Easily accessible parks in Sofia - part 1
Green areas close to metro stations
Written by Anna Kerezsi, edited by Scott Green, photos by Anna Kerezsi
Since moving to Sofia, I’ve almost never used any other form of public transportation besides the metro. It is the easiest and fastest way to go from A to B, and the metro lines cover most of the city. This is how I’ve discovered some of the best parks: I pick a metro station, check the surroundings on the map for something interesting to see, and I go directly there.
I don’t feel like there are long distances with the metro. I live in Mladost and I feel Zapaden park is as close to me as anything else because the only thing I do is validate a ticket, sit with my book, and get off when I arrive at the destination. This article is written for you if you are ready to discover our beautiful city a little bit further than you’ve gotten used to.
This is the part one of the series, check out the part two!
Borisova garden (Борисова градина)
You’ve probably already heard about this tiny forest in the middle of the city. I can say it is the most popular park/garden/green spot among Sofians. You can easily access it from Vasil Levski metro station from the north, or Joliot-Curie metro station from the south.
Inside the park, you can find concrete pedestrian paths as well as pure forest paths to accommodate your preference for walking. This park is very popular for pictures and videos, especially during autumn. You can ride your bicycle here or walk your dog, no leash required. There is a meadow on the north-eastern part of the park with a monument from the soviet era, “Brotherly mound”, reminding us of the sacrifice of the partisans to free Bulgaria during the second world war, a tiny lake with waterlilies, and if you continue your walk to the north, you can find a beautiful rose garden next to Vasil Levski Stadium.
The south-eastern part of the park has a unique square grid shape path system, which ends with Kokolandia, a giant child paradise, or you can continue walking to the south until Loven Park (which I’ve personally never visited). The only thing I don’t like here is the noise of cars. It can ruin all the forest vibes, wherever you go inside the park. There is also a completely abandoned swimming complex in a very frequented part of the park, which can be another interesting occasion for a photoshoot.
When I moved to Sofia, this was the first park I visited, and I didn’t regret it. Although, after walking around 5-6 times already in all four seasons, I felt like I needed to discover some other green areas around the city.
Dog Park and South Park (Кучешката Градинка, Южен Парк)
One of my friends moved to Lozenets and that gave me the opportunity to discover the so-called Dog Park and South Park that followed. This huge park is situated between the European Union metro station from the north-east and Vitosha metro station from the south edge right next to Paradise Center.
I walked around from both directions and I can tell you: start from the tiny little hills of Dog Park and grab a reward coffee in the mall when you finish this huge walking challenge. The longest distance between the edges is a little bit longer than Borisova, and the whole park has concrete paths in it. Ideal free time activity with children and dogs, but be careful with the cyclists and skateboarders.
There are children’s playgrounds everywhere, and hopefully, more pancake buffets will open during spring. As in every good park, you can find some tiny lakes here, I recommend you to search for Duck Lake in the middle. Oh, and very important: don’t leave your camera at home! On the south side of South Park, the view of the mountain is astonishing!
Park Vazrazhdane (Парк „Възраждане“)
the Bulgarian word “възраждане” means revival or renaissance
I discovered this park accidentally on my second day in Sofia. I wanted to look around in the Mall of Sofia at Opalchenska metro station. After that, I decided to walk around a bit. On my way to the south, I noticed this green area surrounded by these huge Soviet-style concrete buildings. It doesn’t look like you see it from Google Earth. They haven’t refreshed the satellite view.
This park has many opportunities. Besides the big sports complex, and the new Aquapark nearby, this place is child-friendly with playgrounds, curly roads to practice bicycle riding, tiny hills to climb, and the middle circle-shaped park gives home to a circus or different exhibitions. I walked there recently and a Fantasy Park with Dragons had just opened. Maybe next time I will see the tent of the Bulgarian Academic Circus “Balkanski”. If you have children, you must come to visit this park!
Zaimov Park (Парк Заимов)
This park is on my list thanks to the new metro line, and for many suggestions from people. The metro station next to the park is called Teatralna, because at the beginning you can find the Sofia Theatre. I’m not quite sure why this park got named after a Bulgarian general and spy Vladimir Zaimov.
The theme of the park looks very artistic, many statues and interesting architectural solutions can be found here (for example a grass spot in the middle, which looks like a carpet with standing up edges). I came here on a sunny February day and the park was full of young and old people, mothers pushing strollers, teenagers dancing under the trees. Looks like spring is already here! I recommend this cute park if you need some good vibes with a cup of coffee from the surrounding cafés.
If you enjoyed this article, please keep an eye out for part two of the series