Warnings and Dangers in Sofia Dangerous
Somewhat off the beaten path in Europe, Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, still draws in many travelers. If you are headed to see the center of this elegant and engaging central European country, issues you may encounter include high taxi fees, dangerous areas, and feral dogs.
Dogs in the Streets
Like many other central European city centers, dogs have proven to be a problem in Sofia. While the locals love their dogs, they don’t always choose to spay or neuter them, leading to many unwanted puppies that are not vaccinated or cared for in any way. Unfortunately, this has led to many problems with dogs in the central city. If you are walking down many streets in Bulgaria, you may come across single dogs or even packs of dogs. You should not pet them, as they can carry rabies and other dangerous diseases. Many will congregate around areas where food is served, looking for scraps. Do not give them any food or they may follow you to your hotel room. Dogs are not allowed in most Bulgarian hotels.
High Cab Fares
Taxis are everywhere in Bulgaria. Using one can be a great alternative to the crowded public transportation system, especially if you have luggage. Be aware that some taxi drivers may overcharge you. To minimize your risk of overpaying, look for what are known as the 1280 taxis. These are considered the good taxis that are licensed by the government. They have set fares.
While much of the city is safe, you might want to take extra precautions in certain places. The Sveta Nedelya Underpass and the square are major tourist attractions and a great way to interact with locals. However, this area can be dangerous during the evening, so don’t walk here at night. The Central Station is another area where you might find crime, particularly in the overpass area at night. There are some red light districts in Sofia. Prostitution is illegal in Sofia. The area around the Pliska Hotel is where those engaged in such activities tend to congregate. Another area that is a known haunt for prostitutes is the Maria Luiza Blvd.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about warnings or dangers in Sofia.