Rates in Sofia

While your plane is landing on Sofia airport may be the first question that comes to your mind is “What are money exchange rates in Sofia?”.

The answer of this question is very easy – you don’t have to care about money exchange rates because in mid-1997, the monetary regime in Bulgaria underwent an abrupt institutional change – from a discretional Central Bank to a Currency Board Arrangement.

In other words in Bulgaria there is fixed exchange rate for euro, 1 euro=1.95583 BGN. All ATMs in Bulgaria operates with local currency – for example if you want to withdraw 100 euros, you will receive their equivalent in BGN (or as local people call to their currency – “lev” is singular form, “leva” is plural form).
»» Money Exchange Rates in Sofia

How to Distinguish Real from Scam Sofia Taxi Cabs

I highly recommend using taxi cabs in Sofia. Why? Because Sofia taxi rates are low and taxi is much more comfortable than the public transport (which I hate). Your taxi bill for one-way trip for the longest distance in Sofia should not exceed 10 BGN (5 euros, $7). Usually to ride a taxi to a restaurant in city center will cost 3-5 BGN (2.5 euros, $3). But if you catch the wrong Sofia taxi, it could cost 25 euros. (You can calculate how much anything costs in euro by dividing the price in BGN on 2).

Normal rates for Sofia taxi cabs:

  • 0.50 BGN (0.25 euros) – initial fare
  • 0.50 BGN per kilometer during the day and 0.60 BGN during the night (after 10 p.m.)
  • 0.15 BGN per minute idle time – traffic or stopped

My definition for a scam taxi cab is that this is a cab with rates 2 or more times higher then these written above.
»» How to Distinguish Real from Scam Sofia Taxi Cabs

Olives – Sofia Restaurants Reviews

Olives – Sofia Restaurant Movie

entrance Olive’s, Sofia restaurant

Olives is not a typical Sofia restaurant. You can feel American style everywhere – small tables (usually tables in Bulgarian restaurants are bigger), walls are full of American signs with funny captions, and the cuisine is a combination from Bulgarian, American and Italian food. The big entrance door needs strength to be pushed, it is better to have companion and to push it together :). I made a picture in foggy Sofia evening, you can see the fog :).
»» Olives – Sofia Restaurants Reviews

Map of European Union

On the 1st of January, 2007 the map of European Union was enlarged with 2 more countries – Bulgaria and Romania. With this accession the number of countries members of EU became 27.

map of European Union
»» Map of European Union