Sofia, where it is

The climate of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, is continental, with cold winters and warm summers. The relatively low latitude (which is the same as central Italy) is offset by the position in the Balkan Peninsula (which is exposed to cold waves from Russia) as well as by altitude: the city is located at 550/600 meters (1,800/2,000 feet) above sea level.
Here are the average temperatures.
Sofia - Average temperatures
Min (°C)-5-305101214141162-3
Max (°C)24915202426262317104
Min (°F)232732415054575752433627
Max (°F)363948596875797973635039

Precipitation is not abundant, since it amounts to 600 millimeters (23.5 in) per year, but it is well distributed over the seasons, with a relative maximum in May and June because of afternoon thunderstorms, and a relative minimum in winter.
Here is the average precipitation.
Sofia - Average precipitation

Winter, from December to February, is cold: the temperature remains below freezing (0 °C or 32 °F) even during the day for long periods. In periods of stable weather, fog often forms. Snowfalls are frequent, but they are typically light, though they can occasionally be more abundant. However, snow covers the ground for long periods.
During outbreaks of cold air masses from Russia, the temperatures can drop by many degrees. Here are the lowest temperatures recorded in cold periods over the last few decades: January 1985: -26 °C (-15 °F); March 1987: -14 °C (7 °F); December 1988: -20 °C (-4 °F); February 1991: -23 °C (-9 °F); January 1993: -24 °C (-11 °F); December 2001: -20 °C (-4 °F); February 2006: -25 °C (-13 °F); January 2012: -22 °C (-8 °F); February 2012: -21 °C (-6 °F).
On the other hand, when the south wind blows, which sometimes can be strong, the temperature can rise a lot, and there can be mild days, up to about 15 °C (59 °F) even in winter: the air comes down from nearby Mount Vitosha, with a down-slope, föhn-like effect. In the warm winter of 2014, the temperature reached 18 °C (64 °F) in January and 22 °C (72 °F) in February.

Spring, from March to May, is unstable, especially in March and April: the first mild days alternate with the return of cold weather, with possible snow in March, and sometimes also in April. In May, the first warm days occur, with highs close to 30 °C (86 °F), and also the first afternoon thunderstorms.

Summer, from June to August, is warm and sunny, usually with cool nights, and some afternoon thunderstorms. Generally, daytime temperatures are pleasant, around 25 °C (77 °F), but there can also be heat waves, which typically do not last long, with highs about 36/38 °C (97/100 °F). However, air humidity is not high and nights remain cool. The temperature reached 41 °C (106 °F) in July 2007 and 39 °C (102 °F) in August 1994.

Autumn, from September to November, is mild and pleasant in September, and often also in the first half of October, then it quickly becomes more cold, gray, and even relatively rainy. In October, it gets cold at night; usually, the first snowfalls occur in November, when fog becomes quite common as well.


The amount of sunshine in Sofia is good from May to September, when the sun often shines, while it is low from November to February, when the weather is often dull and sometimes foggy. Here are the average sunshine hours per day.
Sofia - Sunshine

Best Time

The best time to visit Sofia is from mid-May to late September, keeping in mind that it can sometimes be hot in July and August, and more rarely in the second half of June, so those who don't like the heat can avoid these periods. You should also take into account some afternoon thunderstorms, in addition, it's better to bring a sweatshirt for the evening, and maybe even a jacket if you go in May or September.