We can say many nice things about Sofia but you have probably heard them already so there isn’t much point in restating well-known facts. What you may not know, however, is that you are going to need more than just a few days to capture the true magic of the country’s capital. Here is an idea where to start from:
The City Centre and its Streets:
Go for a ramble around the city centre. Start from Vitoshka Blvd., the most famous pedestrian zone in the capital, and its surrounding little alleys. Then check out Pirotska Street and the Central Market Hall. But you know what? Every single street in downtown Sofia is charming in its own way so no matter which direction you take, you will eventually get to something nice. Just don’t forget Graf Ignatiev Street, Tsar Shishman Street, and Rakovski Blvd. They are our personal favourites after all.
Aleksandar Nevski Cathedral:
Don’t miss out seeing Aleksandar Nevski Cathedral, the biggest church in Bulgaria. If you’ve got enough free time and you are in the right mood, you can go on an improvised tour around some of the city’s most important religious temples such as the nearby Russian Church, Banya Bashi Mosque, the Synagogue, the Catholic Cathedral of St. Joseph…
…and Boyana Church, one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, on the outskirts of the city. The National Museum of History is also in the neighbourhood so if you are up for a quick journey to the past, this is the right place for you. There you will get to see some of the most precious ancient gold treasures ever discovered on the territory of the country.
Take a stroll along the cool shady alleys of one of Sofia’s major parks. The three most popular ones are Borisova Gradina Park, Yuzhen Park (South Park) and the park at the Military Academy on Hristo and Evlogi Georgievi Blvd.
The City Centre and Its Historical Landmarks:
Check out the historical sites in the region around the Presidency. In a couple of years’ time this area will become the biggest open-air museum in the capital.
Hide yourself away from the concrete jungle of civilization in Vitosha Mountain. Regardless of the season it is always perfect for either short relaxing walks, one-day hikes or of course skiing in the winter.
Grab a bite in a traditional Bulgarian tavern. Try the most amazing Bulgarian dishes and wines.
Go for a drink or two in one of the capital’s night clubs or piano bars. Have some fun, dance a little (or a lot)… whatever works for you.
The Rila Monastery:
Make a one-day trip to the wonderful UNESCO-protected Rila Monastery and learn everything about St. Ivan of Rila, its patron, and the special bond Bulgarians share with God.
The Belogradchik Rocks:
Take a ride to the Bulgarian Northwest. There you will find Magura Cave, the lovely town of Vidin and Baba Vida Fortress and one of the country’s most stunning natural wonders – the Belogradchik Rocks.