Girl Meets Bulgaria

Musings of an American expat in Bulgaria (with detours in Utah and Alaska)

Free Sofia Tour in Photos


When my friend K. was visiting us in January, we hoofed it up the hill at my apartment complex and hopped the Metro into the city. It was my first adventure outside the apartment without Vince and it felt really liberating. After hearing about it for a few years, I figured joining the tour was a good idea and a great way to give K. an overview of Sofia’s most well known buildings and attractions. The weather was also unseasonably warm and beautiful for January, so that was a huge bonus as well!

The Free Sofia Tour is a no-cost English-language walking tour of Sofia’s center led by volunteers. Our tour started near the lion statues at the Palace of Justice and wound through the center, past many notable and important sites, before ending at the Parliament building. Our guide (I forget his name) was really nice and knowledgeable; I learned a lot more about the city’s long, interesting, and (at times) tumultuous history.

(hover over photos for titles)
Meeting the Free Sofia Tour in front of Palace of JusticeMeeting the Free Sofia Tour in front of Palace of JusticePalace of JusticeSveta Nedelya Church

Church of St Petka

Church of St PetkaDSC_1228Banya Bashi Mosque w/ Sofia Synagogue in backgroundBanya Bashi Mosque w/ Sofia Synagogue in backgroundSofia Central Public BathsDSC_1248Former Bulgarian Communist Party HeadquartersFormer Bulgarian Communist Party HeadquartersCoat of armsPresidency BuildingChanging of the GuardsChanging of the GuardsGuards in front of Presidency BuildingGuard at Presidency BuildingGates at the Presidency buildingThe Rotunda of St GeorgeInscription at the Rotunda of St GeorgeView of Former Communist Party Headquarters from in front of the Presidency buildingOutside the National Archaeology MuseumNational Art GalleryFree Sofia TourSofia City GardenDetail on Ivan VaUm. OK!Saint Sofia ChurchSaint Sofia Church BellDSC_1355Monument to the Unknown SoldierMonument to the Unknown SoldierBulgarian FlagDSC_1368Alexander Nevski CathedralAlexander Nevski CathedralAlexander Nevski CathedralAlexander Nevski CathedralParliament

After the tour ended, K. and I headed back to the starting point along the “yellow brick road” (yellow Viennese bricks laid into the road) to have lunch at Happy. Along the way we passed the Saint Nikolas Russian Church (one of my favorite buildings in the city) and a few other interesting sites. Saint Nikolas Russian ChurchSaint Nikolas Russian ChurchSaint Nikolas Russian ChurchDSC_1412
If you are in Sofia and have a few hours at your disposal, I highly recommend taking the Free Sofia Tour. It’s probably the best way for travelers to see the city’s most famous sites in a short amount of time.


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9 thoughts on “Free Sofia Tour in Photos

  1. Pingback: The Best Things in Life are Free | Big World, Little Budget

  2. There are free tours of Sofia? Good to know! I still have way over a year until my trip and I already can’t wait!

  3. Reblogged this on ~WithLoveFromBG~ and commented:
    For everyone who is in the midst of planning a trip to Sofia, make sure you leave time in your busy itinerary for the gals and gents from Free Sofia Tour to take you around town on their fabulous walking tour and help you discover the city for yourselves. Enjoy Girl Meets Bulgaria’s recount of her experience with them and definitely don’t miss out on the rest of her blog. WARNING: It can be addicting!
    Happy reading.

  4. LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! Your blog. I lived in Sofia in 1996, and have never been back. I know so much has changed, but it was so good to see many of my old favorite places looking so beautiful. Going back to BG is on my bucket list, and I will take the Sofia Tour (hopeuflly it will still be around!). Thanks for sharing.

    • Aw. Thank you! I am happy to have been able to share photos of Sofia with you, a former resident! I would love to see the differences from 1996 to now. When you do return, definitely take the Free Sofia Tour; it’s really good!

  5. Thanks for posting..It was a great tour!!! K…

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