Is Sofia a Safe City? Everything You Need to Know

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Is Sofia a Safe City? Everything You Need to Know

by | Mar 23, 2023 | Sofia, Travel

Is Sofia a Safe City? Everything You Need to Know

Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, is one of the fastest-developing cities in Southeast Europe and certainly one of the safest too. In recent years, particularly since joining the European Union in 2007, the city authorities have made notable efforts to improve safety and security in the city. In 2020, the European Commission officially declared Sofia to be “a comfortable and safe place to visit and live in”.

But is Sofia really that safe? As with any city, there are issues that need to be taken into account when deciding whether it is a safe place to live, work or simply visit. In this article, we will address some of the questions about the level of safety in Sofia and provide useful tips on staying safe when visiting or living in the city.

Crime Rates in Sofia

As a relatively small city, it’s perhaps not surprising that Sofia has relatively low crime rates. According to the 2019 crime statistics released by the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior, Sofia ranks among the lowest cities in terms of crime rates, with only 20.2 reported crimes per 1,000 citizens.

The greatest number of reported cases are related to economic crimes such as fraud and forgery, followed by property-related crimes. Violent crimes are significantly lower than other larger European cities; there were an estimated 1.34 violent crimes per 1000 inhabitants in 2019.

Pickpocketing is, however, a problem that people should be aware of when visiting, as it is common in crowded tourist areas. People should therefore take all necessary precautions when carrying wallets or documents such as passports.

Transport Safety in Sofia

Sofia features a comprehensive public transport system consisting of buses, trams and trolleybuses. As part of the city’s efforts to improve safety, a network of metro stations were established in 1998. Today, there are two nice and clean metro lines connecting many parts of the city and its surroundings with each other.

Taxis are another widely-used form of public transportation in Sofia, with 24/7 availability throughout the year. All taxi companies offer secure rides, with car insurance and well-trained drivers. Before getting into a taxi, make sure that the official logo of the company is displayed on its hood and sides.

Safety on Foot in Sofia

Most of the streets in Sofia are safe for walking around day and night. Nonetheless, if you are alone late at night it’s better to avoid certain areas such as isolated parks and unpopulated zones. Always keep your bags and valuables close to you to prevent pickpocketing.

Sofia also has numerous cycling paths for those who enjoy urban cycling. Generally speaking, cycling is quite safe in Sofia however cyclists should still exercise caution when riding near busy streets or intersections. Additionally, cyclists should keep an eye out for cars that sometimes park on cycling lanes as this can cause traffic accidents.

Safety Tips When Visiting Sofia

If you are planning a visit soon to this charming city, here are few safety tips that will help you stay safe:

  • Do not leave your valuables unattended.
  • Always keep your passport on you.
  • Be aware of your possessions when walking in crowded areas.
  • Check the logo of a taxi company before taking a ride.
  • Avoid isolated parks late at night.
  • Use metro or other public transportation when possible.

Getting Around without a Car

The best way to explore Sofia is by foot or using public transport as it’s relatively cheap and convenient. Traffic can be dense around certain areas of Sofia during rush hours, so it’s prudent to avoid using a car during peak times if possible.

If you would like to experience Sofia nightlife without worrying about transportation, we recommend booking a Sofia Pub Crawl of Hidden Bars. The tour includes door-to-door transfers and stops at some of the best bars in Sofia, making it a memorable night for guests – all in the safety of an expert local guide who knows their way around the best local night spots.

Conclusion

In conclusion, overall Sofia is a safe place to live in and visit as long as basic safety procedures are taken into account and sensible precautions are made concerning both public transport and walking around. We do recommend taking into consideration our tips before booking your trip to Sofia. Enjoy your stay!

Is Sofia a Safe City? Everything You Need to Know

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