Sofia (also known as Serdica or Sredetz) is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria and the 15th largest city in the European Union with population of more than 1.2 million people. The city is located at the foot of Vitosha Mountain in the western part of the country, within less than 50 kilometres from the Serbian border.
Many of the major universities, cultural institutions and commercial companies of Bulgaria are concentrated in Sofia. Sofia is one of the top 10 best places for start-up business in the world, especially in IT technologies (yep if you’re an IT specialist you will do great;)).
Arts and entertainment
Sofia concentrates the majority of Bulgaria’s leading performing arts troupes. Theatre is by far the most popular form of performing art, and theatrical venues are among the most visited, second only to cinemas. The oldest such institution is the Ivan Vazov National Theatre, which performs mainly classical plays and is situated in the very centre of the city.
The National Opera and Ballet of Bulgaria is a combined opera and ballet collective, established in 1891. However, it did not begin performances on a regular basis until 1909. Some of Bulgaria’s most famous operatic singers, such as Nicolai Ghiaurov and Ghena Dimitrova, have made their first appearances on the stage of the National Opera and Ballet.
The National Palace of Culture regularly hold classical concerts. Bulgaria’s largest art museums are located in the central areas of the city.
The crypt of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral holds a collection of Eastern Orthodox icons from the 9th to the 19th century.
Other museums are the National Historical Museum with a collection of more than 600,000 items; the National Polytechnical Museum with more than 1,000 technological items on display; the National Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Natural History. The SS. Cyril and Methodius National Library houses the largest national collection of books and documents (1,714,211 books and some 6 million other documents) and is Bulgaria’s oldest cultural institute.
The Boyana Church, a UNESCO World Heritage site, contains realistic frescoes, depicting more than 240 human images and a total 89 scenes, were painted. With their vital, humanistic realism they are a Renaissance phenomenon at its culmination phase in the context of the common-European art.
Transport and infrastructure
With its developing infrastructure and strategic location, Sofia is a major hub for international railway and automobile transport. All major types of transport (except water) are represented in the city. The Central Railway Station with it’s 186 kilometres of railway lines is the primary hub for domestic and international rail transport.
Public transport is well-developed with bus tram and trolleybus lines running in all areas of the city. The Sofia Subway became operational in 1998, and now has two lines and 34 stations. There are around 13,000 taxi cabs operating in the city. Low fares in comparison with other European countries, make taxis affordable and popular among a big part of the city population.
I hope you enjoyed the post. Come and visit Sofia 😉