The Crystal Garden is a lively, colourful, and cheerful place that gathers crowds of young Sofians between several of Sofia’s most central streets. Close to some of the city’s most iconic theatres on Rakovski Street, as well as the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, it becomes a hub for outdoor parties in the summer. The garden preserves the spirit of the iconic restaurant of the same name, Crystal, which no longer exists but used to gather many of the famous personalities of the Bulgarian bohemia in the 80s and 90s. Keeping the tradition alive, the Crystal Garden today brings together the city’s contemporary bohemians and young people who work mainly in the cinema, advertising, and contemporary creative industries of Sofia.
Crystal hides more interesting stories and secrets – back in 1914, the location was intended to house the People’s Museum and the People’s Library. An excavation was made for the building, but the wars that followed prevented the construction. Construction of the magnificent War Club building followed, and the hole found its perfect calling as a hill in a garden adjacent to it.
Today, this relief is iconic and has become a favourite picnic spot or lay in the grass for Crystal visitors. That’s why one of the most enjoyable activities for Sofians at any time of the day is to spend some lazy time with friends sitting on a bench or on the grass while enjoying a warm coffee or a cold beer.
#soSofia tip: You can send off the working day with a drink in the bar in front of the former Crystal restaurant or sit with friends for a beer on a bench and observe the passers-by…