Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria. The city has a population of 1.26 million, while 1.68 million people live in its metropolitan area. The city 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 whereas the Aegean sea is the closest to it.
Sofia has been an area of human habitation since at least 7000 BC. Being Bulgaria's primate city, Sofia is a hometown of many of the major local universities, curtural institutions and commercial companies. Sofia is one of the top 10 best places for start-up business in the world, especially in information technologies. Sofia is Europe's most affordable capital to visit as of 2013[update].
Unlike most European capitals, Sofia does not have any large rivers or bridges, but is surrounded by comparatively high mountains on all sides.
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.