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Things to do in Sofia

 

Visiting Sofia? Take some time to explore the local attractions, collect life-long memories and get a brief overview of the Bulgarian history and culture.

Sofia is one of the most ancient European cities, with its history beginning back in VIII BC, when it was founded on the site of a former Neolithic village. The name Sofia originates from the Greek word “Σοφία” - wisdom.

Discover the baroque buildings, walk in the old streets, visit the monasteries and artifacts that are preserved to narrate you the “Sofia” story.

But Sofia is not only ancient and medieval monuments. Sofia is a dynamic, ever changing European city, offering and many modern attractions - parks, malls, museums, galleries, universities, etc. Sofia tastefully combines history and traditions with a modern, 21 century lifestyle. The city offers so many attractions, and we guarantee that you will be amazed by their proximity.

Please take a look at the list of local attractions that we have prepared for you.

Click here for a link to Sofia Sightseeing Tours.

ARENA ARMEEC

The main purpose of Multifunctional Sports Hall Arena Armeec Sofia is to provide Bulgarian and foreign athletes with the best conditions for performing sports activities. The hall hosts all international concerts, world-recognized musical festivals and performances of famous artists.

Location: Sofia’ East Region, 4 min. by car from BEST WESTERN Hotel Expo

IVAN VAZOV NATIONAL THEATER

The “Ivan Vazov” National Theatre is Bulgaria’s biggest theatre, as well as the oldest, most attractive and magnificent theatre in the country. “Ivan Vazov” National Theatre is one of the major landmarks in Sofia due to its prime location and grandiose architecture. You may see the most awarded plays and the most recognized Bulgaria artists performing on its stage.

Click here to see the program of the National Theater “Ivan Vazov”.

Location: City center (East), 8 min. from BEST WESTERN Hotel Expo, using Metro line 2

SOFIA OPERA AND BALLET

The National Opera and Ballet is a national cultural institution in Bulgaria  It is based in an imposing building in the center of Sofia. The Bulgarian Opera Society was established in 1908. The first full opera was performed in 1909. The institution became a national one in 1922 and changed its name to National Opera. The ballet’s first performance in 1928. The opera ceased its activity for a while after the 1944 bombing of Sofia, but was restored shortly afterward.

Targeting to attract younger audience and to support young and upcoming singers, in 2000, the company co-organized the Boris Christoff Twelfth International Competition for Young Opera Singers.

Click here to see the program of the Sofia Opera and Ballet.

Location: City center (East), 10 min. from BEST WESTERN Hotel Expo, using Metro line 2

THE PRESIDENCY BUILDING OF THE REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA

In the modern Bulgarian history, the functions of the Head of State have been performed by a monarch, and later on, by supporting managerial bodies like the Presidium of the National Assembly and a State Council. The institution of “President of the Republic of Bulgaria” has a relatively recent history and is associated with Bulgaria’s transition to democracy and with the new structuring of institutions within the context of this transition.

Location: City center (West), 8 min. from BEST WESTERN Hotel Expo, using Metro line 2

ALEXANDER NEVSKY CATHEDRAL

The gold-domed Alexander Nevsky Cathedral was built in the early 20th century in memory of the 200,000 Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian and Bulgarian soldiers, who died in the Russian-Turkish War (1877–1878). It is one of the largest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in the world. The cathedral’s gold-plated dome is 45 m high, with the bell tower reaching 50.52 m.

Location: City center (East), 8 min. from BEST WESTERN Hotel Expo, using Metro line 2

THE CHURCH “ST. NICHOLAS THE MIRACLE-MAKER”

Walking down ‘Tsar Osvoboditel’ Str. you will see the beautiful gold domes of the ‘the prettiest church in Sofia’. Its high dome, surrounded by four smaller domes, all made of gold harmonize perfectly with the roof of the church which is covered with green majolica tiles.

"St. Nicholas" Church, also known as the Russian Church, is a Christian Orthodox church, located in Sofia, which is dedicated na St. Nicholas the Miracle maker. It is one of the emblematic buildings of the city.

The church’s construction began in the late 19th century and lasts for many years. The church was consecrated in 1914, in the eve of the First World War. After 1947, the church was handed over to the diocese of the Moscow Patriarchate, which manages it until present day.

In the crypt of the church is the tomb of Archbishop Seraphim Sobolev, considered by many Orthodox Christians as miracle maker. Related to this is and the practice, before important events, different people - believers or unbelievers, to visit his grave, asking for his miraculous help.

Location: City center (East), 9 min. from BEST WESTERN Hotel Expo, using Metro line 2

“ST. GEORGE” ROTUNDA

Hidden in the courtyard of the Presidency Buildings and the well-known Sofia Hotel Balkan, among the remains of the ancient town of Serdica, rises the famous Roman Rotunda, a red-brick building transformed into the present day “St. George” Church. The Roman Rotunda /the church “St. George”/ is the oldest preserved building in Sofia, which still serves its original purpose.

Location: City center (West), 10 min. from BEST WESTERN Hotel Expo, using Metro line 2

SAINT SOFIA STATUE

If you happen to pass the Sofia city center, you will definitely notice the Statue of “Saint Sofia”, standing on a column in the middle of a bussy crossroad. Her golden face looks toward “Dondoukov” Blvd., where TZUM (Central Department Store - a trade center dating from the Communist period), the Presidency Building and the Prime Minister’s offices are located.

 Location: City center (West), 10 min. from BEST WESTERN Hotel Expo, using Metro line 2

NATIONAL ART GALLERY

The National Art Gallery houses over 50,000 pieces of Bulgarian art. The Art Gallery is located in Sofia,on “Battenberg Square”, occupying most of the historic and imposing edifice of the former royal palace of Bulgaria.

Location: City center (East), 8 min. from BEST WESTERN Hotel Expo, using Metro line 2

SOUTH PARK SOFIA

South Park is one of the most beautiful and popular parks in Sofia. One can find there numerous cafes and places to eat, asphalt and bicycle paths to walk in the nature, while there are also areas suitable for extreme riding. Find yourself in nature, without exiting the broad city center.

Location: Sofia’ South Region, 15 min. by car from BEST WESTERN Hotel Expo

SHOPPING 

Sofia outlet center: 

Sofia Outlet Center is the first of its kind shops in Bulgaria, which offers outlets collections of world famous fashion brands.

Distance to BEST WESTERN Hotel Expo: 5 minutes on foot

Shopping Mall "The Mall"

Looking for a unique gift or special souvenir to please your loved ones?

Located on a 66,000 square meter shopping mall, "The Mall" is the largest shopping mall in Bulgaria, uniting under one roof 178 stores and products of world famous fashion brands.

 Location: Tsarigradsko shose Blvd.

 Distance from BEST WESTERN Hotel Expo: 15 min on foot or 2 min drive

SPORT TIPS AND SPORTS EVENTS

Golf Packages

Whether you are an avid golfer or just trying to plan your free time, "St. Sofia Golf Club and SPA is your ideal choice!

Location: Ravno Pole village

Distance from BEST WESTERN Hotel Expo: 15 minutes by car