National Museum of Natural History, Sofia

National Museum of Natural History, Sofia

National Museum of Natural History, Sofia
4
Natural History Museums
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10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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About
The exhibitions of National Museum of Natural History at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences occupy 15 halls on 4 floors. It exhibits the Caroline parrot, which became extinct world-wide, the monk seal, bearded vulture, little bustard, grey and maiden crane, steppe viper, German sturgeon, all of which extinct in Bulgaria. Large mammals recently exhibited are the white rhinoceros, the Himalayan bear, cheetahs, buffalos. The visitors are intrigued by one of the last pure-bred aurochs found in nature, the brown bear proclaimed as the largest in Europe, the rare small panda, the beautiful birds of paradise, toucans, the Californian condor extinct in the wild nature, the different types of pheasants with splendid feathers, the giant African tortoise, the blind cave fish from America, the Periophtalmus fish, which can move on land as well. The Museum is open every day except 1 January, 3 March, Easter and 25 December. Last admission is at 17:30.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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The area
Address
How to get there
  • Serdika II • 8 min walk
  • St. Kliment Ohridski Sofia University • 9 min walk
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.0
183 reviews
Excellent
79
Very good
62
Average
31
Poor
10
Terrible
1

Amanda B
Coventry13 contributions
We went on 17th September so the museum was free, but I would have been happy to pay because there was lots of interesting stuff - especially the warrior helmets. We even popped out to watch the Changing of the Guard directly opposite and then went back to view the 2nd and 3rd floors of the museum. Friendly staff too.
Written September 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ogi0
Sofia, Bulgaria18,999 contributions
The museum is very interesting and not very big - it can be seen in an hour and a half. On the first floor there are two large halls with different minerals. On the second floor is a large exhibition of prepared birds from around the world, and on the third and fourth floors there are other prepared animals (from mammals to butterflies, bees and flies). I think it is very interesting for children.
Written May 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Thomas Desmet
Ghent, Belgium89 contributions
Friends
I absolutely loved this museum. The building and exhibits are very old, but absolutely charming. The museum is filled with steel and glass cabinets full of animals. Especially the bigger animals are very impressive. The museum is not very big, so you can take your time to look around at ease. It would be a pity if the museum were to be renovated, because it would lose its old charm. Definitely a must see if you are interested in animals.
Written May 31, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Chris B
Sheffield, UK161 contributions
Solo
Go there, don't be put off by the unassuming entrance with its quirky shops (do look for the huge dinosaur in the one on the lhs) and read nothing into the ludicrously low price (4 lev for adults). It's a gem.

I agree with the general consensus seemingly developing among reviews that the 'dated' feel is a positive feature of this museum. I was struck that there had been more thought put into some of the displays than has seemed to be the case in newer collections I've seen elsewhere in Europe. I like clean and crisp in museums usually but this feels - somehow just right. Loved the floors too.
Some cases have QR codes on them for further info (albeit some of them just to wikipedia) & videos - I was told this is being expanded and to me feels a better way to develop the museum than revamping it physically.

You could make a visit here last as long as you wanted - I would happily have spent three hours had I not arrived with only two left before closing. The children there with their parents (under 10s) seemed to be loving it as much as I was.

First floor geology. And a lovely collection it is. This was one of the most varied collections I've seen, in terms of the range of mineral and rock types included. English descriptions are limited, but all are identified.

Second floor birds - a vast, eclectic mix with some lovely specimens.

Third floor is mainly mammals - not sure if the oldish homo sapiens sat at a desk chuckling away at a game he was playing on a tablet was an exhibit or staff. Endearing all the same.
Nice chance for kids to have photos taken with tigers, etc., with no glare from reflection in the room in which there were no glass cabinets too.

Fourth floor plants and insects and a nice more modern area which sadly seems more to be a focus for educational events. The plants section is the weak point of the museum but butterflies and other insects are a nice collection.
Written January 9, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Bálint N
198 contributions
Couples
An old museum with lots of different animals.
Compared to The natural musem in Strassbourg (France) or in Budapest (Hungary) this seems to be the biggest and seems to have the most variety of animals exhibited.
Most of them are only within a "vitrine", but there are some nice compositions as well.
Written July 7, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

alisdair t
Workington, UK6,162 contributions
Couples
I love natural history museums, and this ranks as one of the best small ones I have visited. We had the whole place virtually to ourselves when we were there. Ovver 4 floors, crammed with exhibits, well laid out in order. The ground floor is dedicated to geology, with good mineral exhibits, and the top floor, bugs, insects, butterflies, etc. Great bird displays, and animal ones too. One of the highlights of our visit to sofia. AND THEY LET ME TAKE PHOTOS
Written November 22, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tourist3603
Dundee, UK28 contributions
Solo
I'm not a big fan of taxidermy but there is a certain charm about this museum. Be warned if you are taking kids that this is not interactive in any way but really old school. Doesn't matter of you hate all of that. It is worth a visit for the ground floor alone. The no etsls are fabulous. Every one is labelled in English and there are great diagram.s to help you understand how they were formed and which family they belong to. But the best bit for me was getting my sticky paws on enormous examples which were not under glass and had no do not touch signs. It's incredible and makes you feel part of earth'life cycle. And it was cheap. Until I got to the little shop! The assistant had no English at all but got a book out to show me exactly what minerals I was buying and what properties they have. Shop is available without going into the museum btw and is a tiny treasure trove.
Written July 27, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Filip M
Sofia, Bulgaria13 contributions
Solo
One of the best museums in Europe. The museum's collections are very extensive and date back to the Bulgarian monarchy. A perfect visit would be at night (only possible during European Night of the Museums) as the museum has a very peculiar ambiance!
Written November 23, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Punpuff
London, England, United Kingdom183 contributions
Friends
This is not like the NHMs you get in bigger cities, but a perfect example of how you can still get this education around the world. Good breadth of the natural world covered, and a nice way to pass the time. Only 4 Lev entry, well worth it
Written November 27, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jeanne70
Paris1,034 contributions
Family
This beautiful museum is in the center of town, between the old royal palace and the Russian church so we just decided to enter while passing in front of it. There is a small entrance fee of 4 levas and the museum is quite big, on four floors. I suppose that the ground floor is a geologist paradise because there is a huge display of all sort of stones. I really liked to see the two lunar stones, brought from the moon, named after two astronauts, one Russian, Gagarin, and one American. After we took the stately stairs, we were in front of an amazing display of taxidermy, two huge ostriches in a glass case and many many birds. On the second floor were the mammals with some "natural" scenes reconstructed in big glass, with lions, tigers, bears, leopards and even a rhinoceros. We were quite amazed. At the last floor were the insects and some beautiful butterflies in old fashioned but beautiful wood and glass cabinets. I think that this museum must be very valuable for scientists because it has, at least to my untrained eyes, a vast and precious collection. I just hope that some of the birds and animals we saw are not extinct by now but I wouldn't be surprised. It would be really sad if the only trace we had of an endangered species was a stuffed specimen but, unfortunately, that might happen. I also hope that they will keep this very special museum as it is, with its beautiful black and white marble floor, stately staircase and amazing displays and not modernize it to make it ugly and boring. Don't touch anything!
Written December 20, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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National Museum of Natural History, Sofia - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about National Museum of Natural History, Sofia

National Museum of Natural History, Sofia is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM


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