Sofia is a city that’s rich with history, culture and many influences from a variety of empires including Greek, Roman, Ottoman and the Soviet Union. I spent one day in Sofia and have put together this Sofia Sightseeing Guide to help you plan your trip!
WHERE IS SOFIA & HOW TO GET THERE
Sofia is the capital city of the Balkan nation in the west of Bulgaria. The population of Sofia is 1.2 million.
The two most common ways of reaching Sofia is by plane or train.
Sofia International Airport is very well connected with daily flights from inside of Europe and also international arrivals from Asia and the Middle East. I always use SkyScanner to search and book all of my flights as they generally have the cheapest rates.
Search All ∼ Flights to Sofia on Skyscanner.com
Arriving in Sofia by train is the next best option of reaching this beautiful city in Bulgaria. Daily trains operate in and out of Sofia Station, connecting Sofia from other major cities in Eastern Europe such as Turkey, Romania and Hungary to name a few.
Traveling around Europe by train is one of the best ways to get around at an affordable cost. I highly recommend purchasing a Eurail Pass to make the most out of your Europe trip. There are many different passes available which give you access to the majority of trains, buses and boats within 31 countries in Europe!
Click Here to get your Eurail Pass today!
SOFIA SIGHTSEEING – TOP 3 THINGS TO DO IN SOFIA
#1 ST. ALEXANDER NEVSKI CATHEDRAL
The Saint Alexander Nevski Cathedral is nothing short of amazing! Located in the heart of the city, a visit to this symbolic masterpiece is a must on your Sofia sightseeing route.
St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral is 148 feet tall at its highest point and it comprises of metal from Berlin, mosaics from Venice and marble sourced from Munich.
12 bells, weighing a total of 23 tonnes, occupy the bell tower and one could only imagine the decibels they can emit.
The outside of the Alexander Nevski Cathedral boasts gilded domes and ornate archways, and on the inside are great artworks, five aisles and stained glass windows. The cathedral is also said to hold up to 10,000 people at a time!
Entrance Fee: There is no charge to enter the St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral, though a donation is welcome. Photography inside the cathedral is allowed however a 10$ fee is required for this.
#2 CHURCH OF ST. GEORGE ROTUNDA
The St. George Church is a unique, red brick rotunda which is thought to be the oldest building in Sofia.
The church is amid remains of old Roman buildings and I definitely recommend adding it to your list of things to do in Sofia. Built in the 300s, it’s a wonder that the Church of St. George Rotunda still stands unscathed!
Inside the rotunda is detailed medieval frescoes that were painted over when the church was converted to a mosque sometime in the 1600s.
Search All ∼ Hotels, Hostels & Apartments in Sofia
#3 VITOSHA BOULEVARD
Vitosha Boulevard is the main walking street in Sofia, lined with cafes, bars, restaurants and retail stores.
Vitosha is quite a long street and known to be more expensive than other parts of the city but it is a must-see on your list of things to do in Sofia.
Vitosha Boulevard is named after Vitosha Mountain which is located right next to the city.
My recommendation is while you are strolling down Vitosha Boulevard, be sure to check out all the little side streets too!
Search All ∼ Hotels, Hostels & Apartments in Sofia
Vitosha Boulevard – Sofia Sightseeing
Sofia walking street – Sofia Guide
WHERE TO STAY IN SOFIA
Sofia has thousands of accommodation options to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of my personal favorite places to stay in Sofia to fit the needs of budget backpackers and luxury travelers. See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Sense Hotel Sofia
Mid Range: Suite Hotel Sofia
Budget: Moreto & Caffeto Hostel
For all other accommodations in Sofia, Click Here to search on Booking.com
MORE EUROPE TRAVEL GUIDES
Budapest Travel Guide: 5 Things To Do In Budapest
Paris Travel Guide: 2 Day Paris Itinerary
Barcelona Itinerary: 2 Day Barcelona Itinerary
Istanbul Travel Guide: 5 Things To Do In Istanbul
Sofia Travel Guide: 3 Things To Do In Sofia
MY CAMERA GEAR
• DSLR Mirrorless Camera: Sony A7ii
• Drone Camera: DJI Mavic Pro 2
• GoPro: GoPro Hero 8 Black
• Everyday Lens: Sony F2.8 24/70mm
• Camera Bag: Lowepro Protactic 31L
• Selfie Stick: Sandmarc Metal Edition 1.2m
• Tripod: Joby Flexible GorillaPod
• GoPro Dome: Underwater GoPro Dome
• Power Bank: Anker Powerbank
• External Hardrive: WD Elements 4TB
WHAT TO PACK FOR BULGARIA?
• Waterproof Phone Case: Universal Waterproof Case
• Reusable Water Bottle: Hydro Flask Water Bottle
• Rain Jacket: North Face Rain Jacket
• Water Shoes: Slip-on Water Shoes
• Day Bag: Nomatic 20L Day Bag
• Power Adapter: Universal Power Adapter
• Packing Cubes: 4 Set Packing Cubes
• Microfibre Towel: Quick Dry Travel Towel
• Travel Insurance: World Nomads Travel Insurance
• Money Belt: Hidden Money Belt
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions about Things To Do In Sofia, please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can!
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