Boulevards, secret bars, beer a plenty and a blend of religious inspired architecture, Bulgaria was a surprising capital city for all the right reasons.
Cited as a stag and hen favourite for its economical advantages, with beers and wine not making even a dent in pockets, and three course meals leaving bellies full and purses fuller, the mountain fronted city and leafy boulevards are a perfect escape for a balance of city buzz, historical discovery, quirky cuisines and greenery.
Whilst most days were idled away wandering the Parisian looking streets and Italian inspired cobbles in between frankly stunning cathedrals which would pop up to awe inspire and delight, nights were alight with New York-esque cocktail bars such as One More Bar and rose strewn restaurants like Moma where the wind would whistle through verandas to make for a very romantic scene.
The nightlife is one of the certain highlights of Sofia, with it holding your hand and very much leading you into the party as if you were a local unlike other capital cities with their tourist trap multi-storied clubs with syrupy shots and redbull mixers. Our favourite discovery was a underground bar, untitled, unmapped, only identifiable from the booming music emanating from a basement grill with an unassuming Thai restaurant frontage. Following a group of very coolly dressed locals, we entered a lock in with local beers, spirits and unlimited hospitality until the early hours.
We wandered back to our bargain Air Bnb with rooftop jacuzzi and view of the vinosata mountains at 5am past the 24 hour books stalls, another quirk of the city.
For a city break, Sofia ticks boxes where other cities seriously lack, but the best bit is how Bulgarian you feel after being there just a couple of days thanks to the wonderful locals.
Ryan Air Flights £50 return from Stansted