Sofia is Bulgaria’s dynamic capital. It is located at the bottom of Vitosha, a popular ski mountain, so make sure you pack warm clothes. It is known for its rich and complex history, its nightlife, and its winding cobblestone boulevards. There is a ton of ground to cover and explore, but in this article you will read about some of the most important places to stop and take a look around!
1. Ivan Vazov National Theatre
This theatre is Bulgaria’s national theatre, therefore it is treasured and well taken care of. It is also the oldest theatre in the country, making it an important historical landmark located in Sofia’s city center. This theatre has gone through a lot, a fire in 1923, followed by a bombing during World War II. However it has been reconstructed with great attention to detail and to this day it remains impeccable in beauty.
2. Saint Nikolas Russia Church
This orthodox church is unlike any other! Its Russian architecture is amazing and there are tons of little details for you to take in. The inside is cozy and small, and there is a park outside for walking around and relaxing. It’s definitely worth stopping by as you’re exploring the city, as it’s not a big time commitment but it will still leave you very impressed.
3. House of National Assembly
This political building is used by the Bulgarian Parliament to hold debates, however you can go there to see the ancient Serdica ruins. The ruins are preserved, protected by a modern glass ceiling that contrasts with the decaying walls. The building was built between 1884 and 1886, in a Neoclassical style of architecture. It is a great place to take photos and is definitely one of Sofia’s best-known landmarks. Right across the street you can also see the beautiful monument of Tsar Alexander II.
4. Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
This church is an absolute must-visit while you’re in Sofia! It is a Bulgarian Orthodox church built in Neo-Byzantine style. It is one of the most important spots in Sofia, and the most important Orthodox church in all of Bulgaria. The church was built to commemorate all of the men who died in the Russian-Turkish War, and Bulgarian´s liberation from the rule of the Ottoman Empire. The interior is just as beautiful as the exterior, complete with many intricate paintings and carvings.
5. National Historical Museum
If you love history, or just feel as though you don’t know enough about Bulgaria, this museum is perfect for you! As Bulgaria’s largest museum, it’s very thorough and is complete with any extra information you could need. There is a large collection of national treasures, such as pottery, art, and jewelry. In fact, it contains more than 650,000 artifacts covering around 7000 years!
6. The Church of Saint George
This church is thought to be the oldest building in Sofia, and you can see why! The rotunda surrounded by ruin-like walls is located in proximity to the ancient ruins of the town Serdica. This church is known for its impressive five layers of frescoes located inside the central dome.
7. Vitosha Boulevard
This street is a ped mall that is perfect for walking around casually or getting lunch. It is lined with lots of little shops, cafes, and restaurants that you can check out. It is also really close to lots of main attractions, making it an easy middle point if you want to take a break from sightseeing.
8. German Christmas Market
If you visit Sofia in December, make sure you take advantage of the traditional Christmas market they have every year! There are usually around 20 stalls where you can stop to get food or wine. It’s not a large market, but it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in the city during this time.
BONUS TIP: remember you can always book a Photoshoot in Sofia to create wonderful memories from your trip to this amazing city! 😉