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Best things to do in Sofia

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Where in the world: Europe  /  Bulgaria  /  Sofia Region  /  Sofia

Top 15 things to do in Sofia

1. Walking tours

Suggested duration: 8 hours
Tours from $31 › Learn more about Walking tours

2. St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral

See what may be the largest collection of Orthodox icons in Europe at St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral, as well as a piece of St. Alexander Nevski's rib. The second biggest Orthodox cathedral in the Balkans, this church can hold 10,000 people, and its golden, neo-Byzantine domes can be seen from miles away. The cathedral's luxurious interior is decorated with Italian marble, Brazilian onyx, and alabaster. See murals, marble iconostasis, pulpit, and patriarchal throne. The temple was built in honor of the Russian Tsar Alexander II, whose army liberated Bulgaria from Ottoman rule. The various icons are inside the crypt.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $10 › Learn more about St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral

3. Room Escape Games

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Learn more about Room Escape Games

4. Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia

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Discover two of Bulgaria’s UNESCO World Heritage gems on this day trip from Sofia. Traveling by minibus, admire rural Bulgaria on route to the Rila Monastery in the pine-carpeted Rila Mountains. Take a guided tour of the medieval treasure with its fresco-coated church, and visit its fascinating museum. Then, after time to explore independently, continue to Boyana Church, near Sofia, to marvel at its spectacular pre-Renaissance frescoes. Entrance fees not included. The tour offers 3 different options: 1. The guided tour option is with an English-speaking live guide. 2. Tour with an an audio guide in Spanish, Italian, German, Russian or English.3. Transport only (that option might not be bookable for some dates).
Suggested duration: 8 hours
Tours from $33 › More about this tour at viator.com ›
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5. Boyana Church

See one of the most complete and perfectly preserved monuments of eastern European medieval art at Boyana Church. Featuring an important collection of medieval Byzantine frescoes, this site was added to the World Heritage list in 1979. The walls of the narthex are adorned with 18 scenes from the life of St. Nicholas, incorporating aspects of contemporary life. In “The Miracle at Sea,” the ship and the sailors' hats recall the Venetian fleet. The portraits of Bulgarian Tsar Constantine Tikh and Tsaritsa Irina on the north wall are among the most impressive and lifelike frescoes in the church.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
Tours from $27 › Learn more about Boyana Church

6. Vitosha Boulevard

Window-shop in the posh outlets of many high-end fashion labels at Vitosha Boulevard, where you'll find Versace, Escada, Bvlgari, D&G, Gianfranco Ferré, Emporio Armani, Tommy Hilfiger, Boss, and more. Named after the nearby mountain, this semi-pedestrian street cuts through the center of Sofia. Shoppers often meet at a pharmacy at the corner of Vitosha and Patriarch Eftimii boulevards. From there, you can walk along the boulevard and see some of the city's notable buildings, such as the National Palace of Culture, the Palace of the Courts, and St. Nedelya Orthodox Church. Take a break at one of the many restaurants аnd bars.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $5 › Learn more about Vitosha Boulevard

7. Vitosha Mountain

Vitosha Mountain remains the country’s most visited protected area with over 3.5 million visitors every year. Within the park, Branishte Biosphere Reserve and Peat Branishte Reserve serve as one of the first Bulgarian reserves. The natural monument Duhlata represents the longest and one of the most beautiful caves in Bulgaria. Over 300 km (186 mi) of tourist trails and alleys and dozens marked tourist routes cater to adventures seekers. Ten peaks above 2,000 m (6,500 ft) high offer a backdrop, overlooking cycling and equestrian tourism routes and climbing routes for mountaineers. Multiple nature protection centers, museums, environmental centers, sports, and information alleys also sit within the park, part of the European ecological network NATURA 2000.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $31 › Learn more about Vitosha Mountain

8. Wine Tasting in Heart of Sofia

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During your personal tasting experience I will guide you through the distinctive world of Bulgarian wines. Although Bulgaria has been producing wine for 5000 years it is still relatively unknown to the rest of the world. Now a rising new generation of Bulgarian boutique winemakers are devoted to the craft and bringing new attention to our country. You will taste 5 wine varieties of local grapes unique to Bulgaria, that can not be found anywhere else: Miskets, Melnik, Mavrud, Gumza and Rubin. Plus, local cheeses, artisanal bread and mineral water. The tasting is held in one of the best boutique wine shops in Sofia – Tempus Vini, which is located on an artsy street in the city center, known for its fine restaurants and boutiques. And just a few streets away from Sofia’s main pedestrian boulevard. During the tasting I can tell you about the wine regions of Bulgaria including the history and the wine culture of my beautiful country. All tastings are held in English or Bulgarian
Suggested duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Tours from $33 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

9. Church St. George Rotunda

Hear priests chant in the old Slavic language and sing Byzantine music while performing the daily liturgy at Church St. George Rotunda. The Romans built the red-brick rotunda--the oldest building in Sofia--in the fourth century CE, presumably on the site of a pagan temple. A modern hotel was built around the church in the 1950s, and in the courtyard you can see the contrast between the opulence of the huge hotel and the humility of the small church. The church is famous for its 12th- to 14th-century frescoes. Twenty-two large figures of prophets crown the central dome around the image of Christ. As you exit the church, wander around the neighboring ruins of the ancient town of Serdika.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $5 › Learn more about Church St. George Rotunda

10. Temple Sveti Nikolay

At the crypt of , a box with handwritten messages stands next to the tomb of the former Bishop Seraphim. Locals consider him a miracle worker and believe that he answers prayers and makes wishes come true. The church's white-and-green tiled exterior is topped with five small, golden domes. Inside, you'll find four icons on the iconostasis, modeled after the icons from Kiev's St. Vladimir cathedral. The builders and the artists who painted the interior walls also worked on the Alexander Nevski Cathedral. Built on the Russian Embassy's initiative between 1907 and 1914, the church served as а center for numerous Russian emigrants in Bulgaria. Note that information at the site is available only in Russian and Bulgarian.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
Tours from $5 › Learn more about Temple Sveti Nikolay

11. Saint Sofia Church

Sixth-century Saint Sofia Church gave its name to the city. Built on the necropolis of the ancient city of Serdika, the church is one of the most valuable pieces of early Christian architecture in southeastern Europe. According to popular lore, St. Sophia's miraculous powers protected the building over the centuries, withstanding Turks and earthquakes. Walk on floors covered with early Christian ornamental flora- and fauna-themed mosaics. See the icons depicting Sophia, the Divine Wisdom, portrayed as a young figure of Christ seated on a rainbow.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
Tours from $5 › Learn more about Saint Sofia Church

12. Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Shuttle Day Tour

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Enjoy a day in the mountains by exploring 2 UNESCO sites - the Rila Monastery and the Boyana church. The 8-hour day tour will be with a group and a professional guide in English. In the monastery, you will have a 40-minute guided tour and 2,5 hours free time to make photos, check the museums and the shops, and have lunch. The visit of the Boyana church, although short, is definitely worth since you will see its amazing 800-years old frescoes and learn their history from your guide!*Women should have their knees and shoulders covered in the monastery!*If your tour is on a weekend day during the summer, the restaurants could be crowded so you can bring your own food from Sofia in order to have more free time and the monastery. *The Boyana church is closed on the 1st of January, on the Sunday of the Orthodox Easter, on the 24th of December, 25th of December - and on such days the tour is done only to the Rila Monastery.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
Tours from $27 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

13. Museum of illusions Sofia

Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Museum of illusions Sofia

14. Go Borovets, Borovets

Suggested duration: 8 hours
Learn more about Go Borovets

15. Plovdiv and Koprivshtitsa Day Trip from Sofia

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Enjoy a guided combo tour to two of the most fascinating towns in Bulgaria. These are Plovdiv - the European Capital of Culture 2019 and Koprivshtitsa - a picturesque town with an epic history and a striking architecture. Explore all major attractions in the old town of Plovdiv with a professiona English-speaking guide and admire the marvelous heritage left by Thracians, Romans, Byzantines, Jews, Greeks, Armenians and Bulgarians. The route between Plovdiv and Koprivshtitsa crosses rose valleys, charming villages and the gentle hills of Sredna Gora Mountain. Koprivshtitsa is unforgettable with its spectacular Bulgarian Renaissance mansions and filled with battles chronicles. Despite the long and intensive itinerary, there is free time planned for shopping, self-guided wandering and eating.
Suggested duration: 11 hours
Tours from $55 › More about this tour at viator.com ›