An Art Lover's Guide to Sofia in 24 Hours

Sofia | © NakNakNak/Pixabay
Sofia | © NakNakNak/Pixabay
Photo of Maria Angelova
30 January 2018

If you want to soak up all the art in Sofia in only 24 hours, so you have the rest of the time for day trips from Sofia, you can do it. We have picked the best art attractions in the city that you can see in a day – without rushing and including stops for refueling at food venues that have an artsy vibe.

Must-visit galleries

Kvadrat 500

Kvadrat 500 is a branch of the National Art Gallery where Bulgarian and foreign art is presented in a recently renovated building. The venue has more than 1,000 works of art exhibited on four floors. If you want a more in-depth look into Bulgarian art, you can also visit the National Art Gallery itself.

Insider tip: On Thursdays, the ticket for Kvadrat 500 Gallery costs 2 BGN (€1) instead of 10 BGN (€5). It’s open from 10 am to 6 pm on Thursdays.

Paris Gallery

If you want to immerse yourself in Sofia’s art world, head to Tsar Samuil Street or as it’s nicknamed, the Street of Galleries. One of the most prominent places to stop by is Paris Gallery. The art venue focuses on contemporary Bulgarian artists whose creations are in the field of figurative art and naïve art.

NEVENA :: "The old commode", 30/24, mixed media on canvas

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Synthesis Gallery

Synthesis Gallery is the home of photography in Sofia. Located on the central Vasil Levski Boulevard, it shows the contemporary face of Bulgarian photography. The venue is a hub for professionals, amateurs, and admirers with exhibitions, photo courses, and public lectures taking place there. There is a cozy, luminous café next to the gallery where you can mix with the local photo society.

Art cafés

Dada Cultural Bar

Dada Cultural Bar is a cultural hub where miscellaneous events take place almost daily – book presentations, independent movie screenings, live concerts, etc. The club is small and it has its own particular ambiance with records hanging on the wall. If you need to freshen up with a beer, why not try one of the Bulgarian craft beers from its menu?

Insider tip: If there is a special event the night you plan to visit the bar, it’s a good idea to make a reservation through its Facebook page, because the place is small.


Rosso is the first painting bar in Sofia where you don’t go to admire art but rather to create it while enjoying a glass of wine. The bar has a different painting topic every night, so look through its program and find your inspiration.

Street Art Tour

Join the free Sofia Graffiti Tour to explore the other side of the coin. The knowledgeable guides will not only take you around impressive pieces of art scattered around the city, but for two hours you will see the street art movements, the recent history of Sofia and, eventually, be able to see the big picture in context.

Street art in Sofia | © stefan_kostov/Pixabay

Art-related restaurants


The perfect ending of an art-filled day in the streets of Sofia is at MOMA Restaurant. The venue is inspired by the Bulgarian folk motifs, embroidery, and traditions, which have been incorporated into the artsy interior in a stylish and truly impressive way. The menu has been designed to walk you through most of the typical Bulgarian dishes.

Checkpoint Charly Jazz Restaurant

Checkpoint Charly is a place with an artistic vibe where your dinner will be complemented by jazz music. The menu offers traditional Bulgarian treats, European classics, and a few Asian dishes. If the old-time atmosphere gets you in the right mood, why not flip through the pages of an old newspaper?

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