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National Museum of Natural History, Sofia

The National Museum of Natural History in the capital is the oldest museum in Bulgaria. It is also the oldest and richest one among the Natural History Museums on the Balkan Peninsula. In its funds are kept up to a million and a half species of animals, plants and minerals.

The exhibitions arranged on 4 storeys in 15 halls present an exceptional variety of species, some of which are rare and are no longer found in nature. Here you can see various stuffed predators, birds, fish, reptiles, insects and others. Some of the most interesting animals for the visitors are seveeral species of bears, including the brown bear from Rila, awarded with the gold medal as the biggest one in Europe /1937/. Attention is also attracted by lion, cheetah, tiger, black panther, white rhinoceros, one of the last purebred bison found in nature, monkeys and many others. About 2,000 species of birds are kept in the museum, including ostriches, Pampas rhea, penguins, beautiful birds-of-paradise, Ara parrots, wildlife California Condor and others. Adorable with its beauty are the numerous exhibits of various butterfly species, as well as other insects. Part of the permanent exhibition is the extremely rich and various collection of minerals with samples of about ¼ of the minerals in the world.

Annually the museum is visited by over 50 000 people. In its halls there are many seminars, lectures and classes for students and university students; there are temporary exhibitions and more.

The National Museum of Natural History was founded in 1889 by Prince Ferdinand under the name of the Princely Natural History Museum. It was here where the personal collections of Prince Ferdinand of birds, mammals and butterflies were preserved for the first time.

The Paleontological Museum in the town of Asenovgrad has been a department of the museum since 1990. Visitors can see remnants of prehistoric animals that inhabited our lands millions of years ago. One of its most interesting exhibits is the casting of the 4-meter skeleton of the Deinotherium, located near the village of Ezerovo.

The National Museum of Natural History is among the 100 national tourist sites.

Useful information

National Museum of Natural History
Sofia, 1 Tsar Osvoboditel Blvd.
Tel.: +359 2 9882 894, +359 879 226 573, e-mail:, website:

Working hours:
10.00 – 18.00, no day off, tickets are sold until 17.00
The museum operates every day except for: 1 January, 3 March, Easter and 25 December.
The museum has an entrance ramp and a movable platform providing access for people with disabilities to the exhibition and scientific premises.

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