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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Beach bar Cubo | плажен бар Cubo

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This beach bar was recommended to me by the people from yo-ho-hostel and as soon as I entered I understood completely! This is one amazing beach bar. Thé place to go in the summer.

You can enjoy the weather while sitting in a chair in the sand, or find yourself one of the many cozy corners on the second floor with all sorts of furniture and decorations, sit at the bar and enjoy the music, dance on the beach when listening to a live performance or enjoy the view at sea.

I really love this place, I was there in the sumer and the vibe was amazing. Everyone was happy, enjoying the warm summer breeze (even at 2 in the morning!), listening to the music and having a good time. Have a coffee or tea, beer, wine or cocktail and dive in the ambiance.

bar cubo varna1When we went to find it we didn’t expect this street with bar walls and gates. Seen on a map it looks like a boulevard, and there is a boulevard next to this street, but it’s a street with beach bar fences. You can’t see the sea from the street. That disappointed me somehow, but when I entered the bar I understood. You step into this surrounding where you won’t notice the other bars or the street, just people having a good time and sea view.

The fences don’t last forever by the way, when you walk down the street with the seaside on your left you’ll find a part of the beach with view from the street. A good place for sunbathing and swimming, and close to the bar.

Address: close to Boulevard Primorski | булевард Приморски
Coordinates: 43.202297, 27.924058

How to get there?
Whether you’re coming from the E87/9, A2/E70 or A4, all the big road to Varna will cross in the center, in a T-cross next to the church of the assumption of the virgin (Black dot in the picture). There are plenty ways to go to Cubo, but I think this is an easy and lovely route there.

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From the church take the street across, on the left side of the clocktower. Walk in the direcion of the big pink building (the drama theater) and keep it on your right. You will see the New Yorker (clothing store) after 50 meters on your right.
When you’re next to the New Yorker take the street that goes slightly to the left, with the view on a small yellow building. Walk this street all the way until the asphalted ‘square’. There are 4 other streets, take the second on your left, the bigger street. Walk down this street until McDonald’s and then go right. You will walk to the park entrance. Keep walking in the same direction, towards the sea. You will see a boulevard with sea view, and another street next to it that’s lower. Take the stairs and then go right. Cubo is the first bar on your left.

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Amphi theater | античен театър

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The amphi theater was build in the second century a.C. It has place for 7000 people and it’s amazing. Interesting fact: In the fifth century it got destroyed during an attack led by Attila the Hun. After that the theater was forgotten and abandoned and got covered with earth. It got rediscovered around 1970, when part of the theater was revealed after an earth quack. It got rebuild and reconstructed and is now open in the summer for concerts and performances. You can also visit and take a look around.

The view is amazing. When you sit down on one of the marble stone seats you can enjoy a performance with the best background ever. It’s really amazing.

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Want to go to a performance there? There are performances in the sumer and you can buy tickets in the city center, on the square with the fountain, close to McDonalds. There’s a Costa Coffee there, and across there’s a little white cottage with posters on the walls. They sell tickets for different performances, also the ones in amphi theater. It’s a little bit old style ticket selling and I don’t think they speak English, so here’s the Bulgarian phrase to buy tickets:

Mozhe li dve (2) bileti za … molja? Can I have 2 tickets for … please?

There’s an international folklore festival every summer with performances in the amphi theater. It’s the best and you can go for free! Probably around the end of July / beginning of August.

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Address: ulitsa Hemus | улица Хемус
Coordinates: 42.147490, 24.751233

How to get there?
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 the mosque and the park and take the street to the right of the church, going uphill. You will see a big yellow building, which is the academy of music and dance. Keep this building on your right. After the building there’s a little staircase, go there, and you will see a big gate and a terrace. Go to the gate and amaze yourself. The entrance for sightseeing is on the left.

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Yo-ho-Hostel Varna | Йо-Хо-Хостел Варна

normal_100_5049This hostel is awesome. As soon as you enter you will find yourself in an aquarium hallway. The stairs will lead you to the hostel itself, with the reception. It’s really messy, creative, cozy, free minded, international and fun. There’s always someone there to help you, they speak English and are more than willing to help you. They’ve got their own citymaps with places to go and things to do and they will love to tell you their favorite places. And when their day of work is over, you can come along aswell!

normal__MG_0746There are pictures, posters, figurines, paintings and many other stuff around the hostel. There are rooms for 11 and 4 people, but it’s also possible to have a private room for 2 or 1. The cheapest bed will cost you 14 leva and will be in the 11-bed dorm.

There are showers on both floors of the hostel, there’s a livingroom with couches, computers, a table with some chairs and there’s a kitchen where you can find your not-so-amazing breakfast (Tip: toast your bread!). There’s also a backyard, with lots of places to hang out.

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The hostel can help you with activities. It’s possible to go bungeejumping, or to join a boat trip on a ‘Waterbattleship’. And there’s more!

I loved how easy it was to meet new people there. This hostel attracts people who are open to meeting other people, and after hanging out in the living room a little bit, we got ourselves a dinerdate with 3 others. It was also nice to ask whoever was around to join the Free Varna Tour, because that way you will see more of the city and you will also get to know the ones you ‘know’ from the hostel better.

DSCN5495Varna is a coastal town, and I think the best time to go there is in the summer. There are people everywhere, there’s live music, nice beachbars and restaurants, it’s so alive! There’s a creative, free vibe, and there’s a big offer in different music and scenes. It’s a touristic city, but the diversity of the tourists is big.

Adress: ulitsa ‘Ruse’ 23, 9000 Varna (улица ‘Русе’ 23, 9000 Варна)
Coordinates: 43.203645, 27.910240

How to get there?
It’s really close to the cathedral of the assumption of the blessed virgin, the biggest church in Varna. When you’re standing on the side of the church with all the taxis in the front, follow the big street to the right a little bit. There’s an underpass. Then follow the street and take the first left. Yo-ho-hostel is on the right side of the street, with a door post and a sign above it.

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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.

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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.