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

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11 proven tips for booking the cheapest flight

What is next? One month after New Year, we are back to work and I think it is time to start planing our next holiday, or the holiday agenda for the whole year. We already know how to book our accommodation on budget, so let`s find out how to book the cheapest flights!

If you want to take the most of your holidays and enjoy it on budget, you have to start planning in advance and that is why I would like to share with you, how I manage to book the cheapest flights for my holiday.

1. Fake location
The location does make difference when it comes to flights. Especially if you are booking domestic flights. If you manage to trick the website to think you are actually in the States, when booking a flight from NY to LA, may b you will get a cheaper flight. More information you can find here.

2. Best day to fly
Check what are the cheapest prices in the whole month. Just click flexible dates and check the cheapest option of the month.

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3. Google it
Just google form were to where you are travelling, and Google may surprise you with a new route, because a plane is not always the best option.

4. Sky scanner
My ultimate favorite search engine for cheap flights! Why? Because you can choose the dates and leave the destination to “everywhere”. This way it will show you the cheapest flights for these days.

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5. Compare low cost companies
The low cost companies such as Wizz Air, Ryanair, even Transavia should be checked separately. The first two are not included in Sky Scanner so you definitely need to check them.

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6. Follow them on social media
Why? Because they can have many promotions, if you share a post or like something and then receive a reward. And yes, that can really work!

7. Check the extra fees
Most of the low cost companies has extra fees that appears only at the 2nd or 3rd page. Try to book the flight before actually paying for it so you can see all the fees and the total amount.

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8. Think about different combinations
Check the airport you are landing at(what`s the distance to the city. It might happen that you have to pay higher amount for the bus from the airport to the city you are visiting, than the actual flight.

9. Search in incognito
One of my favorite tips! Search in incognito can really make a difference. I am now booking a holiday for my birthday in March and have 1 screen open using normal Chrome, and one screen in Incognito. You guys… there is a huge difference I am telling you. You can go incognito by holding Ctrl + Shift + N

10. Sign up for the newsletters of the low coast companies
This way when Wizz Air has a discount, then you can be among the first one to know.

11. Book around a month before your trip
Skyscanner says the best time is 3 weeks in advance. In my experience I always choose between 4 and 3 weeks in advance for a cheap flight.

Extra tip for a cheap flight: I read a lot about people checking kayak.com. I do not use it but I see a lot of positive reviews, so give it a try.

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See you 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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