More than 6 million tourists have visited Bulgaria in 2016, which is 16% more than in 2015. Among them, Anna, a young German blogger, who discovered Bulgaria for the first time a few days in Sofia, the capital. She answered friendly to our questions and shared with us her feedback about her 3-day trip in Sofia.
Anna (apart from the fact that we are all jealous of your milkshake), tell us more about you ?
I am an almost 26 year old travel enthusiast, student and freelance journalist from Dortmund, a pretty big city in Western Germany. When I am not taking any chance to travel the world I study Oriental Studies at university which is what originally made me really passionate about exploring new places.
You have a freshly created blog called Anna Colorista. What are the wonderful things you share with your followers ?
Writing turned from a hobby to a profession for me a couple of months ago and since then I kept creating content that sometimes didn’t fit the magazines and online blogs I was writing for. That’s why I created my own blog Annacolorista as an outlet for everything I truly love to write about :
« Traveling, interesting people and stories that I think are worth sharing »
Why did you choose Sofia, the Bulgarian capital, for your first trip of the year ?
I really try to inspire my readers to think a little outside the box when it comes to choosing their travel destinations. That’s why one of my new years resolutions was to check out all the European capitals that I haven’t paid a visit to yet. Sofia happened to be my first trip of the year and I spent three fabulous nights there.
Aleksander Nevski Cathedral (Source : Instagram anna.colorista )
What was your first impression about the city ?
I immediately noticed how diverse the Sofia architecture was. The mixture of typical Soviet constructions, beautiful buildings from the early 20th century and even some remains of Ottoman times really caught my eye. The most lasting impression of the city is how young and vibrant parts of Sofia are. I was really impressed with how many young people hung out all over and how many cool bars, co-working spaces and artsy galleries I saw there.
« I predict that Sofia is going to evolve into one of Europe’s coolest places within the next couple of years »
What did you visit ? Some places that you really loved ? Did you meet people you will remember ?
First, I checked out all the must-see sights, such as Aleksander Nevski Cathedral, Banya Bashi Mosque and Sveti Nikolai Russian Church. On my second day in the city I met up with a Sofia Greeter, called Valeriya, who was so kind and welcoming and showed me all of her favorite parts of the city. I especially loved visiting the gorgeous university, passing by all of Sofia’s theaters and visiting the open-air bookmarket. She also took me to a couple of parks (I was actually quite surprised by how green Sofia is) and showed me the Ivan Vazov National Theatre. I wouldn’t mind having such a beautiful building in my neighborhood !
Banya Bashi Mosque (Source : Instagram anna.colorista)
Going out in Sofia was a lot of fun as well. I really loved this bar called A:part:mental, which looks just like a regular appartment and the underground bar called Hambara. Sofia offers such a unique nightlife !
A:part:mental (Source : Instagram anna colorista)
Where did you stay ?
I stayed in a fantastic hostel called Hostel Mostel, which I would absolutely recommend to anybody coming to the city. It is located extremely close to the city centre, offers great rooms and has a beautiful common area where I met fantastic fellow travelers.
What is your best memory in Sofia ?
Spending an entire day with a Sofia native was definitely the highlight of my trip. Experiencing a new place through the eyes of somebody who knows it like the back of their hand is the perfect way to broaden your horizon and really dive into a foreign city.
Sveti Nikolai Russian Church (Source : Instagram anna.colorista)
… and your preferred dish (We are very greedy) ?
I had a wonderful lunch at Central Hali Market where a local bakery sells delicious pastries filled with spinach, cheese and olives. There was no way I could choose one so I actually tasted all three types !
What were you thinking about Bulgaria before coming ? and now ?
To be completely honest, I didn’t quite know what to expect. I knew about its interesting history and rich culture but had also heard about its political and social issues.
« After visiting Sofia and actually meeting a couple of locals I was surprised about how open and welcoming the country is and how much potential it actually has »
We are so honored you checked on Madame Bulgaria to get some informations about Bulgaria and organize your trip. How did you discover us ?
For me checking out local blogs is one of the best ways to prepare for a trip. Madame Bulgaria was the first blog I found when I started looking and I was immediately drawn to how easy access to useful information was on your blog. You really offer a great overview about everything one needs to know before traveling to Bulgaria.
Synagogue Sefarade Sofia (Source : Instagram anna.colorista)
What is the next place in Bulgaria you would like to visit ?
Every Bulgarian that I talked to highly recommended traveling to Plovdiv and after looking at pictures of this city it has definitely made my bucket list.
Are there any thing that you like here in Bulgaria more than in Germany (or different but good) ?
Well, I think many young Bulgarians feel like their country does not offer them the perspectives other European states offer their citizens. That is so interesting to me because I actually live in an area in Germany that has been suffering from severe economic issues for many years and many young people moved away to work in other places. Later on many returned to the area and used all the experience they had made in other places to build their own businesses in my home town. Today the area is full of young, artistic and unusual businesses which create more jobs and more perspectives. Spending some time in another place is not always the worst thing; it can really benefit your local community.
« Bulgaria has a lot of potential and its residents should embrace that ! »
What will be your next trip in Europe or elsewhere ?
I am sticking to my plan of checking out all the places I have ignored so far and traveling to Warsaw next weekend. Let’s hope this city will sweep me off my feet just like Sofia did.
Have lot of others nice trips Anna. Merci !