Sofia Things To Do
Somewhat out of the mainstream for travelers, Sofia is an intensely rewarding place for the savvy visitor.
Historic Religious Places and Markets
Start with the Tsentrali Hali Market for lots of inexpensive yet tasty foods. Food halls offer lots local treats and glasses of beer. Right next to the market you can find the Banya Bashi Mosque and the Central Baths. This is the last mosque in Sofia. It was designed by Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan over four centuries ago and still remains a great place to understand the city’s history. There is also a farmers market at Lozenets, which is open every Saturday and has lots of local produce you can buy as well as other items such as homemade sauces and canned things.
Other religious landmarks with lots of history include Sveti Sedmochislenitsi Church. This is an example of Bulgarian national-romanticism and working church today. The Alexander Nevsky Church is a newer church with less than a hundred years of history. Many travelers consider it to be Sofia’s most visually impressive church with lots of intricate frescoes. The Church of Saint Sofia is where the city takes it’s name from. Dating to the fifth century, it is open today. Other churches in the city worth a visit include The Russian Church of St Nickolas and the The Church of Saint Peter of the Saddlemakers.
Art Galleries and Public Ceremonies
Housed in an inviting bright yellow building, the National Art Gallery occupies the west wing of a former city palace. Today, it’s a showcase for Bulgarian art and artists. More than 50,000 pieces of art from the area are on display every day. There are permanent exhibitions as well changing exhibits to check in advance to see what’s on display before you go. It’s open every day of the week except Sunday. Another museum worth visiting is the Bulgarian Academy of Science. Housed in the center of town, it offers nine main sections and three branches. Look for exhibits on linguistics and technology. If you’re in the area, you can pass the presidential palace. They have a changing of the guard service demonstrating local Bulgarian culture.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about things to do in Sofia.
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