1-Day Discover Sofia, Bulgaria: Ultimate One Day Itinerary

Sofia, Bulgaria

1 days

The Largo architectural ensemble of three Socialist Classicism buildings
National palace of culture
Banya Bashi mosque
The fountain in front of the city's mineral baths complex
National theater "Ivan Vazov"

About Sofia, Bulgaria

Discover Sofia, the capital city of Bulgaria, a destination rich in history and culture. Nestled at the foot of Vitosha Mountain, Sofia offers a unique blend of ancient and modern. Explore the city's architectural gems like the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, St. George Rotunda, and Boyana Church, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Wander through the bustling Vitosha Boulevard, lined with trendy cafes, boutiques, and local markets. Visit the National History Museum to delve into Bulgaria's past. Enjoy the natural beauty of Borisova Gradina Park or take a cable car up Vitosha Mountain for stunning city views. Sofia's vibrant nightlife, delicious Bulgarian cuisine, and warm hospitality make it a must-visit European city.

1-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Exploring Sofia's Rich History and Vibrant Culture


Start your day with a visit to the iconic Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, one of the largest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in the world. Its stunning architecture and rich history make it a must-visit spot in Sofia.


Enjoy a traditional Bulgarian lunch in a local restaurant. Try the Shopska salad, a refreshing mix of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and cheese, followed by a hearty main dish like Kavarma, a slow-cooked meat stew.


After lunch, head to the National Museum of History. Here, you can explore Bulgaria's rich history, from ancient times to the present day. Don't miss the Thracian gold treasures on display.


For dinner, experience the vibrant local food scene. Opt for a restaurant serving Bulgarian cuisine with a modern twist. Try the local wine, renowned for its unique flavors.


End your day with a leisurely stroll through Vitosha Boulevard, Sofia's main shopping street. The area is bustling with life in the evening, with street performers, local vendors, and charming cafes.

Attractions in Itinerary (3)

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

One of the largest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in the world, known for its richly decorated interior and beautiful domes.

Religious Sites
National Museum of History

National Museum of History

The largest and most comprehensive museum in Bulgaria, housing over 650,000 exhibits related to archaeology, fine art, history and ethnography.

Cultural Experiences
Vitosha Boulevard

Vitosha Boulevard

Sofia's main commercial street, featuring a number of high-end boutiques, restaurants, and cafes.

Food and Drink

Local Food and Drinks (12)



A traditional Bulgarian pastry made with whisked eggs and cheese between filo pastry sheets, often enjoyed for breakfast in Sofia.

Shopska Salata

Shopska Salata

A popular Bulgarian salad made from tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, peppers, and sirene (Bulgarian cheese), commonly found in Sofia.

Sirene po Shopski

Sirene po Shopski

A traditional Bulgarian dish made from sirene cheese baked in a pot with eggs and tomatoes, a common dish in Sofia.



A popular Bulgarian meat stew that is slow-cooked with vegetables and served in an earthenware pot, a must-try in Sofia.



A cold cucumber and yogurt soup, seasoned with dill, garlic, and walnuts, a refreshing dish commonly served in Sofia during summer.



A Bulgarian grilled minced meat dish, similar to a sausage but without the skin, often served with fries and salad in Sofia.



A traditional Bulgarian dish made from potatoes and minced meat, similar to the Greek moussaka, a common comfort food in Sofia.



A traditional Bulgarian fruit brandy that is very popular in Sofia, often served as an aperitif.

Shkembe Chorba

A traditional Bulgarian tripe soup, considered a hangover remedy, commonly found in Sofia.



A spicy vegetable relish or chutney in Sofia, made from peppers, aubergines, and tomatoes, often spread on bread or served with meat.

Kiselo Mlyako

A Bulgarian yogurt that is thicker and tangier than regular yogurt, a staple dairy product in Sofia.



A traditional Bulgarian fermented drink made from millet, with a slightly sweet and tangy flavor, commonly enjoyed in Sofia.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Sofia, Bulgaria is from late spring to early autumn, specifically May through October. During these months, the weather is typically warm and pleasant, perfect for sightseeing and outdoor activities. The city is vibrant with various cultural events, festivals, and open-air concerts. However, if you're interested in winter sports like skiing, the months from December to February would be the best time for you.

National holidays

Here you can find the national calendar of all public holidays for the year. These dates are subject to change as official changes are announced, so check back regularly for updates.

DateDayHoliday Name

January 1


New Year's Day

March 3


Liberation Day

March 4


Day off for Liberation Day

May 1


Labor Day

May 3


Good Friday

May 4


Holy Saturday

May 5


Easter Sunday

May 6


Easter Monday

May 6


St. George's Day

May 24


Culture and Literacy Day

September 6


Unification Day

September 22


Independence Day

September 23


Day off for Independence Day

December 24


Christmas Eve

December 25


Christmas Day

December 26


Second day of Christmas

Please note that during national and public holidays, opening hours for establishments, museums, etc. may vary. Don't forget to check in advance!

How to get around

Sofia's public transport system includes buses, trams, and trolleybuses. It's a reliable and efficient way to get around the city. Tickets can be purchased at kiosks, onboard from the driver, or via a mobile app.

The Sofia Metro is a fast and convenient way to travel around the city. It has four lines that cover most of the city and connect to the airport.

Taxis are widely available in Sofia and can be hailed on the street, booked in advance, or picked up from taxi ranks at major transport hubs and tourist areas. Always ensure the taxi is licensed and metered.

Ridesharing services such as Uber and Bolt are available in Sofia. They can be a convenient and cost-effective way to get around, especially if you're traveling in a group.

Sofia has a growing network of bicycle lanes and bike-sharing schemes. Cycling can be a fun and eco-friendly way to explore the city.

Renting a car can be a good option if you plan to explore outside of Sofia. However, traffic can be heavy and parking can be difficult in the city center.

Many of Sofia's main attractions are within walking distance of each other, making walking a viable option for getting around. The city is pedestrian-friendly with plenty of sidewalks and pedestrian zones.

Shared electric scooters are becoming increasingly popular in Sofia. They can be found and rented via mobile apps and are a fun and quick way to get around the city.

While we strive for accuracy in our "How to get around" section, the information may not always be up-to-date or 100% accurate; we highly recommend cross-checking with local resources before your travel.

Important information

Currencyлв BGN

Time zoneUTC+2

Driving sideRight

Emergency phoneAmbulance: 150; Fire: 160; Police: 166

Drinking waterOpt for bottled water

Power sockets

Power socket type CPower socket type F

Voltage230 V

Things to know about Sofia, Bulgaria as a first time visitor


The official language is Bulgarian, but English is commonly spoken in tourist areas and by younger generations.


The local currency is the Bulgarian Lev (BGN). It's advisable to have some local currency on hand for smaller establishments that may not accept credit cards.


Bulgaria is a member of the European Union but not part of the Schengen Area. Ensure you have the appropriate visa if required.


Sofia is generally safe, but like any city, it's important to be aware of your surroundings, especially at night or in less crowded areas.


Public transportation in Sofia is reliable and inexpensive. It includes buses, trams, and a metro system.


Taxis are also widely available but make sure to use a reputable company to avoid being overcharged.


Bulgarian cuisine is diverse and delicious. Be sure to try local dishes like shopska salad, banitsa, and kavarma.


Tipping is customary in Bulgaria. It's typical to leave around 10% of the bill in restaurants.


The tap water in Sofia is generally safe to drink, but bottled water is widely available if you prefer.


Bulgaria uses Eastern European Time (EET) and observes daylight saving time.


The standard voltage in Bulgaria is 230 V, and the frequency is 50 Hz. The power plugs and sockets are of type F.


Sofia has a humid continental climate. Summers (June to August) can be hot with temperatures ranging from 68°F to 86°F (20°C to 30°C), while winters (December to February) can be very cold with temperatures from 23°F to 41°F (-5°C to 5°C).


Bulgarians shake their heads to mean 'yes' and nod for 'no', which can be confusing for foreigners.


Bulgaria has its own Cyrillic alphabet. It might be helpful to learn a few basic phrases or letters.


Smoking is banned in all enclosed public places, including bars and restaurants, but is still quite common.


Bulgarians are known for their hospitality. It's common to be offered food and drink when visiting someone's home.


Sofia is a city with a rich history. You'll find a mix of Roman, Ottoman, and Soviet influences in its architecture and culture.


Bulgaria is one of the oldest countries in Europe and Sofia is one of the oldest cities, so respect for historical sites and traditions is appreciated.


The healthcare system in Bulgaria is generally good, but it's recommended to have travel insurance that covers medical expenses.


Bulgaria is a predominantly Orthodox Christian country, so modest dress is recommended when visiting religious sites.

Basic Bulgarian to know as a first time visitor

English phrase

Native phrase


When to use it




Greeting someone




Leaving or saying goodbye

Thank you



Expressing gratitude




Making a request




Agreeing or confirming




Disagreeing or denying

Excuse me



Getting attention or apologizing

I don't understand

Не разбирам

Ne razbiram

Not understanding something

Do you speak English?

Говорите ли английски?

Govorite li angliyski?

Asking if someone speaks English

Where is the bathroom?

Къде е тоалетната?

Kade e toaletnata?

Looking for the bathroom

I need help

Трябва ми помощ

Tryabva mi pomosht

In need of assistance

Call the police

Повикайте полицията

Povikayte politsiyata

In case of emergency

I'm lost

Изгубих се

Izgubih se

When you can't find your way

How much does this cost?

Колко струва това?

Kolko struva tova?

Asking for the price

Can I use my credit card?

Мога ли да използвам кредитната си карта?

Moga li da izpolzvam kreditnata si karta?

Asking to use credit card

Where can I find a taxi?

Къде мога да намеря такси?

Kade moga da nameriya taksi?

Looking for a taxi

I would like to order

Бих искал да поръчам

Bih iskal da poracham

Ordering food or drink

Water, please

Вода, моля

Voda, molya

Asking for water




Making a toast

Good night

Лека нощ

Leka nosht

Saying goodnight

Packing List

  • Clothing

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Lightweight clothing

  • Warm sweater or jacket (for cooler evenings)

  • Rain jacket or umbrella

  • Sunglasses

  • Hat or cap

  • Toiletries

  • Travel-size shampoo and conditioner

  • Travel-size body wash or soap

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Deodorant

  • Sunscreen

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Personal medication

  • Travel-size first aid kit

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Passport

  • Driver's license or ID card

  • Credit and debit cards

  • Cash in local currency (Bulgarian lev)

  • Travel insurance documents

  • Hotel and transportation reservation confirmations

  • Emergency contacts and addresses

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone

  • Charger for smartphone

  • Power bank

  • Camera

  • Charger for camera

  • Travel adapter

  • Headphones

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Snacks

  • Water bottle

  • Travel guidebook for Sofia

  • Map of Sofia

  • Notebook and pen

  • Reusable shopping bag

Weather Conditions

When visiting Sofia, Bulgaria, it's important to note that the city experiences a humid continental climate with four distinct seasons. In the winter months, from December to February, Sofia can be quite cold, with temperatures often dropping to around 27°F (-3°C). Snowfall is common, so pack warm clothing, including a heavy coat, gloves, and boots. Spring, from March to May, sees a gradual increase in temperature, with highs reaching around 68°F (20°C) by May. This is a great time to visit if you enjoy mild weather and fewer crowds. Summer, from June to August, can get quite hot, with temperatures often reaching up to 86°F (30°C). It's advisable to pack light clothing, sunscreen, and a hat. Despite the heat, summer is a popular time for tourists due to the numerous outdoor festivals and events. Autumn, from September to November, is characterized by cooler temperatures, ranging from 46°F to 68°F (8°C to 20°C). This is a great time to visit if you enjoy the fall foliage. Regardless of when you visit, it's always a good idea to check the weather forecast before your trip to Sofia. This will help you pack appropriately and plan your activities. Also, keep in mind that the weather can change quickly, so it's wise to always carry an umbrella or raincoat.

MonthHi / Lo (°C)Weather Overview


6° / -4°

January is the coldest month in Sofia, with snowfall being quite common. Pack warm clothing and snow boots.


8° / -3°

February is still quite cold with occasional snowfall. Warm clothing is still a necessity.


14° / 0°

March sees the beginning of spring with temperatures slowly rising. Light jackets and sweaters are recommended.


20° / 4°

April is a mild month with occasional rain showers. Carry a light jacket and an umbrella.


24° / 9°

May is pleasantly warm with plenty of sunshine. Light clothing and sunscreen are recommended.


28° / 13°

June marks the beginning of summer with long sunny days. Pack summer clothing and a hat for sun protection.


31° / 15°

July is the hottest month in Sofia. Light, breathable clothing is recommended.


30° / 15°

August is still quite hot, but with occasional rain showers. Carry light clothing and an umbrella.


25° / 11°

September is a mild month with less rain. Light jackets and sweaters are recommended for the cooler evenings.


18° / 6°

October sees the arrival of autumn with cooler temperatures and colorful foliage. Carry a jacket and a scarf.


12° / 2°

November is quite chilly with shorter days. Warm clothing and a good pair of shoes are recommended.


6° / -2°

December is cold with occasional snowfall. Warm clothing, including gloves and hats, are a must.

Did you know?

Did you know that Sofia, Bulgaria is one of the oldest cities in Europe, with a history stretching back over 7,000 years?

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