About 5 miles south of central Sofia (a short taxi ride is easier than complicated public transport), and with Mount Vitosha looming over it in the background, this is both one of the city's best museums and a fascinating monument to the Communist era. The monolithic concrete building is a former palace for Communist party cadres and has a helicopter parked outside. Inside, the vast halls with their enormous wood-carved doors make the perfect setting for the largest museum in Bulgaria. The collection is huge, with some 650,000 artefacts telling the complete history of this Balkan state from prehistoric times to the present day. Note that ticket sales end 45 minutes before closing time.