You’re planning to visit Sofia Bulgaria and you’re looking for things to do? I promise you won’t be disappointed. There is so much to do. And the best thing is that Sofia is great value for your money. You will get the bang for your dollar , regardless which currency is your local one. Best of all, is that Sofia has a growing list of free things to do. I think you will be as impressed as I was.
Free tours are all the rage lately. The concept is very simple yet so brilliant. You joined the tour which is given by a local guide and you only tip at then end based on how much you think the tour was worth to you.
I always recommend tipping a very fair wage as most of these guides rely on the tips to earn a living. When it comes to free tours, Sofia absolutely went above and beyond and there are so many options.
Let’s check this out!
Free Sofia Tour
This is a free walking tour of Sofia. And there is no better way to get accustom to your surrounding then by taking a walking tour. Free city walking tour has been popping out around the world and you can find them in most cities nowadays. Well Sofia is no different. Regardless of how long I plan to spend in a city, I always try to squeeze a free walking tour to familiarize myself. And I recommend you do the same.
Join this tour so you can learn a bit about the history of the place. You will also get cool tips on where to eat and local culture. Most importantly, you will learn how to pronounce the city name the correct way so that you can earn bonus point with the local 🙂
When: Everyday at 11 Am , 6 pm ( Please check their website as schedule do fluctuate )
Where: Palace of Justice, Sofia
Duration: Around 2 hours
Website: Free Sofia Tour
Pro Tip: Bring cash to tip your guide after the tour. Also if you want to impress your guide, do read some facts on Sofia so you can answer potential quizzes during the tour 🙂
Pro Tip 2: – The guides are top quality but if you get the chance to go on tour with Dessi ( from the picture above) . Don’t skip it. She is a wonderful tour guide and the city comes alive with her.
Balkan Bites – Free Food tour
I know, I know ! This list is getting real! we’re going straight to the good stuff. Didn’t I tell you that Sofia is really stepping up the game when it comes to free city tours? I mean who doesn’t like to eat, right? I know I do! So when I find out that Sofia was offering a free food tour…nuff said!
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Sofia’s free food tour. In this tour, you will familiarize yourself with local delicacies. You will also get to taste popular drinks and snacks. Now I will be honest, don’t expect to be treated to a free five course dining for free. It is just not realistic.
Remember that this is a tip based tour after all. Here is a more detailed review of Sofia free food tour with plenty of pictures to make you drool. ( insert link to other article in dept review ).
I also love that my group was taken to a nice wine shop where we got to do wine tasting. So all this to say that you might be pleasantly surprised with this tour 🙂
When: Offered Daily at 2pm ( Do check the website for most up to date timings)
Where: Krystal Garden, in front of the Stefan Stambolov monument ( the massive head sculpture)
Duration: around 2 hours
Pro Tip: This tour was free but you do need to make a reservation on their website
Free Sofia Communist Trabant Tour
Calling up all the communist history buff out there!
If you’re as obsessed with history than I am, well this one is for you. And until this day I cannot believe this tour is free. You get so much for your buck ( well the tip money) here. This tour starts with a free walking tour around Sofia. This is totally different from the regular Sofia walking tour. In this segment, the emphasis is on communist era Sofia.
After this one, your view of Sofia will change. It will be so much more enriched. It is something to love architecture. But buildings become alive when you understand the history behind them. Then it allows you to connect the dots. Enter the world of Marxism-leninism, secret police, soviet army and communism in Bulgaria. If you’re lucky, your guide might tell you his own family personal stories. Anyways, I’ll let you do the discovery yourself.
Once the first part of the tour which includes the communist walking section is concluded, you will then begin the second part. This is where you get to show all your excitement that you’ve been containing inside so far. Finally, you get to ride in and old Trabant car.
I love old school cars. If you love them too, you will have a blast riding the old pastel coloured Trabant car through the streets of Sofia. Get ready for the locals to wave you goodbye as the car takes them back to their youth.
When: Every Saturday and Sunday at 10AM
Where: In front of the Starbucks near the National Palace of Culture ( NPC), Fridtjof Nansen St
Duration: Approximately 2 hours
Pro Tip: Want to reach the ultimate cool level? What about scheduling a private tour and let them pick you up from the airport in the Trabant car? Now that’s next level style right there 🙂 Only thing is you might just want to make sure you don’t have too many luggage with you 🙂 . I can guarantee you that they won’t fit into to Trabant 🙂
Sofia Jewish Tour
Yep! Someone likes to go crazy on those free tours. I’m a sucker for culture and the Jewish tour is totally worth your time. Countries like Poland and Bulgaria are so unique historically due to so many other factors that influenced the local history.
Jewish communities have had a great impact on the local culture and It is another fun way to discover Sofia and make the best of your vacation time. This free Sofia Jewish tour is a great way to learn about the Jewish perspective. According to the tour, they’ve been present in Bulgaria for the last 2000 years , from the Roman times to the holocaust survivors and all the way up until today.
When: Currently offered on demand. Contact them to schedule a tour
Where: Palace of Justice
Duration: 1.5 – 2 hours
Website: Free Sofia Tour
Pro Tip: Wear comfortable shoes as you will walk a lot on uneven and cobbled pathways
More Free Walking Tour in Sofia
These are the tours I took and can vouch for. But there is so much more free stuff and free tours to take in Sofia. And the list keeps getting longer. Here are more ideas for your trip
Free Sofia Graffiti Tour (with Sofia graffiti Tour )
Free Sofia Hike Tour – From April to November ( with Sofia Green Tour)
Free Sofia Bike Tour – From April to November ( with Sofia Green Tour)
Sofia Pub Crawl ( 20 BGN / 11.50 USD/ ~15.50 CAD)
The Free Sofia Tour organization also has more paid tours. Most of them are under 20USD so they are also worth checking out.
Heading to Plovdiv next?
Check out :
Free Plovdiv Tour for more free tours