Sofia with kids: 5 family activities!
What to do in Sofia with kids? Well actually not that much. This capital of Bulgaria is fine to visit for a day, but you don’t need to walk around for days. We ourselves visited the city for two days, but by then we had really seen everything. So to make an entire city trip to Sofia is a bit too much of a trip, but if you are making a nice trip through the Balkans, you can include the city in your itinerary. We list below the best activities in Sofia with kids.
Table of contents
Sofia with kids #1: old center
The center of Sofia is quite compact and you can easily see various sights on foot. Sofia’s most famous street is Vitosha Boulevard, where a variety of stores and restaurants can be found. You can have some great food and drinks with kids here for not too much money.
Sofia’s most impressive landmark, however, is Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, a cathedral with golden roofs. From Vitosha Boulevard you can walk here in 15 minutes. Opposite this cathedral you will also find the Sveti Sofia Church. You can stop in at both to see the inside of these beautiful buildings as well.
In addition, you can also check out St. George’s Church. This church is the oldest building in Sofia, and around it are remnants of the old city. Around the church it is completely built up. A tour of Sofia’s Old Town doesn’t take super long and in an hour you will have seen most of the city’s sights.
Sofia with kids #2: South Park
You can also easily leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind in Sophia in one of the city’s many parks. From the main street Vitosha Boulevard, you actually walk right into a huge park. In this park you also have a huge long fountain in the middle of the park and many local people sit here relaxing on benches.
From this fountain you can walk through the greenery towards the south of Sofia for almost three quarters of an hour. Along the way, we come across all kinds of statues, a lake where you can sail boats, a large bouncy castle, a super trampoline and also small fairground attractions such as a hover carousel. Also in several places you have small stalls selling candy and balloons. So a family-friendly environment!
For example, around the center of the city you have several large parks that you can visit. If you walk north from the center, you can also visit a botanical garden. Unfortunately, we did not see many animals in the park itself. If you want to see animals, you can possibly visit Sofia Zoo, but the online reviews about this zoo are not the best. We ourselves have visited the Skopje Zoo and if it is about the same as that zoo then it is not much of a big deal.
Sofia with kids #3: Muzeiko
Although there are not super many activities in the city of Sofia that are suitable for kids, the Muzeiko science museum is fun to visit. The museum has several floors and also several areas for different ages. So kids can do all kinds of experiments, but they can also just play.
For example, they have a very colorful area where the youngest children can play, they have an area where kids can play with mud and areas where kids can learn about science, nature and our building history. There is also a planetarium at the museum where several shows run each day.
In addition to this science museum, you also have a natural history museum in town, but it is not very much and is not very interactive. As for that if you have to make the choice of a museum then Muzeiko is really the best option. For more information on admission prices, opening hours and the various exhibits, take a look at Muzeiko’s website.
Sofia with kids #4: Streetart tour
You can admire plenty of beautiful street art in the city of Sofia with kids. In many different places in the city you have street art on buildings. We ourselves also booked a Sofia Graffiti Tour. This tour was in the late afternoon and lasted a total of two hours. When we walked it, it took a little longer, as we were beset by a heavy shower.
With a local guide, we walked past different works of art in the city and were explained about the different works of art and the different artists. We did find it interesting to hear and we did learn a lot more about this graffiti culture in that regard.
Several tours are given and we had booked our tour with this organization. We did find it a fun way to see a different side of the city of Sofia.
Sofia with kids #5: Seven rila lakes
This sight is not in the city, but you can do this on a day trip from the capital. You can do this with an organized tour or of course if you have a (rental) car it is even easier. We drove our own car from the Netherlands to Bulgaria (which was quite a long way in retrospect) and thus had our own car at our disposal.
From Sofia you can drive to this mountain range in just over an hour and a half, and you can park your car for free near the chairlift. In the national park you can visit (how could it be otherwise) the seven lakes of Rila. You can walk several trails in this national park, and especially with kids, you should check in advance exactly how far you want to walk.
If you want to get to the big viewpoint overlooking the various lakes, you have to climb quite a bit and that can be a bit heavy for young kids. In that respect, it is a beautiful area and also definitely fun to visit with kids. Especially if you as a family love hiking in the mountains.
Where to stay in Sofia with kids?
You can stay in Sofia with kids just fine with kids. There are plenty of hotels where they offer rooms for families with kids. Obviously, in a big city, you want to be in the center of town and be in a hotel that is well rated from many reviews. We have listed the best options in different price ranges. Click on the blue link for more information about the respective hotel.
Budget hotel: Gardenia Apartments
Middle class hotel: VIKO Boutique Apart Hotel
Luxury hotel: InterContinental Sofia, an IHG Hotel