10 Best Places to Visit in Sofia

1. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

The St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is a Bulgarian Orthodox cathedral in Sofia, built between 1882 and 1912 .Created in honor of St Alexander Nevsky, the prince known for 13th century military victories over Germany and Sweden, the cathedral is an important symbol of Bulgaria’s past. It is one of Sofia’s symbols and primary tourist attractions

2. Vitosha Boulevard

The name comes from the mountain Vitosha, that is right next to Sofia. At the beginning the street was built with only one-storey houses, but later turned into the main shopping street after massive public buildings were constructed, completely changing the way it looks! It’s a great place to spend a few hours!

Stolichanin, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

3. Borisova Garden

Borisova Gradina or also known as Knyaz-Borisova gradina is the oldest and the most popular park in Sofia. It’s construction and arrangement began in 1884 and it is named after the Bulgarian Tsar Boris III. The park is full of interesting sculptures and many other features. It’s perfect for a refreshing afternoon walk, and if you’re here on a summer evening there are free concerts to watch!

Apostoloff, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
4. Vitosha Mountain

This mountain massif, on the outskirts of Sofia is the closest site for hiking, alpinism and skiing and is one of Sofia’s symbols! The 2,200 meters tall mountain behind Sofia’s southwestern suburbs is a monumental peak in a nature park, with more adventures you could ever cram into one trip! The most easy way to access Vitosha is from Aleko, the mountain’s ski resort, which is where the Simeonovo gondola lift will drop you off. From there the walk to Vitosha’s Black peak is notably light when the weather is good, but of course, you don’t need to go that far for the heavenly stunning view of Sofia.

podoboq from Sofia, Bulgaria, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons


5. Boyana Church

This UNESCO heritage is located on the lower slopes of Vitosha mountain. In a quiet suburb of the city, surrounded by tall softwood trees the sight of this medieval church is almost dreamlike. Boyana Church was built in three stages from the late 10th, the mid-13th, and the mid-19th centuries, but the most important additions were added in the 1200s when 240 historical and biblical figures in a realistic style were painted.

 

Todor Bozhinov / Тодор Божинов, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

6. The Church of Saint George

The Church of Saint George is a Late Antique red brick rotunda in Sofia, built in the 300s it is the oldest building in modern Sofia and it belongs to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. Inside you can see the detailed medieval frescoes, painted by the Ottomans when the church was converted to a mosque in the 1600s. Outside of The Church of Saint George you can see the flagstones of a Roman street and other remnants of Ancient Serdica.

Matti Blume, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

7. National History Museum

The collection at the museum is gigantic; the 65,000 items on display is just one tenth of what is held behind the scenes in its archives. The National Historical Museum in Sofia has 65,000 items on display and many more in its archives making it the largest Bulgarian museum. The museum has a café, cloakroom, library and a souvenir shop.


Bin im Garten, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

8. Central Mineral Baths

Sofia has a lot of spring activity, and these waters have drawn visitors since medieval times. The Central Mineral Baths date to 1913 and were in use up until the mid-80s. Constructed in neo-byzantine style with a large dome behind an impressive vestibule it’s one of the most photographed buildings in Sofia. The Gardens are open to public and the fountain at the centre is powered by hot mineral water.

Jaimrsilva, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

9. Saint Sophia Church

Saint Sophia Church is the oldest church in Sofia dating to the 4th century. This church gave the name to the Bulgarian capital – Sofia in the 1300s during the second Bulgarian Empire. When you visit you can see the remnants of this ancient church and the tombs that date back more than 1500 years.

Matti Blume, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

10. Ivan Vazov National Theater

Built in 1906 the Ivan Vazov National Theatre is Bulgaria’s national theatre as well as the oldest theatre in Bulgaria. Located at the centre of the city, facing the City Garden it is one of the important landmarks of Sofia. The building with its towering portico is an iconic sight for Bulgaria and it is most famous for its drama productions.

Plamen Agov • studiolemontree.com, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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