Let’s start by saying Sofia has a very interesting and long history. The capital of Bulgaria (and my sweet hometown) is inhabited since 7000 BC! In this post I present 4 cool attractions for all age groups that focus on Sofia and Bulgaria’s communist past. These are also appropriate for visiting with children, especially if they are above the toddler period. My 5-year-old enjoyed all places on the list and I hope you and your family like these experiences too!
The Red Flat
The Red Flat is one of my favorite museums in Sofia! As they put it, entering the Red Flat means travelling back in time to Communist Bulgaria of the 1980’s. By visiting the home of an average family you will discover what everyday life was like for ordinary Bulgarians during the Cold War. This is absolutely right because this place made me travel back to my childhood and reminded me of memories I didn’t know I remember… Like my grandpa’s radio. It was a really cool and emotional experience for me, plus it looked like the foreigners at the museum were learning a lot.
Tickets: 18 BGN/9 EUR per person
The Bells is a unique park that collects about 100 bells donated from around the world. It was constructed as a children’s park celebrating the world peace. One can immediately identify the socialism architecture seeing the design of the place. It is not very well-maintained, but still is a nice family fun experience. This one will be probably the most fun for toddlers to visit because visitors actually ring the bells as much as they want! I also included it on my list of 3 places in Sofia your kids will love.
The Museum of Socialist Art
The Museum of Socialist Art is an art museum that covers the history of the whole communist era in Bulgaria. It displays a collection of statues, busts, and paintings from the establishment of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria to the fall of communism (1944 to 1989). It is both an indoor and outdoor experience as most of the statues are exhibited in a park covering 7500 square meters.
Tickets: 6 BGN/3 EUR for adults, 3 BGN/1.5 EUR for children and students
National Palace of Culture
The National Palace of Culture in the city center of Sofia is one of the largest, multifunctional conference and exhibition centers in Southeast Europe. It was opened in 1981 in celebration of Bulgaria’s 1300th anniversary. If you are visiting Sofia you will most definitely find yourself somewhere around this location. To me, the architecture just “screams” communism! Actually, many Bulgarians consider it to be too communist and not modern at all. I have nothing against the building, to be honest. Plus, I have plenty of awesome memories coming to concerts and events here. The National Palace of Culture does not provide a museum experience like the rest of the attractions on the list, but is sure interesting to see, walk around and enter if there is an exhibition or some kind of a fair.
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If you are looking for only indoor places in Sofia to visit with kids, I got you covered! Have fun in Sofia! Here is what you need to know about Bulgarian cafeterias ; )