[Artikel auf Deutsch @ Feinripp Magazine: http://www.feinripp.net/streetart/sofia-tours-bulgarien/]
On our last trip we went to the Balkan for some days, more precisely to Bulgaria and it´s beautiful capital Sofia. The weather was kind of unfavorable, from rain to little snow storms, but still we could explore this interesting city extensively and brought you a lot of marvelous streetart fotos and graffiti material.
The country and the city looks back over 6000 years of history shaped by a lot of different cultures during the centuries. Everywhere you can find protected monuments and archaeological excavation originated from the Roman Empire, which were found during road work or tunnel bores. The medieval Bulgaria is everywhere integrated in newer buildings, you can see architecture from the Ottoman occupation and everywhere in between there is the distinctive Eastern Bloc design of the communism. All of this commingles in different ways with the modern Bulgaria. Very cool!
Sofia has 1,2 million inhabitants on an area about nearly 500 m², the important city center extends within a pleasant walking distance. You can even abandon the public transports and reach everything easily excursing. If you want to do tours outside the center with a specific destination you should invest at least a whole day or even more anyway. The nightlife is amazing, you can find good clubs like Terminal1, the Cluture Beat Club, the Swingin‘ Hall or Rock’N’Rolla. The costs for everything is really reasonable compared to Germany and you get good value, this applies as well for the food, the Bulgarian cuisine is fantastic.
An easy, informative and as well amusing opportunity to get to know a city during your travelling are the Free City Tours. Meanwhile there are a lot of groups organizing these tourist offers in many countries and locations, it works mostly the same way with the similar concept. Via flyer and a website you can get information about several meeting points and starting hours. These tours start frequently and can be groups with more than 20 people but as well an individual tour for your own. For example at the great Graffiti Tour we had our well explaining guide just for ourselves. At the end you give the organizers as much as you can give and you feel appropriate.
To become a guide for such a tour you should know the town copious and intensively, definitely you should love it. Kristian Mitov started in 2010 with friends the first Free Sofia Tour. The number of visitors and tour participants increased and especially young culture interested traveler are searching for alternative options to the current tours of the established travel agencies. They founded the 365 Association and build up a structure with different tour offers for specialized interests in the following years. Pub Crawls arised, the Graffiti Tour started, there is a Bohemian Sofia Tour and several Communist tours. In an interview co-founder Kristian Mitov tells us about his hometown, about his idea and about the development of the city tour network.
During the Pub Crawls you can meet other travellers if you want, as well you can see pubs and places you would only have found by random chance. The cultural excursions offer plenty of background information and the guides are continuously and patiently explaining. An important fact to consider is that everything there is written in Cyrillic…. A little “reading problem” for the westerners. Very recommendable is of course the Graffiti tour where you can learn a lot about the Sofia streetart scene, about the Kings & Toys, about The Lion and The Eagle and the stamping from the old master Vapski and surely the participants get leaded to the spots with the very good artworks at all.
Here you can find links to all the different tours in and around Sofia:
FREE SOFIA TOUR
Every day, May-Oktober: 10 AM, 11 AM & 6 PM, November-April: 11 AM & 6 PM
Start: Palace of Justice – Dauer: 2 Stunden
Phone: (+359) 988 920 461
The New Sofia Pub Crawl
Phone: +359 877 613 992
Meeting point: Krystal Garden – In front of the big head statue of Stefan Stambolov at 9:00 PM!
Tipsy Pub Crawl
The Bohemian Sofia Tour
Sofia Green Tour
Sofia Day Tours
Sofia Graffiti Tour
Balkan Bites (Food-Tour)
Programata (Veranstaltungen und Events, aber auf bulgarisch)
Bulgaria Communism Tours
On The Go Tours