Located in the Sofia Valley, Bulgaria's capital city lies at the foot of Mount Vitosha, and is the country's cultural, political, and economic centre. Founded over 7,000 years ago around numerous mineral springs that still operate today, Sofia's fortunes have flourished and declined along with the various civilisations who've made it home.
It's one of Europe's oldest settlements, with numerous, cultural, historical, and archaeological monuments from its rich Thracian, Byzantine, Roman, Slav, and Turkish history remaining among its contemporary edifices. The blend of old and new lends a charming quality to the capital.
Sofia has a laid-back atmosphere, despite its modern, cosmopolitan nature. Mount Vitosha offers myriad recreational opportunities on the city's doorstep, adding to the relaxed mood. Like any distinguished European capital, Sofia also has a wealth of museums and galleries, and boasts plenty of cultural entertainment.