1. Why free? Why do you do it? How do you get funded?
The free English-language tour is a volunteer initiative, organized by people who love Sofia. We would like to give a warm welcome to everyone who decides to visit our city. We are open and curious folks that enjoy meeting new friends from all over the world. We would like to make you feel as if a friend of yours is showing you around but this time that friend had much more time to prepare and has actually done that before. Tours like that are common all over the world.
Free Sofia Tour is a completely independent non-profit organization that runs by donations. It's not the government or the municipality, neither some huge corporation. If you like the tour, you can also leave a donation at the end of it, as well as through bank transfer or Paypal. Since we have many great ideas for new projects that we want make in Bulgaria, to find sponsors who would commit to support us long-term. Thank you in advance for all the support!
Unlike some other free tours, our volunteers are only locals. Check out more info about them on our Team page. They have lived in the city most of their lives and would be able to tell you things about Sofia and Bulgaria in general that you cannot find in any travel book. They know plenty (if not all) about Sofia's history, culture, etc. and would also be able to help with any general or practical questions you have regarding your stay in our country.
The Free Sofia Tour covers the main sights in the city center. Given its rather limited duration (around 2 hours) the purpose is to highlight some of the best points of interest. This would give you the possibility to choose if you would like to explore any of them further. Or fill the gaps if you have visited them randomly before the tour. Check out our Map for more comprehensive information about the stops.
Are you scared of a few drops of rain? We are not. Snow or shine we would be there waiting for you. If the weather requires it, we might even bring an additional umbrella, a blanket, a flask with warm tea or some other cold-fighting device. We also consider changes to the route and duration considering guests' comfort. We have done Free Sofia Tours at -10 °C as well as blistering sun.
Then you would be lucky to have your own private tour with someone to show your around Sofia.
The meeting times are 11:00 and/or 18:00 depending on the day but actually the tour usually starts around five-ten minutes later (11:10 and 18:10) because we are waiting for all people to come. In case you still miss us, you might catch up with us on the way. Our first stop is Sveta Nedelya Church. Or just give us a call at: +359886993977 to check where exactly we are.
You might wanna give us heads up by calling us or writing on our email. This way we may be able to get more people to show you around and provide much better experience for you and your friends.
The main tourist attractions in Sofia are conveniently located in the very city centre (with some exceptions, of course). The total distance that we cover is about 3,2 km (2 miles) and we do it with quite a relaxed pace so you shouldn't worry.
The Free Sofia Tour ends in front of the National Assembly (the Parliament). If we have time, we might come with you to grab a bite or a drink depending on your preferences. That's not part of the official tour, though. Even if we don't have the time that particular day, we would be able to recommend the best places to continue your stay in Sofia.
As long as they can keep up with the group, they are more than welcome. Just keep in mind that unfortunately Sofia is not very baby-transport-friendly - a lot of stairs, a lot of damaged pavement, a lot of construction sites.
Unfortunately Sofia is not very wheelchair-friendly, either - lots of stairs, a lot of damaged pavement, lots construction sites and not a lot of facilities for wheelchairs.
Don't worry about that. We won't be insulted. Just please let us know so that we don't think you got lost or something. Besides, you can also join the rest of the tour some other time.
The tour is not that long and we usually stop for breaks only as an exception. There are a couple of places where you can take a seat while listening to our stories, also a couple of taps with drinking water and some options for a toilet. Please let us know if you have to make a stop but keep in mind that we cannot keep the whole group waiting too much.
No. That's one of the best things about Free Sofia Tour You just have to show up at the meeting spot and meet one of our team members with a badge and a huge sign saying Free Sofia Tour. As simple as that. Every day, despite any bad weather or public holidays. Please only let us know in advane if you are coming with a bigger group (10+ people).