National Institute of Archaeology with Museum

National Institute of Archaeology with Museum

National Institute of Archaeology with Museum
4.5
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
About
The National Institute of Archaeology with Museum at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences covers the complete study of the culture of tribes and peoples who have occupied present day Bulgaria from the remote past until the 18th century. The Museum of Archaeology hosts the most numerous collections in Bulgaria and its exhibitions reveal it as one of the most important centers in the country for promotion of the cultural heritage of present day Bulgaria. NIAM-BAS was established in 1949 as a follower and successor of the Department of Valuables - part of the Library established in Sofia in 1879 and reformed into a National Museum in 1892 - and the Bulgarian Institute of Archaeology (1921), which was the first academic institute in Bulgaria.
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Top ways to experience National Institute of Archaeology with Museum and nearby attractions

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Address
How to get there
  • Serdika • 5 min walk
  • Serdika II • 5 min walk
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See what travelers are saying
  • CATTSAR
    Provincetown, Massachusetts22,653 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A must see~ you will be overwhelmed!
    This is a must see but be prepared to spend a bit of time as the exhibits are overwhelming. The time frame ranges from centuries BCE to centuries AD. The exhibits are well organized and the descriptions are clear. While you can surely gear the amount of time you want to spend, there is a lot to see. This is a must for anyone with an interest in history.
    Visited October 2022
    Traveled solo
    Written June 25, 2023
  • Graham P
    75 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must-visit for archaeology and history fans
    Excellent museum in a former mosque, centrally located, which contains stunning artefacts that would grace much grander institutions like the Louvre or British Mueum. Along with the National Historical museum on the outskirts of Sofia, this is a must-see place for history & archeaology fans. Make sure you visit the "Treasures" room upstairs, which is where many of the most amazing finds are located - it is not well-signposted therefore easy to miss.
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 20, 2023
  • AlisonJ_10
    Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom325 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Impressive little museum
    Nicely laid out small museum in what was once a mosque. A good selection of interesting objects from pre-history to Roman and Byzantine eras. Easy to wander around and most labels have an English translation. The treasury room has some beautiful gold and other items.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 18, 2023
  • Heather e
    33 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must visit for a historical overview of sofia
    Artifacts are beautifully displayed. They have many thracian Artifacts to include weaponry, jewelry, etc. Thoughtful and thorough signage in Bulgarian and English. Informative time lines on the wall afford a deeper understanding of the displays.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 29, 2023
  • Paul
    16 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    An Excellent Museum
    An excellent museum in the heart of Sofia. Incredible history. Nicely displayed artifacts. There is a lot going on here, but you never feel overwhelmed. I highly recommend the place if you like ancient history.
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written January 8, 2024
  • John m
    Los Angeles, California22 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth a visit...mostly English translations there
    I enjoyed my visit to the archeology museum. It may have helped that I went on the last Sunday of the month which actually was Catholic Easter but not Eastern Orthodox Easter. But regardless, last Sunday of the month it's free. Despite that, it wasn't very busy. At least in the late afternoon. A couple hours should be more than sufficient. I thought it was reasonably well organized with Greek and Roman BC the early AD sculptures and stone items on the ground floor, most of which have English translations but not all of them. The upper floor was mostly the temporary exhibit of relatively recent archaeological finds and do most of the prehistory of the area dating back 5,000 BC or more. They have some spectacular really ancient gold and other jewelry including Amber. Then outside of that they have icons and frescoes around the outside wall.
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled solo
    Written April 1, 2024
  • Bob R
    Belgrade, Serbia613 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great museum!
    Great museum! Some reviews I read got me thinking I would be disappointed, but the exhibits are great. Treasure is interesting. Frescoes from old/ruined churches are great. 12 levs is the entrence. The only museum in Sofia that works on Monday, which is a plus.
    Visited May 2024
    Traveled solo
    Written May 28, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles635 reviews
Excellent
342
Very good
224
Average
56
Poor
11
Terrible
2

Brian P
Manama, Bahrain591 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Friends
It's such a shame that the beautiful artwork of a mosque was whitewashed to become a museum of antiquity.

Fairly small museum but interesting all the same with some good pieces and exhibits.

I would have love to read more about the building, witnessed some of its original artwork that you can see shinging through the cracked paintwork.

10lv entrance, ground floor is wheelchair friendly but second floor and side rooms are not.

The main hall is too dark.
Written January 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sean
Basel, Switzerland519 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Couples
We spent more than two hours with an excellent English speaking archaeologist who provided a fascinating tour through the ages of this small museum, packed full of artefacts. The museum has many interesting pieces from the Upper Paleolithic period onwards, especially the Copper, Bronze through to the Thracian and Roman eras. Our guide was patient, professional and provided excellent commentary throughout and freely answered our questions. Highly recommended.
Written July 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rosanna
13 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
This museum is absolutely stunning! It has all sorts of artefacts, dating all the way back to the 14th century AD. I was particularly struck by the amount of jewels and treasures they have. A lovely lady was also very helpul and offered explanations. 10/10 wouuld recommend.
Pro tip: entrance is free every last sunday of the month
Written July 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

John m
Los Angeles, CA22 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Solo
I enjoyed my visit to the archeology museum. It may have helped that I went on the last Sunday of the month which actually was Catholic Easter but not Eastern Orthodox Easter. But regardless, last Sunday of the month it's free. Despite that, it wasn't very busy. At least in the late afternoon. A couple hours should be more than sufficient. I thought it was reasonably well organized with Greek and Roman BC the early AD sculptures and stone items on the ground floor, most of which have English translations but not all of them. The upper floor was mostly the temporary exhibit of relatively recent archaeological finds and do most of the prehistory of the area dating back 5,000 BC or more. They have some spectacular really ancient gold and other jewelry including Amber. Then outside of that they have icons and frescoes around the outside wall.
Written April 1, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Heather e
33 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2023 • Couples
Artifacts are beautifully displayed. They have many thracian Artifacts to include weaponry, jewelry, etc. Thoughtful and thorough signage in Bulgarian and English. Informative time lines on the wall afford a deeper understanding of the displays.
Written September 29, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Paul
16 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Solo
An excellent museum in the heart of Sofia. Incredible history. Nicely displayed artifacts. There is a lot going on here, but you never feel overwhelmed. I highly recommend the place if you like ancient history.
Written January 8, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Travellingdoc
London, UK11,340 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Solo
Door closed at 10 am to the museum, only to find that museum was open but just had the door shut.

It’s a small Museum of one large ground floor with a rare sparse display.

Little or no English description in English on the ground floor and therefore best to start of 1st floor with English descriptions., also
More Modern displays as ground floor displays looks like they came out of the 80-es.

The first floor which ran through the civilisations of the past was good, with some amazing army helmets. There was an interactive screen in English but could not covert the screens in the other rooms to English.

12 lev entrance is not Worth the money.

The staff look at their phones all the time and when asked if they can turn the interactive displays- usually one per room to English, shrug their shoulders.

Poor experience and not worth the money.
Written May 10, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

bn3163
Greater London, UK202 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Friends
it may not be the biggest museum you've ever visited, but the contents are jaw-dropping. The age and state of preservation of many of the artifacts are stunning. All the items are labelled in English also. Very cheap to enter. Plus its in a former mosque, so the building itself is fascinating
Written May 9, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Graham P
75 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023
Excellent museum in a former mosque, centrally located, which contains stunning artefacts that would grace much grander institutions like the Louvre or British Mueum. Along with the National Historical museum on the outskirts of Sofia, this is a must-see place for history & archeaology fans. Make sure you visit the "Treasures" room upstairs, which is where many of the most amazing finds are located - it is not well-signposted therefore easy to miss.
Written July 20, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CATTSAR
Provincetown, MA22,653 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022 • Solo
This is a must see but be prepared to spend a bit of time as the exhibits are overwhelming. The time frame ranges from centuries BCE to centuries AD. The exhibits are well organized and the descriptions are clear. While you can surely gear the amount of time you want to spend, there is a lot to see. This is a must for anyone with an interest in history.
Written June 25, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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National Institute of Archaeology with Museum - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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