Getting to Bulgaria

By Air

Bulgaria has four commercial airports – Sofia, Varna, Burgas and Plovdiv.

Sofia Airport

This is the busiest Bulgarian airport with an average traffic of 3 million passengers a year. Depending on whether you choose the services of a low-cost or a full-service airline you will arrive at either the old or the new terminal of the capital’s airport. Terminal 1 (the old terminal) has been around since the 1930s while Terminal 2 (the new terminal). 

Once you have landed safely and claimed you luggage, there is only one thing to do – get to the city. 
 
The time to complete your journey to/ from the airport may vary from 20 minutes to almost an hour depending on the time of the day and the traffic conditions in the city.
 
Transportation
 
Public Bus:
 
At present Bus Lines No 84 and No 384 are the only two services that go to the airport. From there the former goes directly to the city centre, while the latter follows a route to Mladost Housing Estate in the Southeastern part of the city and Mladost 1 Metro Station. Although they generally operate without serious delays there are still a couple of things you have to consider before making your choice. First, there are no buses at night. The lines only operate from 5 am to 11 pm. Second, since this is public transport we are talking about it tends to get really crowded during rush hours (both in the morning and the evening). Third and most important, you must always buy tickets and validate them! This is done by punching them in one of the validation machines on board the bus. The price of a single ticket is BGN 1, but if your suitcase exceeds the following dimensions: 60/40/40 cm, then you will have to validate another ticket. Otherwise you will be asked to pay a fine amounting to BGN 20 and this probably won’t be the best way to begin your holiday in Bulgaria.

Rent a Car:

You can find your rent a car company office in the arrival hall of the airport.

Taxi:

Alternatively, you can take a cab. It is a quicker way to get to your final destination and also a much more comfortable one. The only downside is that cabs are a bit more expensive than public transport. A trip to the city centre should cost somewhere around BGN 15-20. BEWARE of the fake taxis, though! They look just like the real yellow cabs but the prices printed on their price stickers are at least ten times higher than the normal ones. Leaving whichever terminal, you will be asked many times if you need a taxi. Do not accept these offers, go outside to the taxi station, and look for the proper taxi services with tags or sticker, which indicate their prices.

Shuttle:
 
Shuttle Bus No 30 is another service that covers the 15 km distance from Sofia Airport to the city centre. The fare for a single ride is BGN 1.50.
 
In 2014 there will be yet another option. Then the extension to Sofia Metro Line 1 is expected to reach the airport as well.
 
Parking lots are also available at the two terminals of Sofia Airport. You can leave your car there in exchange for BGN 2 per hour.
 
For more information about Sofia Airport, please, visit http://www.sofia-airport.bg/
 
Useful numbers
 
Police/Ambulance/Fire Brigade: 112
Flight Information: +359 2 937 22 11
V.I.P. lounge: +359 2 937 21 91
Lost & Found: +359 2 937 35 55

Varna Airport

Varna Airport is at the northern Black Sea Coast about 7 km out of Varna. It has one main terminal that serves both domestic and international flights and another terminal, which is seasonal and operates only in the summer when the number of people flying to Varna rapidly increases due to the city’s location and its proximity to some of Bulgaria’s most popular seaside resorts. 

Transportation

Getting to the airport shouldn’t be too difficult: Bus Service No 409 calls at Terminal 1 –Varna Mall – Varna Coach Station – Dormition of the Theotokos Cathedral (in the city centre) – Golden Sands Resort.

Of course you can always opt for the comfort of the taxi. A single trip from Terminal 1 to the city centre takes about quarter of an hour to complete and costs around BGN 10-15. There is also a 24-hour parking lot at Terminal 1.
For more information about Varna Airport, please, visit: http://www.varna-airport.bg/

 
Useful numbers
Police/Ambulance/Fire Brigade: 112  
Flight Information: +359 52 573 323  
V.I.P. lounge: +359 52 573 460 vip@varna-airport.com
Lost & Found: +359 52 573 423 ll@varna-airport.com

Burgas Airport

Burgas Airport is at the southern Black Sea Coast and is only 5 km from the Burgas. It has only one terminal that serves both domestic and international flights.

Transportation

 

Bus Line No 15 starts from Yug Coach Station (South Coach Station) next to the Central Railway Station every 20-30 minutes or so, depending on the day of the week. It calls at Demokratsia Blvd., Kosmos Hotel, Mladost Sports Hall, Burgas Plaza Mall and Burgas Airport, and it takes about 25 minutes to complete the entire route (if there aren’t any traffic jams, of course). 
A cab ride from the city centre to Burgas Airport (and vice versa) normally takes 15 minutes when traffic is not congested and costs BGN 10-15. There is a taxi rank right outside the Arrivals Terminal at the airport.
If you go by car bear in mind that the parking lot at the airport complex can hold 200 cars and is open for clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
 
For more information about Burgas Airport, please, visit: http://www.bourgas-airport.com/

Useful numbers

Police/Ambulance/Fire Brigade: 112  
Flight Information: +359 56 870 272/248  
V.I.P. lounge: +359 56 870 266 vip@burgas-airport.bg
Lost & Found: +359 56 870 273 lostandfound@burgas-airport.bg

Plovdiv Airport

Plovdiv Airport is 10 km from Plovdiv. It is specialized in serving charter passenger flights. It has one terminal. The journey to the airport usually takes 30 to 60 minutes depending on the weather and traffic conditions. There are four bus lines covering the Plovdiv City - Plovdiv Airport route. They operate every Thursday and Sunday. In addition to that the airport can also be reached by car or taxi. The price for a normal cab ride to/ from the city centre should not exceed BGN 15 – 20.

For more information about Plovdiv Airport, please, visit: http://www.plovdivairport.com/

Useful numbers

Police/Ambulance/Fire Brigade: 112  
Information: +359 32 601 127 info@plovdivairport.com

By Road

Bulgaria is sitting on several major European routes:

Spain - France - Italy - Slovenia - Croatia - Serbia - Romania - Bulgaria - Black Sea by ferry - Turkey - Georgia
 
Point of entries: from Romania - Ruse, Black Sea - Varna

Romania - Bulgaria - Greece
 
Point of entries: from Romania - Vidin, from Greece - Kulata

Portugal - Spain - France - Monaco - Italy - Croatia - Montenegro - Serbia - Bulgaria - Turkey
 
Point of entries: from Serbia - Dragoman, from Turkey: Svilengrad

Lithuania - Belarus - Ukraine - Romania - Bulgaria - Greece
 
Point of entries: from Romania - Ruse, from Greece - Svilengrad

By River/Sea

Danube River flows along Bulgaria and Romania is the natural border of both countries.

As Corridor VII of EU the river is a very important transportation route. The river connects Black Sea with important industrial centers and with the port of Rotterdam (via Rhine-Main-Danube Canal).

Major cities on Danube River – Ulm, Ingolstadt, Regensburg, Passau, Linz, Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Beograd, Calafat, Giurgiu, Vidin, Ruse.

Bulgaria has two major ports on Black Sea: Port of Varna and Port of Burgas. Both operate passenger and cargo terminals. For more information please click on the links above.