Overall, street rallies have been strictly non-violent so far and have not been shown to affect city life outside the few blocks of government buildings where the regular gatherings are. The venue and most of the hotels lie at a comfortable distance from that area. Traffic in Sofia is typically light in August when most students and working people choose to go on vacation so we do not expect any major inconveniences to the exciting events planned for next week’s ACL meeting! Below is a map showing the usual gathering place for protesting groups.
Over the past 45 days, Sofia has been the scene of anti-government street protests. Demonstrations are mostly peaceful and great care has been taken by the authorities to minimize the disruption on city life caused by the rallies.
The morning coffee-drinking rally begins around 8.00 am when citizens gather near the Bulgarian parliament (near the Alexander Nevsky cathedral) to "have their coffee", and continues until around noon, usually without blocking the traffic. The evening rally begins at 6.30 pm in front of the Council of Ministers building (near the Sheraton hotel) and usually results in protesters blocking part of the traffic in downtown Sofia until late in the evening. Rallies occasionally change their route, but the main gathering places are outside the Council of Ministers and Parliament buildings. The intersections at the Bulgarian parliament and Orlov Most (Eagles' Bridge, Орлов мост) are usually on the route taken by the protests. The march usually continues along Tsarigradsko Shosse Boulevard (бул. Цариградско шосе), and sometimes along Evlogi and Hristo Georgievi Boulevard (бул. Евлоги и Христо Георгиеви) up to the National Palace of Culture.
Tsarigradsko Shosse boulevard may get blocked after 7.30 pm but the public transport from the Sofia Airport runs to Orlov most where one can take the Metro line 1 to get to some of the hotels downtown or to the conference venue. To get to the conference venue, one needs to change at Serdika station to Metro line 2 and ride to the NDK station (for the National Palace of Culture). For the Hilton and the Hemus hotel one needs to get off at the European Union station (Evropeyski sayuz).
There is a small every day pro government meeting at the square in front of the National palace of culture.
Read more on the latest developments in Sofia at http://www.euronews.com/tag/bulgaria/
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