There are a number of museums in Sofia. Here you can have a selection of some of the most popular.
National History Museum
The National History Museum was established on May the 5th, 1973. On March the 2nd 1984, the new exhibition was opened in the building of the Court of Justice on the occasion of the 1300-th anniversary of the Bulgarian state. In 2000, the National History Museum was relocated to the former Boyana government residence, where on 10, November 1989 the last communist leader was removed from power. The museum hosts national treasures and relics from a global scale. It is the largest in Bulgaria and one of the biggest in the Balkans. Its collection contains more than 680,000 items. When not on temporal exhibition around the globe on can enjoy the famous Panagyurishte and other Thracian Gold Treasures.
Address: Sofia 1618, “Vitoshko lale” Str. 16
Transport: Bus No. 63, bus No. 111, trolleybus No. 2
Summer (April-October) – 9.30 – 18.00 (ticket office closes at 17.15)
Winter (November – March) – 9.00 – 17.30 (ticket office closes at 16.45)
Price Range: Adults: 10 BNG, Students: 1 BGN
Phone: +359 2 9554280
Location: 42.6558745, 23.267652
The Antique Serdica and Largoto
Sofia hosts of one of the world biggest museums at an archaeological site, competed only by Rome!
The area of present-day area of Sofia has been a settlement for more than 2000 years. Initially inhabited by Thracian, the town of the Thracian tribe Serdi had been conquered by the Roman troops led by general Marcus Licinius Crassus Dives in 27 B.C. During the ruling of Marcus Ulpius Traianus (98-117 A.C.) the city has been granted imperial status, has been named Ulpia Serdica and most probably it is the time, when its fortification began.
During the ruling of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and his son Marcus (Lucius Aelius) Aurelius Commodus Antoninus (176 – 180 A.C), the central late antique fortress of Serdica has been build and span over 17.5 hectares (1883684 square feet) (340 m х 560m)(1115 feet x 1837 feet).
The Emperor Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus (306 – 337 A.C.) has spent a lot of time in Serdica and has been known for saying “Serdica in my Rome”. During his ruling the fortress has expanded to the north with five times more (85 hectares) (9149323 square feet).
The newly opened underground/closed/open air museum exposes three different quarters of the ancient city. One of the bigger venues for victorious marching of at least two Roman Emperors. The ground is almost fully preserved, and the visitor can walk on it. Numerous reminiscences can be seen: the living quarters, original parts of the piping, water supply and floor heating systems of the living spaces; numerous mosaics, parts of the thermal baths and a church; artefacts. The central point of the city that hasn’t been changed for 2000 years is marked as well. One part of the museum has a surface of 4850 square metres (52205 square feet), while another 3150 square metres (33906 square feet). The site has a stage; that is used for different art performances.
The area above the excavated site is the so-called Largoto, which is a complex of architectural edifices constructed in the 50ties of the XX century, that are a good example of the classical socialist build.
Address: Sofia 1000, “Nezavisimost” Sq. and “Mariya Louisa “ Blvd. 9-11
Opening Hours: 9.00 – 20.00
Price Range: free
Phone: +359 2 9874189
Location: 42.697532, 23.323246 and 42.698293,23.321905
The Earth and Man National Museum
It was founded on 30 December 1985 and opened for visitors on 19 June 1987. The museum is situated in a reconstructed and adapted historic building with an area of 4,000 square metres (43 056 square feet), constructed in the end of the 19th century (1896–1898). It has a number of exhibition halls, stock premises, laboratories, a video room and a conference room. The collections are gathered predominantly as donations from Bulgarian and foreign individuals and entities (at December 2014 about 77% of the collection has been donated by 912 benefactors). At January 2015 the museum has 29 342 exhibited items, as the total available items are reaching 100 000. The section “Bulgarian Mineral Resources” has samples from about 400 Bulgarian ore deposits. The most attractive is the collection “Giant Crystals”, that is one of the two worldwide biggest and has been donated by Ilia Delev. The collection “Earth Minerals” is the richest systematic collection in the Balkans, consisting of 7600 samples from 1569 mineral types (given the total number of the known natural minerals is 4200). The collection “Minerals of Bulgaria” is the most complete collection of Bulgarian minerals and has 4191 samples. The collection “Gems” has 2668 samples from all precious and semi-precious stones.
Address: Sofia 1421, “Cherni Vrah” Blvd. 4
Transport: buss No 94 (“Hotel Hemus” or “Hotel Hilton” stop), buss No 102 (“Hotel Hemus” stop), busses No 72, 76, 204, 604 (“Boulevard Cherni Vrah” stop), tram No 6 (“Hotel Hemus” or “Hotel Hilton” stop)
Opening Hours: 10.00 – 18.00 (January the 1st, Easter and Christmas (24,25,26,27 December) days closed)
Price Range: Adults: 4 BNG, Students: 2 BGN. Free every last Monday of the month and on March the 22nd (World Water Day), April the 22nd (International Earth Day), May the 18th (International Museum Day), June the 19th (Day of the Museum’s Benefactors).
Phone: +3592865 66 39
National Museum of Socialist Art
This museum institution purpose is to collect, preserve and exhibited art from the period 1944-1989, the themes that are related to the era of socialism. The exhibition in the hall covers an area of 550 square meters and displays 60 paintings and 25 works of plastic art easel. The museum consists of a sculpture park with an area of 7,500 square metres (80729 square feet), which are currently at 77 works of monumental sculpture. Documental films for the socialist period are and shown in the video hall. At the souvenir shop, one can find authentic items from that era as well as contemporary artefacts
Address: Sofia 1756,“Lachezar Stanchev” Str.7
Opening Hours: 10.00 – 16.00 (Monday closed)
Price Range: Adults: 6 BNG, Students: 3 BGN
Phone: +359 2 9800093
National Archaeological Museum
The National Institute of Archaeology with Museum at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences covers the complete study of the culture of tribes and peoples who have occupied present-day Bulgaria from the remote past until the 18th century. It is the biggest research archaeological unit in south-east Europe. National Archaeological Museum was established in in 1878 originally as part of the Library, then in 1892 reformed into the National Museum and includes three collections – Ancient History, Numismatic and Ethnographic.
Address: Sofia 1000 ,“Saborna St.”2
Summer (May-October) – 10.00 – 18.00 (no closed day)
Winter (November – April) – 10.00 – 17.00 (Monday closed)
Price Range: Adults: 10 BNG, Students: 2 BGN
Phone: +359 2 9882406
Ethnographic Institute and Museum
The museum is formed in 1892 as part of the National Museum. In 1906 it was formed as a separate National Ethnographic Museum. More than 50 000 museum objects (fabrics, embroideries, carpets, costumes, jewels, pottery, woodcarvings, wrought copper, ritual art, icons and musical instruments) are exposed in the museum, structured in 13 different collections.
Address: Sofia, “Kniaz Alexandar I” Sq. 1
Summer (March-October) – 10.00 – 18.00 (Monday closed)
Winter (November – February) – 10.00 – 17.00 (Monday closed)
Price Range: Adults: 3 BNG, Students: 1 BGN
Phone: +359 2 8052611
National Museum of Military History
The museum comprises 41000 square metres (441320 square feet) of exterior and 5000 square metres ( 53820 square feet) of interior exposition area. The exposition of the museum is designed in a thematic, chronological and collection plan. 28 000 exponents are displayed as a part of the one-millionth fund of the museum. An accent in the part that follows the development of the Bulgarian Army is its participation in the wars of national unification. The collection exhibition presents weapons, uniforms and insignia – the three oldest and richest collections of the museum.
Address: Sofia 1505, “Cherkovna” St. 2
Opening Hours: 10.00 – 18.00 (Monday and Tuesday closed)
Price Range: Adults: 8 BNG, Students: 2 BGN
Phone: +359 2 9461805
Sofia History Museum
The museum officially opened its permanent exhibition 2015 It is located in the former building of the Central Mineral Baths.The museum comprises of 8 different rooms which cover the period between 6th millennium BC up to 1940s. The rooms are as follows: Antiquity, The Strength of the Spirit, Links with European Dynasties, A Sofia Street, State and Municipal Institutions, Sofia Home and Clothing, Culture and Leisure. Additionally, there can be seen two more rooms for temporary exhibitions.
Address: Sofia 1000, “Banski” Sq. 1
Opening Hours: 10.00 – 18.00 (Monday closed)
Price Range: Adults: 6 BNG, Students: 2 BGN
Phone: +359 2 98544556
Location: 42.699340, 23.323488