Today we will all be going on a deep dive into art in Sofia and our opening section will fully cover the best art galleries and museums near you.
After that we will get into a variety of other topics like local art supply stores, events, festivals, dealers, appraisers, walking tours, sculptures and statues, art classes, studios for rent, and the top frame shops in your area.
If you are after any specific section you can jump straight to it using the table of contents on the left and we are also including a Sofia art map with all of the various places we mention throughout the post pinned on it.
If you are curious check out our other posts on Art in Europe right there.
Best Art Galleries & Museums In Sofia
If you want to visit the best art galleries and museums in Sofia you can go to:
- National Gallery at St Alexander Nevsky Sq 1
- Museum For Contemporary Art at 2 Cherni Vryh Blvd
- Absinthe Aquarelle Gallery at 37 Tsar Samuil St
- Sofia City Art Gallery at 1 Gen Gurko St
- Paris Gallery at 47 Tsar Samuil St
- Museum Of Socialist Art at 7 Lazar Stanchev St
- Terra Art Gallery at 45 Tsar Samuil St
- National Academy Of Art Sofia at 1 Shipka St
- Debut Gallery at 62 Vasil Levski Blvd
- Structura Gallery at ul. Kuzman Shapkarev 9
- Art Gallery Maestro at Tzar Samuil 37
- Galeriya Muzey Klasika at 32 Venelin St
The National Gallery is open from 10am to 6pm most days and until 9pm on Friday after being originally founded in 1948 and it is Bulgaria’s largest art museum housing approximately 41,000 paintings, sculptures, graphics, decorative, and modern works of art. It has the most comprehensive collection of Christian art from Bulgarian countries (4th–19th centuries) as well as exemplars of European art (15th–20th centuries) and one-of-a-kind works from Asia, Africa, and America.
At the Museum of Contemporary Art their program has held approximately a hundred events from 2011 until now and you can see their current exhibits from 10am to 6pm Thursday through Sunday.
On October 26, 2012 the Absinthe Aquarelle Gallery opened its doors and it is Bulgaria’s first and only gallery dedicated to watercolor paintings. They host both individual and group exhibits showcasing the work of some of Bulgaria’s greatest artists from both the older and younger generations that you can check out from 10am to 7pm Monday through Friday and until 6pm on weekends.
Sofia Art Gallery is open from 10am to 7pm Tuesday through Saturday and 11am to 6pm on Sunday and has established itself as a vital cultural hub in the capital. The museum includes four departments being painting, sculpture, graphics, contemporary art, and photography with over 8,000 pieces by Bulgarian artists from the late 1800’s to the present and some of the sculptures are displayed in the City Garden in the open.
Contemporary artists working in the fields of figurative and naïve art, magical realism, and hyperrealism are represented at Paris Gallery which was founded by the family of Boris and Nadia Pavlovi in April 2003. Head over from 11:30am to 6:30pm Monday through Friday and until 2pm on Saturday to see all that they have to offer.
The Museum of Socialist Art is open from 10am to 6pm Tuesday through Sunday dedicated to the history of Bulgaria’s communist era after beginning on September 19, 2011 after a debate over the name which had been proposed as Museum of Totalitarian Art. From the creation of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria to the fall of communism the museum’s collection of large and small statues, busts, and paintings spans the years 1944 to 1989.
Beginning with the State Drawing School in 1896 The National Academy Of Art is one of the country’s oldest collections of works of art housing some of the greatest examples of works by local Bulgarian painters who trained at the Academy during the previous 180 years. More than 14,000 pieces including paintings, graphics, sculpture, drawings, woodcarving, pottery, textiles, metal, and archives can be found.
Both debuting and veteran authors are supported by the Debut Gallery which helps to preserve the development and link between generations while serving as a gathering point for fascinating creative phenomena and assisting young Bulgarian writers in their professional and creative development.
Structura Gallery is open from 2pm to 7pm Tuesday through Saturday and is a great place to see contemporary art in your area as they support all kinds of regional and international projects. Structura also hosts numerous events and exhibitions throughout the year so there is always something new to check out.
One of Sofia’s most prestigious galleries is Maestro which is open from 11am to 7pm Monday through Friday and noon to 5pm on Saturday and who presents solo and group exhibitions of paintings, iconography, graphics, sculpture, and multimedia projects as well as Bulgarian works of a high aesthetic level.
Galeriya Muzey Klasika gives access to people with the best of art in an informal setting from 10:30am to 6:30pm Monday through Friday and 9am to 6:30pm on Saturday. The cafe has its own monthly cultural program of events which are announced on various cultural sites and media as well as on a news stand in the cafe itself.
Materials & Supplies Near You
New materials or supplies can be purchased at art stores in your area like:
- Slanchogled at 11-13 Ivan Vazov St
- Art Shop Hermitage at 6 Trapezitsa St
- M Arti at 17A Vrabcha St
- Impression Shop at 26 Krakra St
- Em Art at 8 George Washington St
- Kobalt at 6 Shipka St
- Hobby Art at 52 Kosta Lulchev St
Slanchogled has been a family-owned business since 1995 and is a well-known Bulgarian store that sells arts and crafts products.
If you are looking for extensive expertise in the Bulgarian art, hobby, and craft markets visit Art Shop Hermitage who can now offer you a large selection of over 15,000 goods to satisfy your every creative need. From colored pencils for the youngest painters through paints and canvases to professional easels and gallery equipment for experts they have everything you need.
M-Arti Vimp is an artistic and hobby materials manufacturer, importer, and supplier who sells a wide selection of materials for artists and picture frames near you.
Expect to find a wide range of supplies for kids, students, hobbyists, and professional artists at Impression Shop who is also the sole Bulgarian agent of the German brand Marabu and who also provides the whole art and graphic line by Faber-Castell.
Kobalt sells high-quality professional art tools.
Hobby Art became a new path in ITT Bulgaria EOOD’s activities in 2012 and their primary goal is to provide a consistent and dependable supply of materials for creative endeavors across the country.
Shows & Events
Many of the top art shows, festivals, and events in Bulgaria can be found right here like:
Art Fest produces and distributes art and has also been producing the Sofia International Film Festival, Bulgaria’s largest film festival, since 1997. The Sofia Meetings co-production market has been a major feature of the festival since 2004.
In 2011 the Amateras Foundation founded the Sofia Paper Art Fest which has left a significant impression on the cultural calendar in its nine-year history showcasing tens of shows and over 3,000 artists from 62 countries.
The National Academy of Art (NAA) hosts the Digital Art Festival (DA Fest) which is an international festival that showcases digital arts including video, interactive performance and installation, net art, sound art, robotics and generative systems, and other interdisciplinary forms to a Bulgarian audience. The event has been conducted bi-annually after starting off in 2009 as an annual event.
Art Dealers & Appraisers
Art dealers and appraisers are where you can encounter new unique works or learn the value of something you already own:
Palitra Gallery opened its doors in 2005 and has a central location downtown.
Paris from our best galleries near you list also sells art.
The Sofia Graffiti Tour at Ul Trapezitsa was the first to arrange excursions dedicated to the local street art and graffiti culture which began in 2016. Since then they’ve brought hundreds of visitors to the city’s secret corners to learn about urban art, hear its tales, and immerse themselves in the graffiti subculture.
Sculptures & Statues
These statues and sculptures can also be fun to check out:
- Saint Sofia Monument at Pl Sveta Nedelya
- Aleko Konstantinov Statue at Bul Vitosha 69
- Monument of Tsar Samuil at Ul Oborishte 4
- Taras Shevchenko Monument at Pl Vazrazhdane 10
- Monument Trabant at Ul Moskovska 6
If you happen to be passing through town you will undoubtedly see the Saint Sofia Monument which stands on a column in the middle of a busy junction as her golden face gazes forth over the Batemberg Plaza which is home to TZUM, the Presidency, and the Government Houses.
The Aleko Konstantinov Statue is located at the start of Vitosha Blvd’s pedestrian zone where this bronze statue stands at a height of 2 meters and Boris Borisov who was a sculptor and Plamen Tsanev who was an architect collaborated on it.
On the 1,000th anniversary of the death of the renowned Bulgarian king Tsar Samuil (997-1014) his monument was inaugurated on June 8, 2015 which lies in the city’s heart, in the park in front of the basilica St. Sofia.
The 4 meter bronze and granite Monument Trabant was erected at one of the city’s major locations very recently and is awaiting inauguration.
Sofia Art Classes
It doesn’t matter if you want private lessons or group classes for kids, teens, or adults the best art schools in Sofia are:
- National Academy of Arts at Shipka St 1
- National School of Fine Arts Ilia Petrov at Bul Vasil Levski 62
- Аrt Studio Cotcolor & Co at Bul Tsarigradsko shose bl 2 vkh B et 3
- Studio Arti Kursove at Bul Vitosha 99
- Shkola Po Risuvane Art Klub Royana at Ul Tsar Samuil 22
- Décollage Studio at Ul Krum Popov 38
National Academy of Arts began in 1951 and an institution without precedent was born and it has grown to become Bulgaria’s premier educational and cultural institution in the following decades. It is difficult to name all of the Art High School’s graduates and instructors who have contributed to its growth and success.
Аrt Studio Cotcolor & Co insists on giving each of their pupils the time and attention they need while working in small groups of up to six and each student has a unique work plan.
For a children’s art school located in the heart of downtown contact Studio Artie Kursove who provides lessons for both young and elderly artists that desire to pursue their passions in the realm of fine arts professionally while individual lessons are also available.
Through classes in painting, applied arts, and ceramics Art Klub Royana fosters creativity and serenity.
Décollage Studio is the world’s first workshop dedicated to painting on T-shirts and other fabrics.
Studios For Rent Near You
Art Studio Studentski Grad at 15 Ulitsa Akademik Boris Stefanov offers city views and is located 4.4 km from Ring Mall and 5 km from Arena Armeets.
For art framing services in Sofia head to:
- Frame Design Eood at Ul Tsvetan Minkov 8
- Оotoram 90 at Ul Kapitan Georgi Mamarchev 7
- Arkovna at Ul Shipka 6
- Veskonti M sofia at Bul Aleksandar Stamboliyski 235
- Vanina Art at Ul Krum Popov 28
- Art Frame at Jk Drujba 1
Frame Design Eood was founded in 1998 to provide customers with the chance to select picture frames in the pleasant company of their advisors from a library of over 700 models of frame profiles.
Arkovna was founded in 1992 by a group of artists with the goal of assisting art in achieving its appropriate appearance and presence in the interior. Their major business is importing and selling profiles for frames made of wood, plastic, and aluminium and you can visit their workshop that has a large selection of profiles and matting as well as knowledgeable assistance on frame selection.
You can find a wide range of format frames in your area as well as custom-made frames to fit specific customer sizes at Veskonti M who utilizes high-quality wood, plastic, and aluminum profiles among other materials.
Vanina Art is a prominent importer and producer of picture frames in Bulgaria specializing in wood, plastic, and aluminum.
In 1994 Art Frame was established which is a family-owned business that specializes in bespoke framing and art sales and today they provide very high-quality profiles for frames from well-known European art design firms.
By the way we have also discussed local art in some cities outside of Bulgaria like:
Have Fun Enjoying The Sofia Art Scene
You just read about all of the best galleries, museums, events, shows, supply stores, dealers, appraisers, walking tours, sculptures, classes, studios, and framers near you.
Those of you who stuck around this long might know a lot about the local art scene. Feel free to share your own tips, or to let us know if you noticed anything incorrect.
Have fun going to the galleries, museums, buying supplies or doing anything that has to do with art in Sofia!