For this EU upstart, the party is just beginning. Despite all the blacked-out limos, Sofia is a city that rewards walkers, cyclists and adventurers of all kinds – after all, the ski slopes and mountain trails of Mount Vitoshi are just a few kilometres away.
When Bulgarians shake their head it means ‘yes’, and when they nod it means ‘no’.
At night, casinos flash and 24/7 soup joints lure in hipsters with the latest Bulgarian folk pop. After millennia of living under the Thracians, the Romans, the Byzantine Empire, the Ottoman Turks and the Communists, Sofia exudes a fresh sense of independence and excitement about its home-grown culture. Beggars still tug at your sleeves, but the packed art bars and vintage shops prove that Sofia is a city determined to have some fun.