Top 10 Things to do in Sofia
Bulgaria has a very rich history. One of the oldest cities of Europe is situated here and some of the oldest Orthodox churches and monasteries were built here. In Bulgaria you can find remains of many different civilizations, such as Greeks, Romans and Turks. Bulgaria with it's independence of over 100 years has lots of traditions and folklore. Apart from the culture Bulgaria has many beautiful natural sights worth a visit, beautiful opportunities for panoramic viewing, hiking or even horse riding. There is definitely lots to do when you visit Sofia, whether you stay in the city or visit other parts of Bulgaria as well. While its hard to make a perfect itinerary for your stay in Bulgaria here we try to give you an overview of all the must do's while visiting Sofia - you could spend here a month exploring so it's up to you to choose what destinations are the most interesting to you and how should you spend the short time that you have while visiting Sofia.
Situated about 2 hours driving from Sofia, Plovdiv is our number one day tour destination from Sofia. Plovdivs history spans for more then 8000 years and it makes it one of the oldest settlement in Europe. While lots of cultures and civilization can fit in an 8000 year rich history, the most preserved monuments come from the Roman empire. If you have one day in Sofia, you should spend it exploring Sofia. But the second day go visit Plovdiv! View all tours to Plovdiv from Sofia
The Rila Monastery is one of the most important cultural, historical and architectural places of Bulgaria. The monument was built in the 14th century and it attracts more then 1 million visitors each year. The Rila Monastery is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage since 1983 and from 1991 is a part of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. Due to the amazing architecture, lots of artifacts and items from the past, and lots of amazing stories that surround it, the Rila Monastery is a fantastic place to explore. View all tours to the Rila Monastery from Sofia
The Vitosha Mountain is an extinguished volcano next to Sofia and it offers amazing panoramic views of the city. Apart from that, it offers amazing hikes in a beautiful nature and it's now easily accessible by rope lines. Its one of the oldest nature parks in the Balkans and it's frequently visited not only by tourists but the locals enjoy picniks on this amazing sight. View all tours to Vitosha Mountain from Sofia
Seven Rila Lakes
The Rila Mountain is a massive mountain that was once covered in ice. This ice melted and left hundreds of glacial lakes spread across the mountain. One of the most beautiful locations to view those lakes is the popularly known sight "The Seven Rila Lakes", a group of seven lakes that are visible in a single panoramic viewing, which is a sight to behold. The tours take you there by a rope line and you will enjoy a bit of walking in nature as well. Even thou the Seven Rila Lakes and the Rila Monastery are situated on the same mountain (Rila), there are actually quite far from each other and there is no way to visit them both in one day and spend enough time to enjoy both sites - so the choice is yours. View all tours to the Seven Rila Lakes
Koprivshtitsa is a small village but became a very popular tourist destination for it is the best preserved representation of the Bulgarian folklore, including the architecture, culture and food. This village is also a home to the most popular Bulgarian traditional folklore show that is held only once every 5 years, the last one being organized in 2015, and that attracts over a thousand amateur artists. View all tours to Koprivshtitsa from Sofia
City tour of Sofia
While you can visit Sofia on your own using a pocket guide, we definitely recommend joining a city tour of Sofia if you want to learn a more in depth story of Sofia and Bulgaria. Apart from visiting the main sights such as the Boyana Church and the National Historical Museum, lots of tours will let you taste traditional dishes so that you get more immersed in the culture of locals. It's really a must do in Sofia, but since you could potentially do it without a guided tour, it falls at our number 6. position of recommend tours in Sofia. View all Sofia guided city tours
Veliko Tarnovo is the best place if you want to learn more about the Second Bulgarian Empire that lasted over 200 years, from at the end of the 12th century till the end of 14th century. The city was the capital of the empire and now holds many interesting monuments, art and museums that are a testament to that period. Well worth a visit! View all tours to Veliko Tarnovo from Sofia
Bulgarians have a long tradition of wine making, and during communism they where one of the biggest producers of wine in the world. About half of Bulgarian land is suitable for agriculture and this is one of the reasons that agriculture is a very important industry in Bulgaria. Lots of different sorts of wine are being produced here and we suggest to take a wine tasting tour that will let you learn and taste the best locally produced wines. View all wine tasting tours from Sofia
This will probably be the most bizarre natural phenomena that you will have the opportunity to see. How did these formations came to be? This and many other stories and legends await if you decide to visit this natural wonder that was proclaimed a Natural Landmark by the Bulgarian government. View all tours to Belogradchik Rocks from Sofia
The suburban areas of Sofia offer an amazing and out of the ordinary experience of horse riding. Suitable for beginners and only about an hour away from the city, you can try the oldest way of transportation in a beautiful natural setting. Highly recommended especially for special occasions or it can be an amazing experience for children. View all horse riding tours from Sofia
Our guests personal experiences on Sofia tours
The ride was very enjoyable through forest and along a ridge to the monastery and returning the same way. The horses are not very large but are sturdy and well mannered. The owner who rode with the group didn't speak English but the driver for the transfers from Sofia did and showed us through the monastery. Only issue was the pick up almost an hour late which meant that we missed getting any food at the monastery, but this delay may have been due to the other person on the tour.
Sylvia R., Australia
On excursion: Horse Riding in Teteven - Tour from Sofia
The ride was almost 3 hours through flat fields mostly in a working trot, and didn't go through the town or forests and I would have preferred that we had some different scenery during the ride. The horses were in very good condition and well trained and my horse Jumbo was an absolute gem to ride. Lunch was absent even though it says it is included. The driver and car for the transfer from Sofia were professional and well presented.
Sylvia R., Australia
On excursion: Horse Riding Tour in Hissar from Sofia
Picked up from our apartment on time, friendly and welcoming driver & tour guide with extensive knowledge of the history of Plovdiv & Bulgaria. He was very informative as we walked around Plovdiv we had opportunities to take photographs as well as learn about the buildings, history and culture. Lunch was 3 courses of Bulgarian dishes, all delicious. The final stop at the monestry was surrounded by beautiful scenery and we learned about the art in the monestry as well as the history. Excellent English speaking guide, would definitely recommend this tour.
Melissa C., United Kingdom
On excursion: Tour to Plovdiv and Bachkovo Monastery from Sofia