*You may notice that after “Hali” I’m using “are” and after that it’s shown that it’s one building, not two or more.
This is because in Bulgarian the word “Hali” is in plural form and no matter that the place is one we are talking as if there are more.
The name means “The Halles”. It’s a direct translation from French.
There are many places in Sofia where you can buy warm, just baked bread and tasty snacks.
But The Central Hali* (Tzentralni Hali) are the best place that you can do it.
It’s a wonderful place to spend an hour or two, shopping delicious food or presents, or just sitting in the café, watching the people or talk with friends.
The Hali (as the people from Sofia are calling them) are a quiet place where an old building and modern trade centre are in one.
It’s almost 100 years since Sofia’s Central Hali have opened.
It was built in 1911. For an architect of the building was chosen Naum Torbov (1880 – 1952) after a competition for building the edifice, made by the municipality.
It took 2 years to be built. The Hali were the first covered market in Bulgaria.
Around them there were the European neighborhoods. Their design being based on the erstwhile central market of Paris, called Les Halles.
The style of the building is Neo-Renaissance, featuring also elements of Neo-Byzantine architecture and Neo-Baroque.
The market was re-opened after restoration on May 30, 2000 by the ex-mayor of Sofia – Stefan Sofiyanski.
The attraction of the Hali is an old clock. It was made in 1914. It has been installed in the tower on the building in 1915 and stayed there until the re-construction of the Hali.
The clock is put in motion by weight, which is wind up automatically from an electric motor, supplied by 8 batteries.
The count out of the hours and quarters is sound tracked by bronze bells. The mechanism was reconstructed in 2000 by Master Todor Todorov.
There are three entries- from the side of the Maria Louisa Blvd (where are the stops of the public transport), from the side of the parking and from the side of George Washington Str.
The building was originally constructed with four entrances. Over the entry from the side of the boulevard you can see the emblem of Sofia. Over it there is a small clock tower.
The Hali covers 7200 square meters that are distributed on 3 floors.
On the ground floor you can buy for your meal warm bread, fresh fish products and all sorts of cheese and exotic fruits for dessert.
You can buy flowers and candles for the table, beautiful table-cloths and furniture. If you don’t have time for cooking you can always buy some baked Bulgarian food from the Trops House, situated in the subterranean level (there is a baked Bulgarian cuisine in the ground and second floor too).
Here you can view some of the Roman remnants of Serdika (the old name of Sofia). On this floor there are a Mobiltel shop and stores for clothes and accessories.
On the second floor you can find different shops-from expensive cosmetics to posh leather clothing. There is even a bank and a postal service.
When you enter the Hali, you will smell essence of warm bread, pinch of flowers and some drops of perfume. All of these help this modern centre to be declared the best market in Sofia for year 2003. Nowadays, The Central Hali are a favorite place for shopping for the citizens of the capital.
Working time: every day from 9:00 a.m. till 19:00 p.m.
Address: 25 Maria Louisa Blvd