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Parks in Sofia

The main park of Sofia is the Vitosha Nature Park, which covers a large part of the mountain. (refer to the The Mountains of Bulgaria" chapter for more details).

The central park of Sofia is the Borissova gradina (The Garden of Boris), along the Tsarigradsko Chaussee Boulevard beyond the Orlov Most (the Eagles Bridge). At the very beginning of the park is the Ariana Lake. Further in the park are the Vassil Levski National Statium and Bulgarian Army Stadium, as well as courts, a cycle-racing track, etc. About a kilometre from its entrance is the Maria Louisa Swimming Complex with two open-air pools and a 10-metre jumping tower. There are numerous alleys in the park, part of which are asphalted. Also near its entrance there is an open-air stage, dozens of children playgrounds and places for recreation and training. A large monument from socialist times rises in end of the park Bratskata Mogila (the Mound to the Brothers). For this reason it was called The Park of Freedom before. It is also a place where dozens of busts stand of Bulgarian revolutionaries, national revival leaders, writers and poets. The Borissova Gradina Park is the favourite recreation place of most citizens of Sofia.

The Gradskata Gradina (City Garden) Park is situated in the capitals ideal centre close to the to the Sofia City Gallery. In the middle of the park, in front of the National Theatre there are fountains with a sculpture of a female dancer; a childrens playground with wooden swings and an old newspaper stall designed after the fashion of the end of the last century, selling foreign language publications and press. Although small, this park attracts lots of people seeking recreation after work in the midday and afternoon hours. It is also the favourite place of chess players. More than 100 years ago a tourist group of about 300 Sofia citizens, led by Aleko Konstantinov, a  writer democrat and enthusiastic mountaineer, started from this park and climbed Mt. Cherny Vruh (Black Peak) - Vitoshas highest spot.

An original continuation of this garden is the small park behind the National Art Gallery. It covers a sloping terrain, and about a dozen sculptures co-exist with a number of age-old protected trees.

Yuzhen Park (the Southern Park) is the second largest after the Borissova Gradina Park. It extends from Ivan Vazov Quarter to the Hladilnika Quarter. Numerous childrens playgrounds are included in its territory; the Spartak Swimming & Sports Center at its end is the favourite spot for open-air celebrations organised by the Sofia Municipality. Hundreds of athletes, and martial arts fans exercise in it, dozens of citizens from neighbouring quarters do their morning jogging along the park alleys.

Zapaden Park (the Western Park) is close to the Zaharna Fabrika Quarter and the beginning of the Lyulin Quarter. Several catering spots are available in it and there is enough space for walks and games.

Sofia is one of worlds greenest cities. Dozens of small parks and gardens decorate it, thousands of trees in its streets come into leaf every spring.

Particularly famous with its chestnut trees and yellow brick pavement is Rousski Boulevard. Green and tended as small gardens are hundreds of small courtyards in the city centre behind old blocks of flats. The Lozenets, Mladost, Zone B-5 quarters, etc., are also green spots of Sofia.

The city breathes not only through its "lung" Vitosha but also by its numerous areas and streets planted with greenery.

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