Updated: Mar 3
A tiny country in Southeastern Europe, Bulgaria is often overlooked as a travel destination for the beautiful beaches of Turkey and Greece and the history of countries like Germany or Poland. Bulgaria is full of beautiful sites, a long history, and religious memorials. The capital city of Bulgaria is Sofia. It is a charming city that won't remind you of the bustling streets of Berlin but will make you feel like it you are in a small modern village located at the bottom of the popular ski destination, Vitosha Mountain. There are many different cultural, religious, and historical sites that you have to add to your Bulgaria bucket list.
Aleksander Nevski Memorial
You may know Sofia by this iconic building of the Aleksander Nevski Memorial. It is the Orthodox Church in Bulgaria. The cathedral was built to memorialize Bulgarians who lost their lives during the Russo-Turkish war fighting for Bulgarian independence. This memorial was damaged during World War II but was quickly repaired after the war. It is one of the most iconic destinations in Sofia and is a must-see stop, even for those who are not religious.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sofia, the Rila Monastery "Sveti Ivan Rilski" is one of the oldest Orthodox churches in Bulgaria. The monastery was originally thought to be founded by the hermit St. Ivan of the Rila, from which it gets its name. The monastery is one of the most important historic architectural and cultural monuments of Southeastern Europe and Bulgaria. It is said to have been the home to many writings and even shelter to revolutionaries. There are beautiful facades and frescos that depict the story of the monastery.
Sofia History Museum
One of the best places to discover the history of Bulgaria is the Sofia History Museum. The unique aspect of this history museum is possibly the history of the museum itself. The museum was the former building of the Central Mineral Baths. The museum has centered its exhibits around Sofia and its archaeology, economy, and culture. The museum has a collection of over 100,000 artifacts, covering the period between the sixth century BC and the 1940s. The collection is displayed in eight different themed rooms. As you travel through the various rooms, you'll discover something new in each one. In addition to the eight permanent displays, there are two temporary exhibitions in the other rooms.
This mountain is more than just a stunning backdrop to the beautiful city of Sofia. There are plenty of activities to find on this mountain. One of the easiest ways to access the mountain is from Aleko, the ski resort where the Simeonovo gondola lift will drop you off. Even if you don't visit in the winter or skiing is not your favorite activity, there is plenty of hiking and just viewing the magnificent mountain. The hike to Black Peak, the mountain's main summit, is easy due to its slight slope in spring or fall.
The beauty, history, and culture are more than enough to draw you into the capital city of Bulgaria, but there is so much more to offer. Schedule a consultation with us here at Enchanted Wanderings to learn more about the city and how we can customize the perfect trip for you!