Welcome pack

Hello, dear Tandemians! :) Tandem Europe and Ideas Factory wish you a fruitful, meaningful and collaborative Sofia experience!
Let there be tandems!

Take a look at the map. It is your best friend! Here you will find all the locations, where you will work, sleep, eat, party and much more ;)
Click on the upper left corner of the map and explore the dropdown menu for all venues and directions

From Partner Forum venue to Fabrica 126 you should:
> walk to the metro: Serdica 2 station (line M2) and take it
> to Knyaginya Mariya Luiza metro station.
Fabrica 126, where the party is, is exactly at 126 Knyaginya Mariya Luiza blvd.

From the Hotels to Fabrica 126 you should:

> walk straight at Knyaz Aleksandar Dondukov blvd. until you reach metro station Serdica 2 (M2)
> take the metro to Knyaginya Mariya Luiza metro station.
Fabrica 126, B, where the party is, is exactly at 126 Knyaginya Mariya Luiza blvd.

NOTE that if you’re 3 or 4 people, taxi is cheaper and easier way for you to reach Fabrica 126 – 126 Knyaginya Mariya Luiza blvd.


It is simple to get from the airport to the city centre with metro (line 2; M2). In order to reach your hotels, take the metro to Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski station. You can use the map to see the route to your hotel.

to (B) Best western Sofia City hotel +359 29 151 500
(near Alexander Nevski cathedral)
6 Stara Planina str.

to (C) Coop hotel +359 895 691 791
30 Iskar str.

The city centre is around Serdica metro station, which is also where the two lines M1 and M2 meet. You can get a ticket (cash only) at the station for 1,60 lv.
The transport system in Sofia is generally good, as there is metro, buses, trams, and trolleys. The tickets are 1,60 lv and you can buy them in the transports, but note that there is no system for transfer, so if you need to take two transports, you need to pay twice. Also, if you buy your ticket from the driver, you will need to validate it by entering it in the little yellow ‘’boxes’’ that will make a certain pattern of holes in your ticket (in trams, buses and trolleys). You can use this website to help you plan your transport better: https://www.eway.bg/en/cities/sofia.

There are also a lot of taxi companies in Sofia, which are not too expensive. You can either call them or just wave your hand to take one from the street. They should always have a counter that is visible inside. Try to ask the price when you enter the taxi, some will take advantage that you are a foreigner. (Note that most of taxi drivers don’t speak English.)

The easiest way to book a Yellow Taxi cab in Sofia is with VIBER or book online at www.yellow333.com or you can call one of the following telephone numbers:
02/91119; 02/491 1108 or 1219 (no additional charge for all mobile operators)
Tariff – around 0,80 st (40 cents) daytime / 1 lv (50 cents) nightime (22h-06h)

From Partner Forum venue to Fabrica 126 you should:
> walk to the metro: Serdica 2 station (line M2) and take it
> to Knyaginya Mariya Luiza metro station.
Fabrica 126, where the party is, is exactly at 126 Knyaginya Mariya Luiza blvd.

From the Hotels to Fabrica 126 you should:

> walk straight at Knyaz Aleksandar Dondukov blvd. until you reach metro station Serdica 2 (M2)
> take the metro to Knyaginya Mariya Luiza metro station.
Fabrica 126, B, where the party is, is exactly at 126 Knyaginya Mariya Luiza blvd.

NOTE that if you’re 3 or 4 people, taxi is cheaper and easier way for you to reach Fabrica 126 – 126 Knyaginya Mariya Luiza blvd.

We’re here to support you in any situation. Feel welcome to dive in the atmopshere of autumn Sofia and its cultural treasures.

Yanina Taneva
Founder of Ideas Factory + 359 876 555 190
Strategic matters of Tandem and facilitation

Gergana Paraskova
Event Manager +359 897 846 541
Overall organization and logistics

Militsa Dzhandzhova
Operations Manager +359 877 597 930
Administrative questions and locations

Yoana Stoyanova
Communications Manager +359 885 477 364
Local host dinner, online communication and party :)

Biliana Bogdanova
Managing Director

Nevena Genkova
volunteering and networks

Slav Georgiev
Visual Communication

EMERGENCY Call number 112

American Express, Diners Club, BankAmericard, Visa, Access, Euro card, MasterCard and Carte Blanche are all accepted in Bulgaria.
Debit cards are widely used to withdraw cash, but card payment options are not always available. In Sofia in shopping centres, bigger shops, some hotels, some restaurants and airport you are able to pay by card.

The Bulgarian national monetary unit is the Lev (BGN), Leva in plural, divided into 100 stotinki.
1 Euro = 1,95 Lev

There are several change desks at the Sofia Airport, but it is more recommended to find currency exchange in the center as the commission charge is much lower. It is still important to keep an eye at the commission fees and exchange rates in different offices.
Usual working hours of the banks: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday to Friday, closed on national holidays.

Good place with no fees – Graf Ignatiev str. 36
Non-stop exchange desk – Vitosha blvd 96A

If you bring foreign currency from home into Bulgaria, be certain it is clean and untorn, and without any damages. No store, bank or change bureau will accept mutilated, torn or excessively dirty foreign currency.

The official language in Bulgaria is Bulgarian, which is written in Cyrillic alphabet. That makes it hard to understand for most of the visitors from non-Slavic countries, but many of the important signs and information are both in Bulgarian and English. Many young people speak English and some older people might understand Russian, so you can try to use those languages.BASIC PHRASES IN BULGARIAN
Hello – Здравейте (Zdraveyte)
Goodbye – Довиждане (Dovizhdane) / Чао (Ciao)
How are you? – Как сте? (Kak ste?)
Good, thank you. What about you? – Добре съм, благодаря. А Вие? (Dobre sam, blagodarya. A vie?)
What’s your name? – Как се казваш? (Kak se kazvash?)
My name is … – Аз се казвам … (Az se kazvam … )
Where are you from? – Откъде си? (Otkade si?)
How much is this? – Колко струва? (Kolko struva?)
Thank you – Благодаря (Blagodarya) / Мерси (Merci)
Please – Моля (Molya) Yes – да (Da)
No – Не (Ne)
Help! – Помощ! (Pomosht!)
I don’t understand – Не разбирам (Ne razbiram)
Excuse me – Извинете (Izvinete)
Excuse me, do you speak English? – Извинете, говорите ли английски? (Izvinete, govorite li angliiski?)
Excuse me, where is…? – Извинете, къде е…? (Izvinete, kade e…?)
Love – Любов (Lyubov)
Strength – Сила (Sila)
Health – Здраве (Zdrave)
Welcome – Добре дошли (Dobre doshli)A BIT OF HISTORY OF BULGARIA
Bulgaria, situated in the south-eastern part of Europe, and in the eastern part of the Balkan Peninsula, has been a land of many ancient civilizations and great peoples, all anxious to leave marks of their turbulent history. It was founded in 681 AC.
For centuries, the roads passing through the territory of our country have been connecting Europe to Asia and Africa. Four common European transport corridors, connecting Western and Northern Europe with the Eastern and Southern part of the continent, cross their roads right here. Various cultures, historical periods and ideologies, last of which was communism, have also left their marks on people and the land, nowadays shaping a country of contrasting social realities (especially between the cities and the villages) and shifting identities (affected by the Western culture, from one side, and from the Russian influence, from the other).
Bulgaria is a beautiful land of many cultural treasures, and with a huge biodiversity, (especially birds and bats J) shaped by a seaside, high mountain peaks and lowlands.
Language – Bulgarian; Population – around 7,1 million people.
1. Bulgarians shake their heads to mean yes and nod for no, so don’t be confused while talking with locals!
2. Lactobacillus Bulgaricus is the bacterium found only in Bulgarian air and provides an unique flavour for Bulgarian yoghurt. Make sure to eat enough of this yoghurt during your stay as it exists only in territory of Bulgaria!
3. The Bulgaria’s “Rose Valley” is a major producer of the world’s rose oil which is used as a component in most perfumes.
4. The gold treasure which was discovered in the Varna Necropolis is the oldest one in the world.
5. The Bulgarian folk song Izlel Je Delio Hagdutin has been sent to open space together with Bach’s and Mozart’s greatest works since 1977 when the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 probes left the Earth. If you want to hear it, follow the link.
6. The Cyrillic alphabet was invented in the 9th century AD by the two most famous Bulgarian monks ever to have lived – Cyril and Methodius. Hence, Bulgaria brought the world the Cyrillic alphabet which today is used in Russia, Balkans and other Slavic nations.
7. Bulgarian villages are known for the Kukeri rituals that are practised around the New Year’s time. Kukeri are costumed Bulgarian man with decorated wooden masks of animals and large bells attached to the belt. Usually they walk and dance through village in order to scare away evil spirits and to provide a good harvest, health and happiness, throughout the year.
8. The first social enterprise in Bulgaria was founded in Plovdiv in 1926 by the entrepreneur Dimitar Kudoglu. It was called Home of health – a medical center, where refugees and local people were treated for free.

Your stay will be quite intense and short, but still we’d like to offer you the opportunity of joyful abundance. Be sure to have healthy rest-time ;)

Tourist info center
22 Tsar Osvoboditel Blvd (in the underpass of St Kliment Ohridski Sofia University)
Open from 9:30 am to 6 pm from Monday to Friday

Sofia is Bulgaria’s capital and its largest city. Founded thousands of years ago, today the city continues to develop as the country’s cultural and economic center. At present, the city has a population of 1,250,000. Sofia is located in the western part of the country, on The Sofia Plain and on the lower slopes of Mount Vitosha.

Psst…And here is the secret map of Sofia.

One of the symbols not just of Sofia but of Bulgaria itself, this massive, awe-inspiring church was built between 1882 and 1912 in memory of the 200,000 Russian soldiers who died fighting for Bulgaria’s independence during the Russo-Turkish War (1877–78). It is named in honour of a 13th-century Russian warrior-prince.

The history of Sofia is presented on two floors of the magnificent former Turkish Mineral Baths, just behind the mosque. Exhibitions are divided thematically over eight chambers, with the most interesting rooms dedicated to the Bulgarian royal families of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the findings of recent archeological digs around town. There are plenty of signs in English.

This remarkable, partly covered excavation site, situated just above the Serdika metro station, displays the remains of the Roman city, Serdica, that once occupied this area. The remains were unearthed from 2010 to 2012 during construction of the metro. There are fragments of eight streets, an early Christian basilica, baths and houses dating from the 4th to 6th centuries.

Lying southeast of the city centre, Sofia’s most attractive park is filled with countless statues and flowerbeds and is a relaxing place for a stroll. It’s a vast place, and is home to the Vasil Levski 5 Stadium and CSKA Stadium, as well as several cafes and children’s play areas.

Sofia’s vast concert hall dates from 1981 and houses countless chambers, as well as music clubs and cafes. It watches over an elongated park known as pl Bulgaria. At the northern end of the park is the disintegrating 1300 Years Monument, built in 1981 to celebrate the anniversary of the creation of the First Bulgarian Empire.

This theatre is Bulgaria’s biggest theatre, as well as the oldest and most stand out and most imposing theatre in the country. This theatre is one of the major landmarks in Sofia due to its prime location facing the city garden and grandiose architecture.


10.10 Tuesday

Това Не Е Хамлет / This Is Not Hamlet – an experimental play – 7 pm at Sfumato theater laboratory

Премиера на “Да обичаш дивото” с монголско гърлено пеене – the first presentation of a book about travelling in Mongolia / with throat singing session – 8 pm

Канвас и Вино – a therapeutical drawing session with a glass of wine included – 6.30 pm

11.10 Wednesday
Вечерен акт в Етюд – a free live drawing session with models – 6.30 pm

Композиция във Фотографията: отворена вечерна лекция – an open lecture about the composition in photography – 7.15 pm

Stand-up Comedy Marcel Lucont at The Comedy Club Sofia – 9.30 pm

12.10 Thursday

Паякът / The Spider – an experimental play – 7 pm at Sfumato theater laboratory

The Blue Side Of Jazz – 9.30 pm

Merudia – Live at Stroeja – 12 October 2017 – a concert of ethno fusion Bulgarian band – 10.30 pm

13.10 Friday

Street Wisdom: Градът като събеседник 2 – a sensory experiencing of Sofia – 6 pm

Science PARTY / Машина на времето – a party at the Museum of science – 7.30 pm

Ден на доброволчеството в “Младост” – day of volunteering in one of the old Sofia neighbourhoods

14.10 Saturday

Mish Mash Fest – Autumn edition – two-day festival of designed handmade accessories

VII Фестивал на виното в Bulgaria Mall – a two-day festival of wine

Есенен Базар На Изкуствата/14-15 октомври – an autumn bazaar of handicraft

15.10 Sunday

Есенен Базар На Изкуствата/14-15 октомври – an autumn bazaar of handicraft

Витоша: От Кладница до Живата вода – a 8h guided walk in Mointain Vitosha above Sofia :)

The lunchs and coffee breaks during the whole Partner Forum are provided by Multu Kulti Collective, EMPATHeat dinner – by Bulgarian Foodcoop (Hrankoop) and all dinners – different local restaurants or local homes.
Multi Kulti Collective is one of the leading Bulgarian NGOs working on migrant integration, community development and solidarity. Founded in 2011, it started in Sofia and then it grew as a social franchise in the 7 biggest Bulgarian cities. It works both at grass root and policy level and many of its projects are featured as best practices and social innovations at national and EU level. To be more sustainable it develops its own social enterprise empowering migrants and refugees. Most of the services provided are food-related – catering, cooking classes, culinary team buildings hosted by professional chefs from all over the world. Multi Kulti Collective is pleased to provide catering with authentic cuisine from 11 countries for the TANDEM meeting in Sofia. Hope you will enjoy it!