With its population numbering about 1.2 million, Bulgaria’s capital Sofia is the country’s largest city and its political, economic and cultural centre. Sofia is one of Europe’s oldest cities with a settlement history dating back 7,000 years.
Today, Sofia is a city of contrasts, where prefabricated buildings and grand architecture of the Communist era stand side-by-side with cultural monuments from the great epochs of the past. These include the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the Rotunda Church of St George, as well as the Church of Boyana, one of Bulgaria’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites with its 13th-century frescoes.
Sofia is charming and spontaneous, lively and versatile. One example is the many street stalls and mini kiosks in basement rooms that serve customers from the window. These ‘knee-shops’ are hangovers from the transition to capitalism. People know how to help each other – and how to have fun: the range of culture and nightlife is diverse, and for relaxation people meet up in one of the numerous parks or make an excursion to the nearby Vitosha mountains, which on clear days offer a view as far as the Rila and Balkan mountains. In winter it is one of Bulgaria’s most popular ski resorts.
In September 2019, Lufthansa will be flying to Sofia up to three times a day from Munich and four times a day from Frankfurt.