Things to do in

Sofia

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The 7 best things to do in Sofia

Sofia offers an exposé of attractions that span the centuries, with an eclectic mix
of architecture ranging from Byzantine churches to communist era relics.
If you want a dash of nature after enjoying the vibrant city - Mt. Vitosha is within easy
reach.

  • Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

    1. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

    This Orthodox Church, with its golden dome, is one of the largest in the world. The
    crypt houses a great collection of religious art that dates from as early as the 9th
    century.

  • Saint Sofia Church

    2. Saint Sofia Church

    Constructed in the 6th century, the church stands on the site of earlier churches
    and a necropolis, with mosaics that archaeologists have unearthed during
    excavations.

  • National History Museum

    3. National History Museum

    Bulgaria's largest museum contains a great exhibition on its history, extending
    from the Paleolithic era to today. Pieces include jewelry, weapons, and historical
    documents.

  • 4. National Museum of Military History

    28,000 items on permanent display, including weapons and uniforms, provide
    insight into Bulgaria's history of armed forces from antiquity to the modern era.

  • National Art Gallery

    5. National Art Gallery

    Bulgaria's former royal residence contains the country's most important collection
    of artwork by prominent Bulgarian artists from the 19th and 20th centuries.

  • National Palace of Culture

    6. National Palace of Culture

    Built in 1981 to celebrate Bulgaria's 1300th anniversary, the huge congress
    hall boasts greenery with fountains and modern artwork. An underground arcade
    also provides shops and eateries.

  • 7. Mount Vitosha

    Once you arrive to the top by ski lift, you'll find great hiking trails and views of the
    city. A visit to Dragalevtsi Monastery provides stunning murals and
    frescoes.

Frequently asked questions about Sofia

What top attractions are a must-see in Sofia?

Planning Your Visit

  • How many days to spend in Sofia?

    You can spend three days exploring the city's top attractions and jump into local
    culture. Add another day for a trip to Mt. Vitosha.

  • Getting around

    Exploring the center by foot is the best way to tour the city. However, it has public
    transportation to get you where you need to go. If you plan to visit Mt. Vitosha,
    it's about 20 minutes away from the city. Take a taxi to Dragalevtsi chairlift,
    which is also close to the monastery. The lift stops at the tree line, and you'll find
    hiking trails around this area, or ski slopes if you happen to arrive in winter.

  • Where to stay in Sofia

    Base yourself in the heart of the city, so that you have the sightseeing activities at
    your doorstep. You'll find bars, cafés and restaurants on and around Vitosha
    Blvd.

Good to know

  • Language
    Bulgarian
  • Currency
    Bulgarian Lev (лв)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+03:00)
  • Country Code
    +359
  • Best time to visit
    The winter sport enthusiasts should visit in December and January when snow is thick on Mt Vitosha. Summer (July and August) is peak time for heat and tourists, and is a perfect time to visit the beautiful parks. If your a jazz fan - then visit in November during the International Jazz Festival!

Other Sightseeing Options in Sofia

Want to discover all there is to do in Sofia? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Sofia

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 2,464 reviews

The lakes are absolutely beautiful. There are some tricky spots, especially when the ground is wet, but if you're of relatively good health, 5 hours to tour the place is enough. I enjoyed that it was a go at your own pace event because I am rather slow at hiking and I often feel pressure to move at other people's pace. But this was great because you could decide where you wanted to go and how long to get there as long as you met back at the meeting point at the correct time. If you like nature and hiking, this is a must do.

I really enjoyed the whole trip to 7 Rila Lakes and Rila Montasery. The Lakes are breathtaking and you can just walk on easy routes but also you can climb the highest top and see the amazing view of all 7 lakes. Montasery is also very beautiful but unfortunately we arrived when the museum of montasery was closed (after 4:30 pm). All in all i definitely recommend this activity!

Wonderful day trip to Plovdiv, well worth it. Our guide, Lubo, was fantastic - really friendly guy and very knowledgeable. The city itself is really nice and has a great vibe about it, it was only a shame that we couldn't stay for longer!

The caves are all unique and very interesting. If you enjoy nature, then this is a must see. I especially enjoyed the "Eyes of God" under the starry sky. Additionally, the tour guide was very kind and knowledgeable.

Beautiful experience, recommended! Attention to clothing, which must be suitable.