Thinking about traveling to Sofia soon? Good, I like your way of thinking.
This is one of the cheapest European destinations and there are also plenty of free things to do in Sofia.
As one of the most budget-friendly destinations in Europe, Sofia has a lot to offer to everyone to fit his tastes.
Actually, as a foreign, you don’t need to travel to Sofia on a budget because it’s really so cheap. But who doesn’t like free things and the free things to do in Sofia are also the best ones.
So what can you do in Sofia for free?
Almost all of the churches in Bulgaria are free to enter. To see the beautiful insides of the churches is absolutely free of charge. This applies of course also to the churches in Sofia.
Sofia is a city with so many churches, small and big ones, beautiful and impressive. Even if you are not religious (like me), you will be amazed by some of the icons and frescoes.
Note that many of the churches have museums and if you want to get in you will have to pay a fee for that.
The UNESCO-listed Boyana church is free every Monday after 3 pm.
One of the best free things to do in Sofia is relaxing in one of the parks. Sofia has so many green places. The parks are one of the favorite places to the locals. Especially in the summer months, the parks are crowded. People are doing different kinds of sports activities, drinking beer, or just relaxing and reading a book. And of course, all of that is free (well except the beer, unfortunately).
The most popular parks in the city center are Borisova Garden, National Theater Garden, and Park Crystal.
Like every other big city, Sofia also has free tours around the city.
Of course, even though the tours are free, tipping the guides is highly encouraging.
Free tours in Sofia: Free walking tour, Graffiti tour, Green tour, Balkan bites… see the list of all the free tours in Sofia and where and when you can join them here.
Depend on when you’ll travel to Sofia, you can visit some of the museums for free.
On September 17th, the day of Sofia, the entrance to all museums and galleries in Sofia is free.
National Museum of History – free every last Monday of the month.
National Archaeological Museum – free every last Sunday of the month.
Sofia History Museum – free every first and third Thursday of the month.
National Polytechnic Museum – free every first Monday of the month.
Night of the Museums – for one night each year many museums in Sofia are free of charge. Usually, this event took place on the weekend closest to 18th May (International Museum Day).
Sofia Art Gallery
You can explore beautiful sculptures, paintings, and statues in Sofia Art Gallery free of charge all the time.
There are also much more, smaller galleries, which are free of charge as well.
Sofia hosts many events and festivals through the whole year, which you can attend for free.
Trifon Zarezan Day aka Wine Festival – 14th February
Easter Festival – usually it’s April, but the date is confirmed every year
Night of the Museums – May
Sofia Design Week – June
A to JazZ Festival – June
Sofia Breaths – August
Day of Sofia – 17th September
Sofia Dance Week – October
Sofia Architecture Week – November
Those are some of the free events and festivals that you can attend every year.
For more information check their websites or Facebook pages.
One of the best free things to do in Sofia is hiking. Yes, right, hiking. Just 30 minutes ride or less from the city center is the Vitosha Mountain. How lucky are we to have a mountain in the outskirts of the city, right?
Vitosha Mountain is one of the reasons to visit Sofia. It offers a great escape from the buzzing city and many itineraries.
If you go hiking up the Vitosha Mountain, why not even climb the highest peak Cherni Vrah, which rises at 2 290 meters. I have done it in the summer, in the winter, through the day, through the night and you can do it too.
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Change of the guards
You can watch the change of the guards in front of the Presidency every hour between 8 AM and 8 PM.
Walk along the Vitoshka street
Vitoshka is one of the main streets in the city center of Sofia. The street is full of cafes, bars, clubs and shops.
What is the best walking along from St. Nedelya Church to National Palace of Culture (in that order) is the awesome view of the Vitosha Mountain. Seriously, wouldn’t you love walking the most central street or drinking your coffee and enjoying a mountain view?
Another free thing to do in Sofia is listening nice music and good singers. At so many places in the city center, you will find street artists, and they are good!
And although it’s free like the free tours mentioned above, I would again encourage you to give them something if you liked it.
You don’t need to pay for water, not in Sofia. Go to the Sofia’s Central Baths and fill your bottle. The hot mineral water is very good for drinking and is good for your health.
In the garden in front of the National Theater, you will see many people playing chess on the benches. Do you like playing chess? Join them. Doing so you’ll get the chance to experience the local life in a great way.
Accommodation in Sofia is cheap, but if you want to save from it, or just like the experience of staying with a local, Couchsurfing is here for you.
Sofia has a growing Couchsurfing community, so it won’t be difficult to find a host in the city.
Also, there are weekly Couchsurfing meetings you can join to meet locals or fellow travelers.
Do you know that Bulgaria has one of the fastest internets in Europe? And you can get that also for free. There’s free Wi- Fi access in the metro stations, the central bus station, some of the parks, the malls, the cafes, restaurants, and bars.
Hmm, the free things to do in Sofia are very cool, right?
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