Filed under : Adventure Travel, Europe

Seniors Visit Historic Sofia

Sofia, Bulgaria, is Europe’s most affordable capital for visitors, according to more than one 2013 travel index. But this little-known Balkan city offers plenty of other reasons for seniors to visit. It’s one of the most compact walkable cities in all of Europe.

Sofia is the largest city in Bulgaria with nearly 5 million citizens. Senior visitors will find it to be a dynamic Eastern European Capital, distinguished by its unique combination of European and Communist-style architecture and many colorful orthodox churches. 

USA Today found Sofia to be full of delightful surprises, from the yellow brick roads in its historic center to the partially exposed, 1,800-year-old Roman city that lies beneath. Prehistoric settlements were excavated in the center of the present city, near the royal palace, as well as in outer districts Slatina and Obelya.

The well-preserved town walls (especially their substructures) date back before the 7th century BC. How about a 60-minute Bulgarian rose massage in the ruins of a 3rd-century coliseum for about $55, or take in an outdoor opera performance for less than $10? Looks like a good deal to me.


There’s hiking and skiing on 7,500-foot Vitosha Mountain, the highest of the peaks surrounding the capital. Within the city senior visitors will discover dozens of parks. The city’s most striking architectural landmark is undoubtably the magnificent Alexander Nefsky Cathedral.

Seniors Discover Best Kept Secrets

Sofia has been settled for many millennia and is one of the most ancient cities in Europe. Do you enjoy visiting old, old towns? This one was set up and grew on a strategic crossroads, connecting Western and Central Europe with the Middle East and Asia, and linking the North and the South—from the Baltic to the Aegean Sea. It literally overflows with history.

Most of Sofia’s main sights lie within the small city center, where, in contrast to the Soviet-style blocks on the way in from the airport, the streets are paved a cheery yellow. One of Sofias best-kept secrets is its homegrown shopping scene.

The National Historical Museum has one of Eastern Europe’s most extensive collections. Wide, cobblestone boulevards, charming boutiques and truly electrifying nightlife star in this city. Trolleys, trams and buses traverse the dynamic city.

Sofia’s most attractive expanse of greenery is home to the Vasil Levski Stadium, CSKA Stadium and Maria Luisa Pool, as well as bike tracks and tennis courts. It’s laid out with countless statues and flowerbeds, and is a relaxing place for senior visitors to take a leisurely stroll on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

It’s said that Bulgaria may be Europe’s Best Kept Secret, so go unfold the layers for yourself in historic Sofia. jeb



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