If you are visiting Sofia and want to know some of the best Instagram and Photography spots then keep reading. In this post you’ll find the best spots I found, including a link to the spot on Google Maps, whether the location is free or not and the best time to take pictures.

Here are some of the best and must visit Instagram and photography spots in Sofia.

1. Regional History Museum of Sofia‎

The Regional History Museum of Sofia is often said to be one of the most beautiful buildings in the city. The building was a former bath and now a museum. It makes for great Instagram and photography shots and you’ll find nice patterned stonework in front of the building, as well as various trees that you could use to frame your shot.

Best time for pics: Day
Cost: Free
Location: View on Google Maps

Regional History Museum Of Sofia‎ during the spring
Regional History Museum Of Sofia‎ during the spring

2. ‎AVO Language and Examination Center with trams

A photogenic building towards the east of the city is the AVO Language and Examination Center. To take some ultra cool pics I’d recommend taking a long exposure during the day using an SLR and ND filter to get some blurred trams. I travelled with my smaller Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II during this trip so wasn’t able to try that, but good luck and leave a comment with a link to your post on Instagram if it works!

Best time for pics: Day/Sunset
Cost: Free
Location: View on Google Maps

AVO Language and Examination Center with trams in Sofia
AVO Language and Examination Center with trams in Sofia

3. ‎Ivan Vazov National Theatre

One of my favourite buildings in the city is the Ivan Vazov National Theatre. The building was designed by Viennese architects and is named after one of Bulgaria’s most famous writers, Ivan Vazov. In front, you’ll find a patterned pavement which is great for framing your image, with lines leading towards the building.

There is also a fountain (which is behind me in the pic below), but this wasn’t turned on during my visit. I expect during the summer this would be on and if it lights up it may look good in the blue hour. You could also try taking pictures using an ND filter during the day to get nice smooth water.

Best time for pics: Sunrise, Day, Blue hour
Cost: Free
Location: View on Google Maps

Ivan Vazov National Theatre at sunrise
Ivan Vazov National Theatre at sunrise

4. ‎Russian Church “Sveti Nikolay Mirlikiiski”

The Russian Church is very pretty but definitely not the easiest to photograph. Consider using flowers to the side such as below, or taking pictures from the front is also quite nice.

Best time for pics: Anytime
Cost: Free
Location: View on Google Maps

Russian Church in Sofia during the day in the spring
Russian Church in Sofia during the day in the spring
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5. Cathedral Saint Alexandar Nevski

Cathedral Saint Alexandar Nevski is the most famous and recognisable landmark in the city. It has been built in a Neo-Byzantine style with materials from all around the world, such as doors from Germany, windows from Austria and mosaics from Brazil. You can get pretty awesome views of the Cathedral on all directions. Including the roads leading towards it (first image in this post), and if there’s been rain you may get reflections in the puddles such as seen below.

Best time for pics: Sunrise/Sunset/Blue Hour
Cost: Exterior Free, the inside is 10 BGN to take photographs
Location: View on Google Maps

Cathedral Saint Alexandar Nevski and colourful sunrise reflections
Cathedral Saint Alexandar Nevski and colourful sunrise reflections

6. ‎Lion’s Bridge

The Lion’s Bridge is a great place to watch trams going past. For some nice high perspectives, I recommend staying in the Hotel Lion (where I stayed). It was cheap and really nice. It’s also right next to the subway so easy to get to from the airport.

Best time for pics: Day
Cost: Free from ground or room price from the hotel
Location: View on Google Maps

View towards Lion Bridge in Sofia from Hotel Lion
View towards Lion Bridge in Sofia from Hotel Lion

7. Largo

The Largo is a spot in Sofia which has some really impressive and grand architecture built in a Socialist Classicism or Stalinist style. In the image below you’ll see the former Party House which used to be the headquarters of the Bulgarian communist party (which no longer exists). On the left is the TZUM department store and on the right are government offices, including that of the president.

Best time for pics: Anytime.
Cost: Free
Location: View on Google Maps

Ther Former Party House at the Largo in Sofia at sunrise
Ther Former Party House at the Largo in Sofia at sunrise

8. ‎Ancient Serdica Ruins and Banya Bashi

These ruins are from the ancient Roman city of Serdica and were discovered whilst the city was building the subway. Taking pictures of these or the Banya Bashi Mosque (seen in the distance) isn’t easy to photograph, but you should definitely get some snaps before you leave. Even if the pics aren’t great for Instagram.

Best time for pics: Anytime
Cost: Free
Location: View on Google Maps

Serdica Ruins towards Banya Bashi
Serdica Ruins towards Banya Bashi

9. ‎The View Restaurant

The view restaurant provides probably the highest views over the city. It makes for a great place to dine whilst enjoying panoramic views. You could come up here during the day, but if you have enough days consider coming up for sunset to get awesome shots of the skyline.

Best time for pics: Day/ Sunset
Cost: Meal or drink
Location: View on Google Maps

Views from The View Restaurant
Views from The View Restaurant

10. ‎Church St. George Rotunda

Nestled in a courtyard by the presidential building is the Church St. George Rotunda. This is the oldest church in the city and built around the 3rd-4th century. In the foreground below are Roman ruins and you could come here for Instagram and photography shots anytime.

Best time for pics: Anytime
Cost: Free
Location: View on Google Maps

Church St. George Rotunda during the blue hour
Church St. George Rotunda during the blue hour

11. Towards Vitosha mountain from Banya Bashi

Surrounding the city you’ll see lots of mountains including the Vitosha mountain. These mountains aren’t that easy to capture, but I think a nice perspective was up the road next to the Banya Bashi Mosque. Here you’ll have the street with the Cathedral Church Sveta Nedelya and mountains in the background. You could also add a tram to make the picture a little more interesting.

Best time for pics: Sunrise/Day
Cost: Free
Location: View on Google Maps

View towards towards Vitosha mountain from Banya Bashi
View towards Vitosha mountain from Banya Bashi

12. ‎Towards Cathedral Church Sveta Nedelya

On the opposite side near the Sofia City Court is another good spot for taking pictures of trams. Here you can get some shots with the Cathedral Church Sveta Nedelya in the distance and tram tracks leading to it. You may even get two trams. I didn’t have time during my visit but this might be a good spot for sunset and blue hour. If you try and it looks good to leave a comment with a link to your Instagram pic.

Best time for pics: Day/ Possibly sunset and blue hour
Cost: Free
Location: View on Google Maps

Cathedral Church Sveta Nedelya and a tram
Cathedral Church Sveta Nedelya and a tram

13. ‎National Palace of Culture

I have mixed feelings about the National Palace of Culture, but I don’t think I saw it at it’s best. In front of the building is a huge and very long water feature which wasn’t switched on during my visit (end of winter). I have seen pics when it is though and it looks pretty good. Also when the building lights up at night it also looks pretty cool. I didn’t have time during my visit to make it during this time hence a day shot below.

Best time for pics: Blue Hour (not as per my shot)
Cost: Free
Location: View on Google Maps

National Palace of Culture during the day in the spring
National Palace of Culture during the day in the spring

14. Statue of Sveta Sofia

This beautiful and impressive statue of Sveta Sofia is really nice and considered a little erotic. The owl in her left hand is to symbolize wisdom, the crown is power, and the wreath is fame. I’m not sure this would make a good Instagram photograph but it’s still nice to see and capture.

Best time for pics: Anytime
Cost: Free
Location: View on Google Maps

Statue of Sveta Sofia during the day
Statue of Sveta Sofia during the day

Other ideas

Here are a few other ideas that I didn’t have a chance to do, or get any good pics.

Vitosha Mountain – Some locals who live in Sofia recommended I head up the Vitosha mountain. It would be a great spot for views and taking pictures of the skyline. I don’t think you’d get the best Instagram pics though as the pic may look too busy.

Temple Sveta Sofia – It would be rude for me to leave this one out as the city was named after this church. It’s not particularly easy to photograph for Instagram but definitely worth giving a go.

Rila Monastery – Around an hour thirty from the city is the Rila Monastery, which is beautiful and highly rated. It’s definitely worth checking out if you have time.

Photography Tips for Sofia

Here are some photography tips for the city.

  • Head to Cathedral Saint Alexandar Nevski for sunrise and you may get some beautiful colours behind it
  • Use a tripod for night photography
  • Try and use local elements such as trams to make your picture more interesting
  • Frame your shots using flowers, trees and other foliage to enhance your composition
  • Use an ND filter for long exposures during the day with the trams

Head to my post Ultimate Tips for Travel Photography for lots more tips.

Summary

Do you know any other good Instagram and photography spots in Sofia? Please leave a comment below.

Need a place to stay in Sofia?

Book one of my recommended hotels below or find a deal on Booking.com:

Recommended guest house: 5 Vintage Guest House – A beautiful guest house in a very central location in the middle of the city.
Recommended hotel: Hotel Lion – I stayed in this hotel and loved it. It’s been designed with a modern and classy style and is in a great location next to a subway stop and a short walk from the Central Bus Station.



Booking.com

Other posts you may like:

Tips for Taking Pictures of Cities

More posts on Instagram and Photography Spots
More posts on Travel Photography

Other posts on Sofia
Other posts on Bulgaria

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