Nightingale Hostel Sofia | Найтингейл хостел София

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As I concluded that I would need a place to sleep in Sofia for not too much money I googled ‘hostel Sofia’. I ended up on the website of hostelworld.com and saw that Nightingale was cheap and close to the place where I would go that night. After seeing the pictures and checking the rates I booked 2 beds for that same night in the biggest dorm they had.

When we arrived we had to pass a door and ring a bell. The second door unlocked and we walked up the stairs. After a second of feeling lost we found the ‘reception’. An awesome guy welcomed us. Since we made the booking 2 hours before arrival he had some trouble finding the reservation. We ended up just paying for 2 beds and got a little upgrade because of loud roommates in the biggest dorm. He showed us the room and we picked a bed after which we got a key for the locker and one for the front door.

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We slept in a mixed dormitary with 10 beds and had our own locker. There’s a living room, a kitchen, a toilet and 2 showers with those rain showerheads. Nice! There’s breakfast in the morning, a washing machine and more. Next to the hostel is a restaurant with a nice terrace where you can have a good Bulgarian diner. It’s close to the cultural center of Sofia, with the Ethnographic museum, the Alexandar Nevsky Catherdral and the National Theatre.

This hostel is like sleeping at a friends place. They’ve got rules, but if you ask nicely everything is possible. We had breakfast at 1 in the afternoon and as one of the posts mentioned it was possible to check out after 11 when you asked. The guy that owns the hostel loves to talk about anything with anyone. He seemed like a guy who is always busy arranging things, which can get a little difficult for him. He wants the best for everyone but sometimes gets in trouble doing so. You might end up in another room than you booked for example. You can book a bed in the 16 beds dormitary for 12 leva. A private single room will cost you 36 leva.

Address: Budapeshta street 8, Sofia | улица будапеща 8, София
Coordinates: 42.698200, 23.327950

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howtogettonightingaleHow to get there?
From the central bus/railway station
Take the metro. You can find an entrance next to the bus station, it’s next to the lever for the busses (where the busses enter the bus station). Take the metro until the stop called Serdika (сердика). A ticket costs 1 leva and you can buy them at the entrance, there’s a desk and machines as well. When you get out of the metro walk into the direction of the buildings you see on this picture. Take the street between those 2 buildings. The hostel will be on the 4th street on your left. They’ve got a ‘Nightingale’ sign on their balkony on the corner.

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Art Hostel Sofia | Арт Хостел София

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The name already says it, this is an artistic, free minded, alternative place. It’s located in the center of Sofia, in a side street parallel to the big shopping street.

arthostelbarTo enter the hostel you have to ring a doorbell. After someone at the reception responds (or when you have a key) you can open the gate. You’ll enter a path with on your right the entrance to the reception, some computers and a couch in a living room, a kitchen and a public toilet next to it. After receiving keys, a city map and a free-drink-in-the-bar-coupon they’ll show you where you’ll sleep. To enter the dorms you have to go outside, walk through the garden behind the hostel where is another entrance to a staircase. You need a key to enter the staircase as well, since there’s a bar in the basement of the hostel.

I slept in a 9-bed dorm, with bunk beds containing 3 beds, most of them with cute curtains for both privacy and darkness. There was another dorm next to it, and 2 shared showers, a toilet and a sink. I haven’t seen the other dorms, because I didn’t have the key for them, but this video will give a good impression of the entire hostel:

There are 9- and 5-bed dorms, and there a private single, double and triple rooms. Prices are between 24 leva for a bed in the biggest dorm and 52 leva for the single private room. These prices are for the summer, June to September. Bookings outside this period are a bit cheaper.

Breakfast is included, there are often events in the bar and there are a lot of activities like hiking, rafting and horse riding. Make sure you shower before others do, because their 24/7 hot shower promise didn’t come true.

Address: ulitsa Angel Kanchev 21/A, 1000 Sofia
Coordinates: 42.691168, 23.322053

howtogettoarthostelsofiaHow to get there
From the central bus/railway station
Take the metro until NDK, after 3 stops. You will be on the southern end of the big shopping street, seeing a big park. Walk in the direction of the shopping street and take the fourth street, ulitsa William Gladston, right. Then take the second street right, the hostel will be on your left after 20 m.

Piano bar limited | Пиано бар ‘limited’

Piano Bar interior

Piano bar impression2I love this place! It has this nice vibe, great music and awesome people. It’s situated in the center of Blagoevgrad, in a small street next to the big shopping street. All you can see from the outside is the entrance with above ‘Piano bar limited’. Right after the entrance there are stairs, going down to the bar itself. I’ve seen this in every bar I’ve been to in this city. All the bars and clubs are underground. Smart, because you won’t have other people complaining about noise (in the Netherlands we don’t have this as much).

So, downstairs there’s a guarded coat stand, with on your left the toilets (with chill out couch in the girls bathroom, watch out guys! ‘Going to the toilet’ will never mean the same again). On the right is the bar, with 3 bars and barstools and tables with seats. It’s really cozy, with tea lights everywhere. There’s also a piano and they often have a band performing (awesome!). For those who like performing themselves, every thursday there’s karaoke night. They often organize evenings with Rock (and Roll) and once a month there’s a Bulgarian evening on friday.

Piano Bar Karaoke Piano Bar impression

The people who come here are between 23ish and 35ish years old. Of course there are exceptions! If you want to go on a saturday night and would like a place to sit, you can make a reservation (on the number 0898 828 828). It’s not required though. The idea is to have conversations while listening to the music, though the music gets louder as the night continues. A good excuse for some dancing or a more intimate conversation (read: yelling in each others ears). A great place for an amazing night out.

An impression:

Address according to their FB page:
Street Todor Alexandrov 23, Blagoevgrad | Улица Тодор Александров 23
Where the entrance is:
Street Petko. D. Petkov 2, Blagoevgrad | Улица Петко. Д. Петков 2
Coordinates: 42.019304, 23.099606

How to get there?
howtogettopianobarWhen you’re walking on the big shopping street between BILLA (orange) and the big mall LARGO (green) it’s the fourth street from BILLA on your right, and the third street from LARGO on your left. When you stand in front of the street you’ve got a kiosk and a clothing store called ALEXANDRA on your left, and the Shamrock restaurant and an oldskool phone on the wall next to it on your right. It’s halfway down this street on your right!

Hostel Old Plovdiv

1359625375677408 This is a beautiful and cozy hostel in the center of the Old Town of Plovdiv. You’re surrounded by an ethnographic museum, the amfi theater, the top of the hill with an amazing view (watch a sunset there!), part of the ancient stadium, church of the holy mother of god, restaurants, shops with handmade products, the dzhumaya mosque and many more. Wander around in the old streets and take time to look around.

The hostel has several rooms, for 2,3 or 4 people. It’s also possible to have a single room, or to ask kindly for a room for 5. Each room has something special, unique bedframes and antique accessories. There’s even a room with an amazing painting on the wall. None of them have a bathroom, you can find those next to the hallway with the reception.

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In the morning there’s a good breakfast, which you can eat outside in the garden. There’s also a ‘livingroom’ with a big baroque-ish couch and chairs. There’s a computer aswell.
The staff is great, they speak English and know a lot about the old town and Plovdiv. The staff I met was also great to hang out with in the garden! There’s always someone at the reception.

Adress: ulitsa ‘Chetvarti yanuari’ 3, 4000 Plovdiv | улица ‘Четвърти януари’ з
Coordinates: 42.149872, 24.752254

How to get there?
Walking from the shoppingstreet
Somewhere in the middle of the shopping street you find the mosque (pink), part of the ancient stadium and a little park(green).
Walk between de mosque and the park all the way up. Keep the church on your right. When you arrive on a little square go left. You will find the hostel at the left side.

Travelling with bus/taxi142557147495552/car
The busses stop at boulevard Tsar Boris III Obedinitel right after the tunnel. When you get out walk the stairs (red), with the tunnel on your right. Take the second street right, then a left and a right and you will find the hostel at the right side.

From the train/bus station (they’re pretty much next to each other) you can take bus 7, 20, 26 or shuttlebus2. You can buy bustickets in the bus. When with a car or taxi you can either stop at boulevard Tsar Boris III Obedinitel and walk the red route or follow the green line. Taxi’s will bring you halfway up there. There a possibility to park your car when you get on the ‘blue’ street, right before the church.

 

Buzludzha | Бузлуджа

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Buzludzha. I’ve seen nothing like this before, ever. It’s a mysterious place, a shadow of it’s past. This ‘UFO’ tells us a story about the communist times Bulgaria has known. The monument was opened on August 23th 1981 as a tribute to the creation of the Bulgarian socialist movement in 1891. When in 1989 Todor Zhirkov, the leader of the Bulgarian Communist Party, resigned, communist times in Bulgaria ended and Buzludzha turned slowly into a vandalised and forgotten place.

Adress: Vrah Hadji Dimitar [ връх Хаджи Димитър ], 6100 Bulgaria.
Coordinates: 42.736314, 25.393858

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How to get there?
142522129261114Between Kazanluk and Gabrovo there are two bumpy roads from the E85 who lead there. When I was at the big statue in front of the monument I thought I had to walk there. After asking around I found out there’s a road who leads all the way up to the building itself.

When you wa1425221292614nt to see what’s inside, go to the right side of the main entrance. There you will find a hole in the wall. This is the exciting, adventurous way in. If you want to climb the tower, make sure you bring a flashlight with extra batteries. I couldn’t climb the stairs when I visited because we didn’t have a good flashlight. And believe me, you do NOT want to be stuck somewhere in this tower without light.