Museums and Galleries Tour (Self Guided), Sofia

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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Museums and Galleries Tour Map

Guide Name: Museums and Galleries Tour
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: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Author: stacey
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Rafaela Gallery
  • The Alexander Nevsky Crypt
  • Ethnographic Museum
  • National Art Gallery
  • National Archaeological Museum
  • Minerva Gallery
  • The Museum Petko and Pencho Slaveykovi
  • Paris Art Gallery
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Sight description based on wikipedia
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.
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.
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: 11:30-18:30; Sat: 11:30-15:00.

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.
Sofia Introduction Walking Tour

Sofia Introduction Walking Tour

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: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
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: 4.6 Km or 2.9 Miles
Historical Religious Buildings Walking Tour

Historical Religious Buildings Walking Tour

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: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Yellow Paves Walking Tour

Yellow Paves Walking Tour

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 or 1.4 Miles
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: 3.9 Km or 2.4 Miles
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 or 2.3 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

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