Attractions in SofiaWhen you are in Sofia go to see the local attractions and collect some good memories and a brief overview of Bulgarian history and culture. The city is one of the oldest in Europe. It was found on the site of a former Neolithic village in VIII BC. Its name comes from the Greek word “Sofia” which means wisdom. You can see many old buildings, old streets, monasteries and artifacts that are preserved to tell the story of the city. But Sofia is not all about ancient and medieval monuments. Today the image of Sofia is changing fast. There are many new attractions - modern buildings, parks, malls, museums, galleries, universities, etc. There are so many attractions on a walking distance in Sofia that you will be amazed by the short distances between them. As there are hundreds of attractions there is something for everyone. Please take a look at the list of local attractions that we have prepared for you.
The Earth and Man National Museum is one of the biggest mineralogical museums in the world. It was found on December 30th 1985 and welcomed its first visitors in June 19th 1987.
The National Museum of Natural History (NMNHS) has a history of more than one hundred and twenty years. It is the oldest museum in Bulgaria and the oldest and richest among the natural history museums on the Balkan Peninsula
The Yablanski House is a Neo-Baroque house in Sofia, situated at 18 Tsar Osvoboditel Blvd. in the city centre and regarded as one of the highest achievements of the city’s architecture in the first decade of the 20th century.
Hidden away in a courtyard of the Presidency and the dainty Sheraton Hotel, amid remains of the ancient town of Serdica, rises the famous Roman Rotunda, a red-brick building transformed into the present day St. George Church. The Roman Rotunda /the church “St. George”/ is the oldest preserved structure which still serves its original purpose in the Sofia city.
Geo Milev Park is located in the neighborhood carrying the same name. The district is located just 3 kilometers away from Sofia downtown. The proximity to Boris’ garden and Geo Milev Park makes the neighborhood one of the preferred Sofia regions.
The Monument to the Tsar Liberator is a monument in the centre of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. It was erected in honour of Russian Emperor Alexander II who liberated Bulgaria of Ottoman rule during the Russo-Turkish War.
It is a small park, with old trees and a playground. The monument in its centre looks simple, with chipped stones and solid geometrical forms. Only when you get closer and really look at it can you see that there are names on the stones – hundreds of names. Those are the names of 531 doctors and nurses, all of them Russian medical workers who died in the 1877-8 Russo-Turkish War which liberated Bulgaria from Ottoman rule.
“Zaimov” is a park in Sofia, which is named after General Vladimir Zaimov. The Sofia Theatre, the theater workshop “Sfumato” and the District health center are located at the borders of the park.
Sveta Nedelya sq. is being considered the center of Sofia city. The church Sveta Nedelya lies directly above the ancient crossroads of Serdica (Sofia’s previous name).
Sofia Trips is not your average tour agency… It is а project designed by a couple who are energetic and adventurous people. Their main aim is to help travelers experience the beauty of Bulgaria by replacing all the boring aspects of the mainstream tours with a whole series of fun activities.
The monument of the Bulgarian volunteer units (so called “opulchentsi”) who fought with the Russian Army against Ottoman Turkey in the Bulgarian Liberation War of 1877-78 is located behind the Military Club. It is a seven-meter high bronze monument – a copy of the famous painting of Jaroslav Veshin “The Samara Flag” (1911).
National Ethnographic Museum is housed in the premises of the former Royal Palace, a remarkable building in the center of Sofia from the end of the 19th century – a monument of culture. The purpose of the National Ethnographic Museum is to collect, preserve and expose everything connected to the Bulgarian ethno cultural wealth.
The early Byzantine Church of St Sophia was built in the 6th century on the place of an ancient Roman theatre and several earlier churches. During the Second Bulgarian Empire the structure served as the cathedral of the city but was later converted to a mosque by the Ottoman Empire.
Next to TZUM Shopping center and right infornt of the Central Bath there is a nice garden with a fountain and benches. You can sit there and enjoy the local atmosphere while looking at the Central Market Hall (Halite), Banya Bashi mosque and the nearby tapped mineral springs.
The National Assembly of Bulgaria was established in 1879 with the Constitution of Bulgaria.
If you happen to pass the Sofia city center, you will definitely notice the Statue of Saint Sofia standing on a column in the middle of a bussy crossroad. Her golden face look upon the Batemberg square, where TZUM, The presidensy and the Government houses are situated.
Near the Alexander Nevski Cathedral in Sofia is situated an informal flea market, aimed directly to the tourists visiting the cathedral. There can be found lots of antique goods as old cameras, coins and medals, hand knitted socks, Russian lacquered dolls, jewelry boxes and more. The prices vary and depend on opinion of the trader about the buyer – so haggling is possible and in many cases – essential.
The locals know this place as Popa which means The Priest. It’s a small square locked between the central streets of Vassil Levski Blvd, Graf Ignatiev Str. and Patriarch Evtimii Blvd. And that is the most popular meeting place in Sofia.
The Monument to the Unknown Warrior is a monument in located next to the 6th-century Church of St Sophia, on Alexander Nevsky Sqr. The monument commemorates the hundreds of thousands of Bulgarian soldiers who died in wars defending their homeland Bulgaria. Ceremonies involving the President of Bulgaria and foreign state leaders are often performed here.
Just across TZUM, Pirotska Str. is the first pedestrian shopping street in Sofia, and for that reason alone it is worth a visit. “Halite” the former food market is at the beginning of this street also has a variety of small shops on the upper level, in addition to the predominantly food oriented stalls on the ground floor.
Once there were 70 mosques in Sofia, but today the Banya Bashi Mosque is the only one still functioning. It was designed in 1576, by the greatest of all Ottoman architects, Mimar Sinan, who also built the Sultan Selim Mosque in Edirne and the Blue Mosque in Istanbul.
The Boyana Waterfall is considered the most beautiful and largest waterfall in Vitosha Mountain. The only sound that may interrupt the unique silence and true serenity of the breathtaking scenery is the one of the splashing waters, falling gracefully from 15 m.
Graf Ignatiev Street also called Grafa (meaning The Count) is a popular central street in Sofia. The street was named after the Russian statesman and diplomat Count Nicholas Pavlovich Ignatiev.
The tennis courts of Academic club are located in Boris’ Garden (Borisova Gradina) near Park-hotel Moskow. This is where the University tennis club Academic is preparing tennis players of all ages.
The Monument to Vasil Levski commemorates the hanging of Bulgarian national hero and major revolutionary figure Vasil Levski. He was hanged by the Turks on February 18th 1873 on the same place where the obelisk now stands. At this time that was outside the city of Sofia.
There are many tour operators and travel agencies that are offering trips to some of the most interesting sights in Bulgaria and also are offering guided city tours around Sofia. There are also many private guides that may give you a personal Sofia tour. That could be an orientation tour, shopping tour, galleries and museums or local attractions tours.