things to do in Sofia

Dating back to 7000 BC, Sofia’s rich history is noticeable throughout the Roman Ruins in which the city was built, and its diverse architectural stylings, from neo-Byzantine and neo-Baroque to communist-style buildings.

Wealth in theaters and opera houses, there are plenty of fun things to do in Sofia, a city that has made a name for itself on the southeastern European cultural map.

With its proximity to nearby countries like Serbia and North Macedonia, travel plans expand with even more activities and day trips to take part in.

Tourist Attractions & Sightseeing Tours

1 – Visit the Neo-Byzantine St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Sofia

Considered one of the most emblematic sites in Sofia and one of the most important Orthodox churches in Bulgaria, the St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral was built as a symbol for those who perished during the Russian-Turkish War of 1878-1879, which helped to liberate Bulgaria from the Ottoman Empire.

Be amazed by the beautiful Neo-Byzantine architecture with gold-covered domes, and take in the other lavish materials used to give the church its fine details, from Italian marble, Brazilian onyx, and Indian alabaster.

Admission: Free.
Opening hours: Daily from 7 am – 7 pm.

Housed inside the crypt, step inside the Christan art museum, showcasing religious art from Bulgaria and interesting facts from the cathedral’s construction. Visits are open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am – 6 pm, and tickets cost BGN 6 (€3).

2 – Take the kids to the Sofia Zoo

Sofia Zoo, Bulgaria

Spend an afternoon in the oldest zoo in the Balkans, observing the grand variety of animals that call the Sofia Zoo home.

With over 2,000 varieties of animals and around 280 represented species, both local and international, this is a great family-friendly activity to learn more about each animal and its habitats.

Visitors can expect to see animals like otters, goats, lions, bears, lamas, birds of various varieties, and learn about 40 different tree species from all over the world.

Admission: Free for children under 3; BGN 2 (€1) for 3 to 17 years old; BGN 4 (€2) for adults.
Opening hours: Daily from 9:30 am – 6 pm.

3 – Go back in time on a communism tour

communism tours in Sofia

Learn about life during the communist era (1946-1989) as you walk through the streets of Sofia.

Admire the architecture of the National Assembly building, the former headquarters of the Bulgarian Communist Party, walk past the Prince’s Garden, and learn about the dedication behind the sculptures of the Monument to the Soviet Army.

Stop by the Museum of Socialist Art for various poster propaganda, a large 5-pointed star, films, and texts from the time. Finish with some drinks at the Raketa Rakia bar, a communist-styled bar.

4 – Explore the National Palace of Culture

National Palace of Culture, Sofia

Built in 1981, the National Palace of Culture (NDK) is the largest convention center in the southeastern region of Europe, covering approximately 123,000 square meters and towers around 8 stories high.

Hosting about 300 events per year, from concerts to conventions, conferences, exhibitions, festivals, and more, check out their website to find more information on upcoming shows and events taking place inside.

Tip: Make sure to check out the piece of the Berlin wall, located on the left side of the main entrance of the NDK.

5 – Visit the famous churches of Sofia

famous churches in Sofia

The Church of St. Nicholas the Miracle-Maker is a Russian church in the heart of Sofia and offers beautiful 16th-century Russian architecture stylings, and stunning frescoes inside. Stop by the crypt where the remains of Bishop Serafin lie.

The Church of St. George Rotunda, also known as St. Georgi, went through waves of different uses based on religious influences, from a Christian church to a mosque and an Orthodox church. Stop by on a Sunday morning to listen to the sound of church chants and singing.

A bus tour is a fast and easy way to get informed and appreciate the different architecture of each church, all retelling a piece of important Bulgarian history.

6 – Check out the unique Ancient Serdica Complex

Ancient Serdica Complex, Sofia

Discovered during the construction of the Arena di Serdica Hotel of FPI Hotels & Resorts in 2004, the uniqueness of the Amphitheater of Serdica lies in the theater that was excavated underneath.

Scholars named these two findings as the Ancient Serdica Complex, dating back to the 3rd-4th century. Coins, pottery, and ceramics were found and nowadays visitors can check out the ruins along with the findings themselves.

Admission: Free.
Opening hours: Daily from 7 am – 10 pm.

7 – Learn about the turbulent past of the Sofia Synagogue

Sofia Synagogue, Bulgaria

The Sofia Synagogue, one of the largest in Europe and it’s 1 of the last 2 remaining functioning synagogues in Bulgaria, serves the small yet present Jewish community of Sofia.

Enter the holy space and take in the beautiful Spanish-Arab architecture while noticing the majestic hanging chandelier in the middle.

Visitors can find other religious spaces nearby such as the Banya Bashi Mosque and Catholic Cathedral.

Admission: BGN 5 (€2.50).
Opening hours: Daily from 7 am – 10 pm.

8 – Shop at the best markets

best markets in Sofia

Stop by the Sofia Central Market Hall, a great foodie spot, and taste authentic local dishes on a delicious market food tour.

Experience local everyday life in Sofia with a visit to Zhenski Pazar Market, also known as the Women’s Market, the oldest market in Sofia, dating back to the early 20th century, where you can find stalls of fresh and local produce brought by local farmers.

Near the famed Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is the Alexander Nevsky Antiques Market, an open-air flea market where visitors can expect everything from soviet union memorabilia to home articles.

On Saturday mornings, for an authentic experience and random yet intriguing second-hand goods, visit the Bitaka (Malashevtsi) Flea Market.

9 – Visit Banya Bashi Mosque

Banya Bashi Mosque, Sofia

The only remaining functioning mosque in Sofia, Banya Bashi Mosque showcases a typical architectural style of the Ottoman Empire.

It’s open for respectful visitors of all religious backgrounds to take in the stunning interiors, that can fit up to 700 people and display incredible calligraphy, geometric shapes, Islamic art, and beautiful tile work.

Look beside the mosque to find remnants of an old Hamman, perhaps giving the name “many baths” to the Mosque.

Admission: Free.
Opening hours: Daily from 6 am – 10 pm.

10 – Relax and unwind in Sofia’s best parks

best parks in Sofia
Open air concert in Borisova Gradina Park

Check out some of the best parks in Sofia to escape the busy city life for a while.

Borisova Gradina Park is one of the oldest parks in Sofia and is located 7 minutes south of downtown Sofia. Offering walking trails, beautiful picnic spaces, and historical sculptures.

Located close to the National Art Gallery is the City Garden. Check out the beautiful gardens where locals of all ages come out to meet with friends and enjoy a coffee.

Take your young ones to the playground inside Park Zaimov, offering tennis courts, cafes, and even a theater.

11 – Walk throughout Vitosha Boulevard

Vitosha Boulevard, Sofia

Located in the downtown area, Vitosha Boulevard is Sofia’s main shopping avenue.

Stretching for 1.678 miles, it boasts some of the most luxurious brands known globally, from Bulgari to Max Mara, and a few local high-end fashion brands.

With many restaurants and bars recognized for Bulgarian delicacies like moussaka and gyuvetch, this is often an attraction that many people flock to.

Due to its central location, many free walking tours meet here, as it intersects with many popular sites like Sveta Nedelya Orthodox Church and the Sofia Court of Justice.

12 – Squat down and purchase from a Klek Shop

Klek shops in Sofia

During the communist era, when it wasn’t allowed to privately own a shop, homeowners used their basements to conceal their business activities by only using a small window to interact with customers.

Selling everything from snacks, water, candy, and ice cream, to bread, groceries, and wine, even though Klek shops (Klek meaning squat in Bulgarian) are not as common anymore, visitors still search for this unique experience in Sofia.

Some of the underground spaces have been converted into speakeasies, so make sure to check them out.

Outdoor, Adventure & Sports

13 – Paraglide to get a bird’s eye view of Sofia

paragliding in Sofia

Fly with a professional and take in some of Sofia’s most famed sights including the St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Church St. George Rotunda, and the Sofia History Museum.

The paragliding adventure usually lasts 10-30 minutes depending on the weather conditions and can go up as high as a few thousand meters in the sky.

Ticket prices may vary, but start at around €150.

Many of the take-off sites are located not too far from downtown Sofia, so a quick taxi ride or bus ride will be the easiest mode of transportation.

Theme Parks

14 – Take your family to Kokolandia Adventure Park

Kokolandia, Sofia

Located about 1 hour from Sofia, adventure calls at Kokolandia Adventure Park, a family-friendly amusement park that creates bonds over challenging tree-top obstacle courses.

With activities ranging from rope climbing to trampolines, Children will also love the newly opened Vozhelandia, combining swinging, jumping, hiding, and rolling around a wide colorful net.

Every game and activity is backed up with insurance and safety nets everywhere, providing a fun and safe environment for the entire family.

Admission: BGN 10 (€5) per round.
Opening hours: Daily from 10 am – 7 pm.

Directions in Google Maps

15 – Splish splash at Vazrajdane Aqua Park

Vazrajdane Aqua Park, Sofia

Located in the heart of the city, inside the extensive Vazrajdane Park, easily accessed via public transportation by train or bus, Vazrajdane Aqua Park is one of the best things to do in Sofia with kids.

This aqua park offers incredible relaxing, exciting, and entertaining options. Enjoy a large indoor swimming pool, a sauna park, and fun outdoor swimming pools with twisty slides.

Parents can enjoy the swim-up bar, catch some sun rays on the sunbeds, have lunch at the restaurant on-site, or even indulge in a massage, salt room, tangent baths, and so much more.

Admission: Starts from BGN 11 (€5.5) for pool access.
Opening hours: Daily from 7 am – 11 pm.

Directions in Google Maps

16 – Jump in on the fun at Park Boby & Kelly amusement park

Park Boby & Kelly, Sofia

Situated 16 minutes southeast of downtown Sofia, Park Boby & Kelly is guaranteed to give your family long-lasting memories, with games ranging from trampolines to child-size roller coasters, arcade games, airplane simulators and so much more.

Access to the park is free, however, to ride the games there’s a small fee. A parent with a child between 0-3 years old can get on the rides for free.

Admission: Single-use tickets start from BGN 5 (€2.5).
Opening hours: Weekdays from 4 pm – 10 pm, weekends and holidays from 10 am – 10 pm (winter) / Daily from 10 am – 10 pm (summer).

Directions in Google Maps

Museums & Games

17 – Check the National History Museum

National History Museum, Sofia

With over 650,000 exhibits, the National History Museum, Sofia’s largest museum, welcomes visitors to learn more about Bulgaria’s fascinating and deep history.

From the Bronze Age and the Middle Ages, to showcasing war relics and everyday textiles, maps, furniture, and more, the museum takes visitors across the different eras of Bulgaria.

The archaeological and historical rooms are also worth visiting, to examine the incredible items found during excavations throughout the country.

After learning about Bulgarian history, consider having lunch at the museum buffet, and stepping into the library and souvenir shop.

Admission: BGN 12 (€6).
Opening hours: Daily from 9:30 am – 6 pm (winter) / 7 pm (summer).

Directions in Google Maps

18 – Learn about the past at the Regional History Museum of Sofia

Sofia History Museum, Bulgaria

Located in the former Central Mineral Bathhouse, an iconic building from the early 20th century, the Regional History Museum of Sofia shares Sofia’s history, from the beginnings of the city’s settlement to current-day progressions.

With 8 exhibits showcasing the different eras of Sofia, the museum offers insights into the prized materials of the Kings that once ruled Sofia, the Turkish influence in the city, and what a Neolithic home six millennia BC was like.

Next to the museum, peek at the mineral springs for a visual of the abundance and common practice of mineral spring water fountains throughout the city.

Admission: BGN 6 (€3).
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am – 6 pm.

Directions in Google Maps

19 – Do double takes inside the Museum of Illusions

Museum of Illusions, Sofia
Credit to Museum of Illusions

The Museum of Illusions is jam-packed with incredible fantasies, where technology, riddles, art, and a strong sense of imagination come together to create a unique experience.

With a space of 400 square meters, prepare to spend 1-2 hours enjoying the exhibits, where children and adults can draw with light, take pictures with interactive cameras, amongst other fun things.

Admission: Free for children under 3; BGN 9 (€4.5) for 3 to 6 years old; BGN 18 (€9) for students and BGN 23 (€11.5) for adults.
Opening hours: Daily from 10 am – 8 pm.

Directions in Google Maps

20 – Check out the art hot spots in Sofia’s art galleries

National Art Gallery, Sofia

Browse the 28 halls and over 42,000 art pieces inside The National Art Gallery. Some of the most prized Bulgarian art pieces on display range from the mid-19th century, all the way to international pieces from the Americas and Africa.

Consider the Sofia City Art Gallery for a dose of Bulgarian contemporary art, and check out their 3 exhibits: Past, Present, and Future, showcasing the progression and expression of modern art throughout the times.

For street art lovers, there are plenty of great things to do in Sofia, from provocative and important socio-political murals to images that will be understood no matter the language barrier. It’s worth stopping by Art Street Samuil (also known as Tzar Samuil) and visiting the many art galleries.

21 – Take a look at war relics inside the National Museum of Military History

National Museum of Military History, Sofia

Learn about the intense and fascinating history of the Bulgarian military inside the National Museum of Military History, showcasing uniforms, tools, weaponry, photographs, flags, and many other pieces of military materials.

Open since 1916, the museum aims to educate and inform Bulgarian citizens about the national defense and build pride and respect for those who lost their lives fighting for their country.

Walk through the different exhibits showcasing the wars in which the Bulgarians were involved, and see the stories and strategies come alive through imagery. To make the most of your visit, guided tours are available and encouraged.

Admission: BGN 10 (€5).
Opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday from 10 am – 6 pm.

Directions in Google Maps

22 – Admire well-preserved artifacts at the Bulgarian Archeological Museum

Bulgarian Archeological Museum, Sofia

Visit the spectacular Bulgarian Archaeological Museum, housed inside what used to be the Ottoman Empire’s largest mosque, showcasing the historical findings throughout the excavations in Bulgaria.

Sorted chronologically, visitors will observe the prehistoric hall, admire old paintings dating back to Medieval times, see up close weaponry and other tools used every day in the Late Bronze Age, and much more.

Check out the special collection of items in the unique Vault hall, where visitors can find some of the most precious and prized possessions belonging to Bulgaria’s rich heritage.

Admission: BGN 12 (€6).
Opening hours: Daily from 10 am – 6 pm (summer) / Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am – 5 pm (winter).

Directions in Google Maps

23 – Learn about a collection of rare insects at the National Museum of Natural History

National Museum of Natural History, Sofia

Originally organized in 1889 to store the personal collection of the Royal Prince Ferdinand, the National Museum of Natural History officially opened its doors to the public in 1907 and is considered the oldest museum in Bulgaria.

With 15 separate halls on 4 floors, each housing exhibits on mineralogy, birds, fishes, insects, and more, visitors will see remnants of unique animals such as the last pure-bred aurochs, the California condor which has now gone extinct, huge African tortoises, and so much more.

Admission: BGN 10 (€5).
Opening hours: Daily from 10 am – 6 pm.

Directions in Google Maps

24 – Create magical family memories at Muzeiko Children’s Museum

Muzeiko, Sofia

Combining science, curiosity, and imagination, Muzeiko is a space where children of all ages are encouraged to play and have fun while learning about the world via science, culture, history, and art.

Science comes alive with 15 exhibits showcasing natural sciences, creative inventions, the planetarium, child-size city and nature replicas, archaeology, and so much more. The museum has information written in English and Bulgarian, making it easy to understand.

Parents can grab lunch at the museum cafe, and browse through the souvenir shop while their children enjoy over 100 interactive games and activities.

Admission: Free for children under 2; BGN 12 (€6) above 2 years old.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am – 6 pm.

Directions in Google Maps

25 – Check out Earth and People National Museum

Earth and People National Museum, Sofia

Opening its doors to the world of mineralogy in 1987, the Earth and People National Museum is one of the biggest mineral museums in the world, keeping more than 20,000 items, from ceramics made from naturally occurring minerals to collections of precious stones.

Explore the different hallways showcasing the process of mineral production, the use of minerals, the different types of minerals, and so much more.

Check out the Pete Tranteev collection of rarely-seen minerals discovered throughout 45 years of cave expeditions. The most famous piece in the collection is the cave pearls which are small dots of concentrated calcite.

Admission: BGN 10 (€5).
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am – 6 pm.

Directions in Google Maps

26 – Test your critical thinking skills in an escape room

escape rooms in Sofia

Beat the timer inside an escape room, where you and your group have to work together to think of creative ways to solve riddles and questions to escape the room you’re in.

With various types of themed escape rooms, choose from robbery, murder mystery, toxic lab, an insane asylum, and many others to test your luck and skill.

Be sure to book your spot in advance online to skip the line and guarantee your slot with your party. Most escape rooms are located throughout the heart of Sofia, starting at €20.

Day Trips from Sofia

27 – Visit Rila Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Rila Monastery tours from Sofia

Step back in time at the largest and most well-known monastery in the Eastern Orthodox faith, dating back to the 10th century.

Telling the history of the spiritual and social life of those who lived through the medieval era in Bulgaria, the Rila Monastery houses a museum with 4 exhibits ranging from the history of the monastery, social and cultural practices, art pieces, and weapons and tools.

If you take a day trip from Sofia to the Rila Monastery, a stop at Boyana Church is often included, where visitors can observe the delicate yet marvelous medieval frescoes dating back to the 13th century.

Those feeling extra adventurous can enjoy the enchanted mountain views on a bike tour, guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience.

Directions in Google Maps

28 – Roam the streets of Plovdiv – Bulgaria’s second-largest city

Plovdiv tours from Sofia

Built around 7 hills, Plovdiv is recognized nationally and internationally as the oldest continually inhabited European city.

Known as the cultural capital of Bulgaria, local festivities happen all year round. In 2019, Plovdiv also received the title of European Capital of Culture.

Check out the picturesque Ancient Theater, delivering incredible views of the city, made out of marble. Walk through the artsy neighborhood of Kapana, and get a view of the city’s best art pieces inside the abundance of galleries.

A tour from Sofia often includes a stop in the nearby Koprivshtitsa, another rich and historical city known for its Bulgarian-style architecture dating to the 19th century.

Directions in Google Maps

29 – Gaze at the beauty of the Seven Rila Lakes

Seven Rila Lakes tours from Sofia

Located north of Sofia, the Seven Rila Lakes were created due to glacial activity that today, gives Bulgaria an undisputed level of natural beauty for all to enjoy.

Considered the most visited series of lakes in Bulgaria, it is surely a place to add to your list of things to do in Sofia and see their unique shape.

Join one of the several hiking tours and explore The Tear (the most transparent lake), The Kidney (a crescent-shaped lake), The Eye (an oval-shaped lake), and a few more. Afterward, relax with a therapeutic dip in a warm pool at the nearby thermal spas.

Directions in Google Maps

30 – Plan a day trip to North Macedonia or Serbia

Skopje and Nis day trips from Sofia

The advantage of visiting the Balkans is knowing that you’re never more than a few hours away from the next country, which means incredible day trip opportunities.

Check out a day trip to Skopje in North Macedonia, and wander through the country’s capital, dating back to 4,000 BC. Visit some of the top sites, including the Old Bazaar, the Skopje Eye Bridge, and Karpos’s Rebellion Square.

Also not too far from Sofia is the city of Nis, the 3rd largest city in Serbia, where visitors can check out important sites like the Skull Tower, and the Nis Fortress, and enjoy Serbian cuisine.

31 – Uncover the magnificent site of Belogradchik Rocks

Belogradchik Rocks tours from Sofia

Located in the northwestern region of Bulgaria, under 3 hours away from Sofia, the Belogradchick Rocks are a stunning natural phenomenon, reaching over 200 meters.

The nearby Belogradchik Fortress draws the eyes and attention even wider, making the site look like a grand Bulgarian castle. Walk around the 12-meter tall walls, and explore the fortress yards, giving way to one of the best views of the dramatic rock formations.

You can reach this popular attraction by taking one of the three different train journeys departing from the town of Oreshec, and a taxi from the Belogradchick station to the rocks. The easiest and fastest way to get there is by booking a day trip from Sofia.

Directions in Google Maps

32 – Go on a hiking expedition on Vitosha Mountain

Vitosha Mountain tours from Sofia

The Vitosha Mountain is a popular alpinism and skiing spot, adored by many Bulgarians seeking to get in touch with nature, just under 1 hour from Sofia.

Enjoy a guided snowshoe trek, a waterfall hike, and a mountain bike expedition, or sit on a chair lift to get incredible unmatched views of the surroundings.

The mountain is easily accessible via public transportation, but a guided tour from Sofia allows you to fully optimize your time, and even visit popular attractions nearby, such as the Dragalevtsi Monastery – a Bulgarian Orthodox monastery located near the slopes of Vitosha Mountain.

Directions in Google Maps

33 – Wander through the streets of Veliko Tarnovo

Veliko Tarnovo tours from Sofia

Veliko Tarnovo is located northwest of Sofia, perched high in the mountains and offering incredible hiking opportunities and a picturesque atmosphere.

Check out the medieval Tsarevets Fortress, step inside one of the many museums sharing archaeological finds, and get an insider look into life in this small town in the early 19th century.

Take a bus tour from Sofia, which oftentimes stops in Arbanasi, another wonderful small town brimming with rich history, and unique sites like the Church of Nativity and the 17th-century house Konstantsalieva.

Directions in Google Maps

Gastronomic Experiences

34 – Check out the local food scene on a food tour

food tours in Sofia
Traditional Bulgarian shopska salad

Try some of Bulgaria’s most emblematic dishes, such as Banitsa, a cheesy pastry, Tarator, a cold, fresh, and creamy soup, or the traditional Shopska salad.

Book an exciting food tour that will grant you access to some of the best food markets, hole in the wall restaurants, and feast on some of the freshest produce.

On the way to these different foodie places, you’ll also get a city tour, and see all the important sites. Be led by a local food expert, and learn about the farm-to-table approach very present in Bulgaria.

35 – Wind down the evening at the best rooftop bars and restaurants

best rooftop bars and restaurants in Sofia

Enjoy stunning views of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral through the windows of the rooftop bar at Sense Sofia Hotel. Offering a complete menu of gastronomic delights and craft cocktails to accompany your views, make sure to reserve your spot ahead of time.

Get panoramic views of Sofia’s cultural charm at the National Theatre Restaurant, located inside the beloved Ivan Vazov National Theatre, a great dinner option if you have plans to attend the theater that evening.

The Scene Rooftop Bar & Terrace offers stunning mountain views, locally inspired cocktails and Mediterranean-inspired dishes.

36 – Experience a deluxe wine tasting

wine tastings in Sofia

Guided by a professional wine master, taste and learn about wines that span over the 5,000 years of wine-making tradition and history in Bulgaria.

Taste the sweet nectar of some of Bulgaria’s most local grapes: Miskets, Melnik, Mavrud, Guzma, and Rubin, and learn about the wine-making process that has deep roots in Bulgaria.

When wine comes to mind, Sofia is not always a region to think of, but passionate wine-makers will educate you on some lesser-known information about Bulgarian wine.

Often complimented with a cheese tasting, offering visitors a taste of some of the best cheeses crafted in Bulgaria and in the Balkans.

37 – Enjoy dinner and a Bulgarian folklore show

dinners in Sofia

Catch dinner at one of the best Bulgarian food restaurants in the city, while enjoying a cultural dance presentation. Folkloric dances in Bulgaria are slow and fast and are one of the best and most memorable ways to experience local culture.

Enjoy a delicious 3-course meal, as your attention moves to the Bulgarian dancers taking center stage at the restaurant, performing cultural dances such as Horo, a combination of hands and feet movement, and other dances like Dunavsko and Sitno Vlashko.

Shows, Music & Nightlife

38 – Experience an opera show at the Sofia Opera and Ballet House

Sofia Opera and Ballet

Situated in the heart of the city, the Sofia Opera and Ballet House, hosts a wide variety of cultural and theatrical shows and performances all year long.

From ballet performances, theater and musicals, to concerts, and opera, visitors will easily find something at a very accessible price.

With opera season typically running from September – June, check out the opera’s website to pick a show you’d like to attend. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time at the ticket booth beside the theater, or online.

Directions in Google Maps

39 – Join a fun pub crawl

pub-crawls in Sofia

Prepare for a fun night out on a pub crawl, where you’ll be guided by a local and be taken to some of the hottest spots in Sofia for a pint of local beer, fun bar trivia activities, and a grand time.

Meet new people, sample local alcoholic beverages and sing karaoke, as you interact with Sofia’s entertaining nightlife.

Visit some of Sofia’s hidden and unique bars, and explore party neighborhoods where the parties last well into the next day.

Pub crawls usually start at €15.

40 – Attend a show at a Bulgarian theater

best theaters in Sofia

Check out the other amazing theaters throughout the city, each offering different styles of art, performances, and genres that cater to every traveler.

Visit Ivan Vazov National Theater, known as one of the main landmarks of Sofia, as well as one of the oldest theaters in Bulgaria, located downtown. Be sure to check out the stunning gardens in front of the theater.

The Bulgarian Army Theater puts on a variety of multi-genre shows from musicals, comedy performances, classic and contemporary dramas, and improv. Its name comes from the nearby Military Club, a building owned by the Bulgarian Army.

For those traveling with young ones, it’s worth checking what’s on at the Sofia Puppet Theatre.

Make sure to take a stroll down Rakovska Street, known by many locals as Theater Street, where most of Sofia’s theaters can be found, which are a few more than the ones we listed here.

Travel tips

How to get to Sofia?

Sofia Airport is situated only 10 kilometers outside of the city center of Sofia. To get to the city center from the airport, the most common methods used by travelers are the metro and airport transfers.

The metro stop is located inside Terminal 2 and will get you to the city center in 26 minutes, making stops along the way.

An airport transfer will provide the most comfortable and quickest journey to your hotel, arriving in Sofia city center in 15 minutes or less.

Where to stay in Sofia?

Stay in the historical Art ‘Otel, housed inside a 1930s house, in the heart of the historic district of Sofia. Take advantage of the closeness to Vitosha Street, the Palace of Culture, and the excellent breakfast buffet included in the rate price.

Consider the Hyatt Regency as your home away from home in Sofia, boasting 5-star quality amenities such as abundant dining options, a rooftop terrace with views of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, and an incredible spa.

Rosslyn Central Park Hotel offers beautiful park and city views in the heart of downtown Sofia, as well as access to some of the city’s best cafes, restaurants, bars, and pedestrian-only zones nearby. Enjoy panoramic views as you indulge in your breakfast and morning coffee on the rooftop terrace.

Visiting Sofia on a budget?

Free walking tours are some of the best activities to do while traveling to a new city, to get acquainted with your new surroundings, and gain an appreciation for the local culture, history, and architecture.

Meet other travelers, befriend the guide, and learn where the best restaurants and museums to check out are.

Where to go next?

To get the most out of your trip to Sofia, check out multi-day trips, strategically prepared by local guides to get you to the most important sites, no matter how long or short your stay in Sofia is.

Explore remote locations like the Belogradchick Rocks without worrying about train schedules, or combine a visit to Plovdiv with a Bachkovo Monastery or Rose Valley experience.

If you wish to explore even further, just a few hours from Sofia you’ll find the charming city of Bucharest, showcasing beautiful architecture, interesting cultural sites, and lively nightlife, the capital of Romania is packed with fun activities and surely won’t disappoint.

A little further west of Sofia, you’ll find the charming capital of Serbia, Belgrade, with a vibrant energy and rich history, that will captivate you at first sight. Explore the impressive Kalemegdan Fort, perched on a hill with panoramic views of where the Sava and Danube rivers meet.

South of Bulgaria, located in the northern region of Greece, is the city of Thessaloniki, with incredible Mediterranean food markets, fascinating Byzantine culture, abundant art exhibits, and historic ruins at the turn of every corner.

Final thoughts

With its incredible sites and history spanning millennia back in time, there are plenty of fun things to do in Sofia for curious travelers, and plenty of activities to engage in, learn from, and admire no matter the travel style or plan.

Happy travels!

Maritza Chavez is a travel writer from the U.S., passionate about travel and culture. Her curiosity for traveling began after her first few trips to Mexico to visit family, and then studying abroad in Greece during college. After living in Spain as an English teacher, and more traveling, she decided to start her blog, Travel Notes and Things, to help fellow Latinas travel to their dream destinations while touching on other topics including reverse culture shock and transformative travel. Further expanding her horizons, Maritza frequently travels the globe to pen down exquisite articles for the TourScanner blog, bringing her unique perspective and insights to a wider audience.