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Ethnographic Institute with Museum
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Lovech and Krushunski Waterfalls Full Day Tour from Sofia
Ranked #67 of 181 things to do in Sofia
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Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 7, 2012

We were really looking forward to visiting the museums and art galleries in Sofia, only to find when we arrived that the National Gallery and the Ethnographic Museum were both closed. There were no notices to say why, or when they might reopen, and the few members of staff around seemed to know nothing either!! For a National Gallery, this seems remarkably lackadaisical. Very poor indeed.

Visited June 2012
Thank Elaine H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Ancona, Italy
Level 6 Contributor
1,338 reviews
834 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,720 helpful votes
“The best thing of the whole visit to Sofia”
Reviewed May 29, 2012

The museum was absolutely unforgettable, mainly thanks to the curator who guided me round, his old-fashioned courtesy, his kindly patience with somebody who knew little about the subject, his understanding of what would interest a non-specialist like me, and the sense I had of his own continuing amazement at the richness and magic and mystery of the mental world of the country people he was talking about. Far from getting a bit weary, as often in other museums, or not really understanding, or getting tired of bending over reading label after label, here I left with my head still whirling with excitement, thinking of what the village girls were really doing when they danced on the road when a stranger came, the role of the elaborate embroidered borders on their clothes (which spirits of the forest don't have), the candles and the "mistake"...

Above all I'd been astonished and delighted at the treatment I'd been given.

(Glancing at the visitors' book, I got the impression that other visitors had been given a similar personal tour, and that their reaction had been much the same. I wish it could happen in every museum, but of course it can't. Too many people for one thing. Here I was alone.)

The museum is on the first floor of the old Royal Palace, through the door at the other end of the landing from the National Art Gallery. If it's closed just knock.

You get tickets downstairs - only for the art gallery, only for the ethnographic museum, or for both. I got one for both. There's also a museum shop downstairs, with an enormous variety of stuff for sale (I particularly liked the decorated earthenware drinking sets - they'll do for water or wine or whatever you want), where in the space of less than about an hour I managed to get original Christmas presents for practically everyone I knew. There's a post-office (communist style - rather fun) just down the road where you can send things off - to yourself if you're worried about aeroplane excess baggage charges.

I liked everything about the ethnographic museum. My only worry is that it won't last like this.

Visited December 2011
1 Thank ELear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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