Top 5 Awesome Tips for a Seriously Cheap Trip to Sofia

Are you sick of getting ripped off whilst traveling? Stop falling into the tourist traps and paying tourist prices! Follow the tips below for some awesome and specific ways of saving money on a trip to Sofia.

On a side note, before I get into the Top 5 - I'd also like to give a special mention to a great local website which can give you some great, comprehensive tips on how to truly experience the Bulgarian culture  - ranging from  music concerts, to the best restaurants and cafes to taste the local cuisine - visit Sofia In Your Pocket.                                          

Beautiful Sofia                                                                            Flickr Panoramas

5. Don't Say Thank You

Yes you read right and I'm not just encouraging you to be rude. The same applies here as it does in Budapest - if you pay for a meal or a drink and say "Thank you"
 before they give you your change,  you are telling them to keep all the change.  This can be a very expensive mistake I learned the hard way!!

4A. Public Transport is Seriously Cheap, So Use It.
When you arrive at Sofia airport and walk out of the departures exit, you will find yourself harassed by many taxi drivers.

Walk past them a little bit and you will see a public bus that takes you to the center. The great thing about this bus is that it's as cheap as a normal public bus
(unlike most cities around the world which charge you a ridiculous amount to use the public bus from the airport), which means it costs just 1.6 leva to buy a ticket
 If you have luggage that is big enough to check in, you will need to buy an extra ticket for each piece of luggage. Don't think about risking it and playing
the dumb tourist when inspectors get on-board because I saw a stingy older Danish couple not buy tickets for their suitcases and get thrown off the bus and be given
a fine. Its not really worth the stress, hassle and embarrassment for half a euro in my opinion.

Or if you prefer turn left and you'll see the new metro line that takes you to many places in Sofia for the same price.

You can buy tickets from the driver. When you arrive in Sofia City Centre I recommend you buy a packet of 10 from the little kiosks.
You just need to ask for. "Talon".

Sofia - Also a wonderfully multicultural city that respects all religions.                       Flickr Panoramas

4B. If You Must Catch a Taxi, Avoid the Mafia Ones.

There are only 3 good taxi companies in Sofia in my experience and from what I was told by locals. The first one is called One Euro Taxis and the other is
called O.K. Taxis. They both charge reasonable amounts, however be very careful because there are some taxis which deliberately paint themselves
to look very similar to the O.K. brand to trick people. Once you get in they charge crazy amounts like 2 leva per minute (instead of .5 as is normal).
This is perfectly legal on their part as the government doesn't regulate prices and private industry can charge and do whatever they want basically.
Before you get in, check their are 2 red dots on the OK brand. Another good one if you can't find any of these 2 is called Yellow 91119. By the way, are you enjoying this article? Why not join us on Facebook  and Twitter to get all the latest updates?

The new Green Hybrid taxis are also a safe bet but a bit more expensive.

 Sofia                                                                                                     Flickr Beyonder

3. Fresh Food is Cheaper in Bulgaria

Hard to believe isn't it? There's no Monsanto here and genetically modified food is banned, so I recommend buying all the fresh fruit and vegetables that your
heart desires direct from the farmers at what is called "Jentski Pazar".
The prices at this place are usually at least 50% cheaper than when buying from a supermarket. And the food is fresh. Ask your hostel for directions,
its quite easy to get to. 

2. Stay at Hostel Mostel
Why? Have you ever heard of a hostel that gives you all you can eat free breakfast AND dinner? located in a beautiful old art gallery, with free wifi, 3 computers, very comfortable beds, all under US$10? Having traveled through Sofia several times, I have stayed at 3 different hostels in Sofia (Art Hostel and Vitosha Hostel) and this one was by far the best. You can check out the details here..

1. Take the Free Sofia Walking Tour

A fun, very comprehensive, interesting tour, this FREE walking tour is given by knowledgeable and well trained locals and covers parts of the city you won't find
on your own (the Byzantine Church inside the courtyard of the Presidential palace for example). The tours are so popular they have to give them twice every day
- 11am and 6pm at the Palace of Justice (just look for the giant lion statues opposite the McDonald's on Vitosha Blvd. If you see a place called 'Happy' you're close by).
At the end of the 2 hour tour, if you enjoyed it, simply give the volunteer guide a tip! You donate depending on what you think the tour was worth and what you can
afford - a great experience at a good price! I fully recommend it. Check out more details here.
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