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Liverpool fans’ guide to Ludogorets Razgrad (Sofia)

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and Supporters Direct merged to become the FSA in 2019 – so this page may contain hyperlinks that do not work and/or have missing files. Our archived pages are not maintained and will not be updated.

If you are seeking a document regarding training or the development of your supporters’ organisation, please visit the live training and resource section of our website. if you need further assistance email: [email protected]

These FSF guides are intended to offer a quick snapshot of advice and info for fans ahead of their trips to Europe – if you have any specific questions about the city, how to get there, where to stay or anything else then simply email us your questions. Through our extensive network of contacts at Football Supporters Europe and experience of travelling across Europe ourselves, we will be able to answer just about any query you have. 

About the Stadium

Due to their ground not meeting Uefa requirements, Ludogorets will be playing their games at the Vasil Levski stadium, the Bulgarian national stadium. CSKA and city rivals Levski have both had to play there as their respective grounds don’t reach UEFA standards.

Both grounds are in Borisova Gradina (Boris’ Gardens) to the south-east of Sofia’s city centre. The Vasil Levski is a few hundred yards away from CSKA’s home stadium, and is closer to the city centre.

Liverpool fans are seated in block 43 and 44, sector G and should enter through entrances 23 and 24. Entrance is вход in Bulgarian. Disabled entrance is through entrance 1. To avoid missing the start of the match, get to the stadium early – entrances will open at 7.45pm, two hours before kick-off. Wheelchair disabled fans will be positioned on the front row to the right side of the team dugouts central area. Entrance is through the Main Central Number 1 entrance.

About Sofia

Sofia, situated at the foot of Mount Vitosha, is the capital of Bulgaria and home to around 1.4 million people. Settlements have existed on this site for thousands of years, and the oldest remaining parts of the old town walls date back to the 7th century BC.

While some buildings remain from medieval times, including the 10th century Boyana Church (a UNESCO World Heritage site), the majority of the city is dominated by late 19th century architecture.

Because we’re incredibly helpful souls at the FSF, we’ve produced you your very own Google Map of Sofia, showing major landmarks, squares, and of course the stadia that are mentioned throughout this guide. Please note that when indicating pubs, we have simply identified the road that they are on, and these may not be the exact locations for the watering holes. Still, it gives you a good idea.

If you get into trouble in Sofia, the contact details for the British Embassy are:

British Embassy Sofia, 9 Moskovska Street, Sofia 1000, Bulgaria
Telephone: +359 (0)2 9339 222 (also for out of hours emergencies)
Office hours: Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm

The city is home to scores of museums, churches and popular attractions, far too many to list here. Some of the highlights include the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral (pictured below), the Bulgarian National Assembly (Parliament building) on Narodno Sabranie Square, the National Theatre on Dyakon Ignatii Street, and theNational Palace of Culture on Bulgaria Square.

For the culture vultures there’s plenty of galleries, with large collections to be found at the National Gallery on Batenburg Square, and the NationalGallery for Foreign Art on Alexander Nevsky Square.

To chill out, we’d recommend the City Garden (the city’s oldest public space, open since 1872), or the Borisova Gradina where the stadium is located.

Sofia’s public transport consists of buses, trams, trolley buses and a metro line. Tickets cost 1 lev for a single trip, or 4 leva for a daily ticket, valid on all public transport. Most trams and buses stop around 11pm daily, and with the exception of one or two night lines, a taxi’s your only option for getting around the city late at night.

Taxis are plentiful, and a ride across town should rarely come to more than about 10 leva. Licensed taxis are all yellow. Be wary of unlicensed or unscrupulous operators who charge extortionate rates – fares per kilometre should be less than 1 lev.

Eating and Drinking

Pork features heavily in Bulgarian cooking (for historical reasons to do with tax during the days of the Ottoman Empire) and you’re sure to find a good range of stews and soups if you’re eating at a local restaurant.

Bulgaria is also well known for its wines, as well as rakia (alcoholic fruit-based spirits). Some of these can be pretty potent (up to 60%) so keep an eye out for them! The most local wines to Sofia come from the north of the country, and these are largely red wines, including the local Gamza.

Vitosha Boulevard, which is the main road that runs north/south from the centre of the city, is the central area for nightlife. The roads that run off Vitosha are packed with bars, cafés and clubs. If you want to head a bit further afield, Studenski grad in the south of the city (around the University) is similarly teeming with bars with a young crowd.

There is no restriction on licensing hours in Sofia, so you can buy alcohol 24 hours a day. If you’re a beer monster, you’ll want to try Zagorka or Kamenitza, the two most widely available local beers. The good news is they’re also much cheaper than the imported stuff.

Two bars that have been recommended to us by Fulham fans since their visit are Alehouse (42 Hristov Belchev Street) where you can pour your own beer from taps at your table, and the Mayors Bar Pri Kemta (by the Cathedral). This is a micro-brewery that serves excellent food and is open until late.

Even Sofia is not immune from the global spread of the Irish Bar. Check out Flannagan’s (part of the Radisson SAS Hotel) on Norodno Sabanie Square, or the Irish Harp on Sveta Sofia Street. There’s also McCarthy’s on Alabin Street, and JJ Murphy’s on Karnigradska Ulitsa.

Police Advice

A team of Merseyside Police Officers will be operationally deployed overseas for the FC Ludogorets v Liverpool FC football match being played in Sofia on Wednesday 26th November 2014. The officers are there at the invitation of the Bulgarian Police and have no powers whilst deployed. The primary function of the team is to advise the local police service and gather and disseminate information.

If you have any issues whilst you are at this match that you feel need bringing to the attention of the delegation, please telephone 0044 151 709 6010 (Merseyside Police Switch Board) and ask the call taker to email Constable 8070 Lee Lomax (Football Officer). Constable Lomax has access to his e mails and will return your call. If you have any issues that require consular advice please telephone the Foreign and Common Wealth Office on 0359 2933 9222

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