Entertainment and Cultural Life

One can hardly have a tedious time in Sofia. With its abundance of concert halls, art galleries, fashionable clubs and cafes, restaurants, disco and underground clubs, the prevailing part of which are opened until late at night, or in the night, the capital provides various amusements and adventures suitable for anybody’s taste or manner.

Urbane social circles residing locally are not strangers to a casual code but, as a rule, the artistic life in Sofia pleases the foreigners for its greater liberty of exchange and easiness of manners than it is possible, for instance, in Western Europe, or the USA.

The connoisseurs of classical music should not fail attending Sofia’s music stage, with its programme full of excellent performances by Bulgarian and foreign musicians. Unforgettable concerts are often held at Bulgaria Hall, in the main hall of the Sofia City Art Gallery, or in the ballroom of the Military Club.

Sofia’s Opera and Ballet is housed in a hall considered by world famous directors one of the few halls of perfect acoustics at all. In its centennial history Sofia’s opera school has yielded some of the greatest voices on the world stage.

Usually the international hit or cult movies are distributed in Sofia speedily and sometimes – even before they reach Paris, or Brussels. The central picture palaces in Sofia are Arena Zapad, Arena Mladost, Cinema City in the Mall of Sofia, Cineplex in the Sofia City Center, Odeon Film-Library Cinema, Lumierre, Cinema House, Euro Cinema (two halls) in the Euro-Bulgarian Cultural Center.

The stages of dozens of metropolitan theatres will give you an opportunity to encounter the best of Bulgarian drama repertoire.

Besides affording opportunities for spiritual and artistic delight, Sofia provides also good conditions for all kinds of sports – at open air and in special gym halls alike. Perhaps, sporting in Mount Vitosha is the most tentative: skiing, mountain biking and cycling, paintball, or merely trekking; however, the games of billiard, bowling or darts in the city bear a great deal of amusement, too.

Sofia by Night When night is falling on Sofia, Mount Vitosha turns into an enchanting silhouette reminiscent to Sofia citizens of a range of exciting images in the Bulgarian literature. The magical show of Sofia by night affords to you amazing abundance of tempting opportunities and roles. If during the day the city is bright and kaleidoscopic, the night makes it fanciful, even at least due to its nicely lighted historical buildings lending to it the appearance of a theatrical stage-setting. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Sofia by night doesn’t defer to the big European capitals on its capacity to propose tourist attractions and amusements of quality, and they are often unexpected and marked by bohemian flair.

If somebody is suspicious he will be maybe surprised to learn of the extravagant opportunity to go skiing at night until 10 pm on Vitosha, at a 30–40 minute drive from downtown Sofia. As for the eating-places and clubs in the outskirts of Mount Vitosha, they will entertain you until daybreak, along with the unique sight of the city’s lights from high above…

Yet if the snow has once thawed, it means that the weather is warm and the central streets are full of people and cars until late at night. You’ve missed obtaining a ticket for an opera performance or a concert – then you can avail of other possibilities to have a nice time in the night.

You may choose certain of the numerous nightclubs – counting to around two hundred in Sofia, and among the shows offered by them. You shall easily find their addresses in this web site. The attraction of the so called folk clubs is rather provocative. A more urbane way of entertainment is presented by the piano bars of the capital. One can dance in Sofia’s piano-bars. In some of them there is Karaoke, too, which is a novelty in the night-life of the city and otherwise untypical for this kind of bars.

But if you are indeed willing to dance or sing the burden, then the elite metropolitan disco clubs are the right choice for you; nowadays they are regularly visited by world famous DJs. The nightclubs at the Studentski Grad Quarter would be a real fun to adventurers. There are also underground clubs in Sofia with artistic customers addicted to this or that of the contemporary music styles: house, techno, gothic, cool, and whatever else… Especially popular in Sofia is jazz: in a couple of cult jazz clubs one can often listen to live performances at a global level for a modest entrance fee.

Striptease, or gay clubs, and other public houses following the tastes of those showing affection to Eastern mysticism are not missing either. On the underground level of the Sofia’s Opera House there is a cabaret. In Sofia by night people fond of gambling are not neglected either. There is a vast selection of gambling houses and four large licensed casinos offering all kinds of table games: roulette, Black Jack, and a lot of electronic slot machines. In the big casinos highly proficient services can be found.

There are two chains of non-stop eating-houses in Sofia where one can sate his hunger after midnight. They present a pretty joyful though unassuming atmosphere. Besides, one can buy some take-home food from the non-stop foodstuff shops.