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.
Cafes, Museums and Cathedrals
This impressive castle-like monument is a multipurpose cultural center that hosts art exhibitions, a film festival and concerts by well-known performers.
See an incredible collection of perfectly preserved Eastern European Medieval art at this tranquil 10th-century Bulgarian Orthodox church.
Gaze in awe at this magnificent cathedral and step inside to see a fascinating collection of mosaics, murals and religious icons.
One of Sofia’s oldest churches is a centuries-old architectural treasure and contains a fascinating collection of preserved Medieval and religious art.
Discover a collection of artifacts that retrace the history of Bulgaria, from prehistory to today. Enjoy views of Mount Vitosha from the museum’s gardens.
Sofia’s largest theater combines a fascinating array of art and architecture with a busy schedule of performances by some of Bulgaria’s finest actors.
Rila Monastery is definitely a must-see if you are a tourist with a free day in Sofia. The arcaded balconies, the unique frescoes – a work of one of the most famous Bulgarian Revival Period painters, the gilded iconostasis, the fabulous mountain views.
Nowhere else in Bulgaria has so many cultures been created: the Glagolitic and Cyrillic alphabet and other rare and interesting testimonies about the role of the monastery for the political and Orthodoxy history of Bulgaria.
You can start to explore the town, dating from the Neolithic era, roughly 6000-5000 BCE. A full-day tour to Plovdiv, starting from Sofia, where you will explore the old town at your own pace.
Uncover the cultural charms of Sofia on this guided walking tour. Discover the city's fascinating historic center, pass impressive sights like the National Theater and the King's Palace, then indulge in a variety of traditional Bulgarian food and drink tastings to keep your energy up as you stroll.
Discover the cities of Plovdiv and Koprivshtitsa on this full-day tour from Sofia. The amusing mixture of traditions, culture, and architectural masterpieces are a must-see for every culture-hungry traveler.
Itinerary This is a typical itinerary for this product Stop At: Ivan Vazov National Theater, Dyakon Ignatii 5 str., Sofia 1000 Bulgaria There is something magical happening when the lights of the city gradually come on and the sun sets behind the horizon.