Photo of Sofia

About Sofia

A couple of years ago Sofia's headline was something along the lines of 'Cheapest European Capital', but as well as moving out from behind the Iron Curtain, Sofia has moved on from low prices being its sole selling point. This is Bulgaria's biggest city, but it is still delightfully compact for walking around and full of new trendy developments and fascinating museums and galleries. The hotel scene has also taken massive strides forwards with a good range of converted historical buildings and luxury options. For the best places to stay in Sofia we recommend booking one of the city centre options.

An unmissable sight of Sofia is the Aleksander Nevski church. You won't miss it because it's a vast, awe-inspiring piece of neo-Byzantine architecture decorated with golden domes and ornate mosaics. But you also won't want to miss it! Commemorating the 200,000 Russian soldiers who died in Bulgaria's war of independence against the Turks, it houses most of Bulgaria's religious treasures. It's also worth dropping in on the Royal Palace, the Archaeological Museum, the Sveta Nedelya Cathedral, the Turkish Baths, and taking a trip up to the Vitosha Nature Park. If this looks like it'll take you more than a few days, you'd be right, and that's before you pack in Sofia's lively eating, drinking and dancing scenes.

Sofia hasn't entirely shed its Soviet-era uniform, and the remnants of this period, the neo-classical Stalinist civic buildings, Red Army monuments and concrete tower blocks add to the exciting east-meets-west feeling. The pre-Soviet architecture tells many tales of its own, there are wonderfully ornate onion-domed churches around the corner from a mosque built by the Ottomans and a graceful tree-lined, balconied building built by a 19th Century Viennese architect.

The city is ringed dramatically by the Balkan Mountains to the north and the Vitosha Mountains to the south. Maybe it's this proximity to the mountains, but Sofia has plenty of green space as well, and in season people can drive up to the ski slopes of Mt. Vitosha for the day. During the summer months this is a popular destination, so in order to bag a room at one of the best places to stay in Sofia we recommend booking well in advance.

The best places to stay in Sofia

For luxury

  • The Sense Hotel is one of the best places to stay in Sofia if you want to be right in the historic centre. A minimalist, luxurious haven when all around are ancient treasures. The views from the roof terrace are unbeatable, there's a spa to relax after all that walking round town, and the food is supposed to be excellent.

For tradition

  • Sofia Residence is an elegant property set in the heart of the city in one of Sofia's most prestigious neighbourhoods. Interiors are charming and traditional. A smart base to explore the city from.

For a self-catering apartment

  • If you’d prefer to stay in an apartment or private villa we recommend you visit our online partner, booking.com.

Travel Information

  • Sofia Airport has direct links to Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester in the UK and to many other European and Middle Eastern cities, including Berlin, Paris, Moscow, Rome, Bucharest, Vienna and Dubai. You can catch the number 84 bus from the airport nine kilometres into to the centre of town, which takes around half an hour, or you can catch a yellow taxi from the designated stand.
  • If you want to hire a car we recommend you visit our online partner, Rentalcars.
  • April through September are the nicest months to visit Sofia as far as the weather is concerned, but it’s a city destination so still fantastic in the cooler months.

Still not sure?

  • Expand your seach to include hotels in Plovdiv.
  • Or browse through all our options in Bulgaria.
  • Contact, one of our friendly gurus for advice.

Best Hotels in Sofia

  • Sense Hotel Sofia 71 rooms from £65

    Roof terrace  -  Panormamic views from the roof top bar.
    Luxury
    City Style
    Sights nearby  -  St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral, St. Sofia Statue, National Art Gallery, Sofia University.
    Recommended by  -  CN Traveller

    A fantastic design hotel in the Sofia's historic centre. Contemporary chic and subtle minimalism throughout. Glamorous rooms and suites combine glass, teak, and all the mod cons to luxurious effect. Fabulous fusion Mediterranean restaurant, roof top bar, and spa. See More

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  • Sofia Residence Sofia 9 rooms from £82

    Local exploring  -  Well positioned in the neighbourhood of Doctor's Garden, ideal for accessing the city's main attractions.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the striking Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.
    Full of character
    Traditional

    An elegant property set in the heart of the city in one of Sofia's most prestigious neighbourhoods. Traditionally dressed rooms feature softly patterned fabrics, antique furniture and large floor to ceiling windows. A smart base to explore the city from. See More

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