The capital city of Bulgaria, Sofia is a surprisingly cool city that lies at the foot of popular ski mountain, Vitosha.
Often skipped by holiday makers heading straight to the slopes, Sofia has plenty to offer when it comes to beautiful architecture, culture and places to eat.
It’s a peculiar mixture of Communist style buildings and colourful modern design, but come to Sofia with an open mind and you’ll fall in love with it. Here’s the 7 top spots to go for that perfect Sofia Instagram photo.
1. Vitosha Boulevard
The main shopping street in Sofia is a lovely boulevard with a view of the mountains in the background. Stylish (and expensive) stores line the street and in the summer the cafes open up their terraces.
Stop for ice cream at Alfredo’s and grab a great espresso at Bar Memento if you need to refuel after all that shopping.
2. Vintage Trams
The adorable retro trams that pass you by in the city are a must-have Sofia Instagram picture.
You can ride for free on the yellow and green trams, which were part of Sofia public transport back in 1935. An ideal way to see the city.
3. Cathedral Saint Alexandar Nevski
You’ll see this cathedral mentioned in every guide to Sofia, and for a good reason – it’s absolutely incredible. It’s one of the largest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in the world.
As if the building itself wasn’t already impressive, the interior is super opulent, with mosaics, stone carvings and lots and lots of marble. See more about it here.
4. Drekka Coffee House
The coolest coffee spot in Sofia? It’s certainly the most Instagrammable, that’s for sure. Drekka is a hip third-wave coffee store that sells artisan goods and features rotating guest coffee roasters.
The blue and white design will make any Sofia Instagram stand out.
5. Klek Shops
These quirky basement stores on the streets of Sofia came about after rents for normal sized shops became too high when communism fell in Bulgaria.
‘Klek’ means ‘squat’, as customers have to squat down to grab any purchases from these unique shops.
6. Largo Serdika
A complex of Roman ruins was discovered when excavating a site for the Sofia metro in 2010, and the remains are now visible for all to see under a cool modern glass roof.
The mix of the old and new makes for an unusual photo backdrop.
7. Vitosha Mountain
Perfect for a day trip from the city, Vitosha mountain is a popular ski resort where you can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, climbing, skiing and ski touring, snowshoeing and even paragliding.
Don’t want to move a muscle on your holidays? Simply hop in the ski chair up and enjoy the view from the top.