9 of the best places to eat and have drinks in Sofia

As you all know I appreciate good food and in Bulgaria I can guarantee you will enjoy delicious vegetarian or meat dishes. Our kitchen includes a lot of meat, variety of vegetables and herbs and various desserts. We have many different salads and appetizers, that go well with rakija (the traditional Bulgarian drink). In Sofia you will find classy or traditional type of restaurants, and you will be impressed of their prices, quality and fabulous look. The restaurants in Bulgaria differ a lot in the outlook than the Dutch ones. Visit them and you will directly see it.

1. Shastlivetsa

This place has absolutely great atmosphere and perfect location. You will find it in the city center, at the main boulevard – Vitosha. They have a lot of choices and the prices are reasonable. Shastlivetsa will offer you variety of great meat dishes, representative for the Eastern European kitchen. If you are searching for a place with good location, nice atmosphere, warm employees and delicious food, Shtastlivetsa will definitely give you all that.

Prices per dish: 7-10 E

2. Laguna

The restaurant offers one of the best cakes in Sofia. I brought my colleagues from the Netherlands to try the cakes there, and they loved it. You can have great lunch or dinner as well. The cosine is European/Eastern European and you will not be disappointed with the quality of whatever you choose to order. There is a beautiful garden, where you can enjoy the sun, even in the winter days.

Price of one cake: around 1,50 – 2 EUR (3,60 BGN)

3. Esterhasi bar

This place is great for cocktails, drinks, pre-drinks and delicious cakes. In case you want to have lunch or dinner here, bear in mind the quantity of food is not huge, but the quality is really good. My advice is to take some snack and to focus on the impressive cocktails. The locations is very convenient, and you will have a beautiful view of Sofia University.

You have a lunch menu with traditional Bulgarian dishes (again – the quantity is not big!) and a menu with excellent international food.

Price of lunch menu: around 3-4 EUR per dish

The international food: 5-10 EUR

4. Sense

The bar will offer you an amazing view of the heart of Sofia. You can try there cocktails and some snacks. The atmosphere is great and it requires more classy dress code. The cocktails are fabulous, and my friends say the food is well prepared as well.

Fun fact: Just couple of months ago Gerard Butler visited the place.

Cocktail prices: around 3-4 EUR

Picture taken with my friend, who gave me extra tips for these places @sofiaradulova

5. Grande

This is very cozy and cute places for having coffee and cake. Bulgaria is a country that values good quality cakes and in Grande you can try variety of that.

6. Chrystal steak House

I put this place for the steak lovers. Crystal stake house offers great variety of meat, and you can choose your own cut. The location is city center again, and the stuff are really helpful. You will find great wine there as well. I can recommend you to try the Bulgarian rib eye steak, which is dried for 40 days. They will show you the steak and you can tell the waiter how much do you want from the steak exactly. The time between offering the steak to having it done in your plate, is relatively short. You can also try the mushrooms in olive oil and for a dessert please try the green pear cake with mascarpone, blue cheese (however that is not a traditional Bulgarian dessert!)

The prices per dish vary between 7-10 EUR.

The dessert vary between 3-5 EUR.

7. Happy Bar & Grill (Lozenec)

Happy restaurants are everywhere in Sofia, but the one I recommend you is in Lozenec. Of course if you choose another Happy, you will not make a mistake, although, there is difference in the food preparation. In Happy (Lozenec), you will find great view, service and very well prepared food and I can recommend you to try the Sushi salad. The prices are good, they vary between 7-15 EUR, including a drink.

9. The view

I already mention the view in my previous article and together with Tavan. They both are great if you want to see Sofia from better angle. The view is closer to the city center and had an open balcony where you can sit and have great coffee and food with amazing view. Mountain Vitosha looks incredibly close, so does the city center of Sofia.

10. Tavan

Tavan offers great view as well, closer to the mountain, however the balcony is not always open, which means in a cold but sunny day you will need to sit inside. The prices are a bit higher for Bulgaria, however it is still not expensive compare to Central Europe. Tavan has more classy style and requires a bit more classy dress code.

if you would like to check more places in Sofia, besides TripAdvisor, you can use – rezzo.bg. I hope you like these places, like I do 🙂 If you have any comments, please share and also if you have any other places that you tried and liked in Sofia, leave it in the comments or txt me directly.

Thank you for visiting

Till the next time

XXX

Advertisements

Extensive guide for visiting Budapest – 29 things to do in Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is one of the greatest cities I visited so far. I am still here, blogging from Budapest and I am so excited I had the chance to see the most of the city`s hotspots.

If you ever doubt visiting Budapest, leave all your doubts and go check the first flights for there right now! This city has breathtaking views and enough sightseeings and bars to keep you busy for a week. Very few people would spend a week just in one city and that is why I will share my tips, which will definitely make you feel like you saw everything in Budapest.

Flights to Budapest:
I got my flight from Eindhoven to Budapest for only 17 EUR via WizzAir, however, I booked it almost 2 months in advance. I usually book flights 4-5 weeks in advance but this time it worked even better for my budget. Check Skyscanner and WizzAir separately.

From the airport in Budapest you can reach the city center via bus and metro – the combo ticket is 540 Hungarian Forint (HUF) around 1,80 EUR.

Museums and monuments:

1. Visit the parliament building
The parliament building is the third biggest in the world after the parliament in Brazil and Bucharest. It is located on Danube River and it is absolutely spectacular building. You definitely need to see it.

img_5401

img_5349

2. Danube Promenade
The Daube Promenade provides short walk between the bridges Elizabeth and Chain and you will have an amazing view towards Buda, Gellért Hill, Liberty statue on the top of the hill and many small restaurants. If you want an even better view, have a walk there during the night and you will capture the beautiful lights on the bridges.

E5031125-4E3D-4F19-BBDC-4CA247EE4E92

0DED640B-CD43-407C-A9A6-77B6457E1B29

A1CEEF0B-F756-4984-A564-DC47B04670A1

3. Hungarian National Museum
The museum itself is an astonishing building, that you have to see even if you are not planning to visit the museum. The Hungarian National Museum is a home of thousands of exponents and you will be able to see the development of the country within thousands of years. It is definitely worth to visit. 1500 HUF ticket.

313A1A87-0DA0-4093-AD5C-6DF0CEF6539D

657ED5E6-AD8A-4084-96B6-7CCACEB2AB73

4. Saint Stephens Basilica
That is one of the most famous and important religious building in Hungary. The basilica has equal hight as the parliament (on purpose) and has an amazing outlook mastered by 3 different architects. That is why the basilica has 3 different styles. In order to tour inside, you have to pay a fee of 200 HUF. In the basilica, you will find the holy right hand of Stephen, First king of Hungary and for the people who love heights, you can take the elevator for another fee and go to the balcony where you will have pictures view from the heart of the city.

27D4809C-2679-4235-B030-F3EDE2CB045B

5. Castle district
There are many spots you can visit in the castle district. The castle itself is very beautiful but the outlook has been changed from the Russians when they came to liberate the county and much simplified. To get there first you can hoop on to the second oldest funicular in the world – opened in 1870. The funicular works based on the principle weight and contra weight, which means when one carriage is going up, the other is going down. The whole ride is exactly 30 seconds, but totally worth it, because it provides a spectacular view of Danube. The ticket costs 6 EUR. If you do not want to pay it, you can simply take the stairs 😉

F4692C71-BADF-4867-B816-99BFE815ED8B

6. Dohany Street Synagogue
This is the largest synagogue in Europe and the second largest in the world. It is worth to see, however, I think the ticket is overpriced. Just prioritize your sightseeings and see whether you can spend 3000 HUF (9,80 EUR) for you to see the Synagogue.

D3622185-08DE-48E2-81A2-3B99BAB4B375

D8451555-7BA1-4804-B885-AA34D6343463

7. Opera house
Neo-Renaissance amazing building. It is worth to see it while walking on Andreas Ave.

71CD4306-8540-4DDB-8ACC-9ADE312B645F

8. House of horror
It is very informative and well organized. If you are interested in history – this museum is absolutely jaw-dropping.

23372CA1-8914-4191-BE42-962FA12C76D6

9. Fisherman`s Bastion
That is not an ancient building, on the contrary – it is built in 20th century with the purpose of providing a panoramic view of Danube. The 7 towers represent the 7 Magyar tribes that helped Magyar people to settle in the city. It is a great viewpoint and a place for taking pictures.

9E713A3B-6015-4D1A-A990-34330130113F

092AFBA7-3529-4A78-A17B-F7D10666EF75

Sightseeings and experiences:

10. Margaret Island
Margaret island is great for a romantic walking on a sunny day. It has a beautiful park and awesome view of Buda and Pest. It is not a must, but it is definitely nice to have a short walk there.

44B4B3BE-8810-4A10-8C1E-025E3A09CB6D

11. Ride the old metro (the yellow line)
I was walking on Andrassy avenue towards the Szechenyi Thermal Bath and I got tired after I have been walking around 10 km that day, so I decided to hop on the metro. I found out that line was the old metro and on the way back I got off at the oldest metro station on the continent. It is tiny and has a special spirit. Please give it a try.


12. Vörösmarty square, the oldest metro station in Europe

This square is the end of the fashion street and a meetup point for the greatest free city tours I have ever been. You can find more information here. So on that square, you will find the oldest metro station in the continent, and next to the lion fountain is the meeting point of the free tour guide. I highly recommend it to you. You will see so much of the city for 4 hrs walk and learn a lot about the history and the architecture of the capital.

13. Fashion street Vaci
There you will find all the clothing shops, the brands such as Zara, Pull and bear, H&M are there as well, however, this street is in general pricey and I was advised to avoid it.

14. Chain Bridge at night
Chain Bridge is the first bridge on the Danube, which was entirely destroyed during the war and re-built later on. It is fascinated during night due to its location and the thousands of lights which covers it.

15. Citadel
Although I had to climb like 30 minutes, and it will break the sweat off you, I definitely recommend you this absolutely amazing viewpoint. It is totally worth the sweat and after you concur the hill, you will see the Statue of Liberty and enjoy the spectacular view of One of the highest points in the city.

16. Szechenyi Thermal Bath
The baths are a great add-on for your holiday. They are the biggest and most famous baths in Budapest. They are mixed and has indoors and outdoors swimming pools. The outside pools are very warm and it feels great on a cold winter day to swim in the warm thermal water

Tip: bring flip-flops and a towel, otherwise you have to pay extra.

Best way to use the baths: 1, shower. 2. Relax in a warm pool. 3. Cold pool. 4. Sauna. 5. Cold shower. 6. Steam bath. 7. Cold shower. Pools with different temperature. 8. Outside pools. 9. Shower.

17. Gellért baths
They are less crowded, more expensive, but with a better view towards the Danube and the city. They are split between sexes, and therefore there you can go without swimming suit. I would recommend it because the other baths are really crowded.

18. Shoes on the Danube
It represents those who were killed during WWII by a fascist party. It is a great place to make pictures next to the Danube and it is close to the parliament. I would just recommend you to read a little bit before visiting so you do not miss it or just give it too little attention.

19. Boat trip
I love to take boats wherever I go, so this is what I did in Budapest as well. I choose to take the company “Koshuta” that has 3 options. You can take the boat trip with two drinks (around 20 EUR), you can take the boat with all you can eat lunch, traditional Hungarian food (nearly 30 EUR), or just the boat trip, which I chose – 12 EUR, 3500 HUF. I do not trust the food on such a touristic place, and I would not recommend you to take the food option. The trip is 1,5 hours and it starts twice a day – at 14:00 and 19:00 o’clock.

20. Andreas’s ave
Warning! There you will find the most, expensive, amazing, designer shops. In the same time, the Avenue will give you a great overview of the architecture of Budapest. The Opera house and the House of Terror are also located there. At the end of the road is the park, the zoo and the Szechenyi Thermal Bath.

Food and drinks:

21. 360 bar
This bar will give you an absolutely fabulous view of Budapest! It is located on the rooftop and you will have the chance to sit in an actual warm igloo on a cold winter nigh

22. Szimpla Kert
The famous ruin bars are part of the unique Hungarian culture and give a special touch to the nightlife in Budapest. You definitely have to visit one of the most famous ruin bars – Szimpa Kert which is a strange mixture of chemistry laboratory, jungle, bath and many other things. It is very artistic and you will have the chance to taste great beer and meanwhile to write whatever you want on the tables and walls.

23. Cake tasting in the oldest coffee shop

You will find the cake shop on Buda side, right axross the Fisherman Bastion.

24. Artizan
This place is absolutely amazing for breakfast while planning the program of the day. Sit on the second floor for where you will have a better view and setting. Try the rolls with dry tomatoes and the cake in the pic. Their coffee is really good as well. The location is perfect to visit the parliament building afterwards.

25. Vakvariju restaurant
If you like to taste traditional Hungarian food, goulash soup – this place is great. The live piano music creates a great atmosphere.

Tip: try the duck with cabbage pasta. It is one of the best ducks I have ever tasted.

26. Vinyl & Wood – get lost in wonderland
This place is great for a coffee, tea, and a panini sandwich. It is urban and has a unique atmosphere. If you are nearby, definitely stop by to have a cup of coffee and get cozy.

27. Spoon – boat restaurant.
In case you would like to spoil yourself or to go on a romantic date, that place offers an amazing view in the evening since it is right next to Chain bridge on the Danube. It is pricey so check the menus up front, however, it is very cozy.

28. János Hill
I did not manage to get there due to the weather, however, that is one thing that I really wanted to see and I definitely recommend to you. János Hill will show you the nature of the city, it is not one of the crowded touristic places and it will give you the best view towards Budapest and Danube. That is the highest point in the city, and you can go there by bus 291, taking it from “Nyugati Pu” to the last stop and from there taking the Chairlift or Cogwheel railway. Then you will be able to go to Elizabeth look-out tower and on a clear day to enjoy the stunning view and take many photos.

29. Freeway to explore the city – trams 2, 19 and 41
That is a cheap way to explore the city, sitting in a warm place. Hop on tram 2 and you will see the Danube from Pest side. Tram 19 and 41 go along the west side of Danube.

Budget:
Public transport: combo ticket bus and metro 540 HUF (1,75 EUR)
Single ticket for metro – 350 HUF
Visiting the National Museum 1500 HUF ticket + 500 HUF for taking pictures (6.50 EUR)
Dinner at VakVarju: 4500 dinner, 2 dishes and a glass of wine (around 15 EUR)
Drinks: tea and vegan cake 2250 HUF (7,30 EUR)
Lunch at Parisi 6: 1800 HUF for Gullahs soup and a tea (around 5.80 EUR)
Entrance to the Szechenyi Thermal Bath: 5200 HUF ticket + 1000 HUF towel
You can book the free guide tour here.

Thank you for visiting,
let me know if your like the content,
till the next time
XXX