A Local's 3-Day Guide to Sofia, Bulgaria

Icon Share


Advisor - Simona Grinnell
Curated By

Simona Grinnell

  • Bulgaria

  • City Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Luxury Travel

  • Luxury Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • City Travel

European domed cathedral against a blue sky
Curator’s statement

Sofia is my home town, so I couldn't skip writing a guide on it. Even though I don't live there anymore, I often visit and still have the insider scoop on it. If you are looking for extra tips, don't hesitate to message me.

The Fora Difference

Book with Simona to access exclusive perks and experiences on your trip.

[object Object]
Killer perks

Free upgrades, spa credits and more—we got you

[object Object]
Personalized recs

Customized travel planning for your style

[object Object]
Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay

Unlock perks by contacting Simona to book your trip.

Day 1: Welcome to Sofia

external view of a large cathedral with blue domes

Welcome to Sofia, the charming capital of Bulgaria! Situated at the foot of the majestic Vitosha Mountain, Sofia is a city rich in history and culture, offering visitors a unique blend of ancient and modern.

With its stunning architecture, vibrant nightlife and delicious cuisine, Sofia is a city that truly has something for everyone. Whether you're interested in exploring ancient ruins, wandering through picturesque parks or indulging in some of the best food and wine that Bulgaria has to offer, you'll find plenty to love about Sofia. So come and discover this beautiful city for yourself, and experience all the magic and charm that Sofia has to offer!

Begin your day with a visit to the iconic Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, one of Sofia's most recognizable landmarks. Afterward, head over to the National Palace of Culture and take a stroll through the surrounding park.

For lunch, head to Constantinoff Restobar, located in the heart of the city. This trendy restaurant is known for its fusion cuisine, which blends Bulgarian and international flavors. Try the lamb kofta with yogurt and mint sauce, paired with a refreshing glass of Bulgarian white wine. Finish with their signature tiramisu dessert, served in the most impressive way.

In the afternoon, explore the city's many museums, such as the National Museum of History or the National Art Gallery.

End the day with a walk through the vibrant Vitosha Boulevard, where you can find plenty of shops and restaurants.

Day 2: Gorgeous churches, fantastic food & cocktails with a view

pink tulips in front of an orange estate

Start the day with a visit to the impressive Boyana Church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring stunning medieval frescoes. From there, head to the nearby Vitosha Mountain for a scenic hike or bike ride.

For lunch, check out ADOR Restaurant, which serves modern Bulgarian cuisine using locally-sourced ingredients. The burrata salad, tuna tartar and pan-seared sea bass are all things you must try. I have tried pretty much the whole menu at this point, and nothing disappoints.

After lunch, visit the charming Ivan Vazov National Theatre, located in the heart of Sofia. If you're in the mood for something more offbeat, head to The Revolutionary Dining Room & Bar, a quirky eatery featuring Communist-era decor and traditional Bulgarian dishes. Try the roasted calamari or beef tartar. If you like lamb, definitely try the 48-hour, slow-cooked lamb shoulder. Otherwise, opt for one of the many delicious pasta dishes.

Later on, take the elevator to The Scene Rooftop Bar & Terrace for some great views and delicious cocktails.

Day 3: Culture, street art, ruins and more

statue of a woman between two stone pillars

On your last day in Sofia, start with a visit to the stunning St. George Rotunda, one of the oldest buildings in the city. Afterwards, wander through the historic Old Town and admire the architecture and street art.

Discover the ancient ruins of Serdika. This ancient Roman city was once an important trading hub, and today visitors can explore its impressive ruins, which include a Roman amphitheater, thermal baths and more.

For lunch, head to Moma Restaurant, a cozy bistro that specializes in comfort food with a Bulgarian twist. Try the banitsa with feta cheese and spinach, paired with a glass of rakia (Bulgarian brandy).

In the afternoon, check out the National Palace of Culture, which often hosts concerts, festivals and other cultural events.

For dinner, head to Happy Restaurant, a popular spot that serves a mix of Bulgarian and international dishes. They have seasonal menus that they rotate throughout the year, so there is always something interesting and delicious to try.

Optional day trip to Rila Monastery

lush mountain scenery on a blue-sky sunny day

Take a day trip to the Rila Monastery. This stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of Bulgaria's most famous landmarks, and is located just a couple hours from Sofia. Visitors can explore the monastery's beautiful architecture and stunning frescoes, as well as enjoy the beautiful natural scenery of the surrounding mountains.

Need to Know

Looking for more Bulgaria travel tips? Check out my other guide: A Local's Guide to Golf in Bulgaria.

Advisor - Simona Grinnell

Travel Advisor

Simona Grinnell

Get in touch with Simona

Did you like this guide? Reach out to customize and book your own experience. Or, just to chat about travel in general.

You can normally expect a response from Simona within a business day or so. You’ll also be subscribed to our travel newsletter (you can unsubscribe at any time).

This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Bulgaria.