So for our last day in Sofia, we decided to pay a visit at the National Archaeological Museum and took a stroll down the memory lane. It was one of the most informative 3 hours of my life as we refueled our history lessons starting from the prehistoric times all the way to the Middle Age period. If you love history, arts and a touch of mythology, you will surely enjoy strolling around this “treasure island”.
There’s also so much history revolving around the building where the museum currently stands. But to make the long story short, the museum replaces the oldest and the largest Grand Ottoman Mosque in Sofia which was built in 1451. Now, it holds over 450,000 treasures excavated not only from the Balkan Peninsula but artifacts from around the world.
The museum keeps these permanent collections in each of the main halls:
The Prehistory Hall contains artifacts discovered between 1,600,00 BC and 1,600 BC. Here, you’ll find tools and items used by the prehistoric people– from simple pots to weapons. If you want to see traces of first human activities, you’ll get a handful of this information here.
In this hall, you’ll find traces of different cultures which are discovered in the regions in Bulgaria. Artifacts representing the Roman, Thracian, Hellenistic, Byzantine, Ottoman and Bulgarian culture occupies the first floor of the hall.
Stones carved with scenes Column ornament
The Vault contains treasures with great historical significance. It is where you’ll find two of the most popular Bulgarian treasures. It includes treasures discovered from the late Bronze period.
Treasures with historical value
Middle Ages Hall
The Middle Ages Hall holds treasures from the Medieval period in Bulgaria. Here, you’ll find books, weapons woodwork, and drawings from this era.
a cross, a bible and a cup Medieval books and bibles
Tip: I understand if you’ll get fascinated with the drawings on the walls but please stay cautious of the sensors surrounding the artifacts. If you want to save yourself from the embarrassment of the ringing alarm, secure a safe distance from the artifacts.
Occasionally, the National Archaeological Museum in Sofia conducts exhibits to show-off special collections from all over the world. When I went there, they had the Gold and Bronze collection.
Thracian guy from the Gold and Bronze exhibit
Gold Crown with fancy ornament Golden laurel wreath
More gold items from the exhibit
Where is it located?
2 Saborna Str., 1000 Sofia
The National Archaeological Museum is just within the city center and a few walks from other historical and cultural sites in Sofia. It’s just a few corners away from the Bulgarian National Theater and the Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, two of the most popular sightseeing destinations in Sofia.
The museum is open on the following schedules:
November – April 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Everyday except Monday)
May – October 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM (Everyday)
How much is the entrance fee?
For only 10 BGN each, I was able to get in and toured around the museum for 3 hours. There’s no specific time in and time out so you’re free to roam around at your own pace.
Adults- 10 BGN
Students- 2 BGN
Students’ groups (more than 10 people) – 1 BGN per person
Family with children- 10 BGN
If you could spare some cash, you can also get the audio guide to give you a more detailed explanation as you walk through the artifacts in the museum. If the guided tour is too pricey for your pocket, the unguided tour also works. There are securities all over the place too so it would be best to be in your best attitude while inside.
Can I take photos inside the National Archaeological Museum?
Without a doubt, YES! This was the first question that we asked from the security once we were inside so I am very confident to say that taking pictures is perfectly fine.Taking pictures WITH Flash is not allowed, though.
So there you have it, folks! The National Archaeological Museum in Sofia simply proves that Bulgaria has a lot of historical value to offer. If this post made you interested to visit the museum, feel free to share it to your social media accounts. Been to this museum? Leave a comment on your experience below.