Situated at the foot of Vitosha Mountain, Sofia is a low-key city with a 2000-year-old history and a rich tradition of hospitality. As one of Europe’s most affordable capital cities, it’s also a place where you can get a lot for your money -- and that includes hotel stays. Here are our Experts’ Choice winners for the top accommodations in the Bulgarian capital, based on professional reviews in major travel guides, magazines, newspapers, and other respected publications.
Located in downtown, this humble but pristine hotel features practical rooms and 1-bedroom apartments with kitchenettes - all of which have free WiFi. Other pluses: a lobby bar, a popular ground-floor restaurant with a glass-enclosed dining room, and complimentary breakfast.
Created by travelers to inspire travelers, Canape is a 10-room guesthouse in a lively neighborhood that offers dorms, private rooms, and an apartment for its discerning guests. Simple but well-designed rooms have free WiFi, wood floors, and solid wooden beds, and there’s a relaxing backyard where you can catch your breath and socialize.
One of Sofia’s most prestigious hotels, the Grand is a favorite with business travelers (thanks in part to its proximity to the city’s main commercial and financial centers) as well as anyone who appreciates attentive service, spacious rooms, and fashionable furnishings. Amenities include an in-house bar and restaurant, a fitness center, a spa, tennis courts, and free internet.
Cheerful and informal, The Rooms is an affordable hostel-hotel on a quiet residential street with six minimally furnished rooms with or without bathrooms. Each room has a different decorative theme, from the 1920s to disco to just plain red. The hotel is located between the railway station at the city center, making it easy to access Sofia’s most important sites. Staff is friendly and the clientele is young.
A lovely, four-star boutique hotel in a high-end neighborhood, the Sofia Residence combines the feeling of an elegant private home with personalized service and tasteful design. Tranquil private suites feature spacious bathrooms (and Biologica bath products), and deluxe suites include garden views, balconies, dining tables, and work spaces. The in-house bistro is a favorite with Sofia’s smart set, and the penthouse has a stunning view of the Alexander Nevski Cathedral.
A landmark hotel that backs up to the Presidential Palace, the Hotel Balkan’s marble floors, opulent chandeliers, and large, elegant rooms set the stage for diplomats and luxury travelers. Owned by the Sheraton group, the hotel boasts an extremely professional staff, along with amenities including a bar/lounge, a casino, a high-end restaurant, a spa, a fitness center, a hairdresser, free internet, a business center, and meeting rooms.
Across the street from the synagogue and the old market hall near the city center, this three-star, nine-room hotel is set on the upper floors of a recently renovated 19th-century building. Each individually-designed room has unique city theme, along with a private bathroom and free WiFi.
This large, 245-room chain hotel is located just south of the National Palace of Culture but still within a stone’s throw of Sofia’s main sites. Top-notch services and amenities -- including a pool, a fitness center, a spa, a club lounge, a high-end bar-restaurant, 8 meeting rooms, and a capable multilingual staff - cater to business travelers. Breakfast is free, and plush rooms and suites have flatscreen TVs and coffeemakers, but there’s a fee for WiFi.
Located on Vitosha Boulevard (Sofia’s fanciest shopping street), Central Park is a posh hotel with a modern aesthetic overlooking Vitosha Mountain. Just steps from the National Palace of Culture (the Balkan region’s biggest convention center) and a series of luxury boutiques, it’s an upmarket property that caters to both business and leisure travelers. Sleek rooms and suites come with free Wi-Fi, satellite TV, and minibars, and upgraded quarters include city or mountain views.
Featuring paintings and drawings by Bulgarian artists, this welcoming 3-star hotel near many of the city’s main sites has bright, modern rooms with flatscreen TVs, minibars, and free WiFi. Set in an elegant, turn-of-the-20th-century building, the hotel also has a cafe-bar, a library, and an art gallery.