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SofiaBulgaria

Bulgaria’s capital offers thousands of years of history and culture, beautiful architecture, exciting nightlife, modern malls and mountain pursuits.

Since the end of Communist rule in Bulgaria, Sofia has reinvented itself as a lively, cosmopolitan city. Stroll in the shadows of Byzantine buildings, gold-domed churches and Communist-era monuments to find modern shopping malls, acres of parkland, elegant boulevards and a lively café culture. With some of Europe’s most beautiful architecture and ski slopes on its doorstep, Sofia has plenty to show its visitors.

Marvel at the beauty of the multi-domed Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Look inside at its Byzantine-style murals. Next to the cathedral, find the sixth-century Church of St. Sofia, which gave the city its name. See the Rotunda of St. George, thought to be the city’s oldest church. The redbrick structure was built by the Romans in the fourth century. Visit the 16th-century Banya Bashi Mosque.

Investigate some of the 650,000 artifacts inside the National Museum of History. Learn about Bulgarian art from the 19th and 20th centuries at the National Art Gallery.

Go on a shopping spree to the city malls. These include the Bulgaria Mall and The Mall, one of the largest malls in Sofia. Stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables at the market on Graf Ignatiev. Take a break from shopping and sightseeing for a drink at a pavement café or picnic at Borisova Gradina Park.

Sofia sits at the foot of the Vitosha Mountain, a 7,513-foot-tall (2,290-meter) peak. Trek along its numerous marked paths in the spring and summer or go skiing in the winter.

To experience Sofia’s nightlife, visit Vitosha Boulevard, Sofia’s main shopping street. Choose from a large concentration of trendy bars and cafés. For music and dance, visit Sofia Opera and Ballet.

Sofia is a compact city. Many sights are within easy walking distance of each other. Alternatively, get around by public transportation or rental car. With thousands of years of history, rich cultural pursuits and a lively social scene, Sofia is a fascinating and increasingly popular vacation destination.

Where to stay in Sofia

Sofia showing a house and heritage architecture

Sofia City Center

4.5/5Wonderful!(231 area reviews)

Noted for its museums and historic sites, there's plenty to explore in Sofia City Center. Top attractions like Bulgarian Parliament and National Palace of Culture are major draws, and you can hop on the metro at Serdika Station or Lavov Most Station to see more of the city.

Sofia City Center
National Palace of Culture featuring heritage elements

rayon Triaditsa

4/5Very Good!(4 area reviews)

If you're spending some time in rayon Triaditsa, National Palace of Culture and Vitosha Blvd are top sights worth seeing.

rayon Triaditsa
National Museum of History which includes interior views

Vitosha District

4/5Very Good!(3 area reviews)

Vitosha District is noteworthy for its spas, and you can make a stop at top attractions like Mount Vitosha and Sofia Ring Mall.

Vitosha District
Alexander Nevski Cathedral which includes religious aspects, a church or cathedral and night scenes

Oborishte

You'll appreciate the historic sites during your time in Oborishte and you might want to plan a stop by Bulgarian Parliament and National Palace of Culture while you're in the area.

Oborishte
Boyana Church showing a church or cathedral, heritage elements and religious aspects

Boyana

While Boyana isn't home to many top sights, National Museum of History and Mount Vitosha are some notable places to visit nearby.

Boyana
Борисовата градина

rayon Krasna polyana

Though rayon Krasna polyana might not have many top sights, you can venture to the surrounding area to see attractions like National Palace of Culture and Bulgarian Parliament.

rayon Krasna polyana

Top Hotels in Sofia

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
InterContinental Sofia
InterContinental Sofia
5 out of 5
4 NARODNO SABRANIE SQ, Sofia
The price is $86 per night from Oct 18 to Oct 19

Located in Sofia City Center, this luxury hotel is steps from Yellow Pavement and Bulgarian Parliament. National Palace of Culture is 1 mi (1.6 km) away. Serdika ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (294 reviews)

"Hotel was pretty standard.It was very clean and you could feel they took extra precautions because of the COVID...the view at the cathedral is epic so it was worth of paying extra for it. the only downside were people in front of the hotel who jumped infront of us as soon as we exited the car at ..."…"

Reviewed on Sep 6, 2020

InterContinental Sofia
Metropolitan Hotel Sofia
Metropolitan Hotel Sofia
4 out of 5
64 Tsarigradsko Shose Blvd, Sofia
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $60 per night from Oct 11 to Oct 12

Located in Mladost, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Megapark and European Trade Centre. Arena Armeec and Inter Expo and Congress Center are also ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (361 reviews)

"Very clean hotel and rooms, the staff is very polite and friendly! Highly recommended this hotel for short stay or early flights!"…"

Reviewed on Jul 31, 2020

Metropolitan Hotel Sofia
Rosslyn Central Park Hotel
Rosslyn Central Park Hotel
4 out of 5
106, Vitosha Blvd, Sofia
The price is $77 per night from Sep 27 to Sep 28

Located in Sofia City Center, this hotel is steps from Vitoshka Boulevard and National Palace of Culture. Bulgarian Parliament is 1.3 mi (2.1 km) away. Serdika ...

4.4/5Excellent! (334 reviews)

"Very polite and helpful staff. Very close to the centre of the city. Clean and spacious rooms. I would stay there again."…"

Reviewed on Aug 8, 2020

Rosslyn Central Park Hotel

Popular places to visit in Sofia

Bulgarian Parliament
Image for Bulgarian Parliament

Bulgarian Parliament

4/5(35 reviews)

Admire the architecture of Bulgaria’s national assembly building and attend a parliamentary session at this elegant government building in Sofia’s city center.

National Palace of Culture
Image for National Palace of Culture

National Palace of Culture

4/5(63 reviews)

This impressive castle-like monument is a multipurpose cultural center that hosts art exhibitions, a film festival and concerts by well-known performers.

Sofia University
Image for Sofia University

Sofia University

4.5/5(31 reviews)

Take a campus tour or just explore the area of Sofia University, during your trip to Sofia. Discover the museums and cathedral in this culturally rich area.

Church of St. George
Image for Church of St. George

Church of St. George

4.5/5(51 reviews)

One of Sofia’s oldest churches is a centuries-old architectural treasure and contains a fascinating collection of preserved Medieval and religious art.

Alexander Nevski Cathedral
Image for Alexander Nevski Cathedral

Alexander Nevski Cathedral

4.5/5(79 reviews)

Gaze in awe at this magnificent cathedral and step inside to see a fascinating collection of mosaics, murals and religious icons.

Sofia Central Mineral Baths
Image for Sofia Central Mineral Baths

Sofia Central Mineral Baths

4.5/5(13 reviews)

You can find out about the history of Sofia with a stop at Sofia Central Mineral Baths. While in this culturally rich area, find time to visit its shops.

Top things to do in Sofia

Plovdiv: Full Day Tour from Sofia
Image for Plovdiv: Full Day Tour from Sofia

Plovdiv: Full Day Tour from Sofia

$40
Per adult
90% of travellers recommend
Full day Plovdiv
Image for Full day Plovdiv

Full day Plovdiv

$34
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
COMBO Tour: Koprivshtitsa & Plovdiv
Image for COMBO Tour: Koprivshtitsa & Plovdiv

COMBO Tour: Koprivshtitsa & Plovdiv

$51
Per adult
80% of travellers recommend
Tour to Veliko Tarnovo and Hotnitsa Waterfall
Image for Tour to Veliko Tarnovo and Hotnitsa Waterfall

Tour to Veliko Tarnovo and Hotnitsa Waterfall

$161
Per adult
The Seven Rila lakes
Image for The Seven Rila lakes

The Seven Rila lakes

$45
Per adult
76% of travellers recommend
Sofia Airport/City to Borovets City Transfer
Image for Sofia Airport/City to Borovets City Transfer

Sofia Airport/City to Borovets City Transfer

$80
Per adult

Reviews of Sofia

4.2

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
86
5 - Excellent 44.791666666666664%
4 - Good
68
4 - Good 35.416666666666664%
3 - Okay
32
3 - Okay 16.666666666666668%
2 - Disappointing
2
2 - Disappointing 1.0416666666666667%
1 - Terrible
4
1 - Terrible 2.0833333333333335%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 15, 2020

Had some delicious food and locals very friendly. 

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Feb 23, 2020

I love Bulgaria❤️

4/5 - Good

Renee

Feb 12, 2020

Definitely recommend the malls. Vitosha. Sightsee. Live.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Dec 17, 2019

People are very polite, helpful. Sofia is a very clean City. Delicious food. Reasonable prices

5/5 - Excellent

Chris

Dec 1, 2019

Surprising

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Nov 19, 2019

Sofia is amazing, full of history and beautiful spots!

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