We had a overnight stopover in Sofia and decided to pop into town to check out the beautiful architecture of the centre by night. All of the main buildings and cathedrals are lit up and the centre has lovely large pavements and small parks, making for a very pleasant couple of hours stroll.

Taking the metro

Sofia airport is definitely very convenient in terms of being both close to the city and having great public transport options. As well as the usual line of taxis, there are buses and the metro into town. I always prefer to take the metro when in a new country – they’re generally more reliable, have information in English or some kind or easy to follow route map, and if you make a mistake it’s no problem to backtrack a few stops! The metro from Sofia Airport to Sofia University took about 25 minutes and only cost 1.60 leva (approx. £0.80) each. 

Tsar Liberation Monument


It’s impossible to miss this impressive statue of the Tsar astride a magnificent horse. There is a small area around it where you could sit for a short rest, but being right on the main road I’d prefer to visit one of the many small parks dotted around!

Parliament Building


Directly opposite the Tsar Liberation Monument, thus impressive building is the home of the Bulgarian parliament. This photo also gives a good example of the generously paved sidewalks in the centre of town – although it’s a little disconcerting where they start to merge into the similarly paved roads.

Park


We came across several mini parks around the area, most consisting of some pretty trees, a bench or two and some kind of statue or sculpture. I love these skates in cities – they help to break up long walks and keep pedestrians slightly back from the main roads.

Alexandar Nevsky Cathedral


Definitely the must-see building in Sofia city centre, this huge cathedral is absolutely stunning. I loved the many gentle curves and perfect balance between stone, tile and gold.

St. Sophia Basilica


Located right next door to Alexandar Nevsky Cathedral, this smaller basilica merges into the trees and could easily just be missed. Admittedly not nearly as impressive as its neighbour in terms of architectural glory, nonetheless it’s pretty in its own right.

Mysterious Excavation Site


This statue was interestingly coated next to a glass domed underground museum/ excavation site of some kind. Sadly we have no idea exactly what, but it looked like it was open to the public during the day so worth a quick look if you’re passing by.

Russian Church


Our short walking tour finishes at this beautiful Russian Orthodox Church. It certainly bought back memories from my visit to Russia last summer! I really love how just this short walk has revealed something about the diversity of Bulgaria, both in the present day and historically. If you’re keen (and not freezing to death like we were!) you can continue walking towards and around the Serdika metro station, where there are a couple more churches, a mosque and a synagogue, apparently also lit up in the evenings.

While our short overnight stopover only allowed a brief walk through the architectural sights of Sofia, it’s definitely sparked my interest in returning someday – particularly to visit some of the sights further out of the city centre and around the rest of the country. Apparently the ancient monasteries, beautiful scenery and hiking opportunities are major tourist attractions and I’d love to explore some more!

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Sofia by Night

  1. You certainly covered a lot of ground in your brief visit. Hope you have the opportunity for a longer stay at some point. Aside from architectural interest, there’s a good deal of historical, archeological, and cultural experiences and sights in Sofia and throughout the country.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! It was a really lovely walk through the centre, such a shame we couldn’t stay for longer to see it during the day and visit more sights. I really hope I’ll have chance to come back and explore a lot more!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s