We’re not gonna lie, winter in Sofia can be quite tough. However, there are plenty of things to do in the Bulgarian capital even when it’s -20°C. We want to pass this insight onto you, our lovely visitors. Keep in mind though that you might just fall in love with Sofia and decide to make it your new home! Depending on what region of the world you hail from, the moment you poke your face out from your cozy hotel/hostel/Airbnb room, it might feel like a warm spring kiss or a bone-chilling North Pole slap in the face! Either way, we’ve got you covered, and will give you our top winter picks to make your winter visit to our lovely city as enjoyable as possible!
Wondering what to do in Sofia in winter? Here are our top 10 picks for winter activities in Sofia:
It’s all about the powder a.k.a the snow! That’s right you saw it as you were landing – our beautiful Vitosha mountain! And yes we are totally going to brag that once work is over during the winter season we can drive up the mountain and do some night skiing. You are an early riser? You can get on those slopes as early as 8:30 AM. Due to the changing weather conditions, it is wise to check what time the lifts are open.
We have a less extreme outdoor activity. It’s the outdoor ice-skating rink at Yunak stadium. You will find it at the entrance of Borisova Garden, right next to Vasil Levski Metro Station. Near the intersection of boulevards Evlogi & Hristo Georgievi and Dragan Tsankov. Once you have discovered it, you will be ready to rent your skates. Don’t worry! You don’t need to be an ice-skating champion to put on those skates. If it is your first time, and you are not the most coordinated person, you might spend the majority of your time inspecting the ice on the ground, i.e. get ready to fall a lot, but trust us you will have tons of fun.
Every Day: 10 AM to 11:30 PM
Kids up to 7yo – free of charge
Adults: 12BGN (including the skates rental)
Adults: 10BGN (if you have your own skates)
12-ticket pass: 99BGN (valid from December 1st to February 1st)
A lesson with an instructor: 15BGN
You can also buy your tickets online.
Perhaps you made some new friends last night at your hostel, but the outside temperatures are a bit snippy and you are not too keen on exploring the city. Don’t fear! There is a solution! You will be able to do something with your new BFFs. How about some board games in a cool renovated old house that has a bar! Stop by Abordage or Karkason and you will see what we are talking about. That’s right board games, drinks, and great company! That’s one way to escape a harsh winter day in Sofia!
You should definitely visit the Sofia Opera and Ballet and take advantage of the incredibly low prices. Yes, as low as 12 levs or around 6 euros, and increasing in gradation up to 50 levs or 25 euros, for the best seats. You can even book your tickets online, by first creating a profile. We advise you to do that so you can avoid the potential language barrier at the ticket box while personally selecting your seats from the comfort of your home.
The Red Flat is now open. Explore Bulgaria’s communist part by entering the cozy home of an average Bulgarian family from the 1980s. A 1-2hour long interactive indoor activity that will immerse you into the daily life of the regular Bulgarian people during the Cold War.
Unfortunately, there are not many options for rooftop views in Sofia. However, there are several bars/restaurants that offer great views such as:
Our organization is most famous for doing walking tours in Sofia and Plovdiv. A walking tour might not be the first thing that comes to mind when it’s really cold. However, if you do enjoy walking in the cold winter weather the Free Sofia Tour is always there to guide you through the city’s most famous landmarks! In the snow, they look even more enchanting. The very friendly, young, and energetic tour guides will graciously take you for a leisurely two-hour sightseeing walk. Feel free to join us every single day of the year in front of the Palace of Justice. See you soon!
Malls are everywhere in Sofia. We have more shopping malls than we have time and money to spend on, enjoy them all. It’s warm, inside, at least. You can also check out our guide to shopping in Sofia.
Christmas markets are not really part of the Bulgarian Christmas tradition. That’s why usually there’s only one such market in town and it’s extremely popular. It is situated in the garden in front of the National Theatre. Christmas specialties and mulled wine will keep you warm in the cold December days! The Christmas market is usually open from the 22nd of November until the 22nd of December. If you happen to be in Bulgaria during Christmas time make sure to learn about some of the fun local Christmas traditions.
Traditional Bulgarian restaurants are so cozy that they offer the perfect environment for you to spend several hours enjoying incredible Bulgarian dishes and most of all… great local wines. One of our favorites is Pod Lipite.
Author: Free Sofia Tour Guide – Nina Nikolova
Last Updated: January 2022
Also check out:
The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.