Whether you are fascinated by its history, intrigued by the surrounding natural beauty or just want to do some shopping and people watching, Sofia has something for you. Here is a look at how you can sample a little of everything if you only have three days in the Bulgarian capital:
Day 1: Ancient history and culture
Start with Sofia’s most famous site, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and take some time to visit the icon gallery in the crypt underneath. Spend the rest of the morning at the National Art Gallery and Ethnographic Museum, both located inside the former Royal Palace. In the afternoon, join a walking tour to discover some of the city’s hidden historical gems or check out the shops and cafes along the popular Vitosha Bouelvard. Then, spend the evening taking in a performance at the Ivan Vazov National Theater.
Day 2: Explore Sofia’s Soviet roots
Sofia’s Soviet influence is evident throughout the city. Spend your second day learning more by visiting the Monument to the Soviet Army and the adjacent Borisova Gradina park, keeping an eye out for the enormous Mound of Brotherhood. Further out from the city center, check out the Museum of Socialist Art and the National Museum of Military History. Later, catch a show at the National Palace of Culture or National Opera House.
Day 3: Head to Boyana and Vitosha Mountain
After two days exploring Sofia itself, it is time to head to nearby Boyana and Vitosha Nature Park, Bulgaria’s oldest nature park. Visit the 13th century Boyana Church and marvel at its 90 colorful murals. Then go for a hike along the Boyana River up to the Boyana Waterfall. If you’re not up for a long hike, you can take a chairlift from the village of Dragalevtsi to Goli Vrah and then walk about 30 minutes to catch a gondola back down the mountain to the village Simeonovo.