Top things to do in Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia has a lot to offer! Sometimes guests do not know where to start, though. That’s why I decided to share some of my recommendations for the best things to do in the Bulgarian capital. As a former tour guide at the Free Sofia Tour and a writer for the Spotted By Locals blog, I got to know many of the hidden gems of the city. The list is not extensive and would be constantly updated.

  1. Go exchange some pocket change 🙂 I’m serious. While cards are used in most shops, restaurants, etc., cash is still king here. And you might need some to tip the guides at your next stop.
  2. Free Sofia Tour. I know I am biased but there’s no better way to start your trip to Sofia. There’s no easier and cheaper way to get a great introduction of the city. Rated the best thing to do in Sofia by 1,874 traveler reviews on TripAdvisor. It’s twice a day – 11 AM and 6 PM (there’s even a 10AM in the summer as well), no matter what. Make sure to ask the guides a lot of questions – they are a great source of further tips.
  3. A specialized tour. I know, I know, you may not be a great fan of tours. However, these great value options would build on the knowledge and fun that the free tour brought. So here are the options:
    1. exploring Bulgaria’s communist past
    2. learn more about Bulgarian culture and traditions
    3. sample some free traditional food and learn more about it
    4. enjoy great stories in some hidden nightlife spots
    5. get to ride in a communist vehicle (Trabant)
    6. do you like street art and graffiti?
  4. Get out of the city. Might be a bit counter-intuitive but Sofia is a great starting point for exploring Bulgaria further. Great classic one day trips are Plovdiv (make sure you do the Free Plovdiv Tour) and Rila Monastery. If you choose another destination, don’t have a rental and don’t want to use public transport, click here;
  5. Get a good panorama view of the city:
    1. at Kopitoto, Vitosha mountain
    2. at Orlite restaurant
    3. at the Archives cafe
    4. at Tavan restaurant
  6. Explore the nature of Sofia by doing a bike or hike tour (from April to November) with Sofia Green Tour;
  7. Try some of my favourite bars, restaurant or culture places. If you want specific tips, drop me a line at and I will try to help;
  8. Take a piece of Bulgaria with you home;
  9. What is your favourite thing to do in Sofia? Please share with me at;


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