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

12 tips from Booking.com employee to book your holiday as a pro

We all know that sometimes organizing a holiday can be a lot of pain and can cost fights and arguments within the family or friendship. I am constantly using the website and also saw many cases in which the process went wrong. As a pro in the Booking process, I made a list with tips which will help you book your dream property easily using Booking.com.

1. Refer a friend
With Booking.com you are able to earn money when referring a friend to book. You will receive a unique link which you need to share with your friend, and after their stay, you will get your reward. All you need to do is to save your credit card on your account, and the reward will be sent directly on the card.

There are some rules in order to receive the reward. For example, you can not refer yourself. Read more about it here: Refer a friend

2. Genius Booker discount

As a Genius Booker or in other words – loyal guest, you will receive 10% discount in the price of selected rooms in thousands of properties worldwide. My tip here is to use 1 account only while booking with Booking.com, because they count the number of bookings, and after the 5th one, you will become a Genius Booker automatically.

Ge

3. Use the filters
When you are searching for property on a specific location, dates, number of people etc. use the filters to sort the list with properties according to what else you would like to have in your booking. In case you want breakfast, parking, spa, apartment and many other things, just tick it and the website will show you only the properties that has it. It will save you so much time and make your life much easier. Since we are always trying to make the trip on a budget, you can hit “the lowest price first”.

FILTERS new

4. Book according a specific landmark
Type a landmark you would like to be staying around and the website will show you the properties near by. If you like to be around Dam square (the main square in Amsterdam) you will see all the properties near by.

place

5. Using the map
If you click on the location of the property you will be able to see where it is located on the map. That option is very helpful in order to plan your stay and see where exactly the property is in the city and what you can visit around it.

6. Booking.com Customer Service number
Sometimes is hard to find the customer service numbers on different websites for a specific language, especially when you are in hurry and in difficult situation. Please understand that Customer Service is not able to override the conditions of the reservations and they are simply a mediator between you and the property. There are strict procedures for every single case you can think of, and when you call they know how to help the best way possible. Click the customer service help on the bottom of the page and then choose why you need to reach them. That will lead you to the list with languages of customer service.

21768243_393498901064776_2658451586681911426_n

7. Check the pictures of the room (not only the accommodation)
Many people check only the main pictures of the accommodation, but what is very important for you is to see how the room you are booking looks like. Simply click on the name of the room.

8. Check the fine print
Very important! In the fine print you will find the conditions that apply on property level – meaning for all the different rooms. There you can find security deposit information, payment required via bank transfer, and many other stuff.

fine print

9. Check the included/excluded taxes
Besides the amount that you see displayed in the table with different room types and policies, please check whether all taxes are included. MANY properties leave their taxes excluded for more attractive appearance, or country regulations or other things… so do not be surprised.

taxes

10. Difference between cancellation and deposit policy of the booking
The cancellation policy is quite different than the deposit policy. That is mostly important when you book a free cancellation reservation, but on the other hand a pre-payment is required. Do not worry, you will get your money back if you decide to cancel within the cancellation policy.

11. Make sure you arrive withing the check-in time
Do not assume that if you send a request to the property for arrival outside the check-in time, that is enough and they are aware. You need their conformation. They are allowed to cancel the booking, if you do not show up by the end of the check-in time.

checkin

12. Reviews
Of course, that is the biggest advantage of using Booking.com – you get to see what hundreds and thousands of people think about those properties and decide based trustworthy and transparent reviews.

Let me know if that helps you!
Thank you for visiting
till the next time
XXX

9 tricks to spend less during holiday

Since I give my tips for travelling on a budget but comfortable, you will not find any recommendation for hostels, couch surfing, hitch-hiking, etc. Today I will share my ideas how to minimize the costs via small and simple tricks that we usually do not focus on.

1. Good preparation

Preparation for the trip is the key to a good budget. People ask me how I manage to travel so often, and now I will share my simple secret.

canva

I arrange my free days first. I plan when the next holidays is much in advance, which allows me to check the cheapest destinations ever. For example, I know most of my holidays until the end of December 2018! That leads to the next step…

Check the fly tickets for this days to everywhere. What I do is to compare the tickets for these days to`everywhere` through scyscanner.net and choose the cheapest ones. I got most of my deals for around 100 EUR, (many of them 15, 30 and 50 EUR and few of them 100, 130). I do not spend more than that on flight tickets.

Check the accommodation costs in the area before you book anything. Before you buy the flight tickets, check the accommodation via Booking.com. You do not want to book a 30 EUR flight to Switzerland and to end up paying a fortune for a hotel.

Calculate the sigh-seeing costs roughly. The last step is to calculate the sightseeing that you want to visit and then you are left with the calculation for shopping and going out. Voila!

I know it sounds a lot of work, but all that is done within 15 min., once you have the free dates 😉

2. Ask the locals

I always ask my colleagues for tips and recommendations, however if you do not have such a diverse team and colleagues, you can find a friend, friend of a friend BEFORE you go there. And of course, it does not hurt to ask around when you arrive there. But DO ASK the locals. Few days are enough to make you spend a fortune if you go to the wrong places.

IMG_1713

3. Make a budget plan (and stick to it)

I am (most of the time) very strict with my budget plan but if you are not like that when you make your plan, put some extra 50-80 EUR for something that can come up and you want to buy. Just be strict with yourself, you are already spoiled enough with the trip 😉

4. Avoid breakfast outside

That is my favourite meal of the day, and it is extremely nice to go out and enjoy the nice view. But hey, you can still do it over a cup of coffee, avoiding 25 EUR for breakfast! If I want to go really on a budget, I avoid it and have some groceries to prepare a sandwich. I prefer to go out for lunch and dinner and enjoy music and maybe a party, then having the breakfast.

5. Travel with hand luggage
I know many people who use the low-cost companies but then add the luggage. I mean… it is needless! What you need to do is to prepare your clothes properly, arrange it and take as less as possible. It is all about the good preparation. How many of us took lots of clothes on a holiday and did not wear half of it? Save your money for unused clothes.

6. Do not spend money on clothes before the trip so you can enjoy shopping there

Small tip to save up money. I know it is tempting to spend money on clothes thinking how you will wear it on your holiday, but push away those feelings and save it for the trip. I bought my favourite clothes from different cities around the world.

7. Avoid drinking (fancy) cocktails

The alcohol is what makes us spent a fortune going out in the evenings. I am always tempted to experience some nice cocktails on the beach, and I am also a fan of strawberry mojito, but if you want to go on a budget you can minimize it and have wine instead.

IMG_0466

8. Check for discount cards or sightseeing cards that include many of them

Make a good research for the sightseeing cards and deals, museum cards, and possible options to see as much as you can for less. There are many combo tickets that you would not know about without asking locals or making one good research. I used 3 museums for the price of 1 in Nice!

9. Take a bottle of water in your bag
A bottle of water in Amsterdam starts from 2,69 EUR to 3 and 4 EUR. I mean we can save this money when we travel and it is so simple. Just make sure you have an empty bottle. Stay hydrated 😉

I hope my tips help you and I am sure we all know them but the point is that we do not focus that much and we end up loosing at least 100 EUR extra, because of that.

Thank you for visiting,
if you like my content, please subscribe to my blog.
till the next time

8 things for budget friendly trip to Nice, France

Warning! South of France is not famous for cheap resorts and budget-friendly places. However, you can definitely organize a budget trip to Nice without compromising the quality of your vacation.

1. Flight tickets & accommodation

My flight tickets cost 66 EUR from Amsterdam and the accommodation 120 EUR per person, double room via Booking.com. This made my trip already on a budget! Reasonable flight tickets are up to 120-150 EUR to Nice. And of course, avoid the peak season (July – August) when it is very expensive to fly there and also very crowded. The airport is very accessible to the city, only 6 km away, 6 EUR bus ticket.

Important to mention: usually my flights with Transavia go smoothly. However this time, my return flight (Nice-Amsterdam) got canceled due to strikes and I ended up paying 207 EUR for a new flight. If you want to avoid this situation, maybe you should consider having a travel insurance.

2. Visit Villa Massena.

I always like to visit house museums in different countries which gives me a great idea of the wealthy life of the locals back in centuries. This one is more of a museum than a house. Mostly you will be able to see the amazing paintings of Nice, uniforms, swords, jewels, and photographs, enough to keep you interested for an hour or more.

If you have a student card – the entrance is 6 EUR, otherwise, it is 10 EUR. The good thing is that you enter many other museums with this ticket in the next 24 hours.

3. Visit MAMAC museum

As it was rainy, we decided to make use of the ticket we already bought. I must say that MAMAC museum is not for everyone – It is a modern museum and I must admit that many times I needed a description of the exponents I was looking at. I almost got a fine for touching a blue square filled in with some kind of sand. Well, at the end I got out of it, but bottom line – do not touch anything there 🙂


Something you don`t want to miss in MAMAC museum is the amazing city view on the rooftop terrace!

Since you can use the same ticket for other museums, I recommend also visiting the Archaeological Museum. It will give you great insights of the city.

4. Visit Cours Saleya Market in the Old Town

Nice has many markets, but this one is the most popular. The prices for food there are very reasonable. My advice to you is to focus on different types of authentic French quiche and Mediterranean fresh fish. They have many sandwiches, and baked stuff, however as a person who is very picky to sandwiches, I would say – focus on the quiche! Try also their figs. You can buy around 10 for 3 EUR and they are really delicious.

Other stuff you can have a look on the market are soups, flowers, antiques, collectibles and fascinating French bric-a-brac.

5. Visit The Nice Chateau/Castle Hill

There is no castle there, but a hill that can give you a lifetime memorable view. There are ancient ruins that are the only left signs from the conquered castle a long time ago. If you want a breathtaking view from Nice – here is the place.

6. Beach time

You can visit the beach in Nice, however, take care because it is a very rocky beach. You will need special shoes and mat. If you are like me and you love the sandy beaches – then take the train, 2 stops away in direction Monaco and you will find a beautiful sandy beach. The train will cost only 3,50 return ticket.

7. Try the street food from the old town

I tried the restaurants, I tried bars but yet my favorite was the street food at the end of the old town. What I tried was stuffed vegetables with minced meat and cheese, fried sardines in a dough, quiche with spinach. In the restaurants, I tried mussels, two different types of pasta and gnocchi with Gorgonzola, grilled veggies, and chicken.

8. Take the train around the city

If you are tired walking, the little train will give you great views around the old town of Nice. It may be is touristic but it will save you time and orientate you in the old town. The ride is 45 min, and it cost 10 EUR. Furthermore, you can make amazing photos on the way, since it is not moving that fast anyway.

What I did not like?

Nice is famous for its ice cream. Honestly, the queue for ice cream was 20 min long and there were so many different types of ice cream, that I became 100 times hungrier. However, I tasted 3 types and my friend`s one. I did not like any of them so much that I will recommend it to anyone, or I will pay again for that. To be fair, I am very picky on ice cream. My all-time favorite ice cream is Raffy (that I can find in Bulgaria) and one Italian brand (tried in Venice, at the train station) but I can`t recall the name now.

That was my Nice story 🙂 Let me know if you visited Nice and whether my tips were helpful. Follow these tips and you will have enough things to do for 3 days in Nice.

Thank you for visiting,
till next time 🙂