Lazarov was born in the sub-Balkan town of Karlovo, then part of the Ottoman Empire (today in central Bulgaria). His father, a rose oil and woolen braid dealer and manufacturer, was killed by the Ottomans during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878 which led to the Liberation of Bulgaria. Left an orphan, Lazarov moved to the capital Sofia, where he worked as a draftsman at the Capital Direction of Public Buildings under Friedrich Grünanger, Aleksi Nachev, Mihail Hashnov and Karl Heinrich. Lazarov received a Bulgarian state scholarship to study at the École Spéciale d'Architecture in Paris, France. He finished two years at the school only to return to Bulgaria due to a lack of funds. However, on the recommendation of several noted architects he was granted another scholarship, this time by the Prince of Bulgaria himself, and returned to Paris. He graduated from the École Spéciale d'Architecture in 1893 with a thesis on the main church of the Rila Monastery.
Upon his graduation Nikola Lazarov returned to Sofia. As a royal scholarship student, he was obliged to work for three years as a royal architect. During that period he participated in the construction of the northeast wing of the Sofia Royal Palace and the final interior works on the Euxinograd palace in Varna. He also finished the exterior and interior design of the Central Military Club in Sofia, which was only roughly constructed under Antonín Kolář.
In 1896, he established the first private architectural company (headquartered at Targovska Street), and in 1902 he became the first architect to be elected to the National Assembly of Bulgaria by joining the parliament as a deputy of his native Karlovo. Together with Yordan Milanov, he attended the 8th International Congress of Architects in Vienna in 1908. He worked actively as an architect until 1934. In 1937–1941, he was a leading member of the Capital Municipal Council and an advocate of Adolf Mussmann's 1938 city plan.
- Vrana Palace main building, Sofia; co-operation on the Sofia Royal Palace and Euxinograd palace
- Parushevi Brothers' twin houses at Oborishte Street, Sofia
- Baron Gendovich House, Sofia
- Sofia Court House (initial project, later redesigned by Pencho Koychev)
- Central Military Club, Sofia (initial project by Antonín Kolář); military clubs in Shumen, Plovdiv and Varna
- Stoyan Bachvarov Dramatic Theatre, Varna
- Public Baths in Pleven
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nikola Lazarov.|
- Милкова, Милена (October 2006). "Къщите на архитект Никола Лазаров" (in Bulgarian). Къщата. Retrieved 7 March 2010.[dead link]
- Минева-Милчева, Юлия. "Никола Лазаров — кавалерът на forma urbis" (PDF) (in Bulgarian). Ек. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 29, 2004. Retrieved 7 March 2010.
- "Лазаров, Никола Иванов (1870–1942)". Българска енциклопедия А-Я (in Bulgarian). БАН, Труд, Сирма. 2002. ISBN 954-8104-08-3. OCLC 163361648.
- "Съвременното градоустройствено развитие (1938–1999)" (in Bulgarian). Столична община. Retrieved 7 March 2010.
- Овчарова, Светла (March 2003). "Традицията също дава криле" (in Bulgarian). Български войн. Retrieved 7 March 2010.