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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HostelMostel Veliko Tarnovo | ХостелМостел Велико Търново

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After multiple great experiences at HostelMostel Sofia I decided to try out the one in Veliko Tarnovo during my stay there. And it was good. It’s different from Sofia, but it’s an amazing place. I went there in October and it wasn’t too crowded, which was nice because I stayed there with my family. It’s situated close to Tsarevets, the (remains of the) castle that once ruled Bulgaria. The hostel is not in the center though, and as we drove there we were wondering whether we were going in the right direction. But there it was, exactly as the TomTom told us!

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It’s a traditional Bulgarian house with on the first floor the reception, some computers and as you walk in to the room there’s a chill-out-place. Pillows on the floor, some cute little wooden stools and a little table. The dorms, bathrooms and toilets are all linked to the central living room.

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The dorms have bunk beds with next to them closets where you can keep your valuable stuff when you want to. They’ve got keys at the reception.

hostel-mostel veliko tarnovo dining roomDownstairs there’s a room with picknick tables, a little bar and a kitchen. They serve breakfast in the morning and have milk, tea and coffee prepared. In the evening they serve diner as well (we haven’t tried it, went out to eat in the center). It’s also possible to enjoy the sun, there’s a corner outside the first floor, after the stairs outside where you can sit and enjoy the weather, and there’s a garden!

Prices are between 20 leva for a bed in a 10-bed dormitory and 46 leva for a single private room. It’s also possible to camp there, a tent space will cost you 18 leva. It’s easy to make a reservation, you can do this on their website.

Address: Street Iordan Indzheto 10, Veliko Tarnovo | Улица Йордан Инджето 10
Coordinates: 43.079751, 25.645270

How to get there
Whether you’re driving from the E85 or the E772, drive until the junction. From there take the 5/E85 going north, where you’ll have to follow the sign ‘Center’. This road, the 514, will be on your left, after about 500 m depending where in the junction you’re coming from. When you arrive at the T junction go right to stay on the 514 for another 1,2 km. Then take a slight right to the street Chitalishtna (улица Читалищна). After 210 m take another right to Street Iordan Indzheto (Улица Йордан Инджето). The hostel will be on your right after about 100 m.

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Ski complex Kartala | ски комплекс Картала

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kartalapisteMy family came for a ski vacation and after some searching they found out about Ski complex Kartala. They’ve got a Bulgarian website with some information where I found an e-mailadress and a phone number. With my good behavior I decided to call them. Well, that didn’t go so well. The woman  didn’t understand me and as I tried to rephrase my question I lost connection.

A Bulgarian friend of mine offered to call and got us a reservation. I just had no clue where I made this reservation. My father asked me if I could go there to check if everything was okay and so I went with another friend of mine who’s a taxidriver (saved me some money, sometimes it sucks having no drivers license!)

DSCN6347kartalaAfter driving 30 km uphill through beautiful mountains with trees covered with snow we arrived. There’s a parking lot right in front of the hotel where we parked the car. We walked the stairs and entered the hotel at the cafetaria and found out that the hotel has 4 floors. On the 1st floor you can rent ski supplies. On the 2nd you’ll find the hotelrooms with a little (strange sort of) reception. On the 3rd floor, where we came in, is the cafeteria where you can have breakfast, lunch, diner, a beer and a cup of coffee. The 4rd floor impressed me (I haven’t seen that many skihotels before) because there was the ski lift station!

Everything is connected by a big stairway that circles around an elevator. So, after you had breakfast, you go change in your hotelroom, get your skies at the skirent and take the lift to the 4rd floor where you get in the lift! On top of the hill you get out and ski down, all the way to the lift entrance at the 4rd floor. I must say, for those wh20150223_111735kartalao aren’t that advanced, the skipiste is a little bit hardcore. Thankfully there’s a beginners piste aswell. You’ll find it as you cross the parking lot and walk up a little bit. Accompanied by a cute cottage with a fireplace (only open in the weekends) and a ‘babylift’ where you can learn all the basics and improve your skills.

They don’t speak English, which can be difficult. You might need to use hands and feet to communicate!

Oh, and do NOT order the french fries. They are horrible. I can recommend the sautéed potatoes (картофи соте).

Adress: After ± 30 km on Reka Bistritsa (River Bistritsa).
Coordinates: 42.043269, 23.359774

howtogettokartalaborderHow to get there?
When you’re driving on the E79/1 between Sofia and the border of Greece take a left (or right, if you’re coming from south) at the junction close to ‘Mr. Bricolage’, a big job shop. You will get on boulevard Sveti Dimitar Solunksi (булевард свети димитър солунски), where you will take a right when you’re in front of cemetery next to Kaufland. After a roundabout this will turn into street Aleksander Stamboliiski (улица Александър Стамболийски). Keep following this road until you see a sign ‘Ski park Kartala’.

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.