The Bulgarian capital Sofia hosts the inaugural 2024 FIVB Volleyball Boys’ U17 World Championship at two venues – the Levski Sofia sports hall and the Hristo Botev volleyball hall.

The Levski Sofia hall is a new facility, inaugurated during the 2020-2021 volleyball season and situated at a convenient location by the ring road in southern Sofia at the foothill of the beautiful Vitosha mountain. Its seating capacity is for 1,724 spectators. It is the home venue of one of Bulgaria’s powerhouses, VC Levski Sofia. Soon after its inauguration, the hall played host to the 2021 FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship.

The Hristo Botev hall was built last century, but recently renovated by the Bulgarian Volleyball Federation, which currently manages the facility. It is situated in the heart of Sofia’s iconic Students City (Studentski grad), a unique vibrant neighbourhood developed around the university dormitories of the higher-education institutions in Sofia, also offering spectacular views of the mountain. The hall has hosted numerous international and domestic competitions over the years. It has a seating capacity for about 1,500.

Sofia is the capital and the largest city of Bulgaria. It is situated in western Bulgaria, in the Sofia Valley, surrounded by a number of mountains, of which Vitosha has become emblematic for the city. The city is the third highest European capital. With several large parks and numerous smaller ones, Sofia is also considered one of the greenest capitals in Europe. It was built west of the Iskar river and has many mineral springs. Located in the centre of the Balkan Peninsula, Sofia is halfway between the Black Sea and the Adriatic Sea and closest to the Aegean Sea. The climate is temperate, with August temperatures usually in the 30s (°C).

Known as Serdica in antiquity and Sredets in the Middle Ages, Sofia has been an area of human habitation since at least 7000 BC. After the Third Bulgarian Tsardom was established upon the country’s liberation from the Ottoman Empire in 1878, Sofia was selected as the new state capital, ushering a period of intense demographic and economic growth.

Sofia is home of many of the major local universities, cultural institutions and commercial companies. It offers numerous tourist attractions and sights of interest, such as the Boyana Church in Sofia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Aleksandar Nevski Cathedral, the Sveta Sofia Basilica, the National Opera and Ballet, the National Palace of Culture, the Vasil Levski National Stadium with the National Sports Museum, the Ivan Vazov National Theatre, the 4th-century Rotunda of Sveti Georgi, the National Archaeological Museum, the National History Museum, the National Art Gallery, the Serdica Amphitheatre, the Museum of Socialist Art and many, many others.

Sofia is the home of about 1.3 million citizens within the wider metropolitan population of about 1.7 million.