Car, taxi, bus, trolley, tramway, minibus, subway, rail, and plane are very well developed in Bulgaria. You can find in Bulgaria all kinds of transport. Generally, it’s extremely also affordable.
URBAN TRANSPORT IN BULGARIA
In town, Taxi is very used in Bulgaria, especially in cities like in Sofia, Plovdiv, and Varna. The taxis are yellow. The starting price is 1.25 BGN (±0,60 cents) and the price per km is around 0.80 BGN (±0,40 cents). We advise you to be careful and to check the price before jumping in because there are some cheaters who are way out of the given range.
You can find taxi everywhere in town, at any hour of the day or the night. Stop it by making waves or book a taxi by phone. In Sofia, we used O.K. Supertrans company. Phone : +359 2 973 2121. We use also the mobile app’ Taxi Me works very well in Sofia and Plovdiv.
From the airport, you can request the service at the office of OK Supertrans at the Arrivals of Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. The staff speaks English and will give you the number of your taxi (ex: 1112) and normally it’s the first one on the taxi’s place in front of the Airport. Look at the number which appears on the dashboard of the passenger seat of the taxi, the number is there. It’s very easy and fast to leave the airport to go to the town centre by taxi (±13 levas/7 euros). Click here for more information.
Bus, minibus, tramway & trolley
In most cases, the different means of transportation in Sofia cover different routes. For this reason, it’s important for you to know where you want to go exactly.
In 2017, the current price for a single ticket is 2,00 BGN in Sofia (±0,82 cents). Passengers are required to insert their ticket into a special punching machine in the bus/tram/trolley before starting their journey. In Varna, you have to wait for the controller who gives you a ticket that you pay 1 leva. Controls happen regularly and the fine is approximately 40 BGN (±20 euros).
You can use the ticket from the first stop to the last stop of the vehicle you enter (bus, trolley, or tram).
You must have tickets before jumping in the vehicle. It’s not an obligation but it will be easier. Drivers usually sell tickets inside, at the same price, but you can’t always be sure whether drivers will have tickets on hand or whether they’ll speak English. Tickets are sold from kiosks near the bus stops which are available almost everywhere in the centre (and not so often outside of it).
Ticket/pass/cards informations (2017) : check the urban transport prices.
Note that the numbers of the lines aren’t the same for the different vehicles. So tram number 1 and bus number 1 go to entirely different routes.
Single tickets and 10-ticket batches for the ground transport do not work in the subway and vice-versa. You need to buy tickets apart for each on these transportation means.
Minibus prices – It’s important to know that the network of mini-buses (so called « marshrutka ») is not included in the public urban transport tariff. If you want to use marshutka, you need to pay inside the vehicle and there are no passes of any kind.
Approximate operating hours of urban transport in Sofia are between 4:30am and 11:30pm. You can find few buses running after 23:30 pm. The interval between each is approximately between 5 and 20 minutes.
From the airport, get on bus 84 and get off at the last stop – the Sofia University. From this last stop, you can reach most points of the city by going to the main street Vasil Levski or go to the subway station which is on the other side of the university building. To go to the airport, you have to take bus number 84 from the Sofia university. The total time of travel will be 30/60 minutes, but allow 90 in case you travel during peak hours. Click here for more information.
Using the subway is the fastest way to get from point A to point B. The subway stations are clean, comfortable, safe, and have free wi-fi hotspots. There are only 2 main lines but they serve lot of places in Sofia (furthest from the center). Here the maps of Sofia communication.
Current price for a single ticket in Sofia is 1,60 leva (±0,80 cents) and 35 levas (±18 euros) for a monthly unlimited card. This ticket is usable within 60 minutes from the moment your buy it. You can use the metro ticket only for it and not for the other urban transports.
From the airport, the subway goes from Sofia center to the Terminal 2 (not low-cost flights terminal) and from terminal 2 to the city center. Click here for more information.
MOVE IN BULGARIA
Bulgarian rail network is well developed, readily accessible, generally comfortable, and serves all the largest populated towns in Bulgaria. Bulgarian trains are not very fast. A journey from Sofia to Varna takes nearly 8 hours (for only 493 kilometers). So, you may want to travel by night in order not to lose a full day. Overnight trains usually offer 3 types of sleeping compartments (1/First class : 2 beds, 2/ Second class : 3 beds; 3/Couchette : 6 beds).
Purchase your ticket in advance and avoid the holidays, hardest periods to find it. To buy your train ticket or to have more information about rail network in Bulgaria and prices, click here.
For discounted price trips, it could be interesting to buy the Pass InterRail which is a pass for multiple journeys by train (and some ferries) in 30 European countries, including Bulgaria. InterRail pass is a personal pass and to buy it you have to show your international passport.
For Bulgaria Rail prices, with InterRrail Pass, for 3 days within 1 month (flexible), the price for an adult is 201 levas in first class and 129 levas for second class. For 4 days within 1 month (flexible), the price for an adult is 326 levas in first class and 207 levas in second class (less expensive for child, youth and senior).
Sixt Car Rental Company works very well in Bulgaria. There are 6 city Stations in Sofia, mostly located in hotels. There are very professional, good conditions cars with attractive prices. Of course, there are others car rental companies in Bulgaria. Click here for check it.
From Sofia Airport, the rent-a-car offices are located in the Arrivals areas of both terminals immediately after you pass through customs control, but some of them only on Terminal 2. You can find all the information you need on this link.
If your arrive for example from Charleroi Airport by Wizzair to Sofia, your terminal will be Terminal 1. So, in this case, we advise you to rent a car in town or to take a bus to reach Terminal 2 to rent your car from there (because both terminals are not in the same area).
Bulgaria has 4 international airports – at Sofia, Varna, Plovdiv and Burgas. The airports also offer charter flights, and helicopters.
Sofia – www.sofia-airport.bg
Varna – www.varna-airport.bg
Burgas – www.bourgas-airport.com
Plovdiv – www.plovdivairport.com
Most travelers arrive at Sofia Airport, the first Airport in Bulgaria because there are not lot of direct flights from other countries to Varna, Plovdiv or Burgas (In october 2017, direct fly from Charleroi to Varna with Ryanair).
From Sofia Airport, the travelers can go to Varna or others places in Bulgaria using a domestic flight, by car or by bus. Planes of course are much faster – a flight from Sofia to Varna or Burgas only takes about 35 minutes and costs about 90 euros.