Top 10 Things to do in Sofia, Bulgaria
Have you ever thought of visiting a city which includes historical, cultural and ancient places combined? Visit Bulgaria to enjoy traditional folklore, restaurants recreating the country’s history, and more!
Founded thousands of years ago, Sofia – the capital of Bulgaria – continues to develop as the country’s cultural and economic center, an attractive destination for all ages.
Although there are many things to do in Sofia, here are the top 10 reasons why you should visit this ancient and shiny city:
- The Saint Sofia Basilica is one of the oldest churches in the capital. It was the city’s major church during the Middle Ages which has been used as a mosque. Very close to Saint Sofia is The Memorial Church Saint Alexander Nevsky – now one of the city’s most recognizable symbols.
- One of Bulgaria’s most significant historical treasures, listed on the Unesco World Cultural Heritage list is the Boyana Church. Set amongst tall old pine trees in the exclusive suburb of Boyana, this quaint church dates back to the 11th century and was built in three stages.
- National Historical Museum – with more than 22,000 exhibits, this museum will show you the development of social, cultural and political life on Bulgarian soil. Among the most spectacular exhibits are unique gold treasures from Panagyurishte and the Tracian silver from Rogozen.
- Sofia preserves many valuable monuments to its long and storied past. Visitors exploring the city’s streets can see remnants of The Eastern Gate from the days when Sofia was Serdika and Sredets, dating from the 2nd-4th centuries CE. These remains are exhibited in the underpass connecting the Presidential Palace and The Ministerial Council, surrounded by shops selling traditional Bulgarian souvenirs and rosewater.
- Ivan Vazov National Theatre – built in 1907 by the Austrian architects Helmer & Felner, the National Theatre is one of the most ornate buildings in Sofia. The interior was destroyed by fire in 1923, and restored again six years later increasing the theatres seating capacity to over 1000. The stage curtain, with its mythical firebird motive from Stravinsky’s ballet, was woven by women from Panagyurishte.
- Presidency and Parliament building – both located in the heart of the city, they are very interesting and attractive sightseeing points, combining unique style and architecture.
- One of Sofia’s favorite spots for both visitors and residents is Vitosha Boulevard. There are shops carrying world-famous brands, and since it’s a pedestrian zone, it a very pleasant place for strolling and relaxation. In general, the capital is a shopper’s delight, since Sofia is still one of the major crossroads on the Balkan Peninsula for trade of all kinds.
- Borissova Gradina – once you are well away from the busy boulevards, there are plenty of woodland paths to wander around and pretend you are miles away from the city life. The Kokolandia rope park in the woods behind Park Hotel Moskva provides some challenging fun for young and old alike.
- Vrana Park Museum – just before the ringroad in the direction of Plovdiv is the magnificent Vrana Park Museum. With an entrance fee of 5 leva the park is a very attractive place for the visitors.
- Vitosha Mountain – avoid the bare plateau in the summer and seek out the dense shade of the level path running from Zheleznitsa – Bistritsa – Simeonovo – Dragalevtsi or make your way from the centre of Boyana to the Boyana waterfall or lake, don’t miss also the Golden Bridges – the largest stone river, situated in the valey of Vladayska river.