3 day Itinerary for Sofia

Sofia is an amazing city, full of history and culture. I’ve been lucky enough to live in Europe and have spent quite a bit of time in Bulgaria, including multiple visits to Sofia.

During my travels, I’ve talked to many travellers who weren’t sure what they should do during their 3-day trip to Sofia. To help them out, I put together this 3-day itinerary for Sofia so that you can make the most of your time here!

This itinerary includes visits to some of the best attractions in the city – from ancient ruins to modern architecture. You’ll also get a chance to sample some delicious local cuisine and explore the bustling markets at night. Plus, there are plenty of opportunities for shopping and relaxing too!

So, if you’re looking for an unforgettable experience in Sofia, then this is the perfect itinerary for you! I hope you enjoy your time here – it’s a truly magical place.

Sofia is the Bulgarian capital and is a city that offers a perfect blend of old-world charm and modern delights, with its rich history, stunning architecture and vibrant atmosphere.

This 3 Day Itinerary for Sofia will guide you through the best of the city, ensuring that you make the most of your time.

From exploring historical landmarks to savouring traditional Bulgarian cuisine, each day is filled with exciting experiences that will leave you with unforgettable memories.

City centre of Sofia, capital of Bulgaria

Sofia experiences a continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. The best time to visit Sofia is during the spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October) when the weather is mild and pleasant.

During these seasons, you can enjoy comfortable temperatures for exploring the city’s outdoor attractions and avoid the peak tourist crowds. Summer (July to August) is also a popular time to visit but be prepared for higher temperatures and more tourists.

As for accommodations, Sofia offers a range of options to suit every budget and preference. The city centre is a great choice as it puts you within walking distance of major attractions, restaurants and shopping districts.

You will find a wide selection of hotels, ranging from upscale properties to budget friendly options. Serdika, one of the oldest parts of Sofia, offers a mix of hotels and guesthouses with historical charm.

If you prefer to stay in the heart of Sofia’s vibrant atmosphere, consider accommodations near Vitosha Boulevard, a bustling pedestrian street lined with shops and restaurants.

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Overview of 3 Days in Sofia Itinerary

Here is a brief overview of 3 Days in Sofia if you are looking for the best places to visit in Sofia, Bulgaria:

Day 1 in Sofia

  • Coffee from CoffeeBar
  • Marvel at St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
  • Join A Free Walking Tour
  • Have lunch on Vitosha Boulevard
  • Museum of Illusions
  • Dinner at a Traditional Bulgarian Restaurant

Day 2 in Sofia

  • Breakfast at Izzy’s Coffee and Brunch
  • Explore Vitosha Mountain
  • Visit Boyana Church
  • A Lunch break at Restaurant “Boyansko Hanche”
  • Enjoy a show at the National Palace of Culture
  • Evening meal at Traditional Bulgarian Restaurant Chevermeto Sofia

Day 3 in Sofia

  • Boho for Breakfast
  • Stroll around The City Garden
  • National Museum of Natural History
  • Lunch on a Free Food Tour
  • The Palace – National Art Gallery
  • Dine at Niko’las 0/360
SOFIA, BULGARIA -Lion's Bridge in Sofia, Bulgaria

Day 1 in Sofia

Coffee from CoffeeBar

Begin your 3 day trip to Sofia by starting your morning with a delicious breakfast at CoffeeBar, a popular café known for its delightful menu and cosy atmosphere.

Located in the heart of the city, CoffeeBar offers a range of breakfast options, from freshly brewed coffee to pastries and light bites.

Fuel up for the day ahead with a cup of hot coffee before you surround yourself with the city’s rich history and explore its most significant landmarks.

Marvel at St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

First of all, marvel at the iconic St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, a must visit landmark in Sofia. This magnificent cathedral showcases stunning architecture and houses impressive religious artefacts. Step inside to admire the grandeur of the interior, filled with beautiful and intricate mosaics.

Take a moment outside to appreciate the cathedral’s striking gold design and capture memorable photographs.

Visiting St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is a profound cultural and historical experience, showcasing Bulgaria’s rich history and serving as a symbol of national pride.

Tour Pick
SOFIA, BULGARIA - Restaurants in Sofia, Bulgaria

Private city walking tour

  • 2 hours 
  • Max of 6 people 
  • Tasting fee included
St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in the center of Sofia capital of Bulgaria against the blue morning sky with colorful clouds

Join A Free Walking Tour

Join a free walking tour to uncover the history and culture of Sofia. These free Sofia sightseeing tours are led by knowledgeable local guides that take you to the city’s highlights such as the Banya Bashi Mosque and Sveta Nedelya Church.

Learn fascinating anecdotes as you explore these remarkable sites and gain a deeper understanding of Sofia’s past.

Engage with the city’s history and local life on this informative and enjoyable walking tour. The tours are free of charge but you can show your appreciation to the guides with a tip at the end.

Sofia, Bulgaria -  External view of the  Sveta Sofia church in the city center

Have lunch on Vitosha Boulevard

Take a leisurely stroll along Vitosha Boulevard, Sofia’s main pedestrian street. Browse through boutiques, enjoy retail therapy and treat yourself to a delicious lunch at one of the restaurants or cafés lining the boulevard.

With a diverse culinary scene offering traditional Bulgarian meals and international flavours.

A recommendation on this street is Ribs Brothers. This popular restaurant is known for its mouthwatering ribs and flavourful dishes. Enjoy a satisfying meal with options ranging from classic BBQ ribs to juicy burgers.

Ribs Brothers provides the perfect setting to relax, refuel and soak in the energy of Sofia before continuing your exploration.

Sofia, Bulgaria- Promenade at Vitosha Boulevard. Pedestrian zone in the center of the capital city. Vitosha Massif in the background.

Museum of Illusions

In the afternoon, make your way to the Museum of Illusions for an interactive and mind bending experience in Sofia. Located in the city center, this unique museum offers a fascinating collection of optical illusions, interactive exhibits and mind boggling puzzles.

Step into a world where things are not as they seem and prepare to have your perceptions challenged.

Explore rooms filled with mind bending visual illusions, where objects appear to defy gravity, change size or even disappear before your eyes. Test your cognitive skills as you try to solve puzzles and unravel the mysteries of perception.

The Museum of Illusions offers an interactive experience, allowing you to engage with the exhibits and participate in hands on activities.

Take memorable photos that will leave your friends and family wondering how you managed to defy the laws of physics. This museum is open every day from 10 am until 8 pm.

Tour Pick
Sofia, Bulgaria - external view of the Museum of Illusions in the city center

Ticket to the Museum of Illusions

  • 1-2 hours 
  • Prebook tickets online
Sofia, Bulgaria - external view of the Museum of Illusions in the city center

Dinner at a Traditional Bulgarian Restaurant

For an exceptional dining experience that combines traditional Bulgarian food with exquisite wine pairings, head to Moma Bulgarian Food and Wine.

This renowned restaurant offers a culinary journey that highlights the flavours and culinary heritage of Bulgaria. Start with appetizers like Shopska salad and Kyopoolu, then indulge in main courses such as Kavarma or Moussaka.

Vegetarian options like Patatnik and Turlitava are also available. Pair your meal with fine Bulgarian wines from their extensive selection. The cosy atmosphere and attentive service create a delightful dining experience.

End your meal with a sweet treat like Bulgarian Yogurt or Baklava. Moma Bulgarian Food and Wine is the perfect place to savor the essence of Bulgarian gastronomy in Sofia.

SOFIA, BULGARIA - Restaurants in Sofia, Bulgaria

Day 2 in Sofia

Breakfast at Izzy’s Coffee and Brunch

On the second day of your Sofia itinerary, kickstart your morning with a delightful breakfast at Izzy’s Coffee and Brunch.

Located in the heart of the city, Izzy’s Coffee and Brunch provides an inviting atmosphere to begin your day. Indulge in a variety of breakfast pastries such as flaky croissants, homemade muffins or a classic Bulgarian banitsa, a cheese filled pastry that is a local favourite.

Pair your breakfast with freshly squeezed juice or a perfectly brewed cup of coffee to energize you for the fun day ahead.

Explore Vitosha Mountain

Escape the city and explore the natural beauty of Vitosha Mountain, located just south of Sofia. Whether you opt for a hiking adventure or a thrilling bike ride, Vitosha Mountain offers stunning views and picturesque landscapes that will leave a lasting impression.

Journey through lush forests, navigate rocky paths and discover the diverse trails that showcase the mountain’s scenic wonders.

A great hiking trail to discover is near Boyana Waterfall. Hike through scenic trails to reach the waterfall and admire its cascading waters and beautiful surroundings. Take in the natural beauty, and feel the mist of the waterfall on your face.

Tour Pick
Sofia city from "Vitosha" mountain, aerial view.

Hiking Tour from Sofia

  • 10 hours 
  • Max of 15 people 
  • Visit to Boyana waterfall
Sofia city from "Vitosha" mountain, aerial view.

Visit Boyana Church

After descending from Vitosha Mountain, take the time to visit the remarkable Boyana Church, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This medieval church, located on the outskirts of Sofia, is renowned for its painted interior that dates back to the 10th century.

Step inside the Boyana Church and be prepared to be awestruck by the incredible artistry displayed on its walls. The images, painted by anonymous artists, depict biblical scenes and are renowned for their exceptional detail, vibrant colours, and remarkable preservation.

Admire the intricate brushwork and the skilful depiction of characters and stories that have captivated viewers for centuries. The Church is open every day from 9:00 am until 5:30 pm and has an entry fee of approx £4 per person.

Boyana Church, medieval Bulgarian Orthodox church situated on the outskirts of Sofia, in the Boyana quarter, added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

A Lunch break at Restaurant “Boyansko Hanche”

Experience the flavours of traditional Bulgarian cuisine at Restaurant “Boyansko Hanche“. This charming restaurant in the Boyana neighbourhood offers a variety of appetisers, savoury grilled dishes and hearty stews that showcase the best of Bulgarian gastronomy. Enjoy a well deserved rest before heading back into the city.

Enjoy a show at the National Palace of Culture

End your day in Sofia with a show at the National Palace of Culture. This iconic venue hosts a variety of cultural performances, including concerts, theatre productions and dance shows, providing a memorable experience.

From the outside, the National Palace of Culture is an extremely grand building with a large courtyard and surrounding gardens.

Once inside you can catch classical music concerts to contemporary dance performances, the National Palace of Culture offers a diverse range of shows that cater to different tastes and interests.

Sunset view of National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Bulgaria

Evening meal at Traditional Bulgarian Restaurant Chevermeto Sofia

This inviting restaurant offers a warm atmosphere and a menu filled with authentic dishes. Start with a Shopska salad or grilled cheese and then sample classic Bulgarian mains such as Kebapche or Cheverme.

Pair your meal with Bulgarian wines or traditional spirits such as Rakia for an enhanced experience.

Enjoy the charming ambience with traditional music and folk inspired decor. Traditional Bulgarian Restaurant Chevermeto provides an immersive dining experience that celebrates the culinary heritage of Bulgaria in the heart of Sofia.

Traditional Uzbek oriental cuisine. Uzbek family table from different dishes in national dishes for the New Year holiday. The background image is a top view, copy space, flat lay

Day 3 in Sofia

Boho for Breakfast

Start your day with a delightful breakfast at Boho. Eat freshly baked pastries and tasty egg dishes with a flavorful coffee.

The menu features options for every taste, including vegetarian and vegan choices. Boho offers a satisfying start to your morning and provides exceptional service and a memorable breakfast experience in Sofia.

Stroll around The City Garden

Explore the beauty and peace of City Garden. Located in the heart of the city, this urban oasis offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling streets. Take a leisurely stroll along the winding paths, surrounded by greenery and vibrant flowers.

Find a shady spot to relax and unwind, there are plenty of benches dotted around. Admire the charming statues, fountains and decorative elements that add to the park’s charm.

City Garden is not only a place of natural beauty but is also a hub of cultural events and activities, with open air concerts and art exhibitions held throughout the year.

Take a break from your city exploration and surround yourself with the nature that thrives there.

SOFIA, BULGARIA- Amazing view of Cathedral Saint Alexander Nevski in Sofia, Bulgaria

National Museum of Natural History

To the East of City Garden you will find the National Museum of Natural History. This natural history museum is full of wonders of the natural world and is a treasure trove of scientific exhibits and educational displays.

Step inside and embark on a journey through time, exploring the rich biodiversity of Bulgaria and beyond.

The National Museum of Natural History showcases an extensive collection of specimens, from fossils and minerals to preserved animals and plants. Marvel at the intricate details of ancient fossils that provide insights into the Earth’s prehistoric past.

Learn about the diverse ecosystems of Bulgaria, from the majestic mountains to the stunning coastal areas and gain a deeper understanding of the country’s unique landscape. The museum is open every day from 10 am until 6 pm and has a £5 entry fee.

Sofia, Bulgaria. External view of the National Museum of natural history in the city center

Lunch on a Food Tour

Delight in a food tour during the final day of your three days in Sofia. You will embark on a culinary adventure and experience the city’s gastronomic delights.

Join the tour to sample traditional Bulgarian dishes, explore local food markets and uncover the secrets of the country’s culinary heritage.

Make sure to savour the famous Bulgarian yoghurt, a beloved staple of Bulgarian cuisine. This fun and sociable experience will not only satisfy your taste buds but also provide insights into the rich culinary traditions that make Sofia a food lover’s paradise.

Tour Pick
Traditional Uzbek oriental cuisine. Uzbek family table from different dishes in national dishes for the New Year holiday. The background image is a top view, copy space, flat lay

Market Food Tour

  • 3 hours 
  • Max of 15 people 
  • Visit three key markets

The Palace – National Art Gallery

Experience an inspiring afternoon at The Palace – National Art Gallery. Housed in a former royal palace, this prestigious art gallery showcases a diverse collection of Bulgarian and international artworks.

Marvel at the skilful creations, vibrant colours and thought provoking themes that cover the walls. Whether you are an art enthusiast or simply appreciate visual beauty, a visit to The Palace – National Art Gallery promises a memorable and enriching experience.

SOFIA, BULGARIA- Building of National Art Gallery (former Royal Palace), Sofia, Bulgaria

Dine at Niko’las 0/360

Experience a memorable dinner at Niko’las 0/360, where you can indulge in exquisite flavours. This sophisticated restaurant offers a fusion of international and Bulgarian cuisine, prepared with the finest ingredients.

Savour culinary masterpieces and pair your meal with a selection from the extensive wine list. The stylish ambience and impeccable service create a delightful dining experience.

Whether for a special occasion or to create lasting memories, Niko’las 0/360 guarantees an evening to remember for your last night in Sofia.

Tour Ideas for 3 day in Sofia

Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia

Embark on a full day tour from Sofia to explore two of Bulgaria’s most iconic landmarks: the Rila Monastery and the Boyana Church.

Marvel at the picturesque beauty of the Rila Monastery nestled in the stunning Rila Mountains, where you can delve into its rich history and admire the intricate interior.

Continue to the Boyana Church to witness its stunning pre-Renaissance paintings that bring the walls to life.

This excursion offers a unique opportunity to experience the cultural and artistic heritage of Bulgaria.

Admire the architectural wonders and natural surroundings of these UNESCO listed sites, making this day trip a must for those interested in Bulgarian history and art.

RILA MONASTERY, BULGARIA - Inside view of Monastery of Saint Ivan (John) of Rila (Rila Monastery), Kyustendil Region

Tour to Lovech, Devetaki Cave & Krushuna Waterfalls

Escape the city and surround yourself with the natural and cultural wonders of rural Bulgaria on a  tour to the amazing Devetàshka Cave, Lovech and the beautiful Krushuna Falls.

With the guidance of a professional tour guide, gain insight into the region’s landscape, history and culture.

Enjoy the ease of round trip hotel transfers that allow for a straightforward experience.  Explore off the beaten path destinations and soak in the scenic views of northern Bulgaria’s natural landscape.

Panoramic view inside the Devetashka Cave near Devetaki village and Osam river in Bulgaria

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

Discover Bulgaria’s rich cultural heritage in just one day on a fun tour from Sofia. Visit the historic landmarks of Asen’s Fortress, Plovdiv and the stunning Bachkovo Monastery.

Plus, gain insight into their Roman, Ottoman and modern history from your professional guide. Enjoy the convenience of a round trip transfer between the sites, allowing you to maximize your time.

Spend the day listening to engaging stories and seeing the architectural wonders of these three iconic landmarks.

Other Recommended tours in Sofia

Areal veiw of the Asen's fortress and the Virgin Mary church with Asenovgrad city in the background.

FAQs About 3 days in sofia

What is the best type of transport to get around Sofia?

Public transport is the most convenient way to get around Sofia, with a vast network of buses, trams, and trolleybuses crisscrossing the city. Taxis are also available, but be sure to agree on a price before setting off!

How safe is it to travel in Sofia?

Generally speaking it is quite safe to visit and explore Sofia – pickpockets can be an issue like in any city, so always keep personal belongings close by and use common sense when walking around at night.

What kind of attractions should I visit in 3 days in Sofia?

A three-day itinerary for Sofia could include visits to iconic landmarks such as Alexander Nevski Cathedral, St Nedelya Church, and National Palace of Culture; cultural experiences like a walking tour through the Old Town; outdoor activities such as cycling tours or hikes around Vitosha Mountain; plus plenty of opportunities for shopping!

how many days are enough for sofia?

Sofia is a beautiful city in Bulgaria with plenty of sights and attractions that can be enjoyed.

Depending on how much time you have, you can experience the city’s cultural heritage, visit some of its many museums and galleries, enjoy delicious local cuisine or just soak in the atmosphere.

Most visitors recommend around 3-4 days as the optimum length of stay to see most of Sofia’s highlights. However, if you’re looking for a more relaxed trip then 5-7 days would be more suitable.

Final Thoughts: 3 day Itinerary for sofia

In conclusion, spending 3 days in Sofia will provide you with a cultural and historical trip. With this 3 days in Sofia itinerary, you can lose yourself in the charm of the Bulgarian capital and explore its iconic landmarks, indulge in traditional cuisine and discover the artistic treasures that feature within the city.

From the architectural wonder of St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral to the free food tour and the fine dining at Niko’las 0/360, each day is filled with memorable experiences.

Along the way, you will learn about Sofia’s history, culture and art through guided tours and museum visits. So try to complete Sofia in 3 days by following this itinerary.

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Author

  • Alice

    Meet Alice, a seasoned traveler and marketing consultant from Derbyshire. Her adventures stretch from Singapore to Bulgaria, uncovering unique destinations. Despite her busy marketing career, she indulges in luxurious trips with her partner, offering insightful and engaging travel perspectives through her writing | | Specializing in luxury travel, couples' retreats, crafting detailed itineraries, and offering expert advice on select tour experiences and beach destinations, Alice brings a wealth of expertise to the table.

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