Help with Planning

First of all, you should know that Bulgaria is in the European Union, therefore you don’t need a visa if you live in the EU.

Currency exchange

The currency in Bulgaria is Bulgarian Lev. The exchange rates are most probably better in Bulgaria than in your home country, so it is better to change your money when you arrive. We recommend that you check the actual exchange rates of the Bulgarian National Bank prior to doing any currency exchange, just to make sure that you get a good deal. You can exchange your money either in currency exchange bureaus, or in bank offices, which is however more time-consuming. Don’t forget to check the rates carefully and ask if the office charges commission too. If you arrive by plane, it’s good to know that there is an exchange bureau at the airport as well:

  • Terminal 1 – baggage reclaim area
  • Terminal 2 – public area, baggage reclaim area and level 1 after passport control

Our suggestions for currency exchange bureaus near the hotel and workshops locations are:

Transport from the airport to the hotel

The Sofia Airport is located at about 10 km away from the city centre.

Metro

The best way to get to the hotel from the airport is by metro, the journey will take no more than half an hour. The metro station at Sofia Airport is located in the eastern part of Terminal 2. You can reach it by following the floor markings in blue at the public area of Terminal 2. If you arrive at Terminal 1, have in mind that Sofia Airport provides free-of-charge transportation between the two terminal buildings – stop locations of the shuttle bus in front of both terminals are designated by signage and pavement markings.
The metro trains on the route to the airport operate from 5:30 a.m. to midnight on weekdays and weekends/holidays.
Single ride ticket price is 1.60 Bulgarian levs (0.82 EUR). The ticket is valid for the entire metro network so you can use the same ticket for transfer to M1. Tickets can be purchased from the cashier desks in the metro station or from ticket machines. What is very important to know though is that you cannot use a credit/debit card to buy a ticket, you can only use cash and only in Bulgarian lev.
At the vending machine, you can also purchase a multi-travel electronic card for the metro. A single electronic multi-travel card, pre-loaded with ten rides, costs 9 BGN to buy; it can be subsequently reloaded at ticket vending machines with credit for further travel, offering a small discount on each ride (8 BGN per every ten rides).
You need to know that luggage only travels for free if its dimensions are less than 60/40/40 cm. In case your luggage is larger, you will need to buy a one-time ticket for it as well.
To reach the hotel, you need to take Sofia Metro Line 1, and then change to Line 2 at “Serdika” Metro Station towards “Obelya”. The first stop is “Lavov most”, which is the closest station to the hotel. Go south on Maria Luisa Blvd., turn left onto Pop Bogomil Str., then turn right and you’ll arrive at Hotel Light.

Taxi

If you don’t want to use the public transport you can always pick up a taxi. However, bear in mind that there might be scammers to charge you higher prices, so choose your taxi carefully. The company that currently has a contract with the airport is called OK Taxi and they should provide regular prices. Generally the price per kilometer is less than 1 lev. A journey to downtown Sofia should be around 10-15 lev. You can also use different applications to call a taxi as there are many companies out there. Unfortunately, Uber doesn’t operate in Bulgaria.
The address of Hotel Light is Veslets Str. 37, Sofia, Bulgaria
If you need a taxi at any point of your stay in Sofia, you can order it by phone:

  • OK taxi – (+359) 2 973 21 21
  • Yellow taxi – (+359) 2 91119

Workshops locations

Locations hall Washington and hall Land of Roses are 3 minutes walk apart, so you can attend workshops in both locations without a problem. Furthermore, our official hotel Light is also 3 minutes walk away from hall Land of Roses.

Hall Land of Roses

Hall Land of Roses is in the inside yard of the building at 47, Knyaginya Maria Luiza Blvd.

Hall Washington

Hall Washington is on the third floor of the building  at 12, George Washington Str. Once you reach the address, you would need to enter an inside yard and search for the festival posters on the left at the back of the yard. There you will find the entry. Go inside and simply follow the arrows to the third floor.

Competition and Shows Location

The competition, open stage and gala show will take place in Mladejki Theater “Nikolay Binev”, which is only 9 minutes walk away from the hotel, and 5 minutes walk away from location hall Washington. The address is 8, Knyaz Aleksandar Dondukov Blvd.

Supermarket

The closest good supermarket to the hotel is Billa Lavov most, and its opening hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Restaurants

Hotel Light has a restaurant of its own.

If you would like to see the close-by city center and have some very good Italian food, then we recommend you visit restaurant Confetti.

If you are, though, up for a true Bulgarian experience, you can plan a meal at restaurant Moma Bulgarian Food and Wine.

Sources:
 www.sofia-airport.bg
 www.metrosofia.com
 www.freesofiatour.com
 www.lonelyplanet.com
 www.thecrazytourist.com
 www.sofia-guide.com
 www.theculturetrip.com 
 en.wikipedia.org