Encompassing more than 7,000 square kilometres, Sofia Province is one of the largest oblasts in Bulgaria and is believed to have been settled by humans for the last 7,000 years. While it doesn’t include the city of Sofia within its boundaries, the Bulgarian capital remains the administrative hub for the region.
Things to do in Sofiya-Grad
From the history-drenched streets of Sofia to the mountainous ski slopes of Borovets, Sofia Province offers an impressive introduction to Bulgaria.
Sightsee in Sofia. Backed by Vitosha Mountain, Sofia is a vibrant capital clustered with Bulgarian Revival buildings dating back to the late 19th century. Step inside the monumental St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral and marvel at the 13th-century frescoes that adorn the medieval Boyana Church. Archaeological findings from across Bulgaria are showcased at the fascinating National Institute of Archaeology while the National Historical Museum occupies the former residence of Todor Zhivkov.
Visit the Rila Monastery. In the far south of Sofia Province is the Rila Monastery, which is the most famous of Bulgaria’s Eastern Orthodox monasteries. It is named after its founder, St. Ivan of Rila, and centres around a striking, five-domed church designed by Pavel Ioanov. Admire its magnificent frescoes and religious treasures dating back to the 14th century before getting up close to Rafail’s Cross in the monastery museum.
Go skiing at Borovets. One of the largest ski resorts in Bulgaria, Borovets is located in the Rila Mountains to the south of Sofia. It centres around an attractive village, from where chair lifts and gondolas connect to the surrounding slopes. In addition to downhill runs for skiers and snowboarders, there are cross-country trails and winter hiking trails to explore. For a day away from the snow, visit the former royal palace of Tsarska Bistritsa, which exhibits a Bulgarian Renaissance style.
Getting around Sofiya-Grad
Sofia Airport is the main aviation gateway to Sofia Province and has flights to destinations across Europe and the Middle East. Trains connect to major towns and cities throughout the province while buses serve smaller destinations. Renting a car is the most convenient way of getting around Sofia Province.