Sofia Tourism

Picturesque grasslands, bustling ski resorts and a unique civic architecture is what Sofia greets its tourists with. Located at the foot of Vitosha Mountain, it is the capital of and the largest city in Bulgaria. With its well-developed and budget-friendly tourism, Sofia is said to be the most affordable city to visit in Europe.

Human settlements in Sofia trace back to 4th century BC. Originally called Serdica, Sofia was founded by the Roman emperor Trajan. In 809, it was annexed into the Bulgarian empire and was renamed as ‘Sredetz’. It was taken over by the Ottomans in 1382 who left a considerable impact on the town’s architecture and culture. After the fall of Ottoman Empire, Sofia was occupied by the Russian forces in the 19th century. In 1946, the city was made into the capital of People’s Republic of Bulgaria.

The itineraries of Sofia entice you with the finest galleries, edifices and museums in Bulgaria. Classic Ottoman mosques, Churches with onion-shaped domes and soviet-styled buildings encompass the majority of tourist attractions in the city. Further, Sofia is surrounded by a resorts, hiking trails and several other places to see in and around the Mt. Vitosha region.

As a biggest commercial and industrial centre of the country, Sofia is served by many companies; and is often the preferred destination for international conferences. So, most of the visitors fly down to the city on business purposes. Sofia is also home to a number of educational institutions, sport and entertainment centres.

Sofia takes pride in its exuberant nightlife, thanks to its lively bars and restaurants with affordable prices. Add Sofia to your trip planners and visit the city during your next holiday.

Essential travel information and Sofia tips for your visit

  • Be careful if you are planning to travel during the national holidays. The city tends to be deserted and most of the shops remain closed.
  • Don’t forget to get a stamp on your train ticket if you are using it for a two-way journey. Otherwise, you may be heavily fined or thrown out of the train to get the stamp for your return journey.
  • Carry jackets and other warm clothes in case you are traveling in winter.
  • If you are just passing through Sofia while traveling and want to do sightseeing, you can leave your luggage at the train station for a few hours.

The best tours and activities in the city, guided by experts to give you a local insight to the best of Sofia

  • Know the pollution level of Sofia before you plan your visit.

    • Air Pollution 71.2 (High)
    • Water Pollution 41.78 (Moderate)
    • Noise and Light Pollution 53.81 (Moderate)
    • Unattended dirt and garbage 59.35 (Moderate)
    • Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 25.81 (Low)
    • Dissatisfaction with Garbage Disposal 58.87 (Moderate)
    • Dissatisfaction to Spend Time in the City 52.08 (Moderate)
    • Dissatisfaction with Green zones and parks 33.88 (Low)
  • How safe is Sofia for tourists? Understand risks and safety concerns that can hamper your travel experience in Sofia.

    • Burglary and Theft 47.1 (Moderate)
    • Mugging and Robbery 36.17 (Low)
    • Assault and Armed Robbery 33.76 (Low)
    • Corruption and Bribery 86.8 (Very High)
    • Car Stealing 47.69 (Moderate)
    • Robbery of Car belongings 53.41 (Moderate)
    • Attacks 36.32 (Low)
    • Drug offense 45.64 (Moderate)
    • Safety walking alone during daylight 84.51 (Very High)
    • Safety walking alone during night 52.95 (Moderate)
    • Insulting and offensive behaviour 35.24 (Low)
    • Hate crime due to Racism, Religion, ethnic origin 31.44 (Low)
    • Property crimes and Vandalism 54.47 (Moderate)
  • Quality of Life Index of Sofia is 126.26 (High)

    • Safety Index 55.38 (Moderate)
    • Climate Index 76.01 (High)
    • Pollution Index 65.08 (High)
    • Traffic Commute Time Index 32.45 (Low)
    • Cost of Living Index 40.17 (Very Low)
    • Health Care Index 54.25 (Moderate)
    • Property Price to Income Ratio 8.94 (Moderate)
    • Purchasing Power Index 60.26 (Low)
    • Indices such as Quality of life, Climate & Healthcare index are good to be high whereas others such as Property price, Traffic & Cost of living Index are good to be low.

  • Here's how much it will cost to shop in Sofia

    • Local calling per minute on Prepaid mobile 0.16 USD
    • International Movie per seat 6.9 USD
    • Summer clothing in a chain store 29.35 USD
    • Pair of Basic Nike Shoes 75.53 USD
    • Pair of Basic Levis Jeans 58.78 USD

*Stats and figures mentioned are crowd-sourced ‚Äčand subjected to change without notice.

* Some of the data on this page is powered by Numbeo