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What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

Going up into the mountains, hikes, hot/mineral springs, caves nearby. Lots of fun if you are wiling to explore. - May 17, 2016
Amazing weekend visits all over the country and Greece and Turkey are a car ride away. Some really cool old communist monuments to check out. - Dec 18, 2014
Black sea and few old cities in Bulgaria, other countries around Sofia or flying to northern Europe. - Nov 23, 2014
Buy a Martenitza on March 1, and wear it. It's a handmade bracelet that comes in only red and white that all the Bulgarians wear on that day. - Aug 16, 2014
Travel to the Black Sea and the countryside. Bulgaria's nature is beautiful. Also cities like Belgrade, Bucharest, and Istanbul are about a 5-hour drive. Thessaloniki, Greece, and the Aegean are only a 3 to 4 hour drive from Sofia. With low cost carriers, traveling to all major Western European cities is affordable and easy. - Jun 3, 2011
Opera, ballet, concerts, ice skating, hiking on Vitosha mountain, camping, mountain biking, walking (people walk a lot here) eating out, outdoor markets, there are 3 malls, there are movie theaters an IMAX. The Black Sea Coast offers beach resorts. The villages around Bulgaria are interesting. There are museums and cathedrals in the capital. Rila Monastery and different sites are within a couple of hours driving time, some very nice sites to see. - Oct 30, 2009
Going out to eat, nightclubs in Sofia, and visiting expositions in museums. Skiing in Vitosha is only a short drive away (and that's only in Sofia). In the countryside there are numerous monasteries, ancient walled cities and fantastic skiing in Bansko and Pamporovo. In the summer the beaches of the Black Sea are refreshing. Greece, Turkey, and other great Balkan destinations are only a short drive or flight away. - Feb 9, 2008