Many people might not know but Sofia is one of the greenest capitals in Europe. This is partly due to knyaz Ferdinand and his wife and their love of plants and botanicals. There are many gardens in the heart of the city but one of the most beautiful is almost behind the city borders.
The palace Vrana was home to the Bulgarian ruling family. The park which surrounds the palace is huge – almost 1,000 sq. km. After the communist years the palace and the park were returned to the last Bulgarian Tsar, who decided to donate Vrana to the city of Sofia.
The park is home to more than 400 plant species and is very well-kept. It is very interesting to see some plants from all over the world brought here by the royal family and other people of that time. There is a free guided tour every hour which explains the history of the palace and gives some interesting information about the plants.
Vrana is a preserved area so you are only allowed to walk on the paths and sit on the benches. This could be quite difficult keeping in mind how spectacular the green color of the grass is and the dense shade of the big trees which are nearly inviting you to just lay on the grass and relax.
Park Vrana is equally fabulous in every season – in the autumn with its warm colors that give it a magical look and in summer it’s like a chill oasis.