Must see attractions in Sofia

  • Top ChoiceSights in Sofia

    Aleksander Nevski Cathedral

    One of the symbols not just of Sofia but of Bulgaria itself, this massive, awe-inspiring church was built between 1882 and 1912 in memory of the 200,000 Russian soldiers who died fighting for Bulgaria’s independence during the Russo-Turkish War (1877–78). It is named in honour of a 13th-century Russian warrior-prince.

  • Sights in Sofia

    Boyana Church

    Tiny 13th-century Boyana Church is included on Unesco’s World Heritage list and its 90 murals are among the very finest examples of Bulgarian medieval artwork. A combined ticket includes entry to both the church and the National Museum of History, 2km away.

  • Sights in Sofia

    Archaeological Museum

    Housed in a former mosque built in 1496, this museum displays a wealth of Thracian, Roman and medieval artefacts. Highlights include a mosaic floor from the Church of Sveta Sofia, a 4th-century BC Thracian gold burial mask, and a magnificent bronze head, thought to represent a Thracian king.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Sofia

    Sveta Sofia Church

    Sveta Sofia is one of the capital's oldest churches, and gave the city its name. A subterranean museum houses an ancient necropolis, with 56 tombs and the remains of four other churches. Outside are the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and an eternal flame, and the grave of Ivan Vazov, Bulgaria's most revered writer.

  • Sights in Sofia

    Sveti Georgi Rotunda

    Built in the 4th century AD, this tiny red-brick church is Sofia's oldest preserved building. The murals inside were painted between the 10th and 14th centuries. It's a busy, working church, but visitors are welcome. To find the church, enter through an opening on ul Sâborna.

  • Sights in Sofia

    Museum of Socialist Art

    If you wondered where all those unwanted statues of Lenin ended up, you'll find some here, along with the red star from atop Sofia's Party House. There's a gallery of paintings, where you'll rejoice in catchy titles such as Youth Meeting at Kilifarevo Village to Send Worker-Peasant Delegation to the USSR, and stirring old propaganda films are shown.

  • Sights in Sofia

    Sofia History Museum

    The history of Sofia is presented on two floors of the magnificent former Turkish Mineral Baths, just behind the mosque. Exhibitions are divided thematically over eight chambers, with the most interesting rooms dedicated to the Bulgarian royal families of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the findings of recent archeological digs around town. There are plenty of signs in English.

  • Sights in Sofia

    Ancient Serdica Complex

    This remarkable, partly covered excavation site, situated just above the Serdika metro station, displays the remains of the Roman city, Serdica, that once occupied this area. The remains were unearthed from 2010 to 2012 during construction of the metro. There are fragments of eight streets, an early Christian basilica, baths and houses dating from the 4th to 6th centuries. Plenty of signage in English.

  • Sights in Sofia

    Sveti Nikolai Russian Church

    This beautiful church with glittering mosaic exterior and golden domes was completed in 1914 for Sofia’s Russian community, and named in honour of St Nikolai, the ‘miracle worker’. Students believe that the saint brings them luck, so they go there to pray prior to important exams. The cramped interior features icons painted between the 11th and 14th centuries.

  • Sights in Sofia

    Sveta Petka Samardzhiiska Church

    This tiny church, located in the centre of the Serdika metro complex, was built during the early years of Ottoman rule (late 14th century), which explains its sunken profile and inconspicuous exterior. Inside are some 16th-century murals. It’s rumoured that the Bulgarian national hero Vasil Levski is buried here.

  • Sights in Sofia

    National Museum of Natural History

    You can almost sense the ghosts of generations of school parties dutifully trooping through the musty halls of Bulgaria's oldest museum, founded in 1889. Rocks, minerals, stuffed birds and animals, and mounted insects are on display.

  • Sights in Sofia

    National Museum of History

    Housed in the former communist presidential palace, this museum occupies a stunning, if inconvenient, setting; unless a coach party turns up, you may have the place to yourself. The exhaustive collection includes Thracian gold treasures, Roman statuary, folk costumes, weaponry and icons, and outside you can see some Russian MiG fighters. There are regular temporary exhibitions, too.

  • Sights in Vitosha Nature Park

    Zlatnite Mostove

    Zlatnite Mostove is a spray of large boulders – a 'stone river' – that runs down a slope from an altitude of about 1700m down to 1350m. The name, which translates to 'golden bridges', refers to the colour of lichen that grows on the stones. The boulders and green areas make for a popular sunbathing and picnicking spot. Hike up from near the Boyana Church. A taxi from the centre of Sofia will cost about 22 lv one way.

  • Sights in Sofia

    Sofia Synagogue

    Sofia’s Moorish-style synagogue was designed by Austrian architect Friedrich Gruenanger, and was consecrated in 1909. Built to accommodate up to 1170 worshippers, it is the second-largest Sephardic synagogue in Europe, and its 2250kg brass chandelier is the biggest in Bulgaria. There's a small museum on the 2nd floor with an exhibition dedicated to the rescue of Bulgarian Jews during WWII.

  • Sights in Sofia

    Muzeiko

    Kid-friendly science and technology museum with plenty of interactive exhibits and gadgetry to delight children from 6 to 16 years of age. There are playgrounds and climbing walls as well as more thoughtful exhibitions meant to teach younger minds about paleontology, astronomy, geology and more. The in-house cafe serves light meals and there's a handy gift shop on the premises.

  • Sights in Sofia

    Sofia Zoo

    Lions, tigers, elephants and bears are among the animals at Sofia's small zoo, situated in a park about 2km south of the city centre. There are also play areas for children, and a couple of simple cafes. It’s free for children under seven years.

  • Sights in Sofia

    Aleksander Nevski Crypt

    Originally built as a final resting place for Bulgarian kings, this crypt now houses Bulgaria's biggest and best collection of icons, stretching back to the 5th century. Enter to the left of the eponymous church's main entrance.

  • Sights in Sofia

    Monument to the Soviet Army

    Near the entrance to Borisova Gradina, this gigantic monument was built in 1954 and is a prime example of the forceful socialist realism of the period. The place of honour goes to a Red Army soldier atop a column, surrounded by animated cast-iron sculptural groups depicting determined, gun-waving soldiers and grateful, child-caressing members of the proletariat.

  • Sights in Sofia

    Peyo Yavorov House-Museum

    The Romantic poet and revolutionary Peyo Yavorov (1878–1914) briefly lived in a small apartment here; the three rooms have been restored to their original appearance, while ghoulish mementoes include Yavorov’s death mask and the dress Yavorov’s wife, Lora, was wearing when she killed herself in the study. Ring the doorbell for admittance.

  • Sights in Sofia

    Sofia City Garden

    This small, central park, bounded on its northern end by ul Tsar Osvoboditel, is favoured by Sofia's chess-playing pensioners. It's home to the National Theatre, and until 1999 held the mausoleum of Bulgaria’s first communist ruler, Georgi Dimitrov.