U.S. Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria
16 Kozyak St
Tel: +359 2 937 51 00
In an emergency telephone 112.
Violent crime is rare and, in spite of the media attention the occasional mafia-related crime gets, the days of street fights and shootings that Bulgaria was famous for years ago are now in the past.
Pickpockets and persistent beggars (sometimes working as a team) are the city’s major annoyance. Do not stop to engage in conversations and keep your belongings in a safe place.
Be especially careful in crowded markets and on public transportation. Do not carry large sums of money on you.
Sofia is a safe city for women, especially the central part of town. In fact, you will see quite a few women walking alone at night. Of course we recommend that you don’t!
Read more on safety of women travelers in Sofia.
Poorly-paved streets with open holes, missing manhole covers and icy pavements are, at least statistically speaking, the biggest safety concern. Watch your step!
Aggressive driving and hectic traffic is also an issue. Drivers in Sofia began stopping at pedestrian crossings only recently and still somewhat sporadically. Be very careful when crossing the street, especially at night!
Most of the street dogs (especially in the central part of town) are friendly, but in remote neighborhoods and at night, the danger of dog attack increases. Several deaths have been reported over the years.
Read more on street dogs in Sofia.
As everywhere large football crowds can become aggressive, so avoid the area of the stadium after a football match.
Political protests have become a part of daily life in the city in the last two years. So far they have proven peaceful.
The incidence of racially and ethnically motivated violence have been on the rise for several years, not without of the blessing of several right-wing parties. Violence peaked at the end of 2013 with several attacks reported each month!
Things have quieted down since then, but, still, we would recommend staying on well-lit streets and avoiding the area around Ladies’ market at night: most of the attacks took place in that part of town, frequented by immigrants and skinheads alike.