sofia_bulgaria

Old meets new

Love at second sight is how I would describe Sofia. Slowly but surely, it will get under your skin and you will become best friends. Bulgarian people have to do a lot with that, as they are incredibly hospitable, talkative and always ready to help. More than anything, they are good and kind-hearted people. Sofia has great meetings infrastructure, namely the NDK Congress Centre and the Inter Expo fairground, along with numerous hotels with conference capacities around the city. Sofia is a city full of history, where new constantly intertwines with the old. There are no significant iconic buildings in the city, but you will find plenty of special venues. Getting to these venues is easy, thanks to the super modern and punctual subway connecting all the main parts of the city. In our opinion, Sofia is a seriously overlooked destination that deserves more attention from international meeting planners.

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NEED TO KNOW 2019

Sofia has almost 2 million inhabitants, making public transport immensely important. The metro line in Sofia is very orderly and user-friendly. The trains are always on time and will take you all the way from the airport to the residential districts called “panelke”. Sofia’s airport is arguably the most modern in the Balkans, excellently connected with most European cities. Getting around Sofia is a piece of cake.

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Sofia is the capital of European film production. Numerous films have been produced in Sofia’s famous NU Boyana Film Studios. The studio was founded in 1962 and privatised in 2006. Today it’s known as one of the Top 10 best-equipped and most professional film studios in Europe. The geographical diversity and scenery are something both event planners and filmmakers appreciate. In Sofia, you can go from spectacular mountains and pristine nature to cinematic abandoned industrial buildings in a matter of minutes. Film stars are regular guests in the city. Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Antonio Banderas, Penelope Cruz, Shah Rukh Khan, Sylvester Stallone, Ben Kingsley and many more have filmed in Sofia.

WHAT'S HOT 2019

Sofair 2019 / 12 April 2019
An international high-level conference on air pollution
Venue: NDK Sofia

WEBIT.FESTIVAL Europe 2019 / 13–15 May 2019
Europe’s Innovation and Tech Flagship Forum
Venue: NDK Sofia

Eastern European Gaming Summit / 19–20 November 2019
The most prestigious forum in the gaming industry in Eastern Europe
Venue: Inter Expo Center, Sofia, Bulgaria

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BEST INCENTIVE IDEA

Tram Experience – We recommend a tour by one of the guides from The Feel of Sofia, who will show you all the different faces Sofia has to offer. The guides have special permission to drive a historical tram through the city streets and can take you all the way to the foot of Vitosha Mountain. Certainly better than any classical tourist tour.

www.thefeelofsofia.com

PERFECT GIFT

Sofia is regarded as one of the most creative cities in the Balkans. There’s no lack of amazing artists, who have their own galleries and shops around the city, where you can buy their t-shirts or posters. We guarantee you won’t find them anywhere else in the world. We were especially impressed by a local artist, Dido Peshev, who creates graphics for bands like Metallica and Linkin Park. His illustrations are a real source of inspiration and strong support to the local creative scene.

BEST KEPT SECRETS

Sofia Tech Park is one of the new locations where you can organise events. It comprises several sections, the main part being the John Atanasoff Innovation Forum a full-blown congress centre with the largest hall accepting up to 1000 participants. The Tech Park is an ideal option for organisers of scientific association events. In addition to the main multi-functional hall, there are two smaller conference halls capable of hosting 250 people and an outside open amphitheatre for 250 participants. A few smaller seminar rooms complete the offer.

OFF THE BEATEN MICE TRACK

When was the last time you took a city bus to the foot of a mountain?

You can start your ascent of Vitosha Mountain by taking the #63 bus line. The area is known as the lungs of Sofia and is a natural park where you can try numerous activities. The primary ones are skiing, hiking and mountain biking, but local DMCs offer many others, like driving up the mountain in off-road vehicles. Venturing out into nature is a pleasant way to escape the crowds in the urban Bulgarian capital.

FOODIES

Hunger is something you won’t experience in Sofia. At least not for long, as you will be tempted by the tasty, diverse and wallet-friendly Bulgarian cuisine. Bulgarians love Greek salads and cold yoghurt soups called “tarator” coupled with fresh cucumber and walnuts, which is very refreshing. They also have plenty of hangover cures, like their famous stews or “banitsa”, which is the Bulgarian version of the classical Balkan meat/cheese pie “burek”. They also love meat and restaurant tables are always full of steaks, meatballs, sausages and kebabs. Bulgarians cater to all tastes and occasions. You shouldn’t miss their street food offer like the Barbecue Brothers.

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VOICES FROM SOFIA

WHO TO CONTACT

Bulgarian Convention Bureau
1 “Bulgaria” Sq., Sofia, 1463,
Building of National Palace of Culture
T: +359 899 826502
E: office@bgcb.eu
www.bgcb.eu