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St. Sofia Church
St. Sofia Church

St. Sofia Church

star-5
27 Reviews
Free admission
Alexander Nevsky, Sofia, Bulgaria

The Basics

There is no charge to enter St. Sofia Church but you do have to pay to visit the museum below. While you don’t need a guide to appreciate the atmospheric tombs or the Byzantine basilica with its glistening Bulgarian Orthodox icons, history buffs might appreciate the additional context a guide can provide.

St. Sofia Church is a less popular stop on Sofia walking tours and city tours than more-photogenic structures such as the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral or the Church of St. George, but a few do pass by.

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The Most Affordable Private Sofia Walking Tour
The Most Affordable Private Sofia Walking Tour
star-5
$16.77 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Great option to know Sofia
Excellent tour. It would really be improved if we had time to enter the main sights and not see everything from outside
Ruben_H, Sep 2021

Things to Know Before You Go

  • St. Sofia Church is a must for history buffs and fans of Byzantine architecture.

  • St. Sofia is an active place of worship. Dress respectfully, covering shoulders and thighs, and avoid entering to sightsee when services are in progress.

  • The necropolis is less eerie than many catacombs. Most children will be fine to visit.

  • While the church has a wheelchair ramp, there is no disabled access to the underground museum.

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How to Get There

St. Sofia Church stands right in the heart of downtown Sofia, about half a mile (1 kilometer) east of the Serdica ruins and within a stone’s throw of Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Many visit as part of a self-guided walking tour around the city center. If traveling by metro, the church is under 10 minutes’ walk from Sofiiski Universitet (Sofia University).

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When to Get There

St. Sofia Church is open from morning to early evening between March and September, but closes in the late afternoon between October and February. The underground museum is open from morning to late afternoon between Tuesday and Sunday. Unless worship is part of your plan, avoid visiting on a Sunday. You’ll find the museum at its quietest midweek.

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The Other St. Sofia

The name “Sophia” (or “Sofia”) means “wisdom,” and the most famous church with the name is Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia. The Bulgarian capital’s St. Sofia Church dates back to the same era as the Hagia Sophia—the reign of the Roman emperor Justinian—and is devoted to the same concept of divine wisdom, rather than any of the several Christian saints named Sophia. In the 14th century, it gave its name to the city.

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