Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria and the perfect city break destination for those travelling with kids. Here is a complete guide to planning and making the most out of a city break to Sofia with kids.
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Top 10 Things to do in Sofia with Kids
Sofia offers a perfect environment for you and the kids to participate in several activities.
The great park on top of a museum specifically for kids makes the experience unforgettable. Children will have many fun things to do in Sofia while their parents get the opportunity to do some sightseeing.
Here are ten things to do in Sofia with kids.
#1 Watch the Changing of the Guard
Sofia boasts a presidential building, where The National Guard do a ceremonial change of guard after every 60 minutes. The event starts 5 minutes before the end of the hour. It is a fun activity for the kids and the entire family.
#2 Taste the Mineral Water
Like many other Balkan cities, Sofia used to have numerous thermal baths. Sofia History Museum is housed in a building that was initially a mineral baths centre.
Currently, these baths are non-operational, although several public fountains exist adjacent to the building. Here, you will witness locals filling large containers with warm mineral water.
You will be surprised that the water is free for anyone to use. Your kids will enjoy this place.
#3 Visit the Muzeiko
Very few cities around Europe can be said to have a museum designed specifically for children.
The Muzeiko, a children’s science centre and museum, makes Sofia the best place to visit with kids. Its vicinity to the metro station makes it easy to access. With plenty of hands-on activities, kids of any age will have a good time when they tour the facility.
#4 Walk Around Vitosha Boulevard
Walking around leaves one with a therapeutic feeling. If you are looking for cool places to visit in Sofia, Vitosha Boulevard, a sizeable pedestrian-only street, is one of them.
Apart from exercising your muscles, the street provides an outstanding shopping experience and is aligned with high-end stores and cafes. Stone slides at the edge of the street are what your kids need to unleash their adventurous nature.
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#5 Sightseeing at Borisova Gradina
In Sofia, sightseeing is a popular activity. Borisova Gradina provides a perfect place for sightseeing. The largest park in the city has gorgeous pathways, well-maintained flowerbeds, a giant playground for kids, a lake, and many statues.
Kids will be happy to see and touch the numerous stone sculptures spread around the park. You will need to take pictures to keep them as a reminder of the great experience.
#6 Visit Monuments at the Historic City Center
During afternoons, it will be wise to give the Historic City Center a visit. Kids will get the chance to learn a lot about the history of the city and entire Bulgaria.
Every monument represents a particular story. It will be a valuable learning session for the kids. In essence, they will have sweet stories to narrate to their friends when they return home.
#7 Ivan Vazov National Theatre
The facility is located just next to the City Garden. Being the oldest theatre in the country, it is a popular destination for tourists. Here, kids will have the chance to play various musical instruments, including ancient ones. Moreover, you will be entertained by several local music groups.
#8 The Bells, Sofia
The Bells is a public park with a collection of bells from around the globe. Kids will have the chance to pick any bell of their choice and ring. The place is designed to make visitors relax as they plan what to do for the rest of the day.
#9 Boyana Waterfall
A visit to Boyana waterfall will make this trip memorable. Kids need something thrilling, and this place is one of the few locations that generate such a feeling. You will have to explain to the kids how the fall came to be. A few family photos will add to the fun.
#10 Shopping in Sofia
Shopping in Sofia should be among the list of tourist attractions. Commodities are available in large quantities and at an affordable price. Taking kids to toy shops and allowing them to pick what they want is bound to create a lasting memorable moment.
How to Get to Sofia, Bulgaria
The best means of transport to get to Sofia with your family depends on your location. If you are in Bulgaria, you can use a private car instead of public means.
If you’re travelling to Sofia from outside Bulgaria, flying to avoid unwanted delays is best. Flights are a fast and convenient means of transport when travelling with kids. Once you reach Sofia airport, you will not struggle to find a way to get to your hotel. Taxis are readily available. Alternatively, you could pre-book an airport transfer.
You can also opt to use a train if you long for adventure. Eurostar connects every major city across Europe and offers a smooth and comfortable ride. Trains are spacious, and there will be space to store your luggage.
When is the Best Time to Visit Sofia?
The best time to visit this city is during the warm months. Peak summer occurs between June and August. During this period, the weather is warm and sunny, meaning that most Sofia attractions are easily accessible. The temperature can go up to 35 degrees.
Here are the best times to visit Sofia:
Sofia in July
During July, the weather is warm, making it the perfect time to visit with kids and avoid the cold winters. July is the best time to visit the various parks around the city. The kids will have a good time playing in the water if you decide to visit Boris Garden park.
Sofia in August
August is also characterized by sunny days. It is the best time to visit Borisova Gradina, a park equipped with numerous sports facilities. Your kids will interact with others as they enjoy the vast playground. You will also enjoy the clean environment and cool breeze. The various types of swings will keep your children engaged. You can also participate in bike riding events, among other fun things to do in Sofia.
Where to Stay in Sofia with Kids
Since Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007, massive investments in hotels and restaurants have been made. Sofia, being a significant tourist attraction in the country, was the centre of these investments. Currently, you can find a hotel of your choice without any difficulty.
Mid-Range: The Ramada by Wyndham Sofia City Center
The Ramda Sodia City hotel is located near several tourist attractions and commercial areas. It is just 7 kilometres from the airport and near Central Railway and International Bus Station.
The hotel is designed for visitors with kids. The facility has a children’s pool, ensuring that your children enjoy the entire time you stay there.
There are private bathrooms for families, daily housekeeping and numerous laundry facilities. If you have some extra money to spend, go ahead and book this hotel, as it is among the best places to stay in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Splashing Out: Grand Hotel Millennium Sofia
The Grand Millennium Sofia Hotel is located next to the National Palace of Culture, one of the most famous Bulgaria landmarks. There is a full-service spa for families with a separate relaxation area.
Every room is equipped with one indoor pool and has a beautiful view of the surrounding areas.
Where to Eat in Sofia with Kids
Shopska Salata and Tarator are the most famous foods in Sofia. Long gone are days when searching for a kid-friendly place to eat in Sofia was a tall order. Nowadays, most locals have made it a habit to go out to eat with their children. Here are the best places to eat with kids in Sofia.
If you want a stylish dining place with a separate monitored children’s area, Tempero provides all that at no extra cost. Your kids will have a chance to play with toys as well as enjoy their meal.
As its name suggests, this hotel leaves every customer with a smile on their face. The service at Happy is of high quality, and prices are reasonable.
The wide range of food they serve makes this restaurant outstanding. It is perfect for family lunches as it has a large playground.
How to Spend 2 Days in Sofia with Kids
Things to do in Sofia, Bulgaria, are uncountable. It all depends on your hobbies as well as what you had planned before embarking on the tour. Sofia attractions are numerous, ranging from parks to waterfalls. Read on to find out how you can efficiently spend two days in Sofia.
24 Hours in Sofia
Morning: Visiting the various parks around the city is the most convenient thing to do in the morning. During the first day, go to City Garden, and participate in bike riding activities as your children play with others in the children’s corner.
Afternoon: Since most afternoons are warm, it is the right moment to go to Sofia Theatre for some entertainment. Kids will enjoy the various forms of entertainment and could have the chance to practice using some musical instruments.
48 Hours in Sofia
Morning: A visit to the National Palace of Culture will present you with the opportunity to learn the way of life of Sofia residents. Kids will enjoy art exhibitions on display. You will be thrilled with how Bulgarians adore their culture.
Afternoon: Take kids to Sofia University to challenge them to work hard at school. They will have fun interacting with faculty heads, students, and other staff. The library will leave a mark in their memory due to its unique appearance.
3 Days in Sofia with Kids
Look for a resort with a golf course and a unique space for kids. You will have the chance to play golf while the children have fun swinging and sliding. Sofia Golf and Spa have such facilities.
4 Days in Sofia with Kids
Spend the entire day at Victoria Spa, taking part in swimming and having a drink of your choice. The Spa has a separate section for kids, with several staff members staffing the facility to ensure maximum safety.
Places to visit near Sofia, Bulgaria with Kids
If you are spending a weekend in Sofia, it is advisable to take a trip to nearby areas for more fun. Sofia is surrounded by exciting places hence the need to make a day trip.
Korali Mineral Pool
Located 15 kilometres from Sofia, Korali Mineral Pool will give you an out of this world experience. It is the best place to go if you are taking a Sofia city break. Here, you will have the chance to swim in warm mineral water. A separate pool for kids is also available.
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A bit of ancient history will complete your stay in Sofia. A day trip to Plovdiv, the oldest city in Europe, will leave you with an open mouth. It is rich in ancient architecture that signifies Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman occupation. The town is usually closed to cars. You will feel like you are on another planet once you land there.
This tour will provide return transfers and guides on an 8-hour day trip to Plovdiv (suitable for teens and some older kids). View prices and availability here.
Fishing at Iskar Reservoir
Located a few kilometres from Sofia, the dam presents a superb opportunity for you to practice your fishing skills. It is safe for families since numerous individuals are patrolling the area, ready to help in case of an emergency. You can even participate in a fishing competition with other visitors.
How to Get Around Sofia
You can use several means of transport to move around Sofia. You can opt for public transportation, which includes buses and trams. Taxis are also another option in case you want to reach your destination fast.
For convenience, you can decide to hire a car for the entire period you stay in Sofia. The beauty of this city is that you can also hire bicycles. Depending on your budget, go for the most convenient means of transport.