Today Krystal garden is one of the best places to enjoy the widespread peyka party (bench party) culture in Sofia – with its lush green grass and many convenient benches, it gets completely crowded once the weather warms up. It is definitely one of the top social spots for summer outdoor drinking, where I like going even without any meet-up arrangements, as I usually find some friends already hanging around with a beer in their hand.
However, what makes the garden so special for me is also the great view to the surrounding buildings – the yellow one opposite is the Military club, one of the oldest establishments in Sofia, built in 1907 on the place of the old military school. Next to it is the Russian church with its golden domes. I also admire the monument of Stefan Stambolov – a famous Bulgarian revolutionary and politician, who was brutally killed with a sword (hence the deep incisions in the sculpture). Behind it, locked between the two main boulevards, is one of the best places to sit in the garden – a vast shallow hole, covered in grass, which was dug in 1914 to house the foundations of the new National Library and Museum, never built there due to the following wars.
The small bar in the garden works all-year-round and is an alternative to the bench option, even though I would get a drink and take it outside to drink. After all, it is always better enjoying a drink with a view.