When you’re looking for things to do in Sofia, keep in mind that the very best things are all around you. The architecture, the city squares and the yellow-bricked pavement will lead you anywhere you’d like to go. You’ll also find no shortage of excellent restaurants and interesting watering holes to wet your whistle after a day of sightseeing.
Follow the yellow brick road
Yes, we mean it. At the very heart of downtown Sofia, the yellow-colored pavement (zhaltite paveta) begins at the President’s office and leads you past Sofia’s best sights, from the Archeological Museum and National Art Gallery, straight through to Parliament Square (Narodno Sabranie). At the end is the central (underground) metro station and the fully restored Yablaski House, where the most popular bands and DJs perform.
Find spiritual relief
Sofia’s main temples are positioned at the highest point in the city, and can’t be missed during your stroll down the yellow pavement. One of the largest in the country, the Alexander Nevski Cathedral is impressive and imposing, with it’s gold-domed top. The St. Sofia Church, dedicated to the city’s patron saint, is in the same square. Next, visit the Sveta Gora, a collection of 14 Jewish monasteries, scattered in the picturesque mountain villages around Sofia.
Get squared away
Sveta nedelya square is the main city square of Sofia – and the crossroads of culture and art, ancient and modern. Churches, mosques and synagogues mingle with cafés, department stores and school buildings. It is the embodiment of the delightful contradictions that make Bulgaria great. Near the square is Sofia’s oldest structure: St. George’s Rotunda, constructed by the emperor Constantine in the 4th century.
See the park that has it all
A favorite of locals and tourists alike, the beautiful Borisovata Gradina park is surrounded by restaurants to suit every taste. Inside, stroll along the banks of Ariana Lake, or through the Alley of The Greats, with monuments to the greatest Bulgarians in history. Next, see the National Sports Museum, which honors the great Bulgarian olympic champions. A number of other outdoor activities is also on offer in the park.
Get soothed on the slopes
Sofia’s proximity to the Vitosha and Lulin mountains means no trip would be complete without taking the 15-minute journey to their gentle lower slopes. Everyone should visit the impressive Boyana Church. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy skiing in winter, or hiking, climbing and biking all year round. Those interested in more pampering should head straight to the spas of Lulin. Bankya and Gorna Banya spas will indulge you with mineral springs, spa treatments, and soul-soothing relaxation.