The capital of Bulgaria, Sofia, is a city with with approximately 1.5 million people living in its urban area, located in the centre of the Balkan peninsula midway between the Black Sea, the Adriatic Sea and the Aegean Sea. Sofia’s development as a significant settlement in the course of history owes much to its central position in the Balkans.
Being the economic heart of a country that has been ranked as the world’s 12 “most preferred” outsourcing destination in consultancy A T Kearney’s 2016 Global Services Location Index, Sofia is now a reputable location for IT services, business process and knowledge process projects. Bulgaria is in the top 10 countries with fastest Internet speed worldwide, while a favourable macroeconomic and political environment contributes to the positive business environment as Bulgaria is an EU and NATO member.
Bulgaria is ranked 10th in the world by number of available certified IT specialists and Sofia is reported to have a community IT professionals approaching 50,000. The local universities release over 2,000 IT graduates every year, and Bulgaria is one of the few countries that feature a system of specialised secondary language schools, where students are taught subjects in a foreign language after only a year of comprehensive studies. Sofia concentrates a significant portion of the national higher education capacity, including 22 of Bulgaria's 51 higher education establishments among which there are four of the five highest-ranking national universities.
Sofia it's a largely modern, youthful city, with a mix of Orthodox churches, Ottoman mosques and stubborn Red Army monuments. Unlike most European capitals, Sofia does not have any large rivers, but it is situated at the northern foot of the Vitosha Mountain and is surrounded by comparatively high mountains on all sides. Vitosha Mountain is a popular hiking destination accessible by cable cars all year long and it offers favourable skiing conditions during the winter.