A Couple Days in Sofia

It’s funny how some countries and cities just seem to stick in your mind as a place you have to visit. For years, Sofia has been one of those places for me. I can’t really explain it. I don’t have any rationale to the reason why the idea of visiting Sofia has held such appeal, or value to me. In fact, before arriving in Sofia, I had no idea what to expect. I knew nothing about Sofia except that it was the capital of Bulgaria, and that it was home to one of the most interesting cathedrals in all of Europe.

I think it’s safe to say that I expected to love Sofia, and that’s probably not fair. But, after a couple days in the city attempting to shoot but being thwarted by rain, construction, and a lack to subjects that really interested me, I think I left the city feeling, maybe not let down, but certainly not gushing with praise or lust to return.

On my last day in Sofia, I went into an awesome camera store to buy a couple things for my filter kit. I talked photography for a bit with the staff, and they all said the same thing to me – next time, you have to go out and explore the nature rather than the city. So, I suppose, I really shouldn’t just a place until I give it the full shake.

Sofia, Bulgaria

Pedestrian walk in Sofia

Photos from Sofia

My main photography goal for photography in Sofia was the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. I hit it up on my first morning as it was the only day where the weather was meant to be decent during my stay. I was impressed. I got some cool images on my shoot at the cathedral. But then, it all kind of went downhill. I spent a full day and a half location scouting and basically anywhere that I thought would make a cool photo was under construction or restoration.

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

My favourite image from Sofia.

Sofia, Bulgaria

Morning traffic.

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Details of Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Sofia, Bulgaria

Mountains behind Sofia

The National Palace of Culture

The National Palace of Culture

Sofia, Bulgaria

A local enjoys the park in Sofia.

Would I Go Back to Sofia?

Yeah, absolutely! I actually dug the vibe of Sofia. It felt very raw and gritty. From a photography standpoint it wasn’t the most fascinating place in the world. But I would like to go back. I’ve also been told by a number of people that Plovdiv, Bulgaria is actually a brilliant city for photography. So, maybe on a trip towards Turkey I’ll stop in again.

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral at dawn

What’s Next on the Travel Photography Blog?

I’m well behind on these blog posts, as you likely know if you follow me on snapchat or instagram. But, after Sofia I caught a quick flight to Athens. I spent a couple days location scouting and shooting in Athens, and then went up to Meteora where I was putting together a photography guide for Fripito. Those are the next two articles coming up on my travel photography blog. Stay tuned.

Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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1 Comment

  1. You’re probably the first person I know who was kind of dreaming to go to Sofia so I understand the disappointment. I’ve been there twice and during my last visit I finally saw the cool side of the city. It actually has a lot to offer but on the surface it might look like one of the most boring capitals in Europe. I hope you will have a chance to return soon to discover some more of Sofia!

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