Famous Museums and Galleries Walk in Sofia, Sofia (Self Guided)

Sofia boasts a number of great museums that reflect Bulgaria's history, its cultural heritage and the way of life in the country. Take this walking tour to get a keen insight into Bulgarian history.
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Famous Museums and Galleries Walk in Sofia Map

Guide Name: Famous Museums and Galleries Walk in Sofia
Guide Location: Bulgaria » Sofia (See other walking tours in Sofia)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 km
Author: stacey
1
Rafaela Gallery

1) 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 house.
2
The Alexander Nevsky Crypt

2) The Alexander Nevsky Crypt (must see)

The Alexander Nevsky Crypt is located inside the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. It is said that this fascinating museum contains the largest collection of Orthodox icons in all of Europe.
3
Ethnographic Museum

3) 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 Palace.
4
National Art Gallery

4) 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, the first lasting between 1880 and 1882 during the rule of Knyaz Alexander Battenberg, when Austro-Hungarian architects under Viktor Rumpelmayer worked on the building.

The National Art Gallery houses not only examples of contemporary and National Revival art, but also the country's largest collection of medieval paintings, including more than four thousand icons, a collection comparable in quality and number only to that of the Benaki Museum according to the director of the gallery, Boris Danailov.

Hours: 10.00 to 18.00, day off - Monday
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
National Archaeological Museum

5) 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 museum was officially opened and inaugurated in 1905, as by then all archaeological exhibits previously kept all over the city were moved there, in the presence of Knyaz Ferdinand of Bulgaria and Minister of Enlightenment Ivan Shishmanov.

Several additional halls and administrative buildings of the museum were constructed in the following years, which continues to use the historic stone building of the old mosque despite the often unfavourable conditions, notably the humidity in the summer. The museum has five exhibition halls: Central Hall, Prehistory, Middle Ages, Treasure, and a special temporary exhibition. It is managed by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Minerva Gallery

6) Minerva Gallery

Minerva gallery houses the works of over 50 Bulgarian artists. In this gallery you can admire paintings, works of culture and graphics. Situated inside a hotel, the gallery is open 24 hours a day seven days a week.
7
The Museum Petko and Pencho Slaveykovi

7) The Museum Petko and Pencho Slaveykovi

This museum is situated in the former home of not one but two great Bulgarian writers, Petko and Pencho Slaveykov. In this house Petko created beautiful poems and folklore writings along with his son, who went on to become one of Bulgaria's most renowned poets. Pencho Slaveykov later became famous not only in his mother country but also internationally as well.
8
Paris Art Gallery

8) Paris Art Gallery

Paris Art Gallery is a small and comfortable gallery located in the heart of Bulgarian capital near The National Opera. It was established in 2003 and displays pieces created by the young Bulgarian artists.
Hours: Mon-Fri: 11:00-19:00

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.
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
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
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
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
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

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.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Sofia Shopping: 15 Things To Memorize Bulgaria By

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Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Sofia for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Sofia has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Sofia, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.