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9 things to see and do in Sofia

Sofia, Bulgaria

@ photo credit Jay Dred (@jay_dred)

Hey traveler, welcome to Sofia, Bulgaria! Whether you have been here before or it’s your first time here, rest assured that this not-yet-so-famous city has so much to offer! Every corner breathes with history, energy and awesome people. 

Those are a few of our most favorite picks of Sofia, which will make you fall in love in the city so much, that no other city will live up to your expectations again 😉

  • 1 Vitosha

things to do, hiking, biking, Sofia

There is a beautiful mountain in Sofia. In spring, summer and autumn it offers opportunities for hiking, picknicking, biking or just chilling. In winter, it’s perfect for skiing and snowboarding. Go to Vitosha mountain – really just go. No matter where, it’s so worth it for the view. The contact with nature and it’s vicinity to Sofia will be like a shot of espresso in the early morning.

  • 2 Meet a local – Bulgarians are warm and hospitable people

Although it might not look like it, people in Bulgaria are extremely welcoming. They will invite you to their place and stuff you with food just to make you feel at home. If you want us to connect you with some locals for a visit to their home, don’t hesitate to send us a message

  • 3 Go to the National Theater Park and soak into the local life

Usually a lot of youngsters get together, there is life music and people dancing. The general atmosphere is relaxed and allows you to really soak into the local lifestyle.

Don’t miss the booth for public reading. You will find novels from Bulgarian authors, written in English.

  • 4 Bulgarian wine is to die for!

wine, Sofia, Bulgaria

Bulgarians have been producing wine for centuries. In fact, wine has been produced on Bulgarian lands before there were even any Bulgarians. The Thracians, for example, were so proud of their wine production that they stored it in golden vessels. As a matter of fact, those are some of the oldest treasures in Europe. Check here a nice article about the different varieties of wine in Bulgaria.

  • 5 Ba-ni-tsa

local food

When it comes to food, there are several things you MUST try when in Sofia and one of them is Banitsa. A pastry, made of cheese, eggs and fillo dough. Locals have basically grown up eating banitsa for breakfast, for special occasions and so on. With the newest food tendencies, Bulgarians have even gone so far as to offer gluten free banitsa, vegan banitsa and wholegrain banitsa among others.

  • 6 Yogurt, Ayran and anything with yogurt actually

drink Sofia, Bulgaria

In Bulgaria, we are talking about the art of yoghurt and it is widely believed that consumed daily, it strengthens the immune system and brings longevity. As the main bacteria, responsible for the fermentation practically is Bulgarian – lactobacilicus bulgaricus, you will find some of the tastiest and purest variations of yoghurt. You might also come across a refreshing summer drink, with a Turkish name called ayran. It’s basically yoghurt with water and salt and it’s delicious!

  • 7 Check out the snail house

The weirdest building in Sofia, now a kinder garden looks like a snail. It’s a bit out of the city, but totally worth to check it out. It’s located on blvd. “Simeonovsko shose” 187.

  • 8 Alexander Nevski Cathedral

Activities in Sofia

You might have seen it already on many postcards or google images. This is one of the biggest cathedrals on the Balkan peninsula. With its golden roof, it’s visible from airplanes and from the Vitosha mountain. It’s worth a visit during day time when you can enter and during night time because of the majestic lightning.

  • 9 Bulgarian national dances

horo dance

There are more than 1000 varieties of Bulgarian national dance, also known as HORO. Bulgaria is divided in several ethnographic area and each one has its distinctive clothing and cuisine. The ethnographic area of Sofia is called Shopski region and it’s characterized with colorful national costumes. You can view dance performance in several restaurants, one of which is “Vodenitsata” on Vitosha mountain. OR you can join the HORO dance every Sunday afternoon in front of the National Theater.