Sofia’s social life, due to the very distinct seasons in Bulgaria, is somehow organized around the weather conditions – in winter we find cozy bars to drink mulled wine and listen to music, while in summer we soak up the fresh air in the parks and gardens as much as possible. Maimunarnika is my personal favorite, as it is probably the best open air space to listen live to some underground Bulgarian (and foreign) musicians.
Literally translated in English, Maimunarnika means “the place for monkeys”. Its location in the heart of Borisova garden makes it great for extending a calm afternoon in the park into a wild open-air concert evening. The genres of music you can hear here vary from hip hop through punk and ska to jungle, alternative and many more. Every summer different festivals are organized, such as mini circus art fest, craft beers and burgers fest, graffiti and comics fest, etc. Maimunarnika has another perk as well – inside it you can find a BBQ place which makes some of the best meatballs in town, as well as other great small bites to compliment your menta (the ultimate Bulgarian summer drink).
If you are looking for a little diversity to the popular music played in bars I think this is definitely the best summer choice in Sofia. Tickets are sold at the door, bring some form of ID as well, as security might want to check your age.