The largest state museum, opened in 2015 and funnily dubbed by some as the “Bulgarian Louvre”, is a lot like a maze in which you can get lost for hours thanks to its 28 exhibition halls, situated on four floors. Here you can see two out of more than forty thousand Bulgarian and foreign artworks, collected over the last 120 years by the state.
1, 19 February Str. — Tue-Sun 10:00-17:30
Sofia City Art Gallery
Quite possibly the most active gallery in the city where you can always catch a strong exhibition of contemporary Bulgarian art. It has a collection of 8000+ artworks and specialises in several key areas - painting, sculpture, graphics, photography and contemporary art. Some of the sculptures in the gallery’s collection are located in the park right next to the venue.
1, Gurko Str. — Tue-Sun 10:00-19:00
Sofia History Museum
The Museum of Sofia's History was built in Banski Sq. back in 1928 but the building was destroyed during the bombing of Sofia in World War II. In 1998 the Municipality of Sofia decided to transform one of Sofia's most beautiful buildings — The Central Bath, which had been closed to the public since 1986. The Rules of the Museum read: 'Collect, study and keep those objects of Sofia's material culture, which already have or will have a bearing on the history of the town'.
#soSofia tip: Outside the old baths' building you can taste e real mineral water from the Sofia springs.
State-owned Sofia Arsenal - Museum of Contemporary Art is dedicated to contemporary Bulgarian art in all its forms - painting, photography, modern print, audio visual installations and screenings. The museum boasts cool exhibit halls, a sculpture park on its grounds and ambitious plans to expand its exhibition spaces. The exhibitions are selected to reflect the "semantic layers of various cultures and aeons" and interpret them in a new way.
#soSofia tip: You can combine an exhibition visit with a walk in one of the most beautiful parks situated behind the gallery.
2, Cherni Vrah Blvd. — Tue-Sun 10:00-18:00
The newest contemporary art gallery in town that showcase different exhibitions, lectures and performances. Structure Gallery supports the art scene through local and international projects and deals with opening new artistic positions, identifying artistic movements and assessing the development of artists.
#soSofia tip: Structure Gallery provides professional advice on choosing art.
9, Kuzman Shapkarev, Str. — Tue-Sat 12:00-19:00
One of the main exhibition halls of the Union of Bulgarian Artists is among the most popular places for contemporary art in Sofia with more than 330 sq m of space for great artworks. Unlike many other galleries in Sofia, it has been located in the same building on Rakovski street for more than 70 years.
125, Georgi Rakovski Str. — Tue-Sat 11:00-19:00
National Art Gallery
The impressive culture institution is part of the state muzeum complex, which keeps a large part of the artistic heritage of Bulgaria, and today it welcomes some of the most significant and interesting guest exhibitions in the city. It divides the emblematic building of the former royal palace with the National Ethnographic Museum, where you can see interesting artefacts from the history of Bulgaria. Located opposite the beautiful park of the National Theatre, and just across the square that housed the mausoleum with the remains of former communist leader Georgi Dimitrov just a few decades ago.
#soSofia tip: Take a look at the gift shop, it's a bit of an old school one, but you can find some trasures there.
1, Knyaz Alexander I Sq. — Tue-Sat 10:00-18:00
National Palace Of Culture
The heavy artillery of Sofia’s cultural life. Opened in 1981, the massive building became the largest cultural and convention center in the country. The National Palace of Culture is valuable not only for its architectural heritage and beautiful adjacent park, occupied by skaters, youngsters and old citizens, but also for its current hospitality for important cultural events, such as Kinomania and Sofia Film Fest movie festivals. There are many concert and theatre spaces and a new National book centre with a 24/7 bookstore and bar, and in 2018 this building welcomed the Bulgarian presidency of the European Union.
#soSofia tip: In case there is no exhibition happening right now, you can take a coffee or a book from the non-stop book shop "Peroto". Oh, and the building is worth seeing by itself.
1, Bulgaria Sq. — Mon-Sun 10:00-20:00
The space on the last floor of an aristocratic building from 1939 is basically a multi-room apartment with vast balconies and a rooftop with a swimming pool and an amazing view аbove all the city centre landmarks. The gallery hosts exhibition and organizes resident artists programs with local and international participants. It’s highly recommended to stumble upon one of the many artistic and curatorial projects, readings, screenings and performances planned there and the place is a must because the incredible view above the city.
#soSofia tip: First check the website as Swimming Pool works only during events and exhibitions.
Credo Bonum Foundation runs its own gallery, opened at the end of 2003. For these years the dynamic switching of expositions and the alternation of classical and modern forms have brought the space recognition as an autonomous authority. Having accumulated a history of almost 100 exhibitions, the Gallery aimed to become a new space that seeks to arouse the interest of the general public in different forms of art by staging offbeat exhibitions and offering educational opportunities.
2, Slavyanska Str. (entrance form Benkovsky Str.) — Mon-Sun 11:00-19:00
INTRO Gallery aims to introduce a new beginning in the presentation of young, contemporary Bulgarian authors and already established ones. INTRO is the place in Sofia for modern, urban art seeking collaborating of all sorts and organising different events in the sphere of culture and art.
32, Tsar Samuil Str. — Tue-Sat 11:00-19:00