Sofia: A charming coastal city in Bulgaria

Sofia Airport Directory (SOF)
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Nestled amidst expansive parklands, Sofia is the capital and the biggest city of the Republic of Bulgaria. The city is located at the base of the ski mountain, Vitosha. Boasting a legacy spanning over 7000 years, Sofia stands out as one of the oldest cities in Europe. As you wander the streets, you'll be captivated by the mix of the old and new as ancient history meets modern innovation.

Overall, Sofia has a rich cultural heritage and a wide range of attractions for visitors. Embrace the thrilling and dynamic fusion that awaits the visitors as you book your flights from India to Bulgaria. Book flights to Sofia and explore what it offers the traveller.

Best time to visit: For those planning to book flights from India to Bulgaria, the prime time to visit Sofia is during the summer months, spanning from June to September. The weather is generally sunny and warm during this time, with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 30°C.

However, if you intend to explore the ski resorts, the winter months, between December and March, are the best time to plan your visit.

How to Reach?

By Air: Sofia is well-connected to major cities around the world by air. Sofia Airport (SOF) is the leading international airport in Bulgaria, located about 10 km east of the city centre. We at IndiGo can connect travellers from India to Bulgaria with multiple flights from India to Sofia.

By Metro: The metro system in Sofia is impressive, with a well-laid-out network that connects the city centre to most other parts of the city. Additionally, there is a direct line from the airport to the city centre. A single ticket for any transportation, except shuttles, costs 1.60 BGN. Visitors may also purchase a 3-day card for all lines, a popular choice among tourists.

Getting Around: Sofia boasts an excellent transportation system, allowing for easy travel throughout the city. Visitors can use the metro, buses, trolleybuses, and trams. For those looking to explore the city's major attractions, many are within walking distance, making it an ideal city to explore on foot.

Find taxis outside the Terminal building and charge a fixed rate to the city centre. The metro is the cheapest option, taking around 18 minutes to reach the city centre. Buses also operate from the airport to various parts of the city.

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Places to visit

Sofia has a rich cultural heritage, with many museums, galleries, and theatres showcasing Bulgarian art, history, and culture. If you are interested in exploring the city's history, enjoying the natural beauty of the surrounding area, or soaking up the local culture, there's so much for visitors in Sofia. That's why IndiGo has come up with the best places to visit in Sofia.

  • Vitosha Mountain: Vitosha Mountain is a beautiful natural landmark just outside Sofia. There are several trails and routes that you can take to explore the mountain, ranging from easy to complex, depending on your fitness level and preferences. The most popular starting point is the Aleko ski area, which offers easy access to the main hiking trails, ski slopes, and lift facilities. The fresh air, beautiful scenery, and wide range of activities make it a phenomenal destination in Bulgaria.
  • The Ivan Vazov National Theatre: The Ivan Vazov National Theatre, named after the famous Bulgarian Writer, Ivan Vazov, is one of Bulgaria's most prestigious theatres. It was founded in 1904 and designed by the prominent Austrian architects Hermann Helmer and Ferdinand Fellner. The theatre building is a stunning example of Neo-Baroque architecture, with its ornate façade and elaborate interior decorations. Today, the Ivan Vazov National Theatre is home to various performances, including dramas, operas, ballets, and concerts. The theatre hosts local and international productions and is renowned for its high-quality performances and talented artists.
  • The National Art Gallery: The National Art Gallery is located in the former royal palace, built in the late 19th century in a neo-Renaissance style. The gallery houses over 50,000 works of Bulgarian art from the Middle Ages to the present day. Also, European art from the Renaissance to the 20th century. Some of the most notable works in the collection include paintings by Bulgarian artists such as Vladimir Dimitrov-Maystora, Bencho Obreshkov, and Zlatyu Boyadzhiev, as well as works by European artists such as Rubens, Van Dyck, and Renoir.
  • Alexander Nevsky Cathedral: One of the most impressive structures in Sofia, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is a stunning example of Neo-Byzantine architecture. The cathedral's magnificent architecture, grandeur, and historical significance make it a must-visit destination in Sofia. Its gold-plated domes, marble columns, and intricate mosaics are a true masterpiece of art and engineering. The cathedral's interior is equally impressive, featuring beautiful murals, stained glass windows, and a collection of icons and religious artefacts. The highlight of the interior is the iconostasis, one of the largest in the world, adorned with over 2,000 icons.
  • National Palace of Culture: The National Palace is a massive complex in Sofia's heart. It was opened in 1981 to celebrate the 1300th anniversary of the Bulgarian state, and since that, it has become one of the country's most iconic and recognisable buildings. The NPC covers an area of 123,000 square metres and features a variety of conference halls, exhibition spaces, theatres, cinemas, and concert halls. It is the largest conference centre in Southeastern Europe, and it hosts some of the region's most important cultural and business events.
  • Sofia Archaeological Museum: Sofia Archaeological Museum is one of Bulgaria's oldest and most significant museums. The Museum was founded in 1905 and rested in the city's heart. It displays a wide range of artefacts from different periods of Bulgarian history. The museum is housed in the former mosque of Koca Mahmut Pasha, built in the 15th century during the Ottoman occupation of Bulgaria. Its museum's collection includes over 50,000 objects, ranging from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages. Visitors can see ancient Greek and Roman art displays, including statues, mosaics, and pottery.

Places to eat

Sofia's vibrant culinary scene offers various dining options for every taste and budget. Whether you're interested in traditional Bulgarian cuisine or international flavours, it is a food lover's paradise with a rich culinary tradition that combines Bulgarian and Balkan cuisine. Here is a list of the popular places to eat in Sofia that you will want to take advantage of.

  • Made in Home: Made in Home is a beautiful restaurant in Sofia's heart. The menu offers a variety of Bulgarian and Balkan dishes made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The cosy atmosphere and friendly service make Made in Home a great place to relax and enjoy a meal.
  • Shtastlivitsa: Shtastlivitsa is a popular chain of restaurants located throughout Sofia. The menu offers a variety of Bulgarian and Balkan dishes, as well as international favourites. The restaurant is known for its hearty portions and affordable prices, making it an excellent option for a casual meal. Shtastlivitsa is famous for its delicious homemade desserts, including baklava and Bulgarian-style pancakes.
  • Soul Kitchen: Soul Kitchen is a vegetarian and vegan restaurant in Sofia's trendy Kapana neighbourhood. The menu offers a variety of creative and flavorful dishes made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The restaurant is known for its innovative salads, sandwiches, and delicious smoothies and juices. The cosy atmosphere and friendly service make Soul Kitchen a great place to relax and enjoy a healthy meal.


Bulgaria is a shopper's paradise, with a wide range of shopping options throughout the country. Here are the top places to shop in Bulgaria that travellers should notice.

  • Vitosha Boulevard: Vitosha Boulevard is a famous pedestrian street in the heart of Sofia's heart. The street has shops and restaurants, offering various shopping options for every taste and budget. Vitosha Boulevard has something for everyone, from high-end boutiques to trendy streetwear shops. The street is also home to several department stores and souvenir shops selling traditional Bulgarian crafts and gifts.
  • Mall of Sofia: Mall of Sofia is one of the largest shopping centres in Bulgaria, offering a wide range of shops and restaurants. The mall has over 150 stores, including international brands such as Zara, H&M, and Sephora. In addition to fashion and beauty, the Mall of Sofia also offers various electronics, home goods, and sporting goods stores. The mall also features a cinema complex and a food court, making it an excellent destination for a day of shopping and entertainment.
  • Plovdiv Old Town: Plovdiv Old Town is a charming historic district in Plovdiv. The area has various shops and galleries, offering a unique shopping experience. From traditional crafts and textiles to contemporary art and design, the area has antique shops selling vintage items and collectables.

Where to stay? 

Sofia, the capital city of Bulgaria, offers a diverse range of accommodation options for travellers with varying budgets and preferences. Here are the recommended places to stay in Sofia:

  • Sense Hotel Sofia: This 5-star luxury hotel is located in the heart of Sofia, just a short walk from the National Palace of Culture and the iconic Vitosha Boulevard. The hotel features stylishly designed rooms with modern amenities, including free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and minibars. Sense Hotel Sofia also offers a rooftop bar with panoramic city views, an on-site restaurant serving international cuisine, a fitness centre, and a spa.
  • Crystal Palace Boutique Hotel: This boutique hotel is in the quiet and peaceful area of Lozenets, just a short walk from the beautiful South Park and Vitosha Boulevard. The hotel offers spacious, elegantly decorated rooms with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and minibars. Guests can also enjoy the hotel's on-site restaurant serving Bulgarian and international cuisine, a cosy lobby bar, a fitness centre, and a sauna.
  • Hotel Anel: This 5-star hotel is located just a few minutes walk from the National Palace of Culture and Vitosha Boulevard. The hotel offers luxurious and modernly designed rooms with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and minibars. Hotel Anel also features an on-site restaurant serving Bulgarian and international cuisine, a lobby bar, a rooftop bar with stunning city views, a fitness centre, and a spa.

More reasons to visit

In addition to the places to visit, eat, and shop, there are many other reasons to consider booking India to Sofia flights. Here are some of them:

  • Ski resorts and wine tasting: Sofia is located at the foot of Vitosha Mountain, which has several ski resorts just a short drive from the city centre. These resorts offer skiing, snowboarding, and other winter activities during the winter months. The city has a long winemaking tradition, and Sofia is a great place to sample some of the country's best wines. The city has many wine bars, shops, and wineries just a short drive from the city centre.
  • Affordable prices: Sofia is one of the most affordable European cities to visit. Prices for accommodation, food, and transportation are generally lower than in other European cities, making it an attractive destination for budget-conscious travellers.

Visa and Immigration

Are you curious about the visa requirements for Indian passport holders visiting Bulgaria? Yes, visitors from India require a Bulgaria visa to enter Sofia for tourism, business, or other purposes. The type of visa required depends on the purpose and duration of the visit.

To apply for a Bulgarian visa, you must submit an application form and supporting documents to the Bulgarian embassy or consulate in your home country or country of residence. The required documents typically include a valid passport, passport-size photographs, proof of travel arrangements, proof of accommodation, and evidence of sufficient funds to cover your stay in Bulgaria.

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