It’s tiiime! The holiday season is upon us. And we are here with the most extensive list of festive Christmas locations ever compiled, including Christmas markets, charity bazaars, ice-skating rinks, holiday shopping options, and more! Get ready for your Christmas in Sofia!
Now we have to be honest. Sofia isn’t known for being a holiday destination, nor for its wonderful decorations or a dominant festive atmosphere. If anything, the lack of holiday spirit in the air has become somewhat synonymous with the city. However, this year, it seems like things are changing. There is a noticeable increase in Christmas-themed locations and winter activities in the city. So, if you’ve chosen Sofia for your holiday city escape, you are in for a treat! And we are surely hoping for some snow to add to the festive mood!
Who doesn’t love the Christmas markets and a cup of mulled wine? This winter we have plenty of options to choose from. Buying gifts, and enjoying tasty foods and drinks, while listening to live music – what’s not to love?
This was the first and for many years the only Christmas market in the city. It might sound strange, but Christmas markets weren’t part of the Bulgarian Christmas tradition up until the last decade. It’s been happening for 12 years and it is already part of the tradition. Naturally, it is also the most well-known holiday location in Sofia. You will find it in the City Garden (in front of the National Theatre). It welcomes adults and kids with a lot of different stalls with food and drinks, a workshop, a photo booth, and a stage, with various activities, including theater performances for kids, visits by Santa Claus, and popular Bulgarian pop and jazz singers in the evenings. Open from Nov 18th until December 22nd, you will be able to visit it every day between 11AM and 10PM.
We looove this new idea! It is situated in the park right behind the National Palace of Culture. It’s a place for theater performances, circus performances, concerts, winter farmers’ markets, and also your spot to watch a football game from the World Cup. It’s open to visitors every day from November 18th until December 18th. On weekdays it opens at 12PM. On weekends from 11AM.
This market will open on the 9th Dec and will work till the 28th. It will have a lot of pavilions for food and drinks, many handmade crafts to help you find the perfect presents, a nativity scene, and a photo booth with Santa Claus.
Another wonderful central location. We don’t have much information about this particular one, except that it is expected to open on the 1st of December and run until the end of the month! Get festive!
This one will also happen for the very first time. From 1st of December until the 8th of January, this charity event is all about food. “A warm Christmas with a smile for a person in need” is this market’s motto. Prominent Bulgarian chefs will present their meals and restaurants. Visitors will be able to donate for good causes. You will find it on Saborna street.
A total of 10 Christmas markets will be present in Sofia this year. If you happen to stay in areas that are out of the center, you have a few more options -the Christmas markets at the North Park, park Gerena, and at the Roman Wall market in Lozenets.
We’ve saved the best for last. The biggest ever ice-skating rink on the Balkans will open in the heart of the Bulgarian capital. Right in front of the otherwise controversial Monument of the Soviet Army, the park will be turned into a real winter wonderland. The ice park was modeled after the famous ice park in Viena. It will open on 1st of December and will welcome visitors until at least the end of February. The entrance fee will be 20BGN (around 10 EUR) for 2 hours. From January 1st the entrance for kids will be free of charge between 9AM and 11AM.
For more exciting winter activities in Sofia make sure to check out:
Winter in Sofia
Also check out:
5 Bulgarian Christmas Facts and Traditions
Christmas or New Years? A communist take
And last but not least, don’t forget to explore Sofia’s biggest landmarks with our daily free walking tours! Our tours run every single day at 11AM & 2PM, without exception – including on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve and January 1st! We meet in front of the Palace of Justice.
Hi! Do you have any updated information about the Saborna Christmas food fest? Trying to find more information on time of operation and what can we expect (more street food style or?)
How about the one at Slaveykov Park?
Hello! Both are working until 10PM. The Saborna Market is all about the food, whereas at Slaveykov you can find wonderful food options, as well as different Christmas gifts, cards, textiles, and more. Enjoy!