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Sofia

Neighborhood tours

Our most recommended Sofia Neighborhood Tours

Plovdiv: Full-Day Small Group Excursion from Sofia

1. Plovdiv: Full-Day Small Group Excursion from Sofia

This full-day trip begins with a 2-hour drive from Sofia to Plovdiv, one of Europe’s oldest towns. On a guided walking tour, discover the history and culture of this 8,000-year old city that was settled by Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and Bulgarian civilizations. See the sights of the old town, including museums, historical monuments and revival period houses lining the cobbled streets. Explore the Ethnographical Museum and the impressive Roman Theater. An English-speaking guide will accompany the group throughout the day and will point out the most interesting architectural and cultural treasures of the region and provide commentary on modern life in Bulgaria.

Sofia Afternoon Walking Tour with Wine and Food Tasting

2. Sofia Afternoon Walking Tour with Wine and Food Tasting

Begin your tour in front of the 5-star Grand Hotel Sofia, where you’ll meet your guide. Visit the beautiful National Theater, the former Royal Palace, and the Presidency. On this 3-hour afternoon walk your guide will take you next to the Art Club café, a favorite spot of many locals. Try the world famous shopska salad, prepared from fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, cheese, and spices, and taste traditional Bulgarian cold soup, called tarator, prepared from yogurt and cucumbers. See the Rotunda St. George, St. Nedelya Church, St. Joseph Catholic Cathedral, the Banya Bashi Mosque, and the Sofia Synagogue, all around a square known as Small Jerusalem. Visit the historic Central Hali Market that dates from the beginning of the 20th century. Taste typical sweets such as baklava and tolumbichki, or buy fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, or sausages. Head to Europe’s newest underground and travel 1 stop to Lions' Bridge. Near the stop is a typical Bulgarian restaurant, created from 4 houses with a common garden. The restaurant features the architecture and furnishings of the 19th century, representing the 4 corners of Bulgaria. Taste fantastic Bulgarian wines together with different meze of meats, including lukanka, babek, fillet Elena, and pastarma. The tour ends at this point, but you may want to continue sampling different hot or cold appetizers, traditional dishes, and Bulgarian desserts.

Sofia: Small Group Walking Tour

3. Sofia: Small Group Walking Tour

Journey through almost 10,000 years of history on a guided walking tour of Sofia, and learn how the city sits on land that has been settled over the centuries by Thracians, Romans, Huns and more. Marvel at its well-preserved monuments and outstanding sights, such as the East Gate of the Serdika ruins from Roman times. Walk through the underpass connecting the Presidential Palace and Ministerial Council to encounter shops selling traditional souvenirs and rosewater. Experience the city's laid-back charm as you explore streets scattered with mosques and impressive onion-domed churches.

From Sofia: Europe's Oldest City, Plovdiv including Pickup

4. From Sofia: Europe's Oldest City, Plovdiv including Pickup

Plovdiv, the second biggest city in Bulgaria, is considered to be one of the oldest settlements in Europe, with more than 7000 years of history. Plovdiv is situated on the crossroads between the West and the East, amid the fertile plain of Thrace, where history and modernity go hand in hand. See how culture and art have always thrived in this city as you explore a vivid medley of shapes, styles, and colors. The city is home to the fabulous remains of the Ancient Roman Empire – the Roman Stadium, the Roman Forum, and the Amphitheatre. During your time in the city, you can discover the Old Town of Plovdiv, situated on the three hills of the ancient Trimontium. See the houses from the National Revival period, which  have been proclaimed an architectural open air museum. Discover many of the main sights in the area with a guide.

Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Full-Day Tour

5. Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Full-Day Tour

After pickup from any accommodation in Sofia, your journey through over 1,000 years of Bulgarian cultural history begins. Make the 2-hour drive to the Rila Monastery via air-conditioned bus into the dense pine forests of Rila Mountain. Upon arriving, explore the monastery, which was founded in 927, at your own pace with 2 hours of free time. Amble the 21-acre complex, taking in the colorful and unique traditional Orthodox architecture. Gaze at the 5-domed church, with its numerous altars, side chapels, and gold-plated mosaics. Take in the beauty of the tranquil mountain environment surrounding the peaceful place of worship. Afterwards, you’ll have lunch, before heading on to your next destination. Only a couple of miles away from the monastery into the forest is St. Ivan Rilski Cave, where St. Ivan of Rila took up residency in the early 10th century. Experience a sacred site of tremendous importance to Bulgarian Orthodox Christians. On the way back to Sofia, you’ll pass through Boyana Church, famed for its elaborate frescoes dating back to the 11th, 13th, 15th-17th, and 19th century. Afterwards, you’ll be transported back back to your accommodation in Sofia.

Veliko Tarnovo & Arbanasi Full day tour

6. Veliko Tarnovo & Arbanasi Full day tour

Veliko Tarnovo is a city in north-central Bulgaria. Often referred to as the "City of the Tsars", Veliko Tarnovo is located on the Yantra River and is famous as the historical capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire (1185-1396), attracting many tourists with its unique architecture. The old part of the city is situated on the three hills Tsarevets, Trapezitsa, and Sveta Gora, rising amidst the meanders of the Yantra. On Tsarevets are the palaces of the Bulgarian emperors and the Patriarchate, the Patriarchal Cathedral, as well as a number of administrative and residential edifices surrounded by thick walls. Trapezitsa is known for its many churches and as the former main residence of the nobility. In the Middle Ages, the city was among the main European centers of culture and gave its name to the architecture of the Tarnovo Artistic School, painting of the Tarnovo Artistic School and literature.Arbanassi is  known for the rich history and large number of historical monuments, such as 17th- and 18th-century churches and examples of Bulgarian National Revival architecture, which have turned it into a popular tourist destination. It is set on a high terrace above Veliko Tarnovo where you enjoy a scenic overview of the city and the fortress Tsarevets. Veliko Tarnovo is located 220 kilometers from Sofia. You will start your journey at 8:00 AM, from your hotel or accommodation in Sofia. When you arrive in Veliko Tarnovo you will have the opportunity to enjoy a great view of the fortress and take some photos before setting off on a climb to Baldwin's Tower and the top of the medieval hill - the Patriarchal Church of Tsarevets. On your way back to the vehicle, you may glance at the Assen's Dynasty Monument, and then stroll over Samovodska Charshia Street, where you will be able to buy a small souvenir of your exciting trip. Before returning to Sofia, you will take a look at the oldest church in Arbanasi, the Nativity of Christ, with its beautiful frescoes from 1632. The mural paintings include the life of St. John the Baptist, patron of the church, and the wheel of life with the 12 zodiac signs. 

From Sofia: Skopje, Northern Macedonia Day Tour

7. From Sofia: Skopje, Northern Macedonia Day Tour

The history of Skopje began with the settlements of the Thracians and establishing the fortress of Scupi. Since then, the town has changed its sovereign numerous times, being part of the Roman, Byzanatine, Bulgarian and the Serbian countries for short time.  The Ottomans conquered the city in 1392 and changed the name to Uskub, which became home for numerous Ottomans, Bulgarians and Albanians.  In 1912, the city was liberated from the Ottomans during the First Balkan war, and eventually became a part of the Serbian country. During the two world wars, it was eventually given to Bulgaria, before becoming capital of the Macedonian Federation in the Yugoslavian socialistic republic. The city then started growing rapidly industrially and economically.  Unfortunately a huge earthquake in 1963 destroyed a huge part of the town, leaving more than 100,000 people without homes. Skopje managed to recover quickly from it, just in time to become a capital of the independent country of Macedonia. Your Day in Skopje (North Macedonia) The departure is early, somewhere around 8.00 AM depending on your hotel pick-up time, because the driving time is 4 hours each way, and the border cross may take a while. On the way to Macedonia, you will use the picturesque road via the Osogovo mountains, one of the most beautiful mountain ranges both in Bulgaria and Macedonia. Somewhere around 11.30 AM (10:30 AM local time), you will arrive in Skopje. The walking tour will start with the Museum of History of Skopje, dedicated to the city, housed in the old railway station. From there, you will continue towards the Memorial House of Mother Teresa and learn about the life of the amazing Macedonian women with Albanian origin.  At this moment, your hunger for knowledge will be replaced with some good food, as youl head towards the main square, to see the huge statue of Alexander the Great and find a lovely restaurant on the south bank of Vardar river.  After lunch, you will continue your walking tour on the other side of Vardar, crossing it via the Stone bridge - the oldest and the most famous bridge in Skopje, today marked as the symbol of the city. You will then head towards the Old Fortress, for some remarkable pictures of the city from the top. Then you will end with a visit to the old quarter and its famous church - St Saviour. After a little free time to buy some souvenirs, you'll head towards the car, without forgetting to pass by the huge buildings of Skopje 2014's project.  Around 3:30- 4:00 PM, you will depart from Skopje and arrive back in Sofia at around 7:30-8:00 PM.

From Sofia: Full-Day Tour to Plovdiv and Bachkovo Monastery

8. From Sofia: Full-Day Tour to Plovdiv and Bachkovo Monastery

On this full-day tour you will visit Plovdiv and the Bachkovo Monastery, located 170 kilometers from Sofia. You will start your journey from Sofia in the morning and first visit the old town of Plovdiv for a 2.5-hour walking tour through the Roman and medieval remains. You will then have some free time for a stroll along the main street in Plovdiv, enjoy an open-air café, or a quick kebab sandwich. Before returning to Sofia in the evening, stop at the Bachkovo Monastery (30 minute-drive from Plovdiv), where you can admire the churches and the dining room wall paintings from 1602. Plovdiv is one of the oldest European towns, contemporary to Troya and Mikena. It has existed as a settlement for about 8,000 years, and became a town 3,000 years ago during the Troyan war. In the historic quarter of the city you will see beautifully decorated Revival period houses, the ancient fortress-wall, the Roman forum and stadium, and magnificent churches. The old city of Plovdiv with its museums, historical sites, ancient houses, and paved streets is the perfect place for sightseeing.

Sofia 3-Hour Morning Walking Tour with Breakfast

9. Sofia 3-Hour Morning Walking Tour with Breakfast

Meet your guide in front of Alexander Nevski Cathedral and head out on a short walk to see the city’s sights. See Hagia Sofia Church, built in 6th century, pass through Sofia University, and visit the Parliament and Sofia University. Stop at these and other important historical monuments on your 3-hour guided walk. Stop for breakfast and enjoy Bulgarian banitsa, along with ayryan, as Bulgarians normally do in the morning. Banitsa is made from dough and cheese and sometimes meat. It is a taste treat unique to Bulgaria and the Balkans. Ayryan is a drink prepared from yogurt that is a perfect final touch to the breakfast. Continue walking along the narrow streets, which are part of old Sofia, to Graf Ignatiev Street and a famous local market. You can buy fresh fruits and vegetables or taste baked nuts or delicious snacks. It is a market with many stalls, all competing for the buyers’ attention. Your guide will lead you to a famous pastry shop. Along the way, you pass through the biggest open-air bookstore in Bulgaria – a favorite meeting point for many people. At one of the best pastry shops featuring traditional Bulgarian desserts, you’ll taste a delicious dessert called baklava. It is very sweet and filled with nuts. You might also try tolumbichka, cream cake, or other sweets. Be sure to sample another unique regional beverage, fermented boza, with your baklava.

Sofia Private Walking Tour with Traditional Breakfast

10. Sofia Private Walking Tour with Traditional Breakfast

Today Sofia is an important educational and cultural center and falls among the top tourist destinations on the Balkan penisula due to its outstanding sights and surrounding natural beauty. Sofia preserves many valuable monuments and visitors exploring the city’s streets can see remnants of the Eastern Gate from the days when Sofia was the Roman administrative center of the region, between the 1st and 6th-century. The most popular sights are Alexander Nevsky Cathedral - the second biggest cathedral in the Balkans, Saint George Rotunda - the oldest church in the town dating back to the 4th-century and Saint Sofia Basilica - the medieval symbol of Serdica, built in the 6th-century. Other interesting places that will be seen are the Parliament, National Theater "Ivan Vazov"- one of the most beautiful buildings in the town, the former Royal Palace, the administration of the President and the mineral springs. You will then take a break to eat some traditional Bulgarian breakfast called banitsa (pastry prepared from dough and cheese) and ayran (salty yogurt drink). It is a well-known and very popular breakfast in Bulgaria. You will also try some "kozunak" (a sweet bread) and "mekitsa".

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What people are saying about Sofia

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 197 reviews

We were guided by Lubo and it was perfect. His English was perfectly understood and it shows that he likes what he does. Yes, I missed a little more free time in Plovdiv, to finish seeing the city with peace of mind. But otherwise, all correct. I recommend this tour because Bulgarians don't speak any English and everything is written in Bulgarian Cyrillic, so communicating, reading signs, etc... is practically impossible, so all these problems can be avoided with this tour.

Met a lot of friendly people from all over the world and had a nice evening. The price of 15€ was a bit high and the local beer wasn't always cheap either (at least by Bulgarian standards). Overall recommended if you are a solo traveler looking for a connection or companion for a good evening in Sofia.

Very interesting day in Plovdiv. The guide was really interesting, told us a lot of things and took us to the most remarkable places. The free time part allowed us to eat and visit other places. Also, it's really nice not to have to worry about driving and parking.

The tour is well-organized. The bus is comfortable. The guide Lubomir is very friendly. We enjoyed this tour in Plovdiv, especially the part connected to the old part of Plovdiv.

it was wonderful...comfortable transport and very eloquent guide