One of the best things about Sofia is its crazy fun nightlife.
The city truly comes alive after the sunset with an abundance of bars, clubs, and other places for a social gathering – Sofia nightlife has enough activities to keep you awake till the sunrise!
No seriously, it’s not uncommon to pull an all-nighter in Sofia, as the majority of nightlife places don’t close until 6 in the morning (and if you are extra nice to the bar/pub owners they will gladly party with you until noon).
Whatever type of experience you’re looking for, Sofia probably has something to offer.
In this article, we’re going to cover:
- 15+ fun activities to experience the best of Sofia nightlife
- 7+ of the best bars, pubs, and clubs in Sofia
- 5+ other activities you’d do in Sofia at night
- …And more!
So, let’s get started!*
*In case you’re looking for non-nightlife activities in Sofia, check out our guide to 13+ awesome things to do in Sofia.
15+ Fun Sofia Nightlife Activities
#1 – Sofia Pub Crawl
We might be biased, but Sofia Pub Crawl is the best and simplest way to experience the Sofia nightlife.
If you haven’t been on a pub crawl yet, here’s a quick introduction to what we’re about:
- Sofia Pub Crawl is a guided tour of some of the best bars and clubs in Sofia
- Every Friday or Saturday, you meet up with our guide and a group of other international travelers
- The start location is in front of the Sofia Courthouse at 8:30 PM
- The guide will show you around Sofia Nightlife, showing you around some local’s favorite, best bars in Sofia
- At around 12 PM, we end the crawl at one of the best nightclubs in town (where you get a free entrance!)
Sounds like an awesome deal, right?
Well, the whole experience costs only 20 BGN (10 Euros), and for the price, you get:
- A tour of 3 bars and a club
- Free welcome shots in each of the bars
- Drinking games!
- Free entrance to one of the best night clubs in Sofia
Want to give it a go? Reserve your spot now!
#2 – Karaoke at Irish
Are you a big fan of Karaoke?
Head on over to McCarthy’s Irish Pub, the best bar when it comes to drinking Irish beer and singing International hits.
McCarthy’s is also one of the most popular places for foreigners when it comes to Sofia nightlife – most expats and tourists hang out there!
So, whatever you might be looking for, whether it’s karaoke night, meeting new international friends, or even a late-night party, you’re bound to find it in McCarthy’s!
#3 – Magic Tricks at Magic Bar
A fun and unusual way to start off your night in Sofia is to visit Magic Bar.
As the name suggests, it’s a bar dedicated to celebrating the history of magical performances. You can find plenty of interesting puzzles, card tricks, and illusions on display.
They hold weekly magic shows at the bar, inviting some famous local and international magicians.
Even if you don’t make it to one of their famous shows, you might still get a private magic show if you ask one of the bartenders nicely (yes, all the bartenders double as magicians)!
#4 – Late Night Bulgarian Dining at Vitosha
Eventually, everybody gets hungry during a long night out. And while a cheap pizza slice or a greasy kebab might sound appealing, why not treat yourself to something proper.
Majority of restaurants and cafes in the main walking street of the center – Vitosha, work late into the night. So even when it’s 3 AM, you might still find a nice restaurant with its kitchen open.
Our favorite 3 AM diner is Raffy, a super popular Bulgarian restaurant chain. They serve really good food AND cocktails (so you don’t have to stop the party!).
#5 – Chilling in Parks
The thing that always surprises foreigners about Sofia nightlife is that you are allowed to drink outside. Because of this, there are a ton of 24/7 alcohol stores all around the center.
So, in the summertime, you’ll find a ton of locals hanging around some of the mini-parks in the center, drinking, chilling, or just socializing during both day and night.
If you’re visiting Sofia during the warmer season, we’d recommend having a quick beer (or two) at the City Garden (or Naroden Park, as the locals call it) – a super popular and beautiful park with fountains, or the “Church Park” which is a bit smaller, but almost as popular. And the icing on the cake? There’s a 24/7 liquor store right next to both parks.
These places are best when it comes to taking a breather from all the bars and clubs or even meeting new people.
#6 – Shisha (AKA Hookah)
Bulgaria has a very widespread Shisha (that’s Hookah in Bulgarian) culture. The majority of establishments from restaurants to bars and clubs often offer a shisha service.
There are also a lot of dedicated Shisha places like Harem and SpeShial Center.
So order one and spend your Sofia nightlife Bulgarian style!
#7 – Party Bus
Ever partied on a bus? Well, now’s your chance to do it for cheap!
Sofia Party Bus will pick you up from your hotel and drive you for a whole hour around Sofia. The experience costs around 200 BGN per hour (in total, not per person), holds up to 25 people and comes with a fully stocked bar, personal DJ, and two exotic dancers.
#8 – Bulgarian Chalga
Feeling extra adventurous?
Try Chalga – a staple of Sofia nightlife.
Chalga is, in essence, modern Bulgarian pop-folk music. It’s extremely popular amidst the locals, and there are a ton of clubs dedicated to it. Curious what this sounds like? Here you go!
One of the more popular Chalga clubs is Club 33 in the Student Town part of Sofia.
It’s a very interesting experience for most travelers, but to get the most out of it, we recommend bringing a Bulgarian with you to help you out just in case. Most of the staff in Chalga clubs aren’t that good at English, so you might run into language barriers.
#9 – Late Night Pool
Want to spend your night playing some pool and drinking cocktails? Head on over to BSD 2, the best 24/7 billiard and pool club in Sofia.
They have a variety of tables for pool, billiard and Russian pool. They even have a couple of PS4 rooms to spice things up. They make great cocktails, nachos, and popcorn there, but if you get really hungry there are several 24/7 food places within walking distance.
#10 – Never-ending Events
Sofia nightlife is always busy with various events. From DJs, themed nights at clubs and local bands concerts, you can always find something interesting to do and see.
Besides checking Facebook events near you, try out places like Maze or Mixtape 5 which often host events and concerts.
#11 – Rock out at Rock’n’Rolla!
Lovers of rock and heavy metal will feel right at home at Rock’n’Rolla. This bar plays some of the best classics of rock and metal genres and occasionally features local bands performing covers and originals.
And hidden away in the side hall is a Karaoke, so that you may enjoy singing your favorite songs in a company that understands your music tastes.
#12 – House and Techno at Tell Me
Do you crave techno and house music of all types? Wanna zone out with some nice atmosphere? Then try the strangely named bar club Tell Me.
This place can be great for both dancing and drinking, but also for finding interesting people to talk to and chill with. Especially due to the outside area also being populated with people taking breathers and having a little smoke.
#13 – Fridays in Petak
Friday is without a doubt the “nightlife” day, everybody goes out, everybody needs that weekend energy – so what better place to spend your night other than Petak (which means Friday in English).
This club inside a warehouse is always brimming with people. The music ranges from trap and Bulgarian rap to more popular international music, either way, the dance floor is waiting. You can also visit this place during the weekdays to find interesting events and gatherings.
#14 – Terminal 1
The classical urban club Terminal 1 is perhaps the busiest place on a Sofia weekend. You can find a variety of events on a rotation – from indie rock bands, 90s and disco themed days to even the occasional pole-dancing competition. Terminal has it all.
But no matter the day you are always guaranteed to find a good mix of both foreigners and locals on the dance floor. There are two bars so you don’t have to wait in line. And if you get bored of dancing you can always sit down on the tables upstairs or play some table football.
#15 – Hidden Bars
Last but not least is that you can also have fun simply exploring some of the more hidden bars in Sofia.
Some of the recommendations would be either the tavern-like Hambara. Where you can feel like entering a fantasy world. Or Sofia’s own speak-easy bar 5L, modeled after the Prohibition-era secret bars of the USA. You can enjoy amazing cocktails there, provided you can solve a tricky entrance puzzle.
Sofia nightlife is full of variety and there is always something out here for everyone. No matter how many times you visit, there will be new and fun things for you to do!
And if you’re still not sure how to get the most out of Sofia nightlife, just ask us for a Pub Crawl and we’ll show you what’s what!