If you are reading this then you are most likely visiting Sofia for the first time. No worries! We are here to guide you through your first experience with a list of essential things to do and see in Bulgaria’s capital and largest city.
From its beautiful temples to the ancient Roman ruins, Sofia has a lot to offer. The city is full of must-sees due to its rich historical and cultural heritage. A great way to get a good overview of the city’s historical center is of course one of our daily free walking tours. This will get you acquainted with the city’s most important sights in just 2 hours. The tours start in front of the Palace of Justice and end right next to Sofia’s most legendary building – St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.
Sofia’s city center is very compact and walking is the best way to get your bearings and experience the Bulgarian lifestyle. It is inevitable that you will end up on Vitosha boulevard. It is by far the busiest pedestrian zone in our capital full of many great bars, restaurants and shops.
You will be surprised how green Sofia is. Large parks and smaller green areas are one of Sofia’s great advantages. Make sure to enjoy at least a couple of hours walking around South Park or Borisova Garden (Sofia’s largest park). However, probably the most crowded one of them all is the City Garden. Also known as “the garden in front of the National Theatre” it truly is one of the most social places in town. Enjoy a drink or two with your friends in this great outdoor environment!
Sofia is one of the very few European capitals that does not have a big river or a sea next to it. Instead of that, there is quite a high mountain (2290m), at least according to the Bulgarian standards. It’s the Vitosha Mountain Apart from giving you a lot of great picture opportunities from pretty much every part of town, it is also the nearest hiking option. It is well connected to the city center and you’ll be there in no time. Here’s how to get there.
View this post on Instagram
Sofia is lucky to have the Vitosha mountain at an immediate proximity. 🍁 Before the snow comes make sure to enjoy these colourful autumn landscapes 🍂 #Sofia #sofiabulgaria #autumn #vitosha #vitoshamountain #mountains #mountainlandscape #autumnvibes #autumnlandscape #autumnland #yellowtree #october #october🍁 #colourful #bulgaria #витоша #софия #българия
A post shared by Free Sofia Tour (@freesofiatour) on
No visit to Bulgaria is complete without experiencing traditional Bulgarian food. The best way to do this is by visiting a traditional Bulgarian restaurant such as Manastirska Magernitsa or Pod Lipite. Decorated in an authentic folklore style such restaurants often offer a show that includes live Bulgarian music and dances. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to try rakia!
We recommend that you visit at least one museum during your Sofia visit. And now comes the hard part… which one? Most museums are situated in the center of the city. Here are some of our favorites:
No list of “things to do and see” would be complete without talking about the city’s nightlife. In Sofia it is mainly situated in the city center. Apart from the Vitosha boulevard, a favorite when it comes to nightlife and bars is Shishman street. Several pub crawls also operate in the city. Here are some of our favorite bars and clubs:
There are many options for adventure lovers near Sofia. Everything from rock climbing to mountain biking to paragliding and kayaking. Here is a more detailed list of such activities.
If you love performing arts you’ve come to the right place. Sofia is full with affordable options for lovers of all art.
If you’ve come here for just 2 or 3 days you might not have the time to do this. However, we do encourage you to dive deeper into what Bulgaria has to offer. There are countless of opportunities for day trips, nature escapes, hiking and so much more. If you have the time, we recommend a visit to Plovdiv, The Rila Monastary and Veliko Tarnovo.
Top 10 Things to do and See in Sofia was created by Free Sofia Tour
Also check out: