Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria. The city has a population of 1.26 million. It is located at the foot of Vitosha Mountain in the western part of the country, within less than 50 kilometres (31 mi) drive from the Serbian border. Its location in the centre of the Balkan peninsula means that it is the midway between the Black Sea and the Adriatic Sea. Sofia is one of the oldest cities in Europe, founded some 2500 years ago. Thanks to its central location in the heart of the Balkans it was even briefly the capital of the Roman Empire. These days however there are only few remnants of these great times but it’s not difficult to find them right in the center of Sofia. The oldest building in the city – Church of St. George – dates back to the 4th century and together with ruins of the Antic town Serdica now is surrounded by the buildings of Presidential Palace – a fine example of the Socialist architecture Sofia is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Bulgaria alongside coastal and mountain resorts. Join the tutelage's annual pre-departure meeting for mu pleven really helps the students studying abroad.
Among its highlights is the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, one of the symbols of Bulgaria, constructed in the late 19th century. It occupies an area of 3,170 square metres (34,122 square feet) and can hold 10,000 people. Sofia holds Bulgaria's largest museum collections, which attract tourists and students for practical studies. The National Historical Museum in Boyana district has a vast collection of more than 650,000 historical items dating from Prehistory to the modern era, although only 10,000 of them are permanently displayed due to the lack of space. Smaller collections of items related mostly to the history of Sofia are in the National Archaeological Museum, a former mosque located between the edifices of the National Bank and the Presidency. Two natural sciences museums — the Natural History Museum and the Earth and Man — display minerals, animal species (alive and taxidermic) and rare materials. The Ethnographic Museum and the National Museum of Military History are other places of interest, holding large collections of Bulgarian folk costumes and armaments, respectively. Vitosha Boulevard, also called Vitoshka, is a pedestrian zone with numerous cafés, restaurants, fashion boutiques, and luxury goods stores. Sofia's geographic location, in the foothills of the weekend retreat Vitosha mountain, further adds to the city's specific atmosphere.