Here is all you need to know for tap, mineral and bottled water in Sofia.
IS TAP WATER IN SOFIA SAFE TO DRINK?
Tap water in Sofia is safe to drink and has a mild and pleasant taste.
We recommend carrying a travel water bottle and refilling it as you go around the city. It is good for the environment and it is free.
You can refill your bottle at cafes and restaurant bathrooms, or in one of the many water fountains that operate around the city in the summer months.
TAP WATER IN SOFIA
Some reports point out Sofia as the city with the best drinking water in the Bulgaria and beyond.
Sofia’s water supply system collects water from its drainage basin in the alpine terrains of Rila Mountain some 80 km south of the city.
Water is gathered in the Iskar Dam which provides 80% of the city’s drinking water and in the high altitude Beli Iskar Dam which provides about 20% of the water. Before reaching the faucets in Sofia, the water passes through one of the several water purification plants.
In some older neighborhoods and buildings, especially in the city center, however, out-of-date plumbing and aged pipes might deliver tap water with reddish to brown color. This is most common for water coming out of hot water pipes. The water usually clears after running for a short time.
The rusty color is caused by iron particles that break free from corroded iron or steel pipes. Though rusty water may look or taste unpleasant it is not a health concern and has no negative health effects.
HOT MINERAL SPRINGS
While in Sofia, don’t miss out on trying the water from the hot mineral springs that flow year round next to the building of the Central Mineral Baths. The water here has a temperature of 46 degrees C and a mild, sweet flavor.
The mineral spring has been in use since antiquity and is probably the main reason why a settlement arose at this spot. The earliest written accounts of the springs date back to the 4th century BCE.
The spring has been flowing ever since and to this day, people wait in line to fill their bottles. During the wait, urban myths of guaranteed longevity are exchanged.
Sofia and its surroundings boasts more than 30 other mineral springs.
Most are hotter than 33°C (91.4°F) and have low mineralization. This makes the water perfect for consumption (after proper cooling at least).
Two of the most popular Bulgarian brands of mineral water, Bankya and Gorna Bania, are sourced and bottled in the Sofia neighborhoods of Bankya and Gorna Bania.
Tap water in Sofia, there are is safe to drink though fewer and fewer people do due to the abundance good quality cheap bottled water.
The local bottled water costs 0.60 lv for 500 ml in stores and up to 2 lv in cafés and restaurants.
The most popular brands are Devin (sourced and bottled in the Rhodopi mountain), Gorna Banya, and Bankia (sourced and bottled in the Sofia neighborhoods under the same name).