This extensive tour of nearly all there is to see in downtown Sofia can easily be done in one day.
If you are feeling ambitious also include one or two museum visits.
SOFIA IN A DAY: MORNING
Soak up the multicultural atmosphere of old Sofia with this short two-hour loop-tour through a mosque, a synagogue, several churches and two of the biggest markets in Sofia, as well as the city’s famous hot mineral springs. (2 hrs)
Sofia's compact city centre revolves around the area of Serdika Metro Station and St Nedelya Square, where the church is located.
This is a great starting point for your 2 hour trip
The church in front of you was built after the older St Nedelya church was destroyed in 1925 in a gruesome terrorist act that took the life of over 200 people.
This small medieval church sits at the exit of Serdika Metro Station, Sofia's busiest station.
Several shops around the church offer souvenirs and tourist memorabilia.
The 16th century mosque is the only functioning mosque in the city.
The building, a prime example of an architectural style called Bulgarian secession, hasn’t functioned as a bathhouse for over 30 years. After an extensive renovation it will soon open doors as a Museum of history of Sofia. The hot water that made this area famous however still flows.
Is the oldest covered markets in the city and a great place to sample some local food.
One of the biggest synagogues in Europe is open to visitors.
Roam around the Ladies market and the surrounding neighborhood. Look at the colorful piles of fruits and vegetables, spice stores and hunt for souvenirs.
Stroll down the pedestrian-only Pirotska Street to go back to Serdika Metro Station.
FUEL-UP: Stroll back to TZUM and have lunch at Spagetti Factory.
Looking for a quicker and cheaper option? Head to Happy Grill and Bar at St Nedelya square or grab a sophisticated coffee concoction next door at Flo cafe.
Alternatively, grab a quick bite on the go around the area of Ladies Market.
SOFIA IN A DAY: AFTERNOON
Walk Sofia’s famous yellow brick road and enjoy the city’s Post-Independence architecture and a very special ancient church.
Largo is the collective name for the imposing cluster of Communist style buildings behind St Petka Church.
A big, old-time department store (TZUM) is on the left, the building of the Presidency is on the right with the large former Communist Party Headquarters at the center dominating the scenery.
Turn around to see the newest addition to the architectural ensemble, the statue of St Sofia
Proceed to the Presidency, one of tourists' favorite spot in Sofia and take a picture of the guards of honor. Be there on the hour to see the ceremony of changing of the guards.
Across the street is the National Archaeological Museum, hosted in a 16th Century mosque.
Built in the 4th Century BC by Constantine the Great, this small rotunda church is believed to be the oldest building in Sofia.
Enjoy the probably most photographed building in Sofia and the lively park in front.
Formerly the King's Palace, the building now hosts the National Art Gallery and the Museum of Ethnography.
The small church was built at the turn of the 20th century, to serve the nearby Russian embassy. Services are still held in Russian.
Military Club and Millitary Club Park
The Millitary Club was build at the turn of the 20th century to host all sorts of social events organized by the military. It continues to function as a venue for parties, cocktails and concerts.
The park in front is known to the locals as Park Crystal (after a once-famous but long-gone restaurant) and is now the home of the large balloon-shaped statue of the slain 19th Century Bulgarian politician Stefan Stamolov.
The unmemorable building of the Bulgarian parliament stands on Parliament Square (ploshtad narodno sabranie) against the statue of the Russian king who led the liberating Russian armies and pushed the Ottoman Empire out of the Bulgarian lands in 1878.
The ancient St Sofia Church dates back to the 6th century, though its currenct structure in much newer. Around the 14th century, for reasons that are not completely clear, the names of the church and the city morphed into one: Sofia.
The highlight of the tour, the large, golden-domed cathedral is the undisputed symbol of Sofia and is remarkably photo-friendly from all angles.
One of the better looking buildings in Sofia is home to the country's biggest and oldest university.
Walk around this prime example of Soviet monumental propaganda and spend some time looking at the
From here, you might take the metro back to Serdica station or relax in the lushious greenery of Borisova Garden.
Fuel up: Grab a bite in Victoria Pizza in the Military Club building or have your lunch surrounded by Greek and Roman statues at the Art Club Museum Restaurant , hosted in the Archaeological Museum building.