The old and new collide in Sofia, where the modern
world meets ancient cultures. Today, architecture lovers will see a
delightful mixture of Thracian, Byzantine, Roman, and Slavic
buildings, including the multi-domed Byzantine Alexandar Nesli
Memorial Church, the medieval art of the Bryana Church (a UNESCO
world heritage site), and the Russian Church of St Nicholas.
Sofia's attractions also include a wealth of museums
and galleries, such as the National Historical Museum, the Museum
of Earth and Men, the Bulgarian National Gallery of Arts, the
Ethnographical Museum, and the Sofia City Art Gallery. Otherwise,
visitors should venture to the Sofia Zoological Garden, Sofia City
Garden (with its cafes, fountains and playgrounds), and the famous
Turkish Mineral Baths.
The city's shopping highlights include Zhenski Paxar
or 'women's market', which is open to both men and women, and
offers fresh food, flowers and basic goods. The market doesn't
carry many souvenirs but is worth visiting for its bustling
atmosphere. Tsentralni Hali (Central Food Halls) is another busy
market. Housed in a neo-Renaissance building, shoppers will find
wine, fresh food, coffee, and other treats. Sofia is a relatively
safe city. Violent crime is rare, but pickpocketing is common in
the city centre - as is the case with all large metropolises.
St. Sofia ChurchThe St Sofia Church, also called the Hagia Sophia Church, is the oldest Eastern Orthodox church in the city, dating from the 4th to 6th century, and is regarded as one of the most significant examples of early Christian architecture in the Balkans.... see full details
St George RotundaThe rotunda church of St George is considered to be the oldest building in Sofia, dating back to the 4th century, and is situated amid the remains of the ancient Roman town of Serdica. The St George Rotunda is famous for its exquisite... see full details
Alexander Nevsky CathedralOne of the finest examples of 20th-century architecture in Sofia, and one of the most iconic buildings in the city, the magnificent Alexander Nevsky Cathedral was built between 1882 and 1912 to honour the Russian soldiers who died fighting to liberate Bulgaria from Turkish... see full details
National Ethnographic MuseumThe National Ethnographic Museum in downtown Sofia has one of the richest collections of cultural artefacts on the Balkan Peninsula, representing the traditions, arts, crafts and lifestyle of the Bulgarian people from the 17th to the 20th century. The museum contains a wealth of... see full details
Vitosha MountainRising above the capital city of Sofia, Vitosha Mountain is one of the symbols of the capital and is the most visited mountain in Bulgaria. Starting where the suburbs end, the whole mountain has been designated a national park - the oldest in... see full details
Boyana ChurchThe Boyana Church complex - located on the outskirts of Sofia - is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of Bulgaria's most important tourist attractions. The first of the three buildings that make up the Boyana Church complex was built in the... see full details
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