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Skip Navigation Links Home » Bulgaria » Cities&Resorts » Cities » Sofia

Bulgarian parlamentSofia is the capital and the largest city in the Republic of Bulgaria with the population of 1 203 680. It is located in western Bulgaria, at the foot of the mountain Vitosha, and is the administrative, cultural, and industrial centre of the country. 

The capital of Bulgaria is a cosmopolitan European city, combining contemporary buildings and lifestyle with authentic architecture from the past ages. Through the international road and air connection Sofia is linked with all European countries and the Middle East. As every big city, though, Sofia has problems with the pollution and garbage removal. Nevertheless, the business opportunities of the biggest Bulgarian city have caught the attention of foreign investors. Almost all major international companies have local representative offices or branches in Sofia.

NDKSofia is a shopping destination for many tourists from Bulgaria and abroad. Many of the big western brands in clothes, shoes, cosmetics and electronic goods are represented here and prices are much lower. Bulgarian products, such as textiles, wood, ceramic and leather products are also in demand. The main shopping areas are on Vitosha Blvd., Graf Ignatiev Str., Rakovski Str. and all the streets leading off from them. The Central Department Store (TsUM),has recently re-opened as a shopping centre on three floors where you can find everything from souvenirs to household goods. Pirotska Str. has been transformed into a continental style pedestrian area with a variety of shops and street cafes. The area around Shipka Street, Oborishte and San Stefano has all sorts of small private shops, boutiques, furniture etc., where service is always friendly but you should be very careful with gypsy groups wandering around, trying to steal from your pocket. 

Sofia is one of the oldest capitals in Europe, blending its past and present in a remarkable architectural style. The most visited place in the capital is the Alexander Nevski Cathedral. Its huge vaults and arches are covered with gold and the interior impresses with its splendor. The other historic sightseeings include the 10th-century Boyana Church, the Byzantine Church of St. Sofia, the St. George rotunda (the most ancient monument built in 4th century BC), the Russian church St. Nikolay.

Alexander Nevski cathedralMore modern architecture is represented by the Bulgarian National Opera and Ballet, the Ivan Vazov National Theatre, the National Palace of Culture, which is Southeastern Europe's largest cultural and congress centre, the Largo, an architectural complex in downtown Sofia which includes the headquarters of many national institutions, such as the National Assembly, the President’s Office, the Council of Ministers.

Sofia houses numerous museums, notably the National Historical Museum, the Bulgarian Natural History Museum, the Museum of Earth and Men, the Ethnographic Museum, the National Museum of Military History and the National Archaeological Museum. In addition, there are the Sofia City Art Gallery, the Bulgarian National Gallery of Arts, the Bulgarian National Gallery for Foreign Art as well as numerous private art galleries.

The city also offers many places of special interest such as the Sts. Cyril and Methodius National Library (which houses the largest national book collection and is Bulgaria's oldest cultural institute), the Sofia State Library, the British Council, Sofia Land - the nearly nine-acre amusement park adjacent to the Sofia Zoological Garden.



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