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Visiting an Orthodox Church in Sofia

If you plan to do some sightseeing in Sofia, you will definitely end up visiting one of the Orthodox Churches around. Since visiting religious sites can be quite frustrating, you should be aware of the things that are acceptable and those that are not. These are the rules you need to know:

Fee – the churches that are active do not charge entrance fees. The churches that act as museums (for example, Boyana Church) have an entrance fee upon visiting.

The Dress Code – that is not so strict in Bulgaria, however some basic rules do apply. Miniskirts and top tank tops are not well appreciated. Hats should be taken-off as well, as a sign of courtesy. Women are not expected to enter with their heads covered.

Food – you are not allowed to enter the church with food and with drinks.

the Waterfall near Boyana Church

Photos – taking of photos of the murals and icons on the walls is usually not allowed, unless there is a sign that you can take photos against an extra fee. The churches usually have zones where a visitor can buy postcards.

Candles – the candles can be lit inside the church and placed in a special candle holder.

Services – when services are taking place, the visitors should remain quiet.

In case there is anything left unclear, you can always ask at the church and find out if something is allowed or not.