Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria, a country in Southeast Europe that boasts a rich and diverse cultural heritage, stunning natural landscapes, and a friendly and hospitable people. Sofia is located at the foot of Mount Vitosha, a popular destination for hiking, skiing, and sightseeing. The city itself is a blend of ancient and modern, with centuries-old churches, monuments, and museums coexisting with trendy cafes, bars, and shopping malls. Whether you are looking for history, art, nature, or nightlife, Sofia has something for everyone.
Sofia has a wealth of attractions that showcase its long and turbulent history, from Roman times to the Ottoman Empire, from communism to democracy. Here are some of the must-see sights in Sofia:
This is the most iconic landmark of Sofia, a majestic Orthodox church with golden domes, intricate mosaics, and stunning frescoes. It was built in the late 19th century to honor the Russian soldiers who liberated Bulgaria from Ottoman rule. It can hold up to 10,000 people and houses a museum of religious art.
This is the oldest church in Sofia, dating back to the 4th century. It was named after the patron saint of the city and gave it its current name. It has survived several invasions, earthquakes, and fires, and has been used as a mosque and a warehouse. It has a simple but elegant architecture and a crypt with ancient tombs and mosaics.
This is the largest and most comprehensive museum in Bulgaria, displaying over 650,000 artifacts from prehistory to modern times. You can learn about the Thracian civilization, the medieval Bulgarian kingdoms, the Ottoman occupation, the national liberation movement, and the communist era. The museum is located in a former presidential residence on the outskirts of Sofia and offers a panoramic view of the city and Mount Vitosha.
This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the finest examples of medieval Bulgarian art. It consists of three sections built in different periods, from the 10th to the 19th century. The most remarkable feature is the frescoes from the 13th century, which depict realistic portraits of saints, angels, and donors with expressive faces and emotions.
This is the largest multifunctional complex in Southeast Europe, hosting concerts, exhibitions, festivals, conferences, and other events. It was built in 1981 to commemorate the 1300th anniversary of the founding of Bulgaria. It has a modern design with a glass facade and a spacious park with fountains, sculptures, and cafes.