BAR CRAWLING SOFIA
Sofia is the Balkan Berlin.
Now that the likes of Amsterdam and London are teeming with Nike-clad scenesters, European artists and creatives have moved further east and are taking over Sofia’s old Soviet warehouses and abandoned apartment blocks. And where the artists go, the nightlife follows…
This is how you bar crawl Sofia…
The Bloody Marys will put hair on your knuckles.
The best ‘starter’ bar in Sofia, FlipFlop does a 2-for-1 cocktail happy hour and buckets of beer. It’s ironic surfer theme (you’re about 5 hours from the coast) eases you into to the night with ambient techno and kitsch decor.
Say “da” when the bartender calls you over for a ‘taste of Bulgaria’. The sting of Mastika in your throat and a temporary loss of vision will push you on to the next bar.
Tobacco Garden Bar
Sofia’s ‘disco bar’.
Come here to smoke a fag in the former garden of the Royal Palace and swing your head to disco mixes. It's where the locals go so you'll need to get here early to nab the outdoor furniture.
In summer they make a mean mojito, but it’s all twinkly lights and blankets when the weather turns. Or if it gets wayyyy too cold head indoors to...
Bang on door No. 22, order a Divo Pivo and tell em Andrei sent you.
An urban legend, Hambara ‘The Bam’ is a candlelit bar in an old printing house with no sign.
Go down the dark alleyway, it's the one that looks like a Spanish Tavern-slash-whorehouse.
Now that you’re well and truly steaming, it’s time to get you home. Or to a bar that looks and feels like a home. Kinda.
Wrong Bar is like your mate’s basement. There’s a shabby looking pool table in one corner and an upturned keg in another.
Smoke inside 😱 and fill your ears with ‘alternative’ music til you've gotta go and dance.
The only bad thing about this place is the name.
Underground Bulgarian DJs and table football battle for your attention as you sip £2 cherry beer.
The bouncers are mean, but for the love of your (non-existant) street cred don’t arrive before midnight… Or leave before 6am.