The compact center of Sofia, with its antique ruins, Orthodox churches, and eclectic architecture, is best traversed on foot, with many main sights just a short walk from each other. Before you start pounding the pavement, here’s what you need to know about your walking exploration of Bulgaria’s capital.
- Take a walking tour of the city center and see Sofia’s standout religious structures, such as the gold-domed Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Saint Sofia (Sveta Sofia) Church, Banya Bashi Mosque, and the Sofia Synagogue.
- Stroll along the pedestrianized shopping streets of Pirotska Street and Vitosha Boulevard, stopping for a drink on a café terrace.
- Gain valuable insights into Sofia culture, history, and traditions from a local guide.
- Learn about Bulgarian cooking traditions during a food-focused walking tour of the city.
City Walking Tours
Walking tours of Bulgaria’s capital usually fall into one of two categories. There are general sightseeing tours, which cover the most famous historical landmarks in the center of town as well as hidden gems. Then there are themed tours, which focus on a specific aspect of local culture or history, such as the Communist era, street art, or Bulgarian cuisine.
Nature Walking Tours
With mountains, deep valleys, and glacial lakes all within day-tripping distance of Bulgaria’s capital, it’s relatively easy to swap the urban environs of the city for nature. Hiking and walking tours lead you to Vitosha Mountain on the outskirts of the city, or to the Rila Mountains, home to the Eastern Orthodox Rila Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates all the way back to the 10th century.