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Religious Architecture in Sofia

Religious Architecture in Sofia

Bulgaria’s capital is the ideal setting to gain insight into the country’s varied and far-reaching religious history. Here are a few spots in Sofia that allow you an intimate look at the influences of Orthodoxy, Ottoman rule, and early Christianity on the city’s architecture.

 

St. Sofia Church

The building that gave the city its name, Sofia’s second-oldest church stands on religious ground dating back to Roman Serdica. Look out for signs of the site’s many transformations over the years, from Early Christian temple, to Ottoman mosque, to warehouse, before reconstruction in the 20th century.

 

St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

The city’s premier example of Byzantine Revival, the Orthodox cathedral was built in celebration of Bulgaria’s liberation. Notice the interior’s luxurious furnishings, including Brazilian onyx, Italian marble, and German chandeliers.

 

Church of St. George

Thought to be the oldest structure in Sofia and perhaps built on an even more ancient pagan worship site, the red brick rotunda is a restored example of Early Christian architecture. Keep an eye out for the frescoes on the dome ceiling and surrounding network of Roman ruins.

 

Banya Bashi Mosque

The last remnant of Ottoman rule in Sofia, the mosque was built in the 16th century by Mimar Sinan, a forefront Ottoman architect. It is now the only functioning Muslim place of worship in the city. Don’t miss the nearby Turkish bath (hammam) ruins, from which the mosque derives its name.

 

Boyana Church

The Orthodox church and UNESCO World Heritage Site, located on the outskirts of the city, is made up of three distinct buildings, built separately in the 10th, 13th, and 19th centuries. The church features a unique collection of medieval paintings and is considered one of the most important historic locations in Sofia.

 

Sofia Synagogue

The largest synagogue in Southeast Europe, the Moorish Revival building was modeled after the Leopoldstädter Tempel, once the biggest temple in Vienna before being destroyed on Kristallnacht. Notice the building’s complementary combination of Moorish, Venetian, and Secessionist features.

 

Rila Monastery

If you have time for a day trip into Bulgaria’s countryside, UNESCO-listed Rila Monastery is a prime example of Bulgarian Renaissance architecture and also offers unique insight into the country’s cultural history and Slavic identity. Its remote location can be difficult to access, though many day tours from Sofia include a convenient stop here.

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496 Tours and Activities

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Day tour to Skopje, North Macedonia - Small Group

Day tour to Skopje, North Macedonia - Small Group

star-4.5
98
Appreciating the diversity of Balkan culture can be difficult, especially with limited time in the region. Explore Macedonian culture on a day tour to Skopje from Sofia, and tick off another Balkan capital in just one day. Travel the distance with ease via private vehicle, and discover landmarks including the Skopje Fortress, Memorial House of Mother Teresa, and Old Bazaar, with insights provided by your guide.
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  • 11 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$71.10
Price varies by group size
From
$71.10
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Day trip to Skopje and Matka Canyon from Sofia

Day trip to Skopje and Matka Canyon from Sofia

star-5
1
By this day trip, you will visit two of the most important sites of Northern Macedonia – its Capital Skopje, and one of the breathtaking natural wonders – Matka Canyon. We will dive into the past, while exploring the old part of Skopje with its authentic sites, get to know the modern understanding of the history which the Macedonians have while walking in the new part of the city - rebuilt during the “Skopje 2014” project. In the end, we will take a break from all the history and new facts and rest our minds in the heavenly nature of Matka Canyon.
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  • 11 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$141.01
Price varies by group size
From
$141.01
Price varies by group size

Plovdiv and Koprivshtitsa Day Trip from Sofia

Plovdiv and Koprivshtitsa Day Trip from Sofia

star-4.5
102
Visit Plovdiv and Koprivshtitsa on a full-day trip from Sophia, and discover the art and architecture of two iconic Bulgarian cities. Stroll the narrow lanes of Plovdiv’s old town, and discover historic traces of the Romans, Thracians, and Byzantines who swept through this region. Continue to Koprivshtitsa for a walking tour to the homes of the city’s most storied residents, and learn how a local revolutionary committee freed Bulgaria from Ottoman rule during the Russo-Turkish war before ending your tour in central Sophia. 
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  • 11 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$53.32
From
$53.32
Taking safety measures

Private Day tour from Sofia to Skopje, North Macedonia

Private Day tour from Sofia to Skopje, North Macedonia

star-5
14
Make the most of your time in the Balkans on this full-day tour to Skopje, the capital of neighboring North Macedonia. Travel the distance easily with included round-trip transportation from your Sofia hotel and enjoy more time to immerse yourself in the diverse city. Benefit from the personalized insights and attention of your small-group guide as you take in landmarks such as the Old Bazaar, Stone Bridge, and Mother Teresa Memorial House.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$142.19
Price varies by group size
From
$142.19
Price varies by group size

The Seven Rila Lakes Circuit (small-group tour from Sofia)

The Seven Rila Lakes Circuit (small-group tour from Sofia)

star-5
9
Save well over an hour compared to public transportation and benefit from the local knowledge of a guide on this full-day trek around the Seven Rila Lakes. Experience one of Bulgaria’s most striking mountain landscapes at a leisurely pace and hike all the way up to the highest of the seven lakes. Please note the tour excludes the small chairlift fee.
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  • 8 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$29.62
Price varies by group size
From
$29.62
Price varies by group size

Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia

Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia

star-4.5
391
Immerse yourself in the beguiling beauty of two of Bulgaria’s most spectacular sights on a full-day trip from Sofia. Admire the natural splendor of rural Bulgaria as you travel to the Rila Monastery, a sacred structure cradled by the dense pine forests of the mountains. Delve into the history of the medieval landmark and browse the intriguing exhibitions of the on-site museum. Continue to Boyana Church to gaze at the fascinating pre-Renaissance frescoes that decorate the walls within. Please note, entrance fees are not included on this tour.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$29.62
From
$29.62
Taking safety measures

Tour to Lovech, Devetaki cave & Krushuna waterfalls

Tour to Lovech, Devetaki cave & Krushuna waterfalls

star-5
29
Take a break from the hustle and bustle of Sofia on a day tour to Lovech, Devetàshka cave, and Krushuna Falls, and explore with a professional guide for intimate insight into the rural region’s landscape, history, and culture. Take advantage of round-trip transfer from your hotel via air-conditioned vehicle for a hassle-free experience, and benefit from the more personalized service of a small-group tour.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$88.87
Price varies by group size
From
$88.87
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Full-day Nis and Serbian History Tour from Sofia

Full-day Nis and Serbian History Tour from Sofia

star-4.5
27
Grab your passport and head over the border to Serbia on this full-day tour of Nis from Sofia. Learn about the turbulent history of former Yugoslavia as you visit the Nis concentration camp; visit city sights including the Roman ruins of Mediana, the Skull Tower, and the Nisava riverfront; and sample delicious Serbian cuisine with lunch (own expense) at a local grill house.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$117.31
Price varies by group size
From
$117.31
Price varies by group size

The Most Affordable Private Sofia Walking Tour

The Most Affordable Private Sofia Walking Tour

star-5
6
Lovers of history will thrill to this action-packed private walking tour that takes you from the 4th-century Rotunda of St. George to grand 20th-century architecture. Stops include the Ottoman-era Banya Bashi Mosque, the Cathedral St. Alexander Nevski with its glorious icons, and the Ivan Vazov National Theater.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$16.59
Price varies by group size
From
$16.59
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Plovdiv Full Day Tour from Sofia

Plovdiv Full Day Tour from Sofia

star-4.5
71
Visit the fascinating city of Plovdiv on a full-day tour from Sofia, and explore ancient ruins, some of Bulgaria’s most historic landmarks, and the city’s Ethnographic Museum. This full-day Plovdiv trip includes pickup and drop-off at a central location in Sofia, a guided walking tour of Plovdiv, and admission to the museum and the Plovdiv Roman Theatre.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$35.55
From
$35.55
Taking safety measures

Day Tour to Nis, Serbia

Day Tour to Nis, Serbia

star-4.5
17
Enjoy a day away from the bustling capital on a small-group day tour to Niš in Serbia. Explore top attractions including Mediana, the Skull Tower, and Niš Fortress with your professional guide for intimate insight into the region’s history and culture, and benefit from round-trip transfer from your hotel to travel the distance with ease.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$59.56
Price varies by group size
From
$59.56
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Small group tour to Plovdiv, Asen's Fortress and Bachkovo Monastery

Small group tour to Plovdiv, Asen's Fortress and Bachkovo Monastery

star-5
7
Knowing the best spots to experience Bulgaria’s rich and varied cultural heritage can be tricky for visitors on limited time in the capital. Tick off Plovdiv, Asen’s Fortress, and Bachkovo Monastery in just 1 day on a small-group tour from Sofia. Save time with seamless round-trip transfer between landmarks, and learn about their Roman, Ottoman, and modern history from your professional guide.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$93.61
Price varies by group size
From
$93.61
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private & Ultimate Sofia 2,5-hour Walking Tour

Private & Ultimate Sofia 2,5-hour Walking Tour

star-4.5
5
Get to know Sofia by foot on this 2-hour guided walking tour. Learn about the city’s history from your guide. Stroll past most of the notable sights in the city, including St. George Rotunda, the National Archeological Museum, the National Revival Art Gallery and Ethnographic Museum, Alexander Nevski Cathedral, and more.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$17.77
Price varies by group size
From
$17.77
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Guided Walking Tour of Sofia

Guided Walking Tour of Sofia

star-5
24
Forget planning routes, researching sites, and boning up on history. See all Sofia’s key attractions and learn the stories behind them too on this great-value small-group walking tour: perfect for history buffs. Sights include the ruins of the Roman-era east gate, the 4th-century Rotunda of St. George, the Byzantine St. Sofia Basilica, the Ivan Vazov National Theater, and the Cathedral Saint Alexander Nevsky.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$35.55
Price varies by group size
From
$35.55
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Sofia full day tour

Sofia full day tour

star-5
4
Get an in-depth exploration of the Bulgarian capital on this full-day tour of Sofia. Set out from your hotel and travel in an air-conditioned minivan. Accompanied by a guide, visit Boyana Church, the National Historical Museum, Pancharevo Lake, and more. Take a walking tour through the city center and learn about Bulgarian history from your guide.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$65.17
Price varies by group size
From
$65.17
Price varies by group size

Plovdiv- Small Group Day Trip

Plovdiv- Small Group Day Trip

star-5
31
Getting an in-depth experience of Plovdiv from Sofia in a day is tricky, but on this full-day tour, explore Bulgaria’s second city with a guide. Travel in a shuttle bus from Sofia and learn about the history of Plovdiv on a sightseeing tour through the city with your guide. Afterwards, take time to explore independently before returning to Sofia.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$41.47
From
$41.47
Taking safety measures

Private Sofia Tour with Unique Local Food & Drinks Experience

Private Sofia Tour with Unique Local Food & Drinks Experience

star-4.5
2
Discover the sights of Sofia and savor the flavors of Bulgaria on a 3-hour small-group food tour. The afternoon walking excursion is perfect for first time visitors with empty stomachs. Culinary highlights include ayran (a salty yoghurt drink), banitsa (white cheese pastry), local salami, and baklava. In between bites, learn about popular attractions such as Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the Presidency, and Roman ruins.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$65.17
Price varies by group size
From
$65.17
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Day tour from Sofia to Thessaloniki, Greece

Private Day tour from Sofia to Thessaloniki, Greece

Widen your perspective of the Balkans on this full-day tour from Sofia to Thessaloniki in neighboring Greece. Learn about the city’s ancient history and modern culture as you explore with your private guide, strolling between attractions including the UNESCO-listed St. Demetrios Church, Aristotelous Square, and the White Tower. Enjoy round-trip transportation from your Sofia hotel for a hassle-free journey across the border.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$174.71
Price varies by group size
From
$174.71
Price varies by group size

From Sofia: Self-guided trip to Rila Monastery

From Sofia: Self-guided trip to Rila Monastery

Travel to Rila Monastery with ease and explore independently on this self-guided tour with a round-trip transfer. Depart from Sofia in a shared air-conditioned minivan with a driver and make your way to Rila National Park. Experience the area at your own pace before heading back to Sofia in your transfer.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$23.69
From
$23.69
Taking safety measures

Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanasi Tour from Sofia

Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanasi Tour from Sofia

star-5
11
Tour two of northern Bulgaria’s top attractions on this private 10-hour tour from Sofia. Visit the traditional village of Arbanasi, famous for its rich past and fresco-coated Church of the Nativity. Then, continue to Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria’s former medieval capital and home to the Tsarevets palace-fortress. Tour the hilltop ruins, including the main church and execution rock, where traitors were pushed to the deaths, and discover the town’s history. Private transport and entrance fees included.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$71.10
Price varies by group size
From
$71.10
Price varies by group size

From Sofia: SPA and Rila monastery

From Sofia: SPA and Rila monastery

This tour represents one of the most popular attractions in Bulgaria – Rila monastery, and one of the best gifts of the country – the thermal springs. Enjoy your guiding tour to understand more Bulgarian history, walk in the beautiful nature and take relax away from the big city.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$79.00
Price varies by group size
From
$79.00
Price varies by group size

Private Day Trip to Plovdiv from Sofia

Private Day Trip to Plovdiv from Sofia

star-5
4
Enjoy a great private day trip to the beautiful town of Plovdiv- the oldest existing settlement in Europe- learn its rich history and discover the amazing architecture. Most times the trips are done with eco friendly cars - with cng engine or electro mobiles, so that we can help fighting the air polution.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$100.72
Price varies by group size
From
$100.72
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Day Trip to Plovdiv and Koprivshtitsa

Private Day Trip to Plovdiv and Koprivshtitsa

star-5
5
Combine the flexibility you value in independent travel with the knowledge and efficiency of a professional guide on this private tour. Stop when and where you want as you explore two of Bulgaria’s most charming spots: scenic Plovdiv Old Town and the quaint little town of Koprivshtitsa. Your tour includes door-to-door transport with free Wi-Fi but excludes any entrance fees.
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  • 11 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$142.19
Price varies by group size
From
$142.19
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Communist day tour - Landmarks of the Iron curtain

Communist day tour - Landmarks of the Iron curtain

star-4.5
3
Travel back in time to the Socialist Republic of Bulgaria on a full-day Communist tour. Provided round-trip transportation from your hotel eliminates the guesswork of navigating public buses on your own. After a visit to the Museum of Socialist Art in Sofia, relax during a scenic country drive to the Buzludzha monument. Along the way, listen to in-depth commentary about the country’s eventful history from 1946 to 1989.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$111.38
Price varies by group size
From
$111.38
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures