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Most visitors head for TZUM, a relatively small shopping mall opposite the Sheraton, or the boutiques lining Vitosha Boulevard, Sofia's main shopping street. Hristo Botev Street runs parallel to Vitosha, and has better bargains, like Decade (no. 16), stocking locally produced cotton leisure wear, and Rumi Factory Outlet (no. 23), where you can pick up relatively cheap Bulgarian leather products. Inveterate shoppers should also include a wander down Graf Ignatief and Tsar Ivan Shishman streets. Fashionistas looking for local designs make a beeline for the bohemian creations at Atelie Mirela Bratova (no. 4), peruse the collections at Magazine No 10 (no. 4) or, if you prefer a more quirky take, keep going to 525 (no. 525).

Pirotska (near TZUM, opposite the mosque) is another popular shopping street, and it's a more pleasant experience than Vitosha Boulevard. Stroll down here or head north after a few blocks to get to the Zhenski Pazar. Stepping into this open-air market after Vitosha and Pirotska feels like time travel, with the clientele picking through heaps of fresh produce a century away from their high-heeled counterparts perusing the racks in glitzy boutiques.

Bulgarian Folk Crafts

Alexander Nevski Square Flea Market -- If the weather is fine, this open-air arts and crafts flea market in front of the cathedral and St. Sofia Church is the best place to browse for bargain-priced icons (though not equally so; don't buy at the first stall). Also on offer are embroidered tablecloths, Russian dolls, knitted socks, handmade toys, ceramics, various carved items, and so-called antiques (coins, uniforms, medals), many dating from the Communist era.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.