If you prefer to travel away from the crowds and enjoy the experience, sights, and photographs that few other people have, then you’ll probably love Sofia. It’s the capital of Bulgaria and located in the Balkans just north of Greece.
This city is filled with important buildings and businesses and has an energy that’s impossible to deny!
When you’re looking for the best areas to stay in Sofia, you’ll find a wide range of choices, all of them very different. The buildings in this city reflect 2,000 years of history and influences ranging from the Greeks to the Roman and Ottoman Empires, and Soviet Occupation.
The key to deciding where to stay in Sofia for your first time or on a return trip is to think about what you want. That’s why we’re here to help.
We’ve created this easy Sofia neighborhood guide so you know what to expect in each are and which one you will enjoy spending the most time in.
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Sofia
- Where to stay in Sofia first time – Centrum
- Where to stay in Sofia on a budget – Lozenets
- Best area to stay in Sofia for nightlife – Studentski Grad
- Coolest place to stay in Sofia – Boulevard Vitosha
- Best neighborhood in Sofia for families – Oboroishte
- Have a night out at the theater at the famous National Theater.
- National Palace of Culture, and the Russian Monument Square.
- Grab some friends and go bar hopping.
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Sofia. If you’re travelling on a budget, you should check out the amazing hostels in Sofia. Keep the accommodation costs low, get the best tips and tricks from the hostel staff and meet like-minded travellers from all over the world – what could be better?
Best Hostel in Sofia: Hostel N1 in Sofia
This hostel in Sofia prides itself on a quiet but welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. It’s located right in the center of the city, but the friendly staff are always ready to help you find the best way to explore everything that Sofia has to offer.
There are dorm rooms as well as private rooms available, so you won’t have any trouble finding a room that suits your travel style.View on HostelWorld
Best Airbnb in Sofia: Home Is Where Your Story Begins
This modern apartment is right in the center of Sofia, located close to all the best restaurants, sites, cafes, and shops. It’s best for two people and is warmly decorated, with everything you’ll need to have a great stay while you’re in the city.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Sofia: Best Western Art Plaza Hotel
If you’re looking for a hotel in Sofia, this is a good choice. It has modern rooms with a private bathroom, minibar, and free Wi-Fi.
There’s a terrace on site where you can sit and enjoy sunny days and it’s close enough to the center of town that you can walk everywhere you want to go.View on Booking.com
Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Sofia
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The neighborhoods in Sofia may look pretty similar at first. But as you explore the city, you’ll find a distinctly different vibe in each area. This city has more than 90 neighborhoods, so no matter what you want from your trip, you’ll find an area that suits your travel style.
Centrum is the middle of the city where all of the best attractions and restaurants are. It’s the best area in Sofia to stay in for easy access both inside and outside of the city.
On your first visit to Sofia, staying in Centrum will give you the best chance of seeing everything you want to see.
Lozenets is very close to the center of Sofia. This is one of the best places in Sofia to stay if you want a more relaxed visit in lovely surroundings.
Or, you could go the opposite way and look for noise and a fun vibe in another popular neighborhood.
If you’re looking for the best neighborhood in Sofia to stay in for a fun, party atmosphere, then Studentski Grad is the answer. It’s constantly noisy and crowded and is filled with celebration and energy year-round.
Boulevard Vitosha is a higher end neighborhood that’s close to the main pedestrian walking street. It’s close to all the amenities and is particularly good for shopping but can also get a little crowded and noisy at times.
Oboroishte is a trendy neighborhood that’s located very close to the center of town. This means it will offer easy access to all the top attractions.
And it’s also Sofia’s foodie central, so you’ll never go hungry when you stay in this neighborhood!
5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Sofia
When it’s time for you to book, here are the coolest places to stay in Sofia for every travel group and budget.
Sofia’s Centrum is exactly what it sounds like. This is the famous downtown area and convenient to everything. That’s why it’s a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Sofia for your first time.
Centrum is an atmospheric area that travelers enjoy whether they’re in the city for the history, the food, or to investigate the local culture.
If you’re staying in this area, you’ll be able to explore all of the city’s best attractions on foot without any problem. You’ll find the best museums and churches within the narrow streets, packed in between historic buildings and coffee shops.
This is the best neighborhood to stay in Sofia for nightlife as well, as there are clubs and bars everywhere.
Things to See and Do in Centrum:
– Put aside a day to explore the city’s most important historical monuments such as the Eagle Bridge, the
– National Palace of Culture, and the Russian Monument Square.
– Have a night out at the theater at the famous National Theater.
– Grab some friends and go bar hopping.
– Get lost in the narrow, twisted streets and look for quirky shops and hidden restaurants where you can enjoy a feast.
– Spend a day being part of the activity on busy, exciting Vitosha Boulevard.
Best Hostel in Centrum: Centralissimo
This guesthouse just opened in 2019, so everything is brand new and up to date. It’s located in the calmest and quietest part of Centrum in a modernistic style building with three floors.
It’s the ideal place if you’re trying to decide where to stay in Sofia on a budget but would prefer newer, quieter facilities. There are a range of room sizes available for every group size.View on HostelWorld
Best Airbnb in Centrum: Charlie’s Studio
Centrum is one of Sofia’s best neighborhoods, and this is a good base to explore it from. The studio is very private, perfect for two travelers, and includes its own bathroom.
And it’s close to the shops and the metro line so you can explore the rest of the city. It’s also a secure building that’s a little away from the noise of the center so you can have restful nights of sleep.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Centrum: Hotel Zenith
If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Sofia with kids or on your own, then Hotel Zenith is a good choice. This 3-star hotel is centrally located and offers 13 rooms that are comfortably furnished and contain everything you’ll need for a short or long stay.
Breakfast is provided on-site, and there are lots of restaurants and cafes nearby.View on Booking.com
Lozenets is south of the city center and near the neighborhood of Oborishte. This is a more upper-class area, where you’ll find art galleries, cafes, and boutiques.
This is one of Sofia’s best neighborhoods if you want to be close to all the action but away from the crowds and noise of more heavily touristed areas.
Thanks to the great transport options, you’ll find it easy to explore the center and the outskirts of the city when you stay in this neighborhood. And you’ll find a range of Sofia accommodation options to suit every budget point.
Things to See and Do in Lozenets:
– Spend a relaxed day exploring the shops, cafes and boutiques before returning to your accommodation to sit down and have a couple of drinks.
– Wander down Avenue Lyuben Karavelov to the National Palace of Culture and learn about Sofia’s past.
– Explore the beautiful Knyazheska Gardens, have a picnic, or just stretch your legs in natural surroundings.
– Go gallery hopping and take a look at Sofia’s creative heart.
Best Hostel in Lozenets: Hostel Mostel
This hostel in Sofia is located in a renovated 19th century house, so it contains all of the modern amenities along with a touch of the old world. It’s centrally located close to shops, markets, restaurants, and cafes.
And it’s also perfect for socializing with lots of common spaces where you can sit and meet your fellow travelers.View on HostelWorld
Best Airbnb in Lozenets: Yory’s Bright, Large Studio
Perfectly positioned to allow you to enjoy Lozenets, the best area in Sofia to stay in for peace and quiet, this apartment is a real find. It’s bright and spacious and will comfortably fit two people.
It has a full kitchen, private bathrooms, high ceilings, and a spa and swimming complex close by.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Lozenets: Bon Bon Central Hotel
If you’re going to stay in Lozenets, one of the coolest places to stay in Sofia, then you need a comfortable and convenient base. And that’s exactly what you’ll get at the Bon Bon Central Hotel.
It has a sauna and beauty salon on-site as well as rooms that are comfortable and equipped with everything you’ll need to make your stay comfortable.View on Booking.com
Studentski Grad is a fast, fun, and sometimes noisy part of the city. Otherwise known as the Students’ Town, you’ll find lots of dorms in this area as well as all the facilities these students need to eat, party, and enjoy their learning time.
The vibe in this area is unmistakably one of an endless part. This makes Studentski Grad a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Sofia for nightlife.
If you’re a little older or just enjoy the quiet, you’ll probably find this area hard to take. The pace of living is fast and young at heart.
And fitting with the student vibe, you’ll also find lots of cheap hostels and other Sofia accommodation options in this area.
Things to See and Do in Studentski Grad:
– Eat where the students eat for budget food that’s probably unhealthy and really tasty.
– Grab a few of your closest friends and make a few more at local pubs and clubs.
– Take advantage of the easy transport options in this part of the city to explore other neighborhoods.
– Head down to Studentski park for some greenery and outdoor activities.
– Try the local restaurants and look for cheap but delicious student meals!
Best Airbnb in Studentski Grad: Turquoise Apartment
No Sofia neighborhood guide would be complete without apartments in Studentski Grad, where you can be part of college life. This apartment is centrally located, suitable for 2 guests, and brand new with all the luxury extras.
It’s also reasonably priced, so don’t miss the chance to enjoy some luxury at a bargain price!View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Studentski Grad: Mon Ami Apartments
There are 4 apartments available in this complex, which is close to the University of National and World Economy as well as some amazing nightlife options.
The apartments are equipped with all the amenities you’ll need for a comfortable stay and offer free Wi-Fi and luggage storage.View on Booking.com
Best Hotel in Studentski Grad: Academica Aparthotel
If you’re on a tight budget, then this is one of the best places in Sofia to stay. It’s located right in the middle of all the action in Studentski Grad and offers free Wi-Fi, modern facilities with all the amenities, and an on-site restaurant for a unique dining experience.View on Booking.com
The real estate in Boulevard Vitosha is hot at the moment. This high-end neighborhood is close to all the amenities and offers some of the best shopping in the city.
So, whether you’re trying to decide where to stay in Sofia for one night or for a longer visit, this could be the choice for you.
You’ll have easy access to transport options to all the different Sofia attractions that you want to see when you stay in this area. It can get a little overcrowded at times, so if you don’t like crowds then you should probably check out other areas.
Things to See and Do in Boulevard Vitosha:
– Do some people-watching in the main pedestrian street.
– Head down to the enormous Yuzhen Park and relax in the immaculate surrounds.
– Grab your credit cards and shop ‘til you drop!
– Head into the center of town to see Sofia’s best attractions and sites.
– Spend some time at the National Museum of Culture to get to know the city on a deeper level.
– Spend the day exploring Sofia’s history at the Archaeological Museum or the Ancient Serdika Complex and Fortress.
– Marvel at the incredible St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.
Best Hostel in Boulevard Vitosha: Guest House 32
Boulevard Vitosha is the best neighborhood to stay in Sofia if you enjoy shopping and being in the middle of all the action. Located on a back street away from the noise of the main street, it offers both convenience as well as peace and quiet.
There are six rooms that share two modern bathrooms as well as free Wi-Fi and an Italian restaurant downstairs for the nights when you’re too hungry to wander looking for food.View on HostelWorld
Best Airbnb in Boulevard Vitosha: Top Center Luxury Apartment
Located right in the center of one of the best areas to stay in Sofia, this apartment is a real bargain. It’s suitable for up to 5 people, which means you can split the costs between your travel group or stay there with the family.
The apartment is decorated in a funky vintage style and the hosts are dedicated to making your stay memorable, so just ask if you have any questions!View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Boulevard Vitosha: Hotel Villa Boyana
Whether you’re trying to decide where to stay in Sofia with kids or on your own, this hotel is a comfortable, convenient choice. The rooms are cozily decorated and include a minibar and private bathroom.
There are also lots of facilities on site such as the perfectly positioned sun terrace and playground to keep the kids occupied. And you can’t beat this hotel for location either as you’ll be able to walk to some of the city’s best sites.View on Booking.com
If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Sofia for families, then Oboroishte is a good choice. It’s located just outside of the city center, so it offers a combination of convenience and a little distance from the night clubs and bars.
It’s an upper-class area, so it’s very family-friendly no matter how old or young your children are.
But this area has more to offer than just a bit of peace and quiet. It’s also rapidly becoming one of the best areas for restaurants in the city. New restaurants open in this area every week, so you’ll be spoiled for choice.
And you’ll find a range of Sofia accommodation options all over the neighborhood as well, so you’re bound to find somewhere that suits your tastes and your family.
Things to See and Do in Oboroishte:
– This is one of the best areas to stay in Sofia for food, so try a different restaurant each night and don’t stop until you’ve decided which is your favorite.
– Spend a day in Sofica’s Centrum exploring all of the monuments.
– Visit the Doctor’s Garden for some fun and relaxation in nature.
– Head over to the nearby Alexander Nevski Cathedral on foot and enjoy the architecture as well as the chance to work off all that food!
Best Hostel in Oboroishte: Be My Guest Hostel
When you’re deciding where to stay in Sofia for one night or for longer, you want comfort, convenience, and a welcoming atmosphere.
And that’s exactly what you’ll get at this hostel. It’s family-run, close to everything, and includes single, double and dormitory accommodations to suit every traveler.View on HostelWorld
Best Airbnb in Oboroishte: Duomo Apartment
Oboroishte is the best neighborhood to stay in Sofia for its convenient access to the center as well as its more relaxed vibe. And this apartment reflects those two benefits perfectly. It can accommodate up to 4 guests comfortably and is a large, designer made space that just screams comfort and luxury.
There are plenty of restaurants and cafes around for your convenience and it’s a great chance to enjoy some classical luxury at a really good price.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Oboroishte: Light Hotel Sofia
This hotel in Sofia is absolute delight. It contains a restaurant and night club, a fitness center, Jacuzzi, and massage services on demand. Each room is charmingly decorated and includes a telephone, mini bar, and all the necessary amenities.
The hotel is also located within walking distance of sites like the National Archaeological Museum and Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.View on Booking.com
Final Thoughts On The Best Places To Stay in Sofia
You’ll be spoiled for choice when you’re looking for the best places to stay in Sofia. This city is filled with accommodation options to suit every budget and travel preference, so just make your choice and get moving!
Once you’re in Sofia, you’ll find a city that holds onto its past while looking firmly towards the future. And this gives it an intoxicating energy that attracts travelers, businesses, and opportunities of all kinds!
Just make sure that you see it before everyone else gets there and take home some envy-worthy stories.
Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! Bulgaria is pretty safe, but being prepared for the worst case can do no harm. We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.
Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!
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