15 Best things to do in Sofia

Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, has ages-old narratives to tell through a profusion of details hidden in its grand architecture. The city is home to various communities, and you will learn a lot about them through the designs and distinct features of Sofia's beautiful sites. If you're planning to uncover the history and culture of Bulgaria, you have all the reasons to travel to Sofia. The list of 15 best things to do in Sofia will help you find the best pleasures the city has to offer your eyes.

Visit St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

The staggering building of St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral will be an exploration to remember. It is the second largest cathedral in the Balkan region. Walking around the grand architecture is one of the best things to do in Sofia, and concerning that, there's no reason why you should not visit this excellent site. The cathedral came into existence after the Bulgarian re-establishment. It is also a homage to the martyred Russian soldiers who were a part of the liberation.

Explore George Rotunda

George Rotunda

One of the oldest buildings in Sofia, St. George Rotunda is a red-brick style church built in the 300s. One can't help but marvel at this building that has come a long way and still manages to be the most pleasing view known to humankind. When you are there, pay attention to the details as they speak of multitudinous layers of civilization. Check out the beautiful medieval frescoes pained by the Ottomans during the 1600s.

Traverse Vitosha Boulevard

Vitosha Mountain

If you're looking for the best things to do in Sofia, navigate to Vitosha Boulevard - a fascinating street in the city. The street hosts a cluster of elite fashion hubs and stitching centres. If that doesn't sound fancy, let yourself be captured by the surreal scenery Vitosha Mountain has to offer. Surrounded by the tall buildings of the street, the mountain looks majestic, with the snow peppering it gently. Vitosha is one of the best places to visit in Sofia when you want to retreat at a cafe with outdoor seating.

Learn about the Byzantine period at St. Sofia Church

St. Sofia Church

St. Sofia Church, a crimson building, takes you to the Byzantine period. Dating back to the 500s was founded over the old city of Serdica’s graveyard; it is this site after which Sofia got its name. This church has incredible features that introduce you to the essence of what there was 1500 years ago. It was a mosque for a long time after the Ottoman invasion. Later, in the 1800s, it was hit by an earthquake, which led to its downfall. St. Sofia Church is a must-visit place in the city to live in those ancient times.

Go hiking at Vitosha Mountain

Climb your way up to more than 2,200 meters behind the southwestern suburbs of Sofia, and you will find this gem. This arresting crown of a nature park attracts you to the most thrilling experience of your trip. The best way to reach Vitosha is via Aleko. After that, you can walk to the Black Peak of Vitosha, which is not a task if you travel in spring.

Discover Bulgarian Remnants at Boyana Church

Boyana Church

Boyana Church is located lower to the Vitosha Mountain, and the spot is no less than a dreamy picture. This church is also a UNESCO heritage site, cradling in a softwood tree grove. It was built between the 1000s and 1800s in three stages. The most remarkable facet it got was in the 1200s, which was the period of the Second Bulgarian Empire. At that time, the church's frescoes were painted that depicted about 240 religious’ figures, which added volume to the overall interior of this church.

Recel in the archeological finds at the National Institute of Archaelolgy

National Institute of Archaeology

Opened in 1905, this museum brings you a spectacular show of significant archaeological features around Bulgaria and Sofia. Walk into the classical civilizations, prehistory, and the Medieval period through different sections showcasing the finds from other times. This section is where you will find the treasures from when Alexander the Great invaded Thrace in 400 BC. While you're there, tick the Lukovit Treasure off your list.

Tour National Historical Museum

National Historical Museum

Fragrant with Stalinist architecture, the National Historical Museum is located in dictator Zhivkov's residence. It hosts a stunning collection of over 60,000 items for the show, archiving the rest. This expansive range of items astounds visitors, taking them from the space research equipment of the 20th century to treasures that belong to Odrysians, who had a stronghold in Bulgaria until their vanquishment in the 1st century.

Experience the Jewish Essence with the Synagogue

Synagogue

Visit the largest synagogue when you're in Sofia. It was built in 1909, keeping in mind the Sephardic Jewish population of Sofia. It can accommodate over 1,000 people. This cavernous building has the essence of Moorish Revival, and it took inspiration from the old Sephardic temple in Vienna. As you step in, you will find this place exhibiting the history of Jewish communities in Bulgaria. This synagogue is the third largest one in Europe, and its portrayal of history is the perfect reason to put it on your to-see list.

Find serenity at Banya Bashi Mosque

Banya Bashi Mosque

Designed by Mimar Sinan, the Turkish architect, Banya Bashi Mosque will mesmerize you with its prowess of peace and distinctiveness. Built in 1576, this Sofia Mosque is from when the Ottoman period had just begun. The name of this mosque is taken from Sofia's mineral baths which used to be a tourist attraction during the 1500s. This mosque can host 700 worshippers, making it a must-visit place in Sofia for all the good reasons.

Check out drama and arts at Ivan Vazov National Theater

Vazov National Theater

A wondrous affair and a grand delight, the Ivan Vazov National Theatre is a classy building that gives you an unforgettable peek into Bulgarian culture. Built in 1909, this site is an iconic work of Helmer and Fellner - the Viennese architects. Brimming on banknotes, the building gives you an astonishing view of Bulgaria. The place is known for its catchy plays and is the oldest theatre in the region.

Lounge around Borisova Gradina

Borisova Gradina

Borisova Gradina is the oldest and a remarkable point in the city. The park came to light after the Bulgarian Revival in the 1880s. It was developed by three designers: Daniel Neff, Alsatian Joseph, and Georgi Dutev. The development continued for 50 years, and the park didn't lose its core, making it even more notable. Maintaining coherence, the designers turned this park into a delightful place where you can lounge, refresh, and have a good time. Also, during summers, these parks host events like concerts that are a must-see if you travel to Sofia during that season.

Marvel at Central Mineral Baths

Central Mineral Baths

One of the best things to do in Sofia in spring is to capture the miraculous sight of Mineral Baths. Dating back to 1913, these waters were used up until the mid-80s. The Ottomans had their own Hamman here, which was transformed into a bathing complex. Ever since then, the place has not failed to attract visitors. The building is a rotunda embellished with gardens that are open to the public. The fountain here has warm natural water, which you can try if you'd like to.

Escape to Park Vrana

Park Vrana

Park Vrana was the residence of the Bulgarian royal family until 1946. It was most commonly known as a zoo and a farm spanning the ground of the 100-hectare estate. And today, it is a perfect excuse to take a break from the modern roars of the city. Accessible only on weekends, the estate features landscaped gardens, its most significant treasure. Thankfully, you will find guided tours offering quick synopsis of the palace and its surroundings.

Soviet architecture and the Old Parliament House

Old Parliament House

One of the best things in Sofia is to feel the marvels of sunset and watch the Bulgarian Flag wave on the Parliament House. You will feel the prominence of Soviet architecture when you enter this building. All you need to do is experience the picturesque atmosphere around the building as you sit on the steps of the Bulgarian National Bank.

From a lineup of designs and architecture from different eras to museums and parks, exploring the multifaceted land of the Bulgarian capital is a delight for everyone. Book your flight to Sofia with flydubai for a smooth travel experience.

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