Transportation in Bulgaria

How to Get to Bulgaria


Bulgaria meets tourists at 4 international airports – in Sofia, Burgas, Plovdiv and Varna, you can also get there by train, by sea or the Danube, by bus or by your own car. See for other countries starting with B.

Aeroflot and Bulgaria Air planes regularly fly from Moscow to Sofia, the travel time is about 3 hours. In the low season, you will have to get to other cities with transfers via Istanbul or Athens; during the summer navigation period, direct flights and charters to Bulgaria are launched from several airlines at once, and not only from the capitals, but also from a number of Russian cities.

In the summer, travel agencies launch bus flights to Bulgaria, the journey from Moscow takes about 48 hours, most likely there will be no time for walks in transit settlements. Ticket price – from 250 EUR. Also, major Bulgarian cities are connected by bus routes with all of Europe.

The shortest way on your own car lies through Ukraine, which at the moment, perhaps, is not the best option. Another route is 400-500 km longer, it goes through Belarus and practically repeats the railway journey. The total length of the road between Moscow and Sofia is about 2600 km.

By sea from the Russian coast, alas, you can’t get there yet. If you really want to take a boat, you will have to go through Ukraine, Romania or Turkey, or buy a tour along the Danube in one of the European countries.

Details on how to get to the popular regions of Bulgaria: Burgas, Varna, Rose Valley, Golden Sands, Nessebar, Pomorie, Primorsko, St. Vlas, Sofia.

Find cheap flights to Bulgaria


Domestic air traffic is poorly developed and connects the capital with only a couple of airports. A direct flight from Sofia to Varna takes about an hour. But everything is not bad with the BDZ railway network. By train from Sofia to Plovdiv it takes 4 hours, from the capital to Burgas it takes about 8 hours.

It is also convenient to move around the country by buses: they regularly run between all more or less large cities. Buses are municipal (cheaper and easier) and private (more expensive and with a certain degree of comfort). The price of a bus trip depends on the level of comfort, on average, moving between cities for a distance of 50-70 km will cost 5-8 BGN. The prices on the page are for September 2021. An additional bonus for dear Russians: the timetable and directions are written in Cyrillic.

When traveling by taxi, you need to be careful: in the country there are a large number of private traders masquerading as taxi drivers, let’s say, not guaranteeing the safety of tourists. It is best to order a car by phone.

Urban transport

In the cities of the country there are buses, trolleybuses and fixed-route taxis, and in Sofia the main mode of transport is trams and metro. A single bus ride costs about 0.60–1.0 BGN, such a ticket can be purchased from the driver. The cost of a single travel pass ranges from 2 BGN per day, a weekly pass costs about 10 BGN, for a month – 40 BGN. Tickets can be bought at kiosks or from the driver. Bus fares can be a bit more expensive.

Taxis in Bulgaria are yellow with traditional “checkers”, a price list with prices should be fixed on the side glass, often you can even get a check from the driver. Walk past the cars and try to figure out the average cost of a ride in your area, filtering out the obscenely expensive offers. When landing, look at the counter, sometimes extraneous numbers are “accidentally” found there. On average, for 1 km of a taxi ride, they ask for 0.70-0.90 BGN during the day and 0.90-1.10 BGN at night, plus the “initial tax” – the price of landing. In resort areas, airports and railway stations, prices are higher – up to 3 BGN per km, the ability to negotiate is useful here.

Hotels in ski resorts provide their guests with a shuttle service to the ski lift station. Depending on the level of the hotel, it will either be free or cost 1.50–2 BGN per person one way.

For independent trips around the country, you need to purchase a special sticker on the windshield of the car – a vignette that gives permission to travel on most Bulgarian roads. Tourist vignettes cost from 15 BGN per week to 30 BGN per month. Driving without such a sticker is fraught with fines. Pay attention to parking signs in cities. Often on weekdays, an hour of parking will cost 1-2 BGN, and on weekends you can also leave your car here for free. Bribes to police officers are strictly prohibited.

Car rental in Bulgaria

It’s simple: to rent a car in Bulgaria, you must be over 21 years old and have an international driving licence. An important point: in the country, in no case should you drive after drinking alcohol – this is a real opportunity to be behind bars for a decent period.

Drivers who rent a car but do not have an international driver’s license are often fined unreasonably.

Transportation in Bulgaria