In the center of the Balkan Peninsula, located roughly midway between the Black and Adriatic Seas in the foot of Vitosha Mountain, is now that the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, a big, diverse city that boasts a long and intriguing history, world-class shopping and dining, along with posh lodging. As a result of this , a listing of those 10 things may be as wide-ranging or as specific as you like, but for this report, David’s Been Here aims to recommend a bit of everything.
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
As it was first settled by the Thracian Tilataei tribe roughly 7000 BC, Sofia has been raided by goths, burned by the Huns, taken by the Ottomans from the Bulgarian-Ottoman Wars, also been occupied by Russians at the Russo-Turkish War of 1828-1829, bombed by Allied forces during World War II in 1943 and 1944, and renamed a few times. Even though Sofia’s several-millennia-long presence can be explored at many of the town’s attractions, there is also lots to see and do even if events of the past don’t hit your attention. All these are the 10 things.
Eastern Gate of Serdica
The very first attraction on our list is that the dazzling Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, a Bulgarian-Orthodox cathedral that was built between 1882 and 1912 from the Neo-Byzantine architectural style, which was popular for 19th-century Russian churches. It is the biggest church in Sofia and among the biggest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in the world. Among the defining features of the church is when the cross atop it is included, its own central dome, that stands around 150 feet above the floor. Inscribed in thin, gold lettering around the inside of the dome would be the Prayer of the Lord.
National Archeological Museum
In the cathedral, to the left of this altar, is a case that shows a relic who functioned from 1236 to 1252. In the crypt of the cathedral is a museum showcasing icons in Europe.
Sofia’s time as a portion of the Roman Empire could be explored in a really unconventional place: the Serdica Metro channel. When Sofia was still known as Serdica, the town had been protected by a wall that boasted four gates facing south, north, east along with observation towers, and west.
Arena di Serdica
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St. George Church Rotunda
The gate was excavated in the area together with luxury villas with paved streets, water mains, and sewer systems, by archaeologists between 1997 and 1999 and was safeguarded by 2 towers. Archaeological excavations to decode and restore the western gate resumed in 2011, and also seven 4th-century color ground mosaics were discovered in the website, which is located next to St. Joseph’s Catholic Cathedral in downtown Sofia.
St. Sofia Church
A must-see for history and archaeology buffs of all ages would be that the National Archeological Museum at Sofia’s center. It’s the oldest museum in the nation and is situated in what was once the town’s oldest and biggest Ottoman mosque, Koca Mahmut Pa?a Camii, that was constructed between 1451 and 1494. The museum opened in 1905, at which point each of the archaeological exhibits that had been retained all around the city had been moved to the mosque.
The museum’s Prehistory Hall houses things that date involving 1,600,000 BC and 1,600 BC, while the Treasury Hall exhibits artifacts from the Bronze Age for instance, well-known Valchitran along with Lukovit Treasures. Ancient Thracian, Greek, and Roman artifacts are located at the Main Hall on the first floor, including the priceless gold Thracian burial mask, along with a range of medieval publications, drawings, woodwork, metal items, and more can be discovered from the cosmopolitan Hall.
Named that Sofia rests at the foot of, Vitosha Boulevard is the major street in the city. Tourists looking for the highest-quality shopping or a meal of Sofia need to look no further than that street, which will be lined with dozens of hotels , restaurants, cafés, bars, and high-end boutiques.
Les Fleurs Boutique Hotel
A steady flow of people frequents this street through the night and day, especially after 5 or 6 p.m, along with its central location makes it a wonderful place for tourists to stay during their time at the city.
Because Ancient Serdica is buried under the city, you will find a number of sites that have been unearthed amid the glass-and-concrete buildings and attractions of Sofia, such as the Arena di Serdica, or Serdica Amphitheatre. Found on Budapeshta Street at the city center in the basement area of the Arena di Serdica Hotel, the Roman walls of the archaeological discovery were discovered during the building of the resort in 2004.
Since that time, ancient coins and pottery have been discovered, in addition to a complex containing an amphitheater and a theatre that dates back to both nd or 3rd century. You might be able to place some paw prints from the rock that were left, When you look carefully. The amphitheatre is among the most interesting attractions of the city and is totally free to visit.
To see what is believed to be the oldest and best-preserved monument in Sofia from the Roman age, you’ll need to go to a courtyard between the Sheraton Hotel and the Presidency, where you’ll discover the St. George Church Rotunda. This church stands a couple of meters away from the Eastern Gate in the Serdica Metro Station.
Around the church are all fragments of buildings from Ancient Serdica, and for a small entrance fee, tourists may go into this 4th-century church to observe the multi-layered frescoes in its walls, even the oldest of which dates back to the 10th century.
Among the city’s most important landmarks, St. Sofia Church might not look like much about the outside, but it is what is inside this overdue 5th-century basilica that is so massive. Beneath the church has been a preserved Roman necropolis that serves as an underground tradition and contains some of the most significant archaeological discoveries ever made in the Balkans.
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These priceless remnants of the past such as mosaics, artifacts dating back to the Roman and Byzantine eras, as well as the stays of over fifty tombs. The church is essential that the name of the city was changed from Serdica to Sofia because of it, and the church appears on the town’s coat of arms. No listing of those 10 things do and to see in Sofia is complete without a stop in this particular church.
Among the very best and most unique places in the city to catch a bite to eat would be Talents, a one-of-a-kind fine dining restaurant where the dishes are crafted, ready , and cooked by some of the world’s greatest future executive chefs: that the third-year pupils from the native HRC Culinary Academy, who spend an whole year studying their culinary skills in the restaurant before they proceed to internships and restaurants all around the world.
The restaurant creates a nurturing atmosphere for its pupils whilst still focusing on classic cooking methods by welcoming flair and imagination. The Talent Salad, that includes their feta cheese, and Serrano ham chips, can not be beat!
If more traditional Bulgarian cuisine is much up your street, there is not any greater place than Manastirska Magernitsa, much better known as the Monastery Cook House. Every one of those recipes with this comfy, homey restaurant’s menu comes directly from a different monastery in Bulgaria, making sure that each is 100% genuine.
The fare here is fantastic, and the portions are hearty and big. Enjoying a massive glass of this restaurant’s house-brewed”live beer” with your meal carries the dining experience to a completely different level, making Manastirska Magernitsa Restaurant a can’t-miss.
Never fear if you’re trying to go to Sofia, but don’t have any clue where to stay. A number of the town’s best accommodations are located in Les Fleurs, a boutique resort situated along Vitosha Boulevard from the shopping district. Besides its magnificent and vibrant design, this awesome resort additionally offers 31 spacious and attractive rooms full of modern decor, totally free WiFi for each guest, an excellent restaurant and bar, plus an outdoor patio that gives its guests picturesque views of the town and nearby mountains.
As the resort is located across Vitosha Boulevard, it is just minutes away from world-class shopping experiences, and its central place will make it simpler for you to commute between the many attractions of the city and the resort.
That concludes our list of those 10 things do and to see in Sofia. Having a beautiful mixture of ancient and contemporary, Sofia’s Balkan town is a must-visit for anyone who wishes to travel the entire world. Whether you choose to indulge in traditional Bulgarian cuisine or shopping, or even be hauled back to Roman times in the middle of a Metro Station, Sofia has it and its own charms are certain to p