Demonstration Alert: Multiple Events Planned for Downtown Sofia

Throughout the upcoming weekend December 9 – 10, 2023, there are several planned events and protests scheduled for the downtown area.  The embassy advises U.S. citizens to avoid the areas of the protests.  If you plan to attend the Hanukah celebration or the soccer game, you are advised to exercise caution.  Please see details below.

Event: Protest of Palestinians (unpermitted, cannot confirm exact date or place): Saturday December 9 or Sunday December 10 at approximately 15:00 near the Bridge of Lovers in the vicinity of NDK. Between 150 – 300 participants are expected. Note: this event has not received a permit, but it is likely that the group will attempt to gather and march. The embassy cannot definitively state when or where this event may occur. 

Event: Soccer Game: The game is scheduled to begin Sunday December 10 at 17:45 at National Stadium. 15,000 participants are expected. Proceed with caution. In the past, there have been demonstrations of fanaticism and heavy traffic. 

Event: Hanukah Celebration: Scheduled to begin Sunday December 10 at 16:00 at Triangle of Power.

Please anticipate road closures and an increased police presence in this area. This may result in delays, roadblocks, and in a general increase in normal weekday traffic throughout downtown Sofia. Please note that the demonstration times and road closures are subject to change.

Actions to Take:

Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly become violent.

Avoid areas of demonstrations.

Exercise caution if unexpectedly found in the vicinity of large gatherings or demonstrations.

Be aware of your surroundings.

Monitor local media for updates.

Keep a low profile.

U.S. Citizens are advised to call the police (#112), seek a safe location, and wait for assistance from the police

Assistance:

Bulgarian emergency hotline: 112

U.S. Embassy Sofia, Bulgaria

+359-2-937-5100 (business hours)

+359-2-937-5101 (after hours—emergencies only—arrest, death, or danger to the safety and security of U.S. citizens)

ACS_Sofia@state.gov

https://bg.usembassy.gov

State Department – Consular Affairs

888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

Bulgaria Country Information

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