А Full List of Sofia’s Christmas Markets – Tips From a Local (2022)

Last updated on December 17th, 2022 at 01:51 pm

Christmas is just around the corner and Sofia is glowing like never before! For real, until now Sofia has only had one Christmas market and very scarce decorations during the happiest time of the year. Until 2022! It’s the first year we can happily say we finally have somewhat proper street decoration and around 10 Christmas markets.

If you expect some grand Christmas markets with Baroque buildings in the background, just like in Vienna – stop right here! The Christmas markets in Sofia are still at a very beginner phase, but at least we’re trying!

That being said, here are all of Sofia’s Christmas markets for 2022 that you might want to visit.

  1. Deutscher Weihnachtsmarkt – The German Christmas Market in Sofia

German Christmas Market in Sofia

The German Christmas Market is the oldest Christmas market in Sofia, and it’s been taking place for about a decade.

The air is filled with cheerful music and the delicious smell of different foods. Here you’ll find traditional German sausages, potato fries, sweet treats and so much more.

From all the Christmas markets that I visited, this one offered the widest variety of food and souvenir options – you could literally be stuffing your face while buying a handmade candle or Christmas toy for your family. I know what you may be thinking – all Christmas markets should have both food and souvenirs… Well, as you’ll find out throughout the article, this is not the case in Sofia.

German Christmas Market in SofiaGerman Christmas Market in Sofia

The German market also offers a stage where performances are taking place (when I was singing in my high school’s choir, I’ve literally performed on this exact stage – ah, the memories). There’s an “eating zone” with some barrels as bar tables, where you can stand and have your food. And something I found very interesting – all stands had their names written out in German. Contributing to the traditional feeling, I guess.

German Christmas Market in Sofia

German Christmas Market in SofiaGerman Christmas Market in Sofia

I also noticed a photo booth which was more like a Christmas set-up, where you could take a photo with your friends or family.

Being the first Christmas market in Sofia, this is also the most popular one, making it extremely busy. We visited on a Saturday and we could barely make our way through the crowd. That being said, this is the only negative I can share about the Weihnachtsmarkt.

German Christmas Market SofiaGerman Christmas Market Sofia

Average prices:
Burger – 11-15 BGN
Fries – 9 BGN
Sausage (Wurst) – 5-8 BGN

Location
In front of the National Theatre
Click here for the right location (link takes you to Google Maps)

Opening time:
Nov 18 – Dec 22, 2022
Daily, 11 am – 10 pm

2. Christmas Market Saborna

Christmas Market Saborna Sofia

The Christmas market at Saborna street is located right next to the German Christmas market (not sure why they’d have two markets so close together, but go figure…) It’s a very small place with around 6 stands on each side and *surprisingly* a DJ.

If you’re after a culinary experience – this market is for you. It’s considered a gourmet market for street food, as there’s a few well-known brands and renowned chefs offering their delicious food. Some examples include Street Chefs, Ribs Brothers and Gunther.

Christmas Market Saborna SofiaChristmas Market Saborna Sofia

As the place is quite small, it can easily get crowded, but the food is definitely worth checking out. At the entrance, you could also be greeted by Santa Claus, who’s there to take a photo with all visitors.

The prices were slightly higher than the rest of the Christmas markets, but this could be expected from a small “gourmet” Christmas market at one of the most expensive streets in Sofia.

Average prices:
Waffle – 7 BGN
Sausage (Wurst) – 6-9 BGN
Beer – 6-9 BGN
Glühwein – 5 BGN
Fries – 6 BGN
Ribs – 15 BGN
Burger – 10-15 BGN

Location:
Saborna str. 1
Click here for the exact location (link takes you to Google Maps)

Opening time:
Dec 01 – Dec 31, 2022
12pm  – 10pm

3. Christmas market at Slaveykov Square

Christmas market Slaveykov Sofia

The Christmas market at Slaveykov Square is located just about 5 minutes walking distance from the previous two, and it’s a relatively small one (though bigger than the Saborna Christmas Market).

If you’re looking for a place to satiate your hunger, maybe eat somewhere else first. Then come back here to stack up on presents for your friends and family. This market is heavily focused on stands with handmade things and souvenirs, while neglecting the culinary side.

Christmas market Slaveykov SofiaChristmas market Slaveykov Sofia

Don’t get too worried – there are a couple of stands where you can get some sausages, a burger or fries, as well as some sweet stuff, but don’t expect a full feast. Drinks are also available – coffee, coffee with Baileys, cocktails etc.

Christmas market Slaveykov SofiaChristmas market Slaveykov Sofia

Average prices:
Beer – 5 BGN
Burger – 10-20 BGN
Portion of sausages – 12 BGN
Fries – 5 BGN

Location:
Slaveykov Square
Click here for the exact location (link takes you to Google Maps)

Opening time:
Dec 04 – Dec 30, 2022
Daily, 11 am – 10 pm

4. Sofia Christmas Fest

Sofia Christmas Fest

Are you looking to stuff your face with some food, enjoy some draft beer and have somewhere to sit down and savor it all? The Sofia Christmas Fest might be just for you!

This is a medium-sized Christmas market just behind the National Palace of Culture, where all stands offer ONLY food and drinks. From the regular sausages (you’ll recognize their stand by the long queue, as there’s only one place that offers them), burgers, big plates of meat and fries, ice cream and much more.

Sofia Christmas FestSofia Christmas Fest

There are also two large tents, Oktoberfest style, where you can sit down at a table and enjoy your meal while being semi-warm. To add to this, there are two large screens, one for each tent, where you can watch the World Cup or some other event, happening during that evening.

We visited the Sofia Christmas Fest on a Friday evening and I was pleasantly surprised – there were not too many people like at the previous ones, there was a wide variety of food, and most importantly – you could sit down with a roof over your head! It’s definitely one of my favorite Christmas markets in Sofia, and by the looks of it, it’s still not very popular. Highly recommend it!

Average prices:
Cinnamon rolls – 9 BGN
Burger – 15 BGN
Fries – 7 BGN
Glühwein – 5 BGN

Location:
Behind the National Palace of Culture
Click here for the exact location (link takes you to Google Maps)

Opening time:
Nov 18 – Dec 18, 2022
Mon – Fri: 12 pm – 10 pm
Sat & Sun: 11 am – 11 pm

5. Christmas Market at Vazrazhdane Park

Christmas Market Vazrazhdane Sofia

I wouldn’t necessarily call this a Christmas market, but rather a small funfair. It’s located just behind Mall of Sofia and with its riding trains and games, it’s the most suitable market for kids. It’s also right at the park, so there’s plenty of space to run around.

You’ll also find traditional Bulgarian barbecue food, such as kyufte and kebapche. The most “Christmassy” thing here was the stage where children are singing some festive songs, the fairylights and the photo booth, where children can take a shot with Santa Claus.

Christmas Market Vazrazhdane SofiaChristmas Market Vazrazhdane Sofia

One thing is for sure – you won’t have to deal with big crowds here, as the place is quite spacious. There’s also a sitting area, and a few stands with souvenirs and small gifts.

The downside is partly due to the fact that it’s located in the park – it can get muddy at some spots, such as in front of the stage. Overall, it’s not the most impressive Christmas market in Sofia, but I can imagine it being fun for small kids. It’s also a good place to have some traditional food.

Location:
Park Vazrazhdane
Click here for the exact location (link takes you to Google Maps)

Opening time:
Dec 09 – Dec 28, 2022

6. Movie Christmas Market at NuBoyana Film Studios

NuBoyana Film Studios is a film production studio where many movies, series, advertisements and music clips are being filmed, both Bulgarian and international. Every December, part of the set transforms into a Movie Christmas market, where you’re literally part of a movie set.

This year, the theme is “Christmas in New York”, and I’m yet to visit it and see it for myself. However, I’ve already been to last year’s NuBoyana Christmas market, and it was beautiful! It’s quite spacious, there’s a wide variety of food and drinks, and there are both indoors and outdoors options to enjoy your food.

That being said, there’s quite a few negatives that I need to mention. First of all, NuBoyana is located in a neighborhood, which is very far away from the city center. There’s no direct transport here, so you’d need to take the metro/tram and then a bus. You can check Google Maps or the Moovit app for more accurate information.

The other con is that this is the only Christmas market that has an entry fee, and it’s quite steep! You need to pay 25 BGN (12.5 EUR) just to enter, which I don’t really find worth it. For 25 BGN you can have a full dinner and a drink at a nice restaurant. It may be worth it if you’re obsessed with movies or movie sets, but otherwise I don’t see a reason to pay such a high fee for an entry.

Location:
NuBoyana Film Studios
Click here for the exact location (link takes you to Google Maps)

Opening time:
Dec 15 – Dec 24, 2022

Entry fee:
Adults – 25 BGN
Children 4 – 12 y/o – 15 BGN

7. Christmas market at the Women’s Market

This was the saddest Christmas market I have seen in Sofia. With four booths, only two of which were open, and one mobile booth, it was just so small that I don’t think it’s worth coming here just for the “Christmas market”.

One of the stands offers some Christmas souvenirs, such as plates, bowls and cups, while the other one is selling donuts or something of this sort. At the mobile booth you’ll find a variety of cakes from one of the most popular confectioneries in Bulgaria.

I talked to the lady at the first booth and she said that they’re expecting for more stands to arrive, but she didn’t know when this would happen.

Overall, I wouldn’t advise anyone to come here if you’re looking for a real Christmas market experience. However, if you’re already in the area, why not check it out and support their small businesses? 🙂 It can be combined with a visit to the next-door market, where you can buy some fresh fruits and veggies.

Location:
Women’s Market
Click here for the exact location (link takes you to Google Maps)

Opening time:
Dec 02 – Dec 23, 2022
Daily, 10 am – 6 pm

8. Christmas market at the Roman Wall

This Christmas market is supposed to open on December 17, so I can’t share any personal impressions just yet. From what I’ve read, it will be a farmers’ market where local producers will be selling their goods. There’ll also be an art zone, a crafts corner for handmade Christmas decorations, as well as a culinary corner.

I also found out that the Christmas market will take place for just 2 days – December 17th and 18th. However, the farmers’ market is open every Saturday from 9 am till 2 pm, all throughout the year.

Location:
Roman Wall
Click here for the exact location (link takes you to Google Maps)

Opening time:
Dec 17 – 18, 2022
9 am – 2 pm

9. Gerena Park and North Park – two non-central Christmas markets in Sofia

It has been announced that two more Christmas markets will be opening for a short period of time, close to Christmas. The locations are quite far away from the city center, so I’m not sure how attractive they’d be for travellers, but I thought I might include them as well.

As they will be happening for the first time, there’s no further information about them, but I’ll make sure to update this as soon as I have any.

These Christmas markets will take place in Gerena Park from December 20th till December 23rd, and in the North Park from December 20th until December 31st.

10. Ice Park Sofia

Ice Park Sofia

The newest and probably most exciting addition to the Christmas scene in Sofia is the Ice Park, which resembles the Ice World in Vienna (in front of the City hall).

As someone who has lived in Vienna for 5 years, I used to visit the Ice World every single winter, and it was my absolute favourite thing to do in Vienna in December. I can’t believe we’re now getting something similar in my home city!

Ice Park SofiaIce Park Sofia

The Ice park is a huge ice rink in the centre of Sofia, which makes its way around the park in the form of narrow alleys, all leading to two big ice rinks of around 1000 sq.m. The whole place is covered in fairy lights (not sure why the color of choice is blue – I find the white or yellow lights much more suitable), and it’s overall one of the most “Christmassy” places in the whole city!

I find the prices a bit too high, especially compared to the incredible ice rink in Vienna, but I guess they’re still experimenting with it, as it’s the first time that it’s happening.

Ice Park SofiaIce Park Sofia

It’s important to know that you can enter the ice rink every two hours – there are only four 2-hour sessions per day, namely:
I. 11:00-13:00
II. 14:00-16:00
III. 17:00-19:00
III. 20:00-22:00

You can check out their official website here.

Prices:
Entry – 20 BGN
Ice skates rental – 2 BGN
Cloak room – 1 BGN (with 5 BGN deposit)
30 minutes with an instructor – 30 BGN

Location:
Knyazheska Garden
Click here for the exact location (link takes you to Google Maps)

Opening time:
Dec 01 – March 01, 2022
Daily, 11 am – 10 pm

Final thoughts 

As you’ve probably seen for yourself, the Christmas markets in Sofia are still quite far from the ones in the rest of Europe. But we have one thing – variety! One market offers food only, the other one has mainly souvenirs and handmade gifts, the third one is suitable for kids and offers traditional Bulgarian food… there’s just something for everyone.

I feel like I need to share a dream I’ve had for the past not-sure-how-many years. I really really really hope that someday the Alexander Nevsky square will be closed for cars (at least in December) and turned into a giant Christmas market. Just imagine all the fairy lights around the biggest and most spectacular church in Bulgaria. I’m leaving this here and I hope someday it will become a reality.

If you manage to visit at least one of the abovementioned Christmas markets in Sofia, feel free to share your experience in the comments below! Reading about other people’s perspectives is always helpful when it comes to travelling.

Enjoy your Christmas in Sofia!


Are you planning a trip to Bulgaria? Here are even more useful blog posts:

25 Gorgeous Places to visit in Bulgaria

What to do in Sofia in One Day – Your Sofia Itinerary

The 5 Best Ski Resorts in Bulgaria for Your Winter Vacation

10 Wonderful Things to Do Around Pamporovo, Bulgaria (Besides Skiing)

29 Delightful Things to Do in Bansko for Every Season

12 Things to Do in Borovets for Non-skiers – A Weekend in the Mountains

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