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Interesting "alternative" things to do in / around Sofia and Plovdiv, Bulgaria?
August 24, 2012 5:18 AM   Subscribe

Interesting "alternative" things to do in / around Sofia and Plovdiv, Bulgaria?

My girlfriend and I are spending a week in Sofia, Bulgaria next month. We're looking for interesting things to do that are off the beaten track, so to speak.

We're particularly interested in:

Urban exploration / urbex
Old soviet era architecture (we are already planning on driving here)
Outdoor swimming
Militaria
Cool bars, coffee shops and (vegetarian) restaurants
Other weird stuff

Thanks in advance!
posted by FuckingAwesome to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
I definitely recommend the 18th-century Rila Monastery, which was my favourite thing in that area. You can ask your hotel or hostel how to get there, but I remember we took a bus from one of the smaller (ie non-central) station and it took about an hour and a half.
posted by toerinishuman at 5:34 AM on August 24, 2012


I definitely recommend the 18th-century Rila Monastery

If you are particularly ambitious, you can start on the other side of the mountains and hike there over the course of 2 days and see the seven lakes.

The flea market outside the Aleksandr Nevsky Cathedral has carious Bulgarian militaria for sale.
posted by deanc at 5:52 AM on August 24, 2012


Neither Rila nor Boyana are "off the beaten track" but they're probably both worth seeing. Boyana, if nothing else, is an easy cab ride from Sofia.

Similarly, Koprivshtitsa is touristy but also quite interesting and scenic.
posted by aramaic at 6:49 AM on August 24, 2012


I liked wandering around the sections of Sofia where there were clusters of embassies, which had a wide variety of distinctive architectural styles ranging from Viennese gingerbread to concrete block.

The Sofia synagogue is /incredible/, with a two-ton gold chandelier and mosaics on the ceiling and lawn chairs in part of the balcony because they couldn't afford to restore all the seating (at least in summer 2010).
posted by nonane at 6:50 AM on August 24, 2012


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