Sofia travel guide

Sofia tourism | Sofia guide

You're Going to Love Sofia

Bulgaria's elegant and relaxed capital constantly throws up surprises. Whether it's stumbling upon the ruins of a Roman theater in the lobby of a luxury hotel, dining on superb Lebanese cuisine, or sifting through antiques at a flea market, Sofia has delights and distractions aplenty.

It also has plenty of history on offer. From its pre-Roman origins through periods as an Imperial outpost, a medieval Byzantine metropolis, an Ottoman center, and a key capital behind the Iron Curtain, Sofia has been many things, and has a wealth of historical attractions from every era.

Add in a ski resort within a half an hour of the city center, tens of heated open air swimming pools across the city, and a packed schedule of arts and music events, and you have a truly exceptional Eastern European destination.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Sofia

When to Visit Sofia

Estimated hotel price

Sofia in {1}

1 night at 3-star hotel
Prices are not fixed and may vary with time

Locals will tell you that the best time to go is definitely between May and September (the Bulgarian summer, more or less). Try May or early June for fine weather and smaller crowds. High summer is still fine, and you can cool off in the city's open air pools, while winter makes skiing in Vitosha another possibility.

Average temperatures
Celsius (°C)
When the weather is nice in Sofia

How to Get to Sofia

Airports near Sofia

SOF Sofia
PDV Plovdiv

Airlines serving Sofia

Good (66,499 reviews)
Good (42,734 reviews)
Good (27,252 reviews)
Good (22,341 reviews)
Excellent (22,493 reviews)
Good (27,324 reviews)
KLM
Good (3,495 reviews)
Good (4,005 reviews)
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Where to Stay in Sofia

Sofia offers a mixture of elegant historical hotels (not all of them in peak condition) and ultra-modern luxury options, with plenty of hostels and guesthouses as well. Some of the finest hotels in town include the Crystal Palace Boutique Hotel, the 5-star Sense Hotel, and the Sofia Hotel Balkan, which has an on-site spa and sauna.

Popular Neighborhoods in Sofia

Where to stay in popular areas of Sofia

Most booked hotels in Sofia

How to Get Around Sofia

The Cost of Living in Sofia

Shopping Streets

Sofia has its share of luxury shopping malls, but the place to head for high-end window shopping is the Vitosha Boulevard, where you'll discover fashion stores like Max Mara or Takeshy Kurosawa, jewelry brands like Swarovski, and no shortage of cafes. A grittier shopping experience can be enjoyed at flea markets like Zhenski Pazar, which may be the largest open air market in Europe.

Groceries and Other

If you need to shop for groceries and other essentials, the best places to head in Sofia are supermarkets like Gala, Billa, or the Carrefour on boulevard Tsarigradsko Shosse. The cost of living is very cheap, with a gallon of milk costing about лв7.50.

Cheap meal
Cheap meal
£4.21
A pair of jeans
A pair of jeans
£39.06
Single public transport ticket
Single public transport ticket
£0.68
Cappuccino
Cappuccino
£0.88

Where to Eat in Sofia

Bulgarian food is a delightful fusion of Turkish kebabs and Eastern European potato-based dishes, with no end of mouth-watering meat-based dishes. Some of the best places to try authentic Bulgarian cuisine are Mehana Karajata (where you may be serenaded by folk troupes) and Hadjidraganov's Houses. However, international dishes are well represented too, with excellent pizza options like Godzilla and pasta joints like the Spaghetti Kitchen. Expect a high-end meal to cost no more than лв15 per head.