I’m ashamed to say that I only learned that Sofia had a weekly farmers’ market on Hristo Botev after living here for two years, but I finally stumbled across it while on a secret burrito run. While small, the Sofia Farmers’ Market has a great selection of produce, honey, souvenirs, jewelry, and beeswax candles.
Where is the Sofia Farmers’ Market?
The farmers’ market is on Hristo Botev between Vladayska and Damyan Gruev. It’s only on one side of the road, and it’s just one block. If you’re driving on Hristo Botev, you won’t be able to miss it.
Address: bul. “Hristo Botev” 55, 1606 Sofia Center, Sofia
What days is the market open, and what are the hours?
The Sofia Farmers’ Market is open on Wednesdays from 10:30 am until 6:30 pm. It’s open year-round, even during winter. I don’t think they’re open on national holidays.
What do they sell at the Farmers’ Market?
You can find all kinds of goods for sale here. There are farm-fresh eggs, honey, produce, jewelry, souvenirs, candles made from beeswax, local cheese, and many more goods. Even though it’s a compact market, the stalls sell a variety of items so you really can go shopping for a ton of different types of food and products. It would be a great place to visit to shop for Bulgarian souvenirs while in Sofia.
How do prices compare at the Farmers’ Market to local grocery stores?
I think the prices were much closer to grocery store prices (and sometimes slightly lower) than I would expect. In the US, farmers’ markets are a great place to get healthy, local produce. But they don’t usually save you money (and sometimes can cost more than a normal store). Here, though, it seemed like you wouldn’t spend more money to shop at the farmers’ market than at Billa or Lidl, and the produce is much, much better.
3 Tips for Visiting the Market
As with all Bulgarian (and Balkan) markets, there are a few things to know. The first is to bring cash since ninety-nine times out of a hundred the stalls will not have a point of sale machine to take credit cards.
Second, most stalls will have plastic bags. They may cost extra. It would be better to have your own tote bag with you if possible, but if not you won’t be stuck.
Finally, take your time and enjoy it! Enjoy how everything from what’s for sale to the alphabet it is written in might be different than where you’re from. This is a great place to do some polite people watching as you shop.
Sofia Travel Resources
We want you to have the best trip to Sofia possible. To help you, we’ve created a number of resources that will be helpful.
If this will be your first time in Bulgaria, check out our Bulgaria Trip Planning guide.
Next, check out our gigantic list of 101 Things to Do in Sofia. We also have Sofia restaurant and bar recommendations. We also have articles for popular day trips from Sofia like Plovdiv and Buzludzha.
Where to Stay in Sofia
Accommodations in Sofia offer great value compared to other cities in Europe. Here is a general range of what we mean by each budget category:
- Budget: A room in a hostel, usually $5-12 USD per night for a dorm bed or under $40 for a double.
- Mid-range: Around $40-80
- Luxury: Around $100 per night or more
Budget: For a hostel, we always recommend Hostel Mostel. I have never stayed at the Sofia location but several of my friends have and have always spoken highly of it. I stayed at the one in Veliko Tarnovo and it was excellent. Perks include a free vegetarian dinner in addition to breakfast included in your stay! Check rates and availability here. If you are traveling in peak season, be sure to book online, as Hostel Mostel is popular and tends to get booked up.
Mid-range: For a trendy new boutique hotel that is shockingly affordable, we recommend R34 Boutique Hotel. The location is fantastic, near the Ivan Vazov National Theater in central Sofia. It has gorgeous, loft-inspired details like exposed brick, giant windows, and streamlined but modern décor. It’s a great bargain, too – check rates, reviews, photos, and availability here.
Luxury: As far as we see it, there’s only one option for the best hotel in town: Sense Hotel. We go to their upscale, beautiful rooftop bar all the time when we have guests in town – it has one of the best views in the entire city and they make fantastic cocktails. With beautiful views over Alexander Nevsky, Sofia’s most iconic landmark, the hotel couldn’t be in a better location. Sense Hotel also boasts a state-of-the-art fitness center, an art gallery in the lobby, an excellent spa with luxe treatments, and an indoor pool. It’s truly the best choice in town. Check rates, reviews, photos, and availability here.
Looking for more hotel options in Sofia? Check out our full Sofia Hotel and Hostel Guide.
Planning a Trip to Bulgaria? Don’t Forget Travel Insurance!
Make sure you always travel to Bulgaria with a valid travel insurance policy. Travel here includes outdoor activities and travel to highly touristed sites. You need to be covered in case you have an accident or fall victim to theft. This is especially true if you’ll be doing any urban exploration looking for street art. Should something happen, travel insurance will help you recover your expenses and continue to enjoy your trip.
For travel insurance, I use World Nomads. I’ve been a happy customer of theirs for almost three years, and I’ve never had an issue when making a claim. I’m happy to refer them to anyone I meet.
Pin the Sofia Farmers’ Market Guide for Your Trip
Stephanie has been living in and traveling around the Balkans for the past three years. She’s written for National Geographic Online, appeared on CNN Arabic and in the New York Times, and ridden more Balkan buses than is good for a person.