Sofia itself is an interesting place to see. The capital of Bulgaria has a lot of history, beautiful architecture, art, green parks and different kind of activities to offer.

But Bulgaria is so much more than Sofia, and there are so many places worth visiting…

So if you happen to be in Sofia for longer, and have day or two to explore the surrounding areas, Owl Over The World present you with the 8 best day trip ideas…

Day Trips From Sofia: Visit These Top Destinations To Make The Most Of Your Trip To Bulgaria

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Looking for the best day trips from Sofia? Visit these top destinations, full of nature, history & architecture to make the most of your trip to Bulgaria! Click through to read now...

8. Plovdiv

Plovdiv is Europe’s oldest inhabited city, and one of my favourites. The city has some kind of special, amazing atmosphere and is buzzing.

It’s famous for its six syenite hills (called tepeta), the old town, the Ancient Theatre, narrow streets, and historical houses.

The distance between Sofia and Plovdiv is 130km, and just an hour and a half drive away.

Plovdiv is the perfect destination and one of the best day trips from Sofia. The top things you can do there include:

  • Taking a walk through the Old town
  • Visiting the Ancient Theatre
  • Climbing up one of the tepetas
  • Exploring Kapana (a famous district, well known for its art soul)
  • and feeling ailyak

Maybe now you’re going to ask yourself what the hell ailyak is. Well, you will see when you get there ;).

How to get there:

You can take the bus or train from Sofia, both leave pretty often, almost every 30min.

The journey will take between 1.5-2 hours. If you travel by car just take the Trakia highway to Plovdiv, and you’ll be there in no time.

Plovdiv - Best day trips from Sofia Bulgaria

7. Koprivshtitsa

Koprivshtitsa is a small, historical town in Sofia Province. The town is lying on the Topolitsa river among the Sredna Gora Mountain.

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Koprivshtitsa - Best day trips from Sofia BulgariaIt’s known for its authentic Bulgarian architecture and for its folk music festivals. The town was one of the center’s of the April Uprising in 1876. Nowadays Koprivshtitsa is a popular tourist destination and another perfect getaway.

You can take a walk through the narrow streets, exploring the numerous museums and memorial houses on the way.

How to get there:

The best way to get to Koprivshtitsa is by car, the distance is 110 km.

The second option is taking a bus from Sofia Central Station, there are a couple of buses a day going from Sofia to Koprivshtitsa.

6. Seven Rila Lakes

This place is a must! One of the most beautiful places in Bulgaria, and its just 90km away from Sofia…

So if you’re looking for the best day trips from Sofia, look no further than the Seven Rila Lakes.

The lakes are a group of 7 glacier lakes situated at different altitudes between 2,100m and 2,500m elevation above sea level.

Seven Rila Lakes are one of the main tourist destinations in the country and they are also part of the one hundred National Tourist Sites.

The most common time to visit the lakes is during the months of July & August…

But because of the hundreds of people who visit them, I would recommend visiting at the end of May and beginning of June or at the end of September and beginning of October.

How to get there:

Again the best way to get to the lakes is by car if possible.

The other way to get there is by bus. From Sofia, you have to take a bus to Dupnitsa and from there another one to Sapareva Bania…

From there look for a shuttle to Panichishte, or grab a taxi. You can then take the lift to Rila Lakes hut and start your hike.

Rila Lakes - Best day trips from Sofia Bulgaria

5. Belogradchik

Belogradchik is a small town in the northwest part of Bulgaria. It’s one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the country.

The Belogradchik Rocks are a major tourist attraction, along with the town of Belogradchik and the Belogradchik Fortress.

The rocks are a group of strange shaped sandstone and conglomerate rock formations. Many of them have fantastic shapes and are associated with interesting legends. They have been declared as a Natural Landmark by the Bulgarian government.

Near the town of Belogradchik, situated close to the village of Rabisha, is the Magurata cave…

Magurata is one of the largest and most beautiful caves in the country. The cave is 15 million years old, and in one of the halls prehistoric paintings were discovered.

How to get there:

The most convenient way is to travel by car. There are buses but they don’t leave very often, so it may mean that you’ll have to spend a night in Belogradchik.

Belogradchi - Best day trips from Sofia Bulgaria

4. Asen’s Fortress

Asen’s Fortress is a medieval fortress in the Bulgarian Rhodope Mountains…

It is situated 3km away from the town of Asenovgrad, on a high rock ridge on the left bank of the Asenitsa river. The fortress rises 279m above sea level.

Don’t forget to try some local cuisine from the region. Rhodopes kitchen is amazing.

How to get there:

Like always, the best way to get there is by car.

From Sofia, there are a few buses going to Asenovgrad every day…

Usually, the bus stops in the center of the city, but you may ask the driver to drop you off at the beginning of the road to the fortress.

Asen's Fortress - Best day trips from Sofia Bulgaria

3. Prohodna cave

The Prohodna cave is located near the village of Karlukovo, in the Lovech Province.

It’s a karst cave, and it’s well known for the two eye-like holes in its ceiling, aka The Eyes of God.

Prohodna cave is a popular destination for climbers, and from the grand entrance of the cave, you can also bungee jump.

How to get there:

The distance from Sofia to Prohodna cave is 120km. You can take the bus from Sofia to Lukovit, and then another bus to Karlukovo.

There are also several trains passing through the village of Karlukovo.

Prohodna Cave - Best day trips from Sofia Bulgaria

2. Krushuna waterfalls

The Krushuna waterfalls are the biggest water cascade in the country. They are located near the village of Krushuna, Lovech Province.

The landscape that the waterfalls provide is stunning, making this one of the top day trips from Sofia.

How to get there:

Buses from Sofia to Lovech depart a couple of times per day every day.

To get to the waterfalls from Lovech you need to take a different bus to Krushuna. There is one at 1:00pm and another at 5:00pm every day.

Krushuna Waterfalls - Best day trips from Sofia Bulgaria

1. Musala

Musala is the highest peak in Rila, Bulgaria, and the Balkans.

Climbing to the top of the mountain is perfect one day getaway from Sofia. The mountain offers incredible views and and the hike itself is not very hard so don’t hesitate least to try…

The worst scenario is to stop before you reach the top, but still, take a walk in the beautiful nature. It’s a win-win situation in both cases.

How to get there:

Traveling by car follow the road from Sofia – Panchareevo – Samokov –Borovets.

To get there by bus, take one from Sofia South Station, there is a bus every 30min.

The bus is going to take you to Samokov and from there you need to take a shuttle to Borovets and get ready to start your hike.

You can either start your hike from Borovets or take the lift and start it from Yastrebets hut.

The journey from Sofia to Borovets takes no more than 2 hours (if you have to wait for the shuttle, they are also every 30 min).

Musala - Best day trips from Sofia Bulgaria

Sofia, Bulgaria Travel Resources

Sofia Accommodation:

To start looking at your accommodation options in Sofia, choose Hotels Combined for hotels or Airbnb for local apartments and homes (and receive a good discount!).

Want stylish accommodation you can afford? Enter your dates and Hotels Combined will scan all the top booking sites (Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, etc) for the cheapest hotel prices possible:

Bulgaria Flights:

If you are flying to Bulgaria, it is beneficial to use a flight compare site to find the cheapest flights. We recommend and use Cheapflights.com.

–> Click here to compare and book cheap flights to Bulgaria


Your turn!

Are you planning your day trips from Sofia and have some questions about some of the destinations listed here? Or perhaps you’ve been to Bulgaria and know of some more amazing day trips to add! Leave your questions and thoughts below and lets get a conversation started!



6 COMMENTS

  1. It’s always a bit frustration when a good day trip isn’t the easiest to get to, like buses changes and taxis. But the Seven Rila Lakes look ABSOLUTELY worth the effort, or even renting a car for the day!

  2. Bulgaria is in my list of places to visit. Your post has broadened my horizon of places to target there.
    Caves, mountains, lakes… all kinds of experiences possible, that is really very good. Plovdiv makes me very curious.

  3. This actually kind of makes me sad! Sofia was our last trip while living in Europe, but due to time constraints could only do a short weekend. Especially after seeing this I would we could have had more time to explore the surrounding areas!!

  4. I’m so excited to read this post. Eastern Europe and Bulgaria is on our travel radar for late 2017/2018. How is the food though? Can’t wait to explore nature and the gorgeous waterfalls soon!! Thanks for the introduction to what’s available in Sophia. Great read!

  5. I really enjoy reading posts about day trips. Often times when I travel (especially in Europe), I base myself in bigger cities and then go traveling around the area on day trips. Sofia is definitely on my list so I’m bookmarking for the future. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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