National Palace of Culture, Sofia

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National Palace of Culture, Sofia: Our most recommended tours and activities

Sofia: Communist Walking Tour

Sofia: Communist Walking Tour

Discover the main landmarks of communist history in the city of Sofia. Start your tour by passing by the former headquarters of the Bulgarian Communist Party. Continue on to see buildings such as the secret police investigation facility and the destroyed mausoleum. Head on towards the monument of the Soviet army and the National Palace of Culture. During the 3-hour-long walking tour, learn about the theory of communism and what Marxism-Leninism is. Find out about the history of communism in Bulgaria, the pros and cons of the period, and the relation between the communist government and religion, industry, economy, culture and everyday life of the people. End the tour with a fresh perspective on the city and a new insight into the country's communist past. 

Sofia by Night: Panoramic City Tour and Folklore Dinner

Sofia by Night: Panoramic City Tour and Folklore Dinner

Enjoy a panoramic 4-hour evening tour of Sofia, traveling by comfortable air-conditioned minivan to all the main sights. Pass Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the largest cathedral in Bulgaria and the second biggest in the Balkans. Continue to the main square of Narodno Sabranie to see the Parliament building and magnificent statue of Bulgaria’s King Liberator, Tsar Osvoboditel. Marvel at the onion domes of the Russian Church and pass the ornate façade of the Ivan Vazov National Theatre. See the serious buildings of the Presidency and Council of Ministers. Continue to the National Palace of Culture and National Stadium of Vasil Levski, located in Sofia’s expansive Borisova Garden near Lake Ariana. Then, go to the traditional restaurant. Here, enjoy a delicious dinner from a menu of typical Bulgarian dishes. Enjoy a good show of traditional music and dance.

Sofia: Self-Guided Audio Tour

Sofia: Self-Guided Audio Tour

Welcome to Sofia, the vibrant capital city of Bulgaria! As you embark on this self-guided audio tour, get ready to immerse yourself in a captivating journey through history, culture, and the charming streets of this remarkable European gem. As you wander through Sofia's bustling boulevards and ancient alleyways, allow the rich tapestry of its past to unfold before you. From its humble beginnings as a Thracian settlement to its transformation into a thriving metropolis, Sofia's story is as diverse as it is fascinating. Throughout this audio tour, you'll encounter architectural marvels dating back to Roman times, Byzantine splendors, and Ottoman influences, all woven seamlessly into the fabric of modern-day Sofia. Marvel at the grandeur of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, with its glistening golden domes dominating the skyline, and stroll through the historic streets of the city center, where each cobblestone whispers tales of centuries gone by. But Sofia isn't just a city frozen in time; it's a dynamic hub of culture and creativity. Discover hidden art galleries showcasing the works of local talents, vibrant street art adorning hidden corners, and bustling markets where the aromas of traditional Bulgarian cuisine tantalize your senses. As you navigate through this self-guided tour, let the melodic narration transport you through the ages, painting a vivid picture of Sofia's past, present, and future. Whether you're a history buff, an art enthusiast, or simply a curious traveler, there's something for everyone to uncover in the streets of Sofia. Learn more about the top 16 tourist attractions in Sofia. Its history, culture, myths, architecture, and other important facts are in this audio commentary which starts from the city's central station then the itinerary gradually moves one by one. 1. Sofia Central Railway Station 2. Sofia Synagogue 3. Central Sofia Market Hall 4. Sofia History Museum 5. Sveta Nedelya Church 6. Church St. George Rotunda 7. Bulgarian Archaeological Museum 8. Amphitheater of Serdica 9. Church of St. Sofia 10. St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral 11. Church of St. Nicholas the Miracle-Maker 12. “Ivan Vazov" National Theater 13. Boulevard Vitosha 14. Palace of Culture 15. National Museum of History 16. Boyana Church So, grab your headphones, hit play, and let the adventure begin. Welcome to Sofia – where every corner tells a story, and every step is a journey through time.

Sofia: Communist Relics Driving Tour In A Trabant Car

Sofia: Communist Relics Driving Tour In A Trabant Car

Travel back in time to feel what life was like for people living in Bulgaria during the communist era. Drive through the highlights of Sophia in the epitome of what it was like during Communism in Bulgaria. You will be picked up at your hotel in a classic Trabant car of the period, a vehicle designed in East Germany in the mid-20th century. Your guide will show you where to explore the most prominent and historical communist sites in the city.  The tour will take you through old, narrow streets, and will show you even the shortest streets of Sophia. Along the way, you’ll explore the statues of Lenin, Zhivkov, and many others in the quiet gardens of the Socialist Art Museum before returning back to your hotel.

Sofia Full-Day Sightseeing Tour with Transport

Sofia Full-Day Sightseeing Tour with Transport

Discover one of the oldest cities in Europe on a full-day guided tour of Sofia, and admire UNESCO-listed monuments, relics of the communist regime, and testaments to the city’s rich artistic heritage. Following a pick-up from your hotel, go to the medieval Orthodox Boyana Church on the outskirts of the city. Built in the 10th and 11th centuries, the church was inscribed by UNESCO in 1979 for its exceptional frescoes and contribution to understanding medieval Bulgarian culture. Continue to the National Historical Museum to gaze at artifacts of Balkan history. Then, go to Pancharevo Lake for lunch and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the artificial reservoir at the end of Pancharevo Gorge. Travel into the city center to see the modern National Palace of Culture, and walk to the ancient St. George Rotunda, considered the oldest building in Sofia. Pass the National Archeological Museum, housed in a former Ottoman mosque, and see the city’s only remaining functioning mosque at the 16th-century Banya Bashi Mosque. Another beautiful religious monument is St Nedelya Church, one of the landmarks of the city, while the ornate Ivan Vazov National Theatre showcases the city's more secular side. Wander past the former Royal Palace along Tsar Osvoboditel Boulevard to the Russian Church. Admire the parliament building in National Assembly Square, dominated by the impressive monument to Tsar Osvoboditel (King Liberator), erected in 1907. End at the vast Neo-Byzantine Alexander Nevski Cathedral, the most spectacular building in Sofia, with towering domes of gold and green.

Sofia by Night: Private Tour with Dinner

Sofia by Night: Private Tour with Dinner

Following pick-up from your hotel, drive through the heart of Sofia and see sights such as the Alexander Nevski Cathedral floodlit for the night. Continue to the National Library and Monument to Vasil Levski at the spot where the Bulgarian national hero was killed. See where the Bulgarian government meets and the former residence of the Ottoman governor at the Royal Palace. Look at the National Palace of Culture and other monuments of the Socialist Largo complex. Then, choose from 3 dinner options and watch traditional folk dance and music at a folkloric restaurant or enjoy a retro cocktail at a Communist-style restaurant before drop off at your hotel.

Sofia: Full-Day City Tour including UNESCO Boyana Church

Sofia: Full-Day City Tour including UNESCO Boyana Church

Sofia is one of the oldest cities in the Balkans found by the Thracian tribe Serdi. In 29 A.D., Sofia became the capital of the Roman province of Inner Dacia. Through the ages, the city played a role as an important trading center in the Byzantine and Bulgarian Empires. Under Ottoman rule, Sofia was the center of Rumelia province. Sofia became the capital of restored Bulgaria in 1879, with a population of only about 12,000. Today many streets, buildings, parks, and even whole neighborhoods preserve the architectural style from the turn of the century. The day starts with a short transfer to the National History Museum, occupying the residency of the former communist ruler Todor Zhivkov, located on the outskirts of Sofia. You will get a guided tour of the rich museum collection, with special attention drawn to the key dates, facts, and exhibits. Close by is the Boyana Church which you will visit to unravel the global importance of its proto-Renaissance frescoes. The afternoon will be for a gentle walking tour of the center, where you will learn about the National Library, Sofia University, The Parliament, The St. Alexander Nevsky Patriarchal Cathedral, the National Theatre, St. Sofia Church, Sofia's oldest building - St George Rotunda, The houses of the Council of Ministers, the president and the former communist party's headquarters, the ruins of the ancient city of Serdika (dating from the 5th-6th C), the National Palace of Culture, the main shopping streets of Sofia, and more. The local tour operator, Traventuria, was awarded a “Business Which Supports Biodiversity” certification by the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation for its “Tours with a Cause” initiative.

Sofia: Communist History Walking Tour

Sofia: Communist History Walking Tour

Discover the communist remnants of Sofia city center on a walking tour with an English-speaking guide. Benefit from their expertise about the communist era and its architecture. See the imposing Monument to the Soviet Army at Borissova Garden, and then ride a trolley bus with the locals to experience a relic from olden times. Arrive at the impressive National Palace of Culture, the largest congress hall in the Balkans. Discover a piece of the Berlin Wall, which fell just one day before the radical changes that occurred in Bulgaria in 1989. Walk down Vitosha boulevard to reach the former headquarters of the Communist Party. See the upmarket Central Department Store (TZUM), where the elite would shop. Continue to the site of the former Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum on Prince Alexander of Battenberg Square. End at the antiques market outside Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and pick up some communist relics.

Adventure bike tours in Sofia

Adventure bike tours in Sofia

We'll meet in the old city center, steps away from the central metro station Serdika (super easy access from all points of the city). We'll provide safety gear (helmet + reflective jacket) and a bottle of water. We'll quickly socialize and then start with the city bike tour. Our first point will be the Sofia Synagogue, which is the largest synagogue in Southeastern Europe, then we will stop by the Regional History Museum - Sofia, where you can drink from the popular hot springs pure mineral water. Our journey will continue through all the major attractions till we reach the National Theater where we'll have a short break and take some more pictures. You will have the pleasure to enjoy a very relaxed ride, see all the beautiful touristic points and learn a lot about our history and culture. In the end we'll head back to the starting point, to leave the bikes and share our experience!

Sofia half day private tour

Sofia half day private tour

Explore Sofia city with me. One of the oldest cities in Europe will amaze you with its rich history and landmarks. During the tour, we will visit St St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, St Sophia church, and the Antique market. We will make a wish at the Russian church. And next, we will see from outside the former Royal Palace and the National Theater which is located in a nice city park, the former private garden of our king. Next to the governmental buildings while they were building the metro, they found by chance Roman ruins. We will see St Sofia statue, temples of different religions, and the hot mineral water spring in the center. Optional visit to the Museum of Socialist Art, (closed on Mondays). It is dedicated to the communist time in Bulgaria. We will see video about lifestyle in the past, statues, and posters. Next, we get on the metro and we go to see the residential areas built in the 60-70s. Visit a local supermarket. We will finish the tour with the National Palace of Culture.

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