Add dates

National Museum of History, Sofia

National Museum of History, Sofia: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Sofia: Afternoon Half-day Trip to Rila Monastery

1. From Sofia: Afternoon Half-day Trip to Rila Monastery

Discover Rila Monastery at your own pace on a self-guided, afternoon tour from Sofia. Begin by boarding the shuttle service at noon (12:00h) at the centrally located meeting point (Aleksander I square) and head to the medieval Rila Monastery in the spectacular Rila Mountains. Get almost 2 hours of leisure time to explore the complex, founded by the hermit monk Ivan Rilski in 927 AD. Marvel at the frescoes of the main church and visit the medieval tower independently. Wander down quiet outdoor corridors adorned with beautiful mosaics, and see gold-plated iconostasis and valuable icons from the 14th to 19th centuries. Learn more about the history of the site at the museum, where highlights include the double-sided crucifix of the Rila Cross. See the old bakery and other monuments, including the residential area with high stone walls and little windows. Board the minibus back to Sofia in the afternoon and get dropped off at the central pick-up point on arrival. Make full use of your day by combining the trip to the Rila monastery with a visit in the morning to the Bells Park monument Boyana church and the National History Museum, located in a former Bulgarian communist leader's residence, on the way to the Rila monastery (depending on the tour option selected).

Highlights of Sofia: The History and Heritage of Bulgaria

2. Highlights of Sofia: The History and Heritage of Bulgaria

Discover fascinating Sofia; a unique city combining the wisdom of the past, and the verve of the present. Beginning at the medieval city walls, explore the streets of antiquity; Middle-Age churches and Byzantine edifices stand side-by-side, taking you as far back as the 4th century. Enjoy a pleasant tour covering all of Sofia's highlights including the 6th-century Church of St. Sophia, the St. George Rotunda dating back to the 4th century, the Cathedral of St. Alexander Nevski, the Russian Church, the Military Club, as well as the beautiful architecture of the Sofia University, the National Art Gallery, and the National Theater. Nestled at the foot of Vitosha Mountain lies the National Museum of History, the next step of the tour, housing some of Bulgaria's national treasures, and the Boyana Church, preserving the spirit of the Christian Orthodox renaissance in a land rich in history. Experience a tour of alluring historical heritage in the heart of modern Sofia – and of course a relaxing lunch with local cuisine, and a glass of fine Bulgarian wine!

Sofia: Vitosha Mountain, Boyana Church & History Museum

3. Sofia: Vitosha Mountain, Boyana Church & History Museum

Start with pickup from your hotel in Sofia and travel to Vitosha Mountain you will begin the hiking portion of the tour. Discover one of the many scenic hiking routes of the Vitosha Nature Park, with some of the most beautiful views of the city of Sofia. After the scenic hike, head back to Sofia and learn more about the ancient and historical locations of the city. First, visit Boyana Church, a medieval Bulgarian Orthodox site situated on the outskirts of Sofia. In 1979, the building was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Then, make a stop at the National History Museum, the largest museum in the country. Discover a variety of objects related to Bulgarian archaeology, fine arts, history, ethnography.

Sofia: Full-Day City Tour including UNESCO Boyana Church

4. Sofia: Full-Day City Tour including UNESCO Boyana Church

Sofia is one of the oldest cities in the Balkans found by the Thracian tribe Serdi. In 29 A.D., Sofia became the capital of the Roman province of Inner Dacia. Through the ages, the city played a role as an important trading center in the Byzantine and Bulgarian Empires. Under Ottoman rule, Sofia was the center of Rumelia province. Sofia became the capital of restored Bulgaria in 1879, with a population of only about 12,000. Today many streets, buildings, parks, and even whole neighbourhoods preserve the architectural style from the turn of the century. The day starts with a short transfer to the National History Museum, occupying the residency of the former communist ruler Todor Zhivkov, located at the outskirts of Sofia. You will get a guided tour of the rich museum collection, with special attention drawn to the key dates, facts and exhibits. Close by is the Boyana Church which you will visit to unravel the global importance of its proto-Renaissance frescoes. The afternoon will be for a gentle walking tour of the center, where you will learn about the National Library, Sofia University, The Parliament, The St. Alexander Nevsky Patriarchal Cathedral, the National Theatre, St. Sofia Church, Sofia's oldest building - St George Rotunda, The houses of the Council of Ministers, the president and the former communist party's headquarters, the ruins of the ancient city of Serdika (dating from the 5th-6th C), the National Palace of Culture, the main shopping streets of Sofia, and more.

Other Sightseeing Options in National Museum of History, Sofia

Want to discover all there is to do in National Museum of History, Sofia? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about National Museum of History, Sofia

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 11 reviews

Very nice trip, we enjoyed a day long tour around places you must visit if you come to Sofia as the botana church, the national history museum and the monastery of rila. We had time enough to visit each place, specially at the monastery where you have plenty of time to relax and have a meal or a local breakfast. The guide was very nice with as and explained us many historical things while traveling even we didn’t hire a guided tour option. A totally recommended experience!!

Very beautiful tour in an amazing location. Our guide/driver Bobby was very energetic friendly and excited to show us some of the best sides of Rila Monastery, museum and another church. Locations for all these places were amazing . He also explained a lot of curious information and general knowledge about Bulgarian life/history related to the places and beyond. Thank you bobby you were great!

It is also complete from an urbanistic point of view

The excursion allowed me to verify the sharp contrast between the buildings that pre-existed the advent of communism and the havoc done in the 1950s, interesting the visit of the Orthodox churches in the city with a very prepared guide, the visit to the Boyana church performed with private car it was excellent as the conclusion in the museum

The tour and the guide were excellent. Timing was right. A paper plan and handout for the museum visit would help us navigate the 4 halls better and faster. I recommend this trip and organiser.

Excellent service Boby was very kind and attentive, I highly recommend him