Sofia travel tips: what to know before you visit

Sofia is a city full of hidden gems to find and definitely worth exploring.

3 min read

On the west side of Bulgaria lies Sofia, just below the Vitosha Mountains. Often overlooked by tourists, the easy-going capital city is bursting with history from 2,000 years of Greek, Roman, Ottoman and Soviet occupancy. A melting pot of European culture, this city has a charm of presenting youthful, chilled vibes in a historical setting.

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How to get around:

Sofia's public transport system runs through trams, buses, trolleybuses and underground metro. However, it is worth noting that most of the main attraction is in walking distance from each other.

Tickets for trams, buses, and trolleybuses cost 1.60 lv each and can be purchased at kiosks near stops or from onboard ticket machines.

What to do:

Aleksander Nevski Cathedral

The beautiful Cathedral is of one the most visited sites not only in Sofia but in the whole of Bulgaria. Built in the honour of Saint Alexander Nevsky, it is truly a symbol of Bulgaria’s history. Expect to wander for hours. Embedded content: https://www.instagram.com/p/B1BdVNlBOcW/

Central Mineral Baths

Like many other Eastern European cities, Sofia was built on top of mineral hot springs. The Central Mineral Baths may be one of Sofia’s most photographed buildings. Embedded content: https://www.instagram.com/p/B08q33pipqU/

Park Vrana

This palace once was the home to aristocrat Simeon II, who was Tsar of Bulgaria. Only open on the weekends, you can’t actually enter the home, but the gardens are one of the most tranquil settings in Sofia to visit.

National Historical Museum

Located at the foot of Mount Vitosha, it’s also worth taking a hike up the mountains or visit the Boyana Church, situated on the lower slopes of Mount Vitosha.

What to eat: 

Bulgarian, Thai, Italian, Modern European, Japanese, whatever cuisine you’re looking for…Sofia has your back. There are hundreds of great dining options scattered across the town. However, here are two spot recommendations for day and evening.

During the day... Supa Star

Well, it’s in the name! Supa Star is known for its amazing soups – it is a healthy fast food meets soup bar and is home to some of the most delicious and creative soups. Embedded content: https://www.instagram.com/p/BxMOg9RD_1i/

In the evening... Niko’las

This authentic Bulgarian restaurant boasts itself for bringing a 'taste of the Balkans with an Asian twist' and according to our local insider, it doesn’t disappoint!

Where to party:

Sofia’s nightlife doesn’t lack in choices! Thanks to the affordable prices of drinks, great music, and unique venues, a night out is always on the cards! Head to Vitosha Avenue and surrounding streets.

If you head to any of our recommended spots we want to see pictures!