Vitosha Boulevard (Vitoshka)
There’s no charge to visit Vitosha Boulevard, and most visitors to Sofia will find themselves strolling along the street at one time or another, typically independently. Some tours of Communist-era Sofia visit here, for landmarks including TSUM, the former Communist Party headquarters, and the National Palace of Culture. More-historic tours may stop at the colonnaded Sofia Court House or the 19th-century St. Nedelya Cathedral. For most visitors, the shops in the side streets are going to be more interesting than the main stores.
Things to Know Before You Go
Vitosha Boulevard is worth a look for anyone exploring Sofia’s historic center.
The Bulgarian lev (BGN) is pegged to the euro, so shopping will be a good value when the euro is weak and less of a value when it’s strong.
As it’s pedestrianized in places, Vitosha Boulevard is one of Sofia’s more wheelchair-friendly streets.
How to Get There
Vitosha Boulevard is located right in the heart of downtown Sofia, running south from St. Nedelya Cathedral to South Park, and the stretch between Alabin Street and Patriarch Evtimiy Boulevard is pedestrianized. Vitosha Boulevard is an easy walk from much Sofia city center accommodation, but if you’re traveling by metro the best stops are Serdika and NDK.
When to Get There
Like so many shopping and dining streets, Vitosha Boulevard is at its liveliest on weekends. If people-watching is your thing, that’s the time to visit, particularly on warm days when the open-air cafés fill up. Almost all stores are open on Sundays, though hours are typically a little shorter than midweek.
Vitosha Boulevard What’s in a Name?
Vitosha Boulevard takes its name from Mt. Vitosha, the great slab of mountain that dominates Sofia’s low-rise skyline and is home to an ever-popular national park. After Bulgarians freed themselves from Ottoman rule in 1883, they gave the street the name Vitosha Street. Many of its most striking structures were built between the two world wars.
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- Ivan Vazov National Theatre
- Sofia National Archaeological Museum
- Sofia Church of St. George (St. George Rotunda)
- Monument to the Soviet Army
- Sofia National Gallery
- Amphitheater of Serdica
- Central Sofia Market Hall (Halite)
- Sofia Synagogue
- Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
- Sofia National Gallery (Kvadrat 500)
- St. Sofia Church
- Bulgarian National Museum of Military History
- Museum of Socialist Art
- Sofia National History Museum
- Boyana Church