Where’s the green Sofia?
Sofia is the capital and the largest city in Bulgaria. It is situated on the Balkan peninsula in the western part of the country.
The city lays in the feet of Vitosha mountain and from birds view it looks like a green lake.
Although it is home to 1.68 million people it has conserved its green areas of parks and gardens.
If you happen to travel to Sofia and you want to explore the true capital you should visit its parks. They are the place where the citizens go to chill, take a walk, have fun with friends or just enjoy nature.
The South Park – a nature paradise in town
The South Park is one of the biggest parks in Sofia. Its total area is 332 acres and this makes it the perfect place for walks, meetings with friends, training and a whole lot more activities.
This green land is essential for the structure-forming of the capital and its ecosystem. It is a direct green wedge to Vitosha mountain.
The project of the park was developed by the team of architect M. Karlova in 1972. They constructed the park in an English manner. The product of their work was the beautiful landscape style park we see today. A walk through the alleys will show you the diversity of the terrain.
There are meadows, different types of forests and many little lakes connected by a river that crosses the whole park.
As a whole the Park has:
- One “Big Lake” and many small ones
- One big Open-air Concert Stage
- One “Perlovska river”, which flows into the Iskar
- Bike Trails
- Dog’s Park
- Many large meadows and alleyways
- 65 different species of wild birds, 29 of wich are protected by the law
- Many children’s playgrounds
Location of the South Park
The South Park is located between the quarters “Ivan Vazov” and “Lozenets”.
Its name comes from its location in the city. The surrounding streets are:
- At Nort – Byala Cherkva str.
- At West – boulevard “Petko Todorov”
- At South – Henrik Ibsen str.
- At East – Kozyak str.
The 4 sides of the park
The park is informally separated on 4 sides and each one gives something to the others.
1) The north side
The main entrance of the South Park is located at the crossing of Byala Cherkva str. and Vitosha str.
The first thing that catches the eye here is the big fountain.
The plane terrain of the park in this area makes it the perfect place for families.
The alleyways are formed in colourful geometrical shapes. In addition, the flower beds and sculptures are all in weird shapes which make the walk there exciting and unexpected. Giant eggs and colourful little flower gardens pop up in front of you every now and then.
This part of the park is perfect for children of all ages. There are several playgrounds, water fun parks in the decorative lakes and little restaurants and cafes for the parents. The toddlers can explore nature in a safe environment near their parents. Children can play, run and have fun not only with bikes, rollerblades, frisbee, with kites and badminton but also with water wheels and balloons.
Adults can have fun there too. There are installations for table tennis, fitness equipment and a lot of free space to have a picnic or do some wild stuff like juggling or slacklining.
For the families, there are horse rides, tour trains and rickshaws which enable them to explore the whole park.
2) The west side
This is the “Big Lake” part of the South park. It is situated on the boulevard Petko Todorov.
The big lake standing in the centre in front of the entrance names this part of the park.
Here you can sit and relax in the small cafes or enjoy the day and have fun in the water with the kids. There are boats and water balloons and bump cars both for the ground and for the water.
Here kids enjoy it most because there are balloon castles, cotton candy and horse rides. Also, there is a huge meadow where toddlers can have lots of fun and games. At the far end of the meadow, there is an Open-air Concert Stage where in summer lots of events take place.
Adults can enjoy many types of activities too as it begins from a picnic to riding bikes, horses, rollerblades or rickshaws and it finishes with just enjoying a long walk through the beautiful alleys.
3) The south side
This is the side of the South Park where nature steps in. It is situated all along the Henrik Ibsen str. and at its end, it reaches the metro station of the Paradise Trade Center, wich is called “Vitosha”.
The park here is much quieter and it is perfect for walks, nature gazing, meditations and even fishing. There are a lot of secret alleyways that take you to little and well-hidden places, where you can meet nature and listen to its peacefulness.
As you walk you will casually bump into a little swamp or lake with a lot of wild birds and other small animals.
This part of the park is home to 65 different species of wild birds, 29 of wich are protected by the law and 2 of wich are int the Red Book of Bulgaria.
4) The east side
This is the wildest part of the South Park and its heart. It is situated up from the “Lozenets” quarter down to the other three parts of the park and it is separated from them by the “Perlovska river”, which flows into the Iskar river.
The park here is more jungle-like despite the alleyways, because of its steep slope.
Here nature meets the forest animals with the dogs and bikes of humans.
There is a huge Dog Park and right next to it there are wild freeride mountain Bike Trails made by the bikers themselves.
This part of the South Park is the closest to nature as you can get. You can just pick a bench, sit and listen to the blackbirds, nightingales, crickets and frogs from the swamps and enjoy nature.
A perfect combination
The South Park in Sofia is the perfect place to take a walk, train, have fun with friends, meditate, study or just listen to nature.
It is surely on the to do list when visiting Sofia and come on, who doesn’t want to have fun in the sun?