Children play a big part in the social and cultural scenes of family-friendly Bulgaria. Aside from bars, children are welcomed with open arms at restaurants, hotels and attractions.

The Black Sea coast, and winter sports areas such as Bansko, are the most family-friendly regions. Bigger hotels here often have playgroups and kids’ clubs. More rural areas may appeal to older children, as activities such as horse riding, cycling and wildlife-watching are available. All big towns have public parks with playgrounds, as well as attractions that children might enjoy, like zoos, which you can find in both Sofia and Varna.

For inspiration and tips on family travel, pick up a copy of Lonely Planet’s Travel with Children guide.

Practicalities

  • Baby care Most of the necessities for travelling with toddlers, such as disposable nappies (diapers), baby food and fresh or powdered milk are readily available in shops and supermarkets across the country. Public nappy-changing facilities are not common in public toilets but they can be found in toilets at higher-end restaurants and hotels.
  • Babysitting Agencies are only common among the expatriate community in Sofia. Some top-end hotels offer this service, however, and ski creche facilities are increasingly common in luxurious hotels at winter sports hubs such as Bansko.
  • Breastfeeding Public breastfeeding is not very common in Bulgaria, though awareness-raising groups are working to change attitudes.
  • Cots and car seats Top-end, international chain hotels in cities, and hotels in coastal resorts, usually have cots available. International car rental firms can provide children’s safety seats for a nominal extra cost, but it’s essential to book these in advance.
  • Restaurants Most restaurants in Bulgaria welcome families with children, although few offer specific children's menus, and fewer still have high chairs. You're more likely to find these kinds of facilities in and around the Black Sea resorts and in some places in Sofia. There are plenty of Western-style restaurants and international fast-food chains if your little ones are fussy eaters.