Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee while observing SOCIAL DISTANCING!

Yellow Paves Walking Tour (Self Guided), 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.
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Yellow Paves Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Yellow Paves Walking Tour
Guide Location: Bulgaria » Sofia (See other walking tours in Sofia)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
Author: stacey
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Tzar Liberator Monument
  • The Russian Church
  • Prince Alexander of Battenberg Square
  • National Art Gallery
  • National Archaeological Museum
  • Church of St Petka of the Saddlers
  • TZUM
Tzar Liberator Monument

1) Tzar Liberator Monument

The Monument to the Tsar Liberator is an equestrian monument in the centre of Sofia. It was erected in honour of Russian Emperor Alexander II who liberated Bulgaria of Ottoman rule during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78.

The Neoclassical memorial's author is Italian sculptor Arnoldo Zocchi. Bulgarian architect Nikola Lazarov participated in the monument's architectural design. The foundation stone was laid on 23 April 1901, St George's Day, in the presence of Knyaz Ferdinand I of Bulgaria, and the monument was completed on 15 September 1903. Erected of black polished granite from Vitosha, the Monument to the Tsar Liberator consists of a pedestal, a middle part with figures and a massive Neo-Renaissance cornice finished with the sculpture of the Russian Tsar on a horse. The bronze wreath at the foot was donated by Romania in memory of the Romanian soldiers that died during the war.

The main bronze bas-relief in the middle part depicts a group of Russian and Bulgarian soldiers led by Nike, the Ancient Greek goddess of victory, who rises her sword high above. Portraits of Grand Duke Nicholas Nicolaievich, Count Ignatiev and the generals Joseph Vladimirovich Gourko and Mikhail Skobelev surround the group. Other bas-reliefs feature scenes from the Battle of Stara Zagora, the signing of the Treaty of San Stefano and the opening ceremony of the Constituent National Assembly in Veliko Tarnovo, as well as portraits of Petko Slaveykov, Stoyan Zaimov, Ivan Vazov, Stefan Stambolov and other prominent figures from the period.
Sight description based on wikipedia
The Russian Church

2) 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 diplomatic churches, after the patron saint of the Russian Emperor of at that period, Nicholas II. It was designed by Russian architect Mikhail Preobrazhenski in the Russian Revival Style, with the decoration inspired by Muscovite Russian churches of the 17th century. The interior murals were painted by a team of artists led by Vasily Perminov, who also painted those in the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in St. Petersburg. The five domes were coated with gold, and the bells were donated by Emperor Nicholas II. The construction began in 1907 and the church was consecrated in 1914. It remained open after the Russian Revolution of 1917 as well as throughout the Communist period in Bulgaria (1944–1989), although priests and church-goers were carefully watched by the State Security police. The crypt housing the remains of Saint Archbishop Seraphim is located beneath the church's main floor. Dozens of people still visit the grave of the archbishop, who died in 1950, praying and leaving notes asking for wishes to be granted.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Prince Alexander of Battenberg Square

3) 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 9 September 1944 made the country a Communist state. It was the site of the Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum from 1949 until 1999. Before 1944, the square was known as Tsar's Square because the former royal palace, now the National Art Gallery, is located there.
Sight description based on wikipedia
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
Church of St Petka of the Saddlers

6) 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 constructed at the place of a former Roman religious building. It is today a monument of culture known for its mural paintings from the 14th, 15th, 17th and 19th century depicting biblical scenes. The church is dedicated to St Petka, an 11th century Bulgarian saint. The Church of Saint Petka acquired its present name due to it being a patron of the saddlers in the Middle Ages, who performed their rituals in the church.
Sight description based on wikipedia


TZUM-Sofia is an upmarket department store in the centre of Sofia, officially opened in 1957 and situated in a monumental edifice on one of the city's main boulevards. The store's construction began in 1955 and ended in the end of 1956, when the first customers entered TZUM. It was officially opened with a ceremony in 1957. The edifice was designed by architect Kosta Nikolov and has an area of 20,570 m². It features a covered inner yard taking up the centre of five of the building's seven floors.

TZUM underwent major reconstruction in 1986 under the direction of architect Atanas Nikolov. Two years later, 120,000 people daily went through the store, which sold 123,000 items a day. After the democratic changes in 1989, the store remained public property until sold to the English company Regent Pacific Group, now known as Charlemagne Capital. During the time, TZUM was transformed to become a place for expensive boutiques rather than a store for the people, with the daily number of customers falling to 7,000. Another reconstruction followed in 1999–2000 and Plovdiv businessman Georgi Gergov acquired TZUM on 19 October 2004.

Hours: Monday-Saturday 10:00 am – 8:00 pm, Sunday 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
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.
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
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
Museums and Galleries Tour

Museums and Galleries Tour

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.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Sofia Introduction Walk

Sofia Introduction 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: 3.0 Km or 1.9 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
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

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...