Having fun and relaxing are both important parts of everyday life in Bulgaria. As a nation, we are famous for our hospitality and good taste when it comes to partying, so during your stay in the country, you should definitely visit one of the many bars and clubs. I want to introduce you to some of the best clubs to party like a local in Sofia: Yalta Club and Once Upon a Time Biblioteka.
Yalta is a famous Bulgarian club for electronic music and is the first club ever in the country, opened in 1959. Even in the years of socialism (lasted until 1989), Yalta was the place to be when it came to parties.
After 1989, Bulgaria started opening its borders for connection with other cultures, so it became easier for local clubs to host parties with foreign DJs. Chad Jackson, the 1987 DMC world champion, visited Yalta in 1992 and showed his skills to make a perfect atmosphere to his local fans. Throughout the years, many other famous international DJs have stood behind the decks at Yalta, such as Victor Calderone, Timo Maas, Roger Sanchez, Hernan Cattaneo. Moreover, all the big Bulgarian names in electronic music have started their careers here. Yalta is one of DJ MAG`s top 100 best clubs, and has been in that position for many years.
In 2005, the club reopened with a new, modern look, and has been updating that look ever since. The goal is for the guests to feel like they are attending a private party in the heart of the capital city – the venue is located in the centre of Sofia, near Sofia University.
Yalta Club is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 11 p.m. until 6 a.m. It offers a wide range of cocktails and other alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Important to note here is that in Yalta Club you can pay with card, while in most clubs in the country, such as Once Upon a Time Biblioteka, the payments are still in cash, in the local currency (BGN or "lev"). The dress-code here is “dressy”, which can best be described as something between casual and formal attire.
Yalta Club hosts events with local and foreign DJs, as well as themed parties, such as a famous annual Halloween one.
This club, too, has a long history and is worth visiting because of the quality of experience it offers. The music genres played here are pop, disco, hip-hop, R`n`B, soul, retro, funk, house, and many more. Therefore, this is the place to be if you want to party like a local and prefer world music.
The building used to be a local library, which then closed and was put to an auction - hence the name. "Biblioteka" is the Bulgarian word for the library. The current owner bought and renovated it while preserving its atmosphere. The garden next to it, built in the end of the 19th century by King Ferdinand I of Bulgaria, would have also been destroyed if the library wasn’t preserved.
The entry for the club is 10 BGN. The perks here include a parking, security, cloak room, video surveillance, Wi-Fi.
It is open Fridays and Saturdays from 10 p.m. until 7 a.m. while the garden area is open every day from 9 a.m. until midnight. The menu in the garden includes salads, meat and veggie dishes, as well as desserts and various types of drinks – something for every taste, created with love and care with fresh local products.
Both Yalta Club and Once Upon a Time Biblioteka have interesting historical backgrounds, and are worth visiting, even for the sake of preserving the memory of the stories behind their origins. Moreover, they are both one of the best iconic clubs in Bulgaria that offer world-famous DJs, great atmosphere, and great food and drinks. Visit them and see for yourself how locals party in Sofia!
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