City Orientation Walk, Sofia

Sofia is considered one of Europe's oldest cities, with a history going back more than 7,000 years. It's also Bulgaria's cultural, economic, and educational epicenter. This fascinating city is rich in historical and architectural sights as well as many other attractions. Take this walk to visit the biggest and best attractions in Sofia.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" on iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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City Orientation Walk Map

Guide Name: City Orientation Walk
Guide Location: Bulgaria » Sofia (See other walking tours in Sofia)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 14
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 km
Author: stacey
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

1) Alexander Nevsky Cathedral (must see)

The St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is a Bulgarian Orthodox cathedral in Sofia. Built in Neo-Byzantine style, it serves as the cathedral church of the Patriarch of Bulgaria and is one of the largest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in the world, as well as one of Sofia's symbols and primary tourist attractions. The St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia occupies an area of 3,170 square metres (34,100 sq ft) and can hold 10,000 people inside. It is the second biggest cathedral located on the...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
Saint Sofia Church

2) Saint Sofia Church (must see)

The Hagia Sophia Church is the second oldest church in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, dating to the 6th century. In the 14th century, the church gave its name to the city, previously known as Sredets (Средец).

The Hagia Sophia Church is now one of the most valuable pieces of Early architecture in Southeastern Europe. The present building is a cross basilica with three altars. The floor of the church is covered with complex Early Christian ornamental or flora and fauna-themed mosaics. The...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
Rafaela Gallery

3) Rafaela Gallery

Rafaela Gallery has a large collection of Bulgarian Orthodox and foreign icons. The gallery was opened in 1996. The gallery is situated in downtown Sofia near the National Opera...   view more
National Opera and Ballet

4) National Opera and Ballet (must see)

The National Opera and Ballet is a national cultural institution in Bulgaria that covers opera and ballet. It is based in an imposing building in Sofia. The first opera company in Bulgaria was founded in 1890 as part of the Capital Opera and Drama Company. The two sections split in 1891 to form the Salza i Smyah theatrical company and the Capital Bulgarian Opera. It was, however, disbanded the next year due to lack of government funding and financial difficulties.

The Bulgarian Opera Society...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
The Russian Church

5) The Russian Church (must see)

The Russian Church, officially known as the Church of St Nicholas the Miracle-Maker, is a Russian Orthodox church in central Sofia, situated on Tsar Osvoboditel (Tsar the Liberator) Boulevard. It was built on the site of the Saray Mosque destroyed in 1882 upon the liberation of Bulgaria by the Russian forces from the Ottoman Empire. Initially, this was an official church of the Russian Embassy located nearby and served the Russian community in Sofia, named, according to the tradition for...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
Ethnographic Museum

6) Ethnographic Museum (must see)

Initially opened in 1892 as a section of the National Museum, the Ethnographic Museum became a separate museum in its own right in 1906. The museum is currently housed in the luxurious surroundings of the city's Royal...   view more
National Art Gallery

7) National Art Gallery (must see)

The National Art Gallery is Bulgaria's national gallery and houses over 50,000 pieces of Bulgarian art. It is located on Battenberg Square in the capital city of Sofia, occupying most of the historic and imposing edifice of the former royal palace of Bulgaria, having been established in 1934 and moved to the palace in 1946, after the abolition of the monarchy.

The royal palace, a typical example of Second Empire architecture with chateauesque connotations, was constructed in two stages,...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
Prince Alexander of Battenberg Square

8) Prince Alexander of Battenberg Square

Prince Alexander I Square, often called simply Battenberg Square is the largest square of Sofia. It is named after Alexander Joseph of Battenberg (Alexander I of Bulgaria), the first prince of modern Bulgaria, and is arguably the most suitable place in Sofia for major open-air concerts such as the concert series "Opera on the Square", demonstrations, parades and other large-scale events.

During the Communist rule of Bulgaria, the square had the name 9 September Square, as a coup on...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
Ivan Vazov National Theater

9) Ivan Vazov National Theater (must see)

The Ivan Vazov National Theatre is Bulgaria's national theatre, as well as the oldest and most authoritative theatre in the country and one of the important landmarks of Sofia. It is located in the centre of the city, with the facade facing the City Garden. Founded in 1904 by the artists from the Salza i Smyah company, it was initially called simply the National Theatre, but before being named after the prominent writer Ivan Vazov it also bore the name of Krastyu Sarafov between 1952 and...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
National Archaeological Museum

10) National Archaeological Museum (must see)

The National Archaeological Museum is an archaeological museum in the centre of Sofia. It occupies the building of the largest and oldest former Ottoman mosque in the city, Büyük camii ("Grand Mosque"), built from stone around 1474 under Mehmed II. The museum was established as a separate entity in 1893 as the National Museum directed by the Czech Václav Dobruský with its headquarters in the former mosque that previously housed the National Library between 1880 and 1893.

The...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
Pirotska Street

11) Pirotska Street

Pirotska Street is a pedestrianized street near the TZUM which is famous for its many shops, cafes and hotels. You'll find a great variety of boutique stores on both sides of the street, with a distinct 1990s flavor to the...   view more
Cathedral of St. Joseph

12) Cathedral of St. Joseph

The Cathedral of St Joseph is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Sofia. It is the co-cathedral of the Diocese of Sofia and Plovdiv, together with the Cathedral of St Louis in Plovdiv.

The cathedral, rebuilt at its previous location after it was destroyed by the Allied bombing raids during World War II, was inaugurated on 21 May 2006 in the presence of Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church. The foundation stone of the new cathedral...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
Church of St Petka of the Saddlers

13) Church of St Petka of the Saddlers (must see)

The Church of St Petka of the Saddlers is a medieval Bulgarian Orthodox church in Sofia. It is a small one-naved building partially dug into the ground located in the very centre of both the modern and the antique city, in the TZUM subway. The church features a semi-cylindrical vault, a hemispherical apse, and a crypt discovered during excavations after the Second World War. The walls are 1 m thick and made from brick and stone.

The church was first mentioned in the 16th century and was...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
St. Nedelya Church

14) St. Nedelya Church (must see)

Holy Sunday Church is an Eastern Orthodox church in Sofia, a cathedral of the Sofia bishopric of the Bulgarian Patriarchate. Sveta Nedelya is a medieval church that has suffered destruction through the ages and has been reconstructed many times. The present building of the temple is among the landmarks of Sofia. It was designed by the famous Bulgarian architectural team Vasilyov-Tsol.

The history of the cathedral's earliest years is to a large extent unknown. It was probably built in the...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Sofia, Bulgaria

Create Your Own Walk in Sofia

Create Your Own Walk in Sofia

Creating your own self-guided walk in Sofia is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Levski Boulevard Walking Tour

Levski Boulevard Walking Tour

Levski Boulevard is the main street of Sofia, and is notable for its many landmarks and monuments. The street took its name from Vasil Levski, a national hero in Bulgaria. Take our tour to explore the top sights of Levski Boulevard.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 km
Souvenir Shopping

Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave Sofia without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Sofia, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.9 km
Religious Buildings Walking Tour in Sofia

Religious Buildings Walking Tour in Sofia

A predominantly Orthodox Christian city, Sofia has plenty of great churches and cathedrals from this tradition. But as well as Orthodox religious buildings, the city also has mosques and temples from other faiths. Take our tour to get a sense of the spiritual life of Bulgaria's capital.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 km
Yellow Paves Walking Tour in Sofia

Yellow Paves Walking Tour in Sofia

Yellow Paves is an area of Sofia where the roads are covered with yellow rocks - they were a present from the Austro-Hungarian rulers for the wedding of King Ferdinand I. Yellow Paves has since become one of the popular symbols of the capital - why not take our tour and visit the top attractions in the area.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 km
Sofia Landmarks Walking Tour

Sofia Landmarks Walking Tour

As the capital of a former communist country, Sofia has a number of imposing monuments and landmarks that recall the long history of Bulgaria. Make sure that you will take this self guided walking tour to visit some of the most amazing and important attractions in Sofia.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.7 km
Borisova Garden Walk

Borisova Garden Walk

Borisova Gardina is the oldest and most famous park in Sofia. Established in 1884, the park was named after Bulgarian Tsar Boris III. Take our tour to explore the sights within the garden and find out more about this top Bulgarian landmark.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

Sofia Shopping: 15 Things To Memorize Bulgaria By

Sofia Shopping: 15 Things To Memorize Bulgaria By

Increasingly popular tourist destination in recent years, Bulgaria has opened up to the outer world, revealing colorful identity, manifested in rich craftsmanship, culinary and cultural traditions and history. The country's capital city Sofia is a lovely alloy of Eastern and Western European...