Where to Drink Craft Beer in Skopje

Daniel and I visited Skopje in mid-July. They sun was shining and the city was hot, so we decided to do what we do best: spend the day drinking craft beer in Skopje.

As you can probably guess, there isn’t a booming craft beer scene in Skopje yet, but there are still some great breweries and bars to try. If you’re passing through the city here are the top three places to drink craft beer in Skopje.


The Old Town Brewery

Location: Str. Gradishte 1Skoplje 1000, Republika Makedonija
More Info Here

The Old Town Brewery is the best place for craft beer in Skopje because not only is it the first craft beer brewery in the city, but also the only one! The place is called the Old Town Brewery, and the beer brand made here is called Temov.

It was opened in 2009 and is located in the Old Bazaar, which means it’s perfect for a refreshing stop in the beer garden while you explore the cobblestone streets and colorful shops.

When we visited, the Old Town Brewery had six different beers on tap and covered all the basics, including an IPA, a lager, a pilsner, and more. I had a hazy wheat beer, which was refreshing in the summer heat, and Daniel tried the seasonal smoked IPA. We enjoyed the shaded outdoor beer garden, and prices started at 120 mkd / 2 euros per pint.


Old Town Brewery in Skopje



Location: 11th October, Square Macedonia, Skopje 1000, Macedonia (FYROM)
More Info Here

I was a little confused about this craft beer bar at first, so let me explain. Kolective is a second location for the Old Town Brewery. You may also see it called the Pvinica Temov (and the Old Town Brewery shows up as Pivnica Star Grad) on Google maps when you’re searching for craft beer in Skopje, but they are one in the same.

Kolective doesn’t brew the own beer, but they serve the Temov craft beer that’s made in the Old Town Brewery. So… why should you visit both?

Honestly, Kolective and the Old Town Brewery are totally different experiences. Where Old Town Brewery is kind of rustic and ramshakle in the winding streets of the bazaar, Kolective is new, modern, and chic, located right in the main square. Interestingly, they even had completely different beer menus and options to try.

Best of all, Kolective also has flights… kind of. The sampler is 650 mkd / 10.5 euros and comes with six beers. They’re each .3 liters though (basically, the size of a beer can) so it’s a lot of beer. Definitely plan to split this with a partner or you’ll be very drunk, drinking super warm beer, or both.

In our flight we tried a Double IPA, a melon beer, the wheat beer, a strawberry beer, the milky way vanilla beer, and a porter. We enjoyed the porter and IPA the most, but the others were interesting to try as well. Because Kolective offers more variety with their craft beer options, I recommend a stop here if you can only visit one place while in Skopje.


Kolective Craft Beer in Skopje


Special Beer Bar Cosy

Location:  Kosturski Heroi 4, Skopje 1000, Macedonia (FYROM)
More Info Here

If you’ve had your fill of Macedonian brews but still want to drink more craft beer in Skopje, the Special Beer Bar Cosy is the place. True to it’s name, this place is cosy and has the feel of a local dive.

The extensive beer list is mostly bottles from different craft breweries and we enjoyed everything that we tried. If you’re going to be in the city for awhile, you can also check their Facebook page for upcoming events hosted here or catch the Trivia Night every Wednesday.

No crowds, awesome music, and the location outside of the city center (but still in a lively area of town) make the Special Beer Bar Cosy worth exploring. It was nice to see more of Skopje during our short stay and of course enjoy a few more craft beers as well!


Special Beer Bar Cosy in Skopje


If you’re looking for craft beer in Skopje, this list has you covered. The Old Town Brewery, Kolective, and the Special Beer Bar Cosy all offer different experiences to cater to whatever kind of night (or day) that you have in mind.

Enjoy sampling the craft beer in Skopje, and have a drink for me while you do!


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Collect memories, not things. 

How to Spend 24 Lazy Hours in Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Our 24 hours in Plovdiv were pretty chill. It’s our last weekend in the country, so I wasn’t trying to do anything crazy.

I had heard for all seven weeks leading up to our visit, from every Bulgarian that I met, that Plovdiv was better and more beautiful than Sofia. Safe to say, I was dying to see if the hype was true (spoiler alert: it was).

Want to spend 24 hours in Plovdiv without breaking a sweat? If so, you’ve come to the right place. For a quick, lazy, thoroughly enjoyable visit to Bulgaria’s capital of culture, use this guide below!


How to Get to Plovdiv From Sofia

Traveling to Plovdiv was the easiest of all three weekend trips that I took during my stay here. Busses run every hour at least (but actually more) so you can show up to the Central Bus Station and grab one pretty much whenever you decide to roll out of bed. The ride is only 2 hours, so there’s no need for an early morning in my opinion.

One-way tickets from Sofia to Plovdiv cost 14 lev / 8 usd per person and you can see the exact timetable here. Just a quick tip: the Plovdiv ticket booth isn’t with the rest of them. Instead, you have to buy your ticket from Sofia to Plovdiv at the counter next to the INFO booth by the doors.


Old Town of Plovdiv, Bulgaria


What to Do for 24 Hours in Plovdiv

So, Daniel and I arrived in Plovdiv around 2 pm and it was HOT. We walked to our hostel in the center and dropped off our bags, and then got to exploring. Check out this list of everything we got up to during our 24 hours in Plovdiv.


Walk Through the Garden of Tsar Simeon and Sit by the Fountains

One thing I really love about Bulgaria is how green the cities are. Every one we’ve visited has had really nice parks, and Plovdiv is no different. Stretch your legs after being cramped on the bus with a walk through the Garden of Tsar Simeon.

The park is large and shaded, and you can sit and enjoy the Singing Fountains. I’m guessing they’re called this because there’s some type of show that happens here at night, but like I said, this is a lazy 24 hours in Plovdiv and I couldn’t be bothered to figure it out.


Visit the Kapana District & Try Some Street Food

I love street food, so when I spied fried dough (funnel cakes for you Americans out there) in a bakery case on the main pedestrian street, I wasn’t about to pass it up. After filling up, we walked around the adorable and totally insta-worthy Kapana District.

This artsy hipster area used to be completely trashed in 2011, but now it’s going through a revival for Plovdiv European Capital of Culture in 2019. There are tons of galleries, shops, cafes, bars, and more to peek your head inside and snap a few pics of. Here we stopped for smoothies and a raw, vegan, sugar-free snickers bar… that was actually delicious. I know, I was surprised too.

There were also bubble waffles, gelato, and so many other places that looked great, so wander through here and stop for a snack at whatever looks good to you!


Kapana District in Plovdiv, Bulgaria


Walk Up the Danov Hill

Ok, I only did this because it was like three steps from my hostel and you can definitely skip it. However, I did get a couple nice pictures from the top of this short climb, so check it out if you have time.

It takes only a couple minutes to get to the top and there are a lot of places to sit and chill with a view of the city. If you have some snacks (see above) this is also a great place for a picnic!



Take the Free Walking Tour

The free walking tour is great because you can pretty much cross everything off your Plovdiv to-do list at once. Daniel and I met up with Maria from the Bulgarian Mermaid blog and did the 6 pm summer tour. (Oct. to April the tour is at 2 pm). The 2 hour tour is ideal in the evening when the weather is cooler and we saw the Kapana District again, the Old Town, and even climbed to the Nebet Tepe viewpoint for photos over the city in the evening light.


Visit the Nebet Tepe View Point

If you DON’T do the tour, you should still climb up this hill at sunset. You can see the surrounding Rhodope Mountains, three hills, and the city of Plovdiv laid out below you. Everyone knows climbing to a viewpoint is a staple for any 24 hour trip in Europe, and when you’re in Plovdiv, Nebet Tepe is the place.


Nebet Tepe viewpoint in Plovdiv


Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

I only spent 24 hours in Plovdiv so I didn’t try everything, but the food we did eat was consistently delicious.

If you like Turkish food, definitely get dinner at Sofra. The platters come with chicken, beef, lamb, or sausage, thin tortillas, veggies, and rice. I got the wings and it was seriously some of the best meat I’ve ever had. Plus the giant plate was only 10 lev / 6 usd so it was a great deal too. Sofra doesn’t serve alcohol but reviews say you can BYOB, so this is a perfect place to save money and enjoy a great dinner outside in the Kapana District.

Afterward, some of the cutest and coziest bars in Plovdiv are the the Cat and Mouse craft beer bar, the Barber & Cat Bar  and the The Reading Room. However, you really can’t go wrong just wandering through the Kapana District and sitting down wherever strikes your fancy.


Smoke Shisha

When in Bulgaria, do as the Bulgarians do. And the Bulgarians love to smoke shisha. When I don’t want a pounding hangover the next day but also don’t want to head back to a hostel early, I like to stop and smoke shisha for an hour or two.

We went to the Kaya Shisha Place on the main pedestrian road. Here they have a rooftop balcony with a great view of the city at night and pretty good shisha too. We paid 25 lev / 15 usd for a hookah and two 500 ml Stella beers.


Finish Your 24 Hours in Plovdiv with Breakfast

So, the night ends, go home, sleep in, and then it’s time for breakfast. I don’t know if you know, but Americans are in love with breakfast. Unfortunately, many cultures don’t share the same affinity with us, so when we’re traveling a great breakfast place is hard to come by. Luckily, in Plovdiv that isn’t the case.

If you want to end your lazy 24 hours in Plovdiv with a tasty breakfast, Eddy’s Cafe is the place. We had two giant crepes with cheddar, eggs, bacon, tomato, and chive, two coffees, and a fresh orange juice for 25 lev / 15 usd. The cafe also has shaded outdoor seating and a cozy and quiet ambiance. Perfect.


How to Get from Plovdiv to Sofia

Ready to head back home?

The walk from Eddy’s Cafe to the South Bus Station is 25 minutes, so we opted to skip the taxi and work off our breakfast crepes. Just like the way here, the busses from Plovdiv to Sofia run every hour and even on the half hour at busy times. We showed up at 12:26 and snagged the last two seats on the 12:30 bus home. Total score.

Just keep in mind when you’re looking for the ticket booth, walk in the front doors, straight through the station, and out the back. Then the ticket office will be on your right – it looks like they sell international trips to Istanbul, but they have ’em to Sofia too.


What Else Should You do in 24 Hours in Plovdiv?

If you’re looking for more to do in the city, here’s some extra stuff you can easily add to your trip to Plovdiv.

Stop in and take moment to walk around the Church of St. Constantine and Helena in the Old Town, and the Dzhumaya Mosque on the pedestrian street. This is right by the ruins of the Roman Stadium, so take a few minutes to walk down into this reconstructed piece of history as well. You can also see more that were discovered in the basement  of the H&M on the main street, which they preserved to take a peek at while shopping!

If I had more time in Plovdiv, I definitely would have gone hiking in the Rhodope Mountains or even visited the Valley of the Thracian Kings. You can also see a show at the ancient Roman Theater, climb up to the Alyosha Monument, visit the Devil’s Bridge for nice pictures, or just walk through the Old Town more, enjoying the quiet streets, colorful homes, and history of the city!


old town of Plovdiv, Bulgaria


Plovdiv is a perfect weekend trip from Sofia. It’s only 2 hours away by bus and such a different experience than the capital city. Plovdiv is more beautiful and more walkable. There are plenty of view points for picturesque shots of the city and lots of great food and drinks to try.

If you don’t have much time in Bulgaria, use this guide to spend a lazy 24 hours chilling in the city. It’s going to be the European Cultural Capital in 2019 and is undergoing some serious changes for the better. Because of that, I had an awesome time in Plovdiv and definitely recommend a quick trip to the city next time you pass through!


PS Looking for more to see and do in Bulgaria? Go hiking at the 7 Rila Lakes, visit the charming cliffside town of Veliko Tarnovo, or take a trip to Sozopol Beach on the Black Sea! 

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Collect memories, not things. 

The 17 Best Instagram Spots Around Sofia, Bulgaria

Are you looking for the best Instagram spots around Sofia? If so, you’re definitely in the right place.

After living in the capital city for seven weeks, I found 17 amazing Instagram spots around Sofia and throughout Bulgaria as well.

I take my insta game very seriously (as you should) so rest assured that all of these will be hits. Just browse the list below for all the best photo spots around Sofia and beyond and then pick your favorite picture perfect shots for your visit! Each one outside of the city center also comes with a complete guide on where it is, how to get there, and more, so traveling around Sofia for photos has never been easier.

PS if you use this list to make your Instagram shine, tag me in the photos @slight_north ’cause I’d love to see them!


The Sofia Regional History Museum

Where: Sofia City Center
Nearby Instagram Spots Around Sofia: St. George Rotunda

The Sofia Regional History Museum


Dusk at the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Where: Sofia City Center
Nearby Instagram Spots Around Sofia: The Russian Church

The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia


Dusk at the St. George Rotunda ruins

Where: Sofia City Center
Nearby Instagram Spots Around Sofia: Sofia Regional History Museum

St. George Rotunda, the oldest ruins in Sofia


The Colorful Side Streets of Sofia

Where: Sofia City Center

The colorful side streets in Sofia


Largo (the former Communist Party Headquarters)

Where: Sofia City Center
Nearby Instagram Spots Around Sofia: the Sofia Regional History Museum

Largo Communist Party Headquarters in Sofia, Bulgaria


Ivan Vazov National Theater

Where: Sofia City Center
Nearby Instagram Spots Around Sofia: Largo Former Communist Headquarters

Ivan Vazov National Theater in Sofia, Bulgaria


The View Restaurant

Where: Sofia City Center
Learn More

the view restaurant is one of the best photo spots around sofia


The Russian Church

Where: Sofia City Center
Nearby Instagram Spots Around Sofia: The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

The Russian Church in Sofia, Bulgaria


Animal Rescue Sofia

Location: 30 minutes from Sofia
Learn More

volunteering with puppies at Animal Rescue Sofia


Kamen Del View Point

Location: 45 minutes from Sofia
Nearby photo spots around Sofia: Aleko Hut
How to Get There

view of Sofia from Kamen Del


Hiking at Aleko Hut

Where: 45 minutes from Sofia
Nearby Photo Spots Around Sofia: Kamen Del View Point
How to Get There

hiking in Sofia on Vitosha Mountain


Hiking at the Seven Rila Lakes

Location: 1.5 hours from Sofia
How to Get There

Hiking at the 7 Rila Lakes in Bulgaria


The Kapana District in Plovdiv

Location: 2 hours from Sofia
How to Get There

The Kapana arts district in Plovdiv


Nebet Tepe Hill in Plovdiv

Location: 2 hours from Sofia
How to Get There

view point in Plovdiv


The Old Town of Veliko Tarnovo

Where: 3 hours from Sofia
Nearby Photo Spots: Tsarevets Fortress
How to Get There

Veliko Tarnovo, a cliffside town in Bulgaria


Tsarevets Fortress

Where: 3 hours from Sofia
Nearby Photo Spots: Veliko Tarnovo Old Town
Learn More

Tsarevets Fortress in Veliko Tarnovo


Sozopol on the Black Sea

Where: 6 hours from Sofia
How to Get There

Sozopol Beach in Bulgaria


If you’re visiting Bulgaria and love to take photos, you’re in luck. I was surprised to find that pretty much everywhere in the country is picturesque and perfect for the Instagram fiend in you.

So, use this list to discover the 17 best Instagram spots around Sofia and beyond, and enjoy the beauty of Bulgaria along the way 🙂


PS I know, I know, photography makes my hungry too. Check out the 9 best cheap restaurants in Sofia and then finish your hard day’s work with the complete guide to craft beer in Sofia!

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Slight North

Collect memories, not things. 

5 Essential Resources for Digital Nomads in Sofia

I’ve been living in Bulgaria for seven weeks now and have been slowly discovering some awesome resources for digital nomads in Sofia.

These are people and companies that you need to know about in the city. This roundup includes travel apps, hiking sites, free trips, meet ups, and more. If you live here or are planning to visit soon, bookmark this list of five essential resources for digital nomads in Sofia, because I guarantee you’ll want to use it!


5 Essential Resources for Digital Nomads in Sofia

This list has something for any kind of traveler. Even if you’re just passing through and not sticking around in Sofia for long, there are definitely some helpful sites to make your trip more fun. Meet people, discover hidden places, and simplify your stay with these five resources.


1. TravelSmart

Best for: Cheap domestic and international flights
More Info Here

The Travel Smart website was started by Martin over three years ago. I met him at a travel blogger meet up in Sofia and was really bummed I didn’t know about his website sooner!

Travel Smart is perfect for digital nomads in Sofia who want to save money while exploring the world. Martin finds the crazy cheap flights, both within the country and internationally, and then publishes them daily on the site. Just this week they had fares from Sofia to Jordan for 47 euros round trip, flights to Israel for 37 euros, and flights to Russia for only 89 euros.

Travel Smart also pairs the flights with hotel deals in the destination city, so your trip is pretty much planned for you. Thanks Martin!


2. IvoTravelling

Best for: Free trips!
More Info Here

I also met Ivaylo at a travel blogger meet up in Sofia and love what he does. In 2016 he wanted to go on a trip, but it was too expensive to go alone. So, he posted on Facebook to ask if anyone wanted to join… and 18 people showed up! That’s when his idea was born.

Now he created a Facebook page where he hosts free trips every week around Bulgaria and the surrounding countries. Of course, you need to pay your way on transport and buy food for yourself, but this is still an amazing resource to help you get to the far away and unknown places in the area. Plus, you get to meet fun people along the way.

Trips are usually planned and listed a month or two in advance, so just join the IvoTravelling Facebook group to see whats coming up next!


3. Trips Journal

Best for: Hiking routes around the country
More Info Here

Trips Journal is another cool blog from the meet up. Panayot started it in 2014 and it has become a go-to resource for nature lovers throughout the country. The website is a great resource for avid hikers (like me) looking to get beyond the common routes like Vitosha Mountain or the 7 Rila Lakes.

How does it work? Trips Journal crowd sources not just the best hiking routes in Bulgaria, but all of the hiking routes. People can actually upload their GPS coordinates from their treks, so there are tons of different options to browse. Check it out to see all of the nature and beauty around Sofia, and then get out there and explore it yourself!


4. Meetup

Best for: Entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts
More Info Here

I’ve known about this website for awhile but never used it. Until now, that is.

Meetup is a great resource for digital nomads in Sofia because this city has an awesome startup scene. Because of that, there are actually a lot of tech talks and events with prominent founders and entrepreneurs (and yes, most of them are held in English).

Of course, there’s also the usual board game meet ups as well (I went to one and it was great) so this resource will help digital nomads in Sofia get imspired or get social, whatever you’re looking for at the moment.


5. Travel Bloggers Bulgaria – ASTOM

Best for: Travel bloggers in Sofia
More Info Here

If you don’t blog about it, were you even traveling at all? I’m just kidding of course, but I know there’s a huge overlap between travel bloggers and digital nomads in Sofia so I think many of you can put this resource to good use.

You can also join the Travel Bloggers for Bulgaria Facebook group to find events in the city, like the recent meet up I attended with over 200 Bulgarian travel bloggers and enthusiasts. They also share info about other get togethers you might be interested in, like an annual fall blogger’s retreat in the mountains, workshops on digital marketing, and more.

My friend Maria from Travelling Buzz has really pulled the travel blogging community in Bulgaria together, and it was fun to be a part of it even if it was only for a short time. I made some great connections and wish I could stick around for more!


I know these resources for digital nomads in Sofia will help you save money, explore more, and travel better during your stay in the country. Whether you’re here for a few weeks or a few years, the websites and the people behind them are essential for anyone who wants to discover another layer to the city and make the most of their time as a digital nomad in Sofia.

Check them out, and comment below if you have any more recommendations that I missed!


PS Visit the Bulgaria guide to see more of my own experience as a digital nomad in Sofia, including the complete guide to craft beer in the city, how to volunteer at an animal shelter, and so much more. If you’re still on the road to location independence, explore the Working Abroad series for step-by-step guides to turn that dream into a reality.

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Collect memories, not things. 

Meet Dogs & Do Good When You Volunteer in Sofia

Do you want to volunteer in Sofia?

Whether you’re a traveler or a local, I know just the place for you. I’m a total dog lover, so when I found out how easy it is to volunteer in the city at the Animal Rescue Sofia, I knew I had to share with you all as well!

Here’s everything you need to know to meet adorable dogs, do good, and spend a day volunteering in the city!


Where to Volunteer in Sofia

The Animal Rescue Sofia is a great place to start. The dog shelter is on the outskirts of the city and so far they’ve re-homed over 5,000 dogs. Seriously awesome. Partnerships with other EU countries mean they find homes for the dogs in Germany, Holland, and the Netherlands along with the families here in Bulgaria.

The main mission at Animal Rescue Sofia, beyond adoption, is to rescue the sick and hurt dogs in Sofia. They are one of the only shelters who take in pregnant moms and puppies, and they work hard to help the animals that are the most in need.

Animal Rescue Sofia is made up of a clinic, a ranch, and a farm sanctuary (where we volunteered). The Farm Shelter is located here and it’s about a 30 minute drive from Sofia city center. If you don’t have a car (like us) you can take a bus or taxi, but the easiest option is to post in the Animal Rescue Facebook Page where you can connect with other volunteers and get a ride out with them.



When to Volunteer in Sofia

Animal Rescue Sofia makes it really easy to give back. They have “Volunteer Walks” every Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm, and you can join for some or all of the time.

Simply show up, read the rules, and then it’s time to meet the dogs! Each one needs a 30-minute walk and lots of love and attention, because this is all the time they get out of their cages every week.

I stayed from 11 to 2:30 and met quite a few dogs, but my favorite was Dadi. He was blind, derpy, and beyond adorable, and it seriously broke my hear to put him back in his cage and leave him behind.

By the way – if you’re a large group you can also arrange to come walk the dogs during the week. Just contact the Animal Rescue ahead of time to set up an appointment.


volunteering in Sofia at Animal Rescue Sofia


What Else Can You Do To Show Support?

As with any animal shelter, donations can go a long way to help the rescue pay for food, medicine, vaccines, vet bills, upkeep, and more. Click here to make a donation or you can explore the website to purchase things off their shelter wishlist, foster pups, or find other volunteer opportunities.

Of course, they are also always looking for forever homes for the dogs as well, so if you’ve been considering adding a new member to your family visit Animal Rescue Sofia to find the perfect match!


puppy at Animal Rescue Sofia


Volunteering in Sofia at Animal Rescue Sofia was one of the highlights on my two-month stay in the city. The animals will break your heart and then mend it again in 100 different ways. It’s tough to see them without the love they deserve, but at least we can go for a day and make a small difference in their lives.

Join their Volunteer Walks every weekend and meet some of the most adorable dogs in the city, you definitely won’t regret it.


PS looking for more to do in the city? Check out our Bulgaria page for the complete guide, where you’ll find articles like The Complete Guide to Craft Beer in Sofia, learn How to Hike to Kamen Del for the Best View of Sofia, and so much more!

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Collect memories, not things. 

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