Hey all! After our previous blog posts about getting around Sofia with the public transport or on foot, it is high time we tell you about everyone’s favorite way of transportation in the city. With this post, we are taking you on a ride with the Sofia metro! We have prepared our next dose of useful tips and tricks for visiting Sofia.
The consturction of the Sofia metro started in the 1970s. It took several decades before the first line opened. However, it was in the last 10 years that the metro network saw its biggest expansion with two new lines now fully operating (inaugurated in 2012 and 2020) and a longer 1st line that can now take you all the way to the Sofia Airport.
When entering any metro station, you can find additional information about the metro lines, the stops, or the timetable, on signs like these:
It now takes around 30 minutes to get from the airport to Serdika station in the city centre (and vice versa). There are actually a couple of other options to reach the city centre from the airport – by taxi or bus (you can find more information here) – but taking a taxi holds certain dangers to your wallet and there are only two bus lines that operate from the airport, so the new metro might be your best option. Keep in mind that the metro only goes to Terminal 2 of the Sofia Airport. If you happen to arrive at Terminal 1, there are free shuttle buses every 30 minutes that can take you from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2 and vice versa.
If you land at Terminal 2, just head left past Departures to the metro’s entrance at one side of the terminal. The station is called Sofia Airport (Летище София) and this is where your journey begins.
Of course, the journey must also start with a small dose of history, Free Sofia Tour style. As you enter, you will be welcomed by the statue of Orpheus.
He had a divinely gifted voice, one that could charm all who heard it. No god or mortal could resist his music; even rocks and trees would move closer to hear him. Orpheus is probably the most famous Thracian, whereas the story of his love for Eurydice is a timeless tragic love story.
Next to the statue of the enchanting Orpheus, you will find rather ordinary ticket vending machines. Another recently introduced high-tech innovation, these machines are fortunately very foreign-friendly, and they have a menu in English. If you are tech shy, you can head for the ticket office to find additional information and a person selling tickets. There, you can also purchase a multi-travel electronic card for the metro. A single electronic multi-travel card, pre-loaded with ten rides, costs 12 BGN to buy;
Vending machines for tickets and the ticket office, source: Free Sofia Tour
The new price for a one-time ticket is 1,6 BGN (around 0.80 EUR). As of April 2018 you no longer need a ticket for your luggage. The fine for travelling without a ticket is currently 30 BGN. Fines are given by ticket inspectors, whom you will easily recognize by their blue uniforms:
You can also find your way on the map, or you can also do this online on the metro’s website, where you can find a virtual map. The Metropolitan website also offers a general scheme with a lot of curious facts. The first metro train is at 05:00 and the last at 24:00. Once inside the metro trains, electronic signs and voice announcements mark the current and next stations, as well as line connections.
Moreover, on every station you will find boards showing remaining time to the next trains, as shown on the picture below.
Do not be confused: the two trains marked above are headed in the same general direction (red line), but have different end stops. As of August 2020 you will see those 2 seperated as M1 and M4. M1 (in red) going to the Sofia Business Park and M4 (in yellow) going to the Sofia Airport:
The Sofia Metro was largely built in the last 10 years. Therefore, all new stations are wheelchair-friendly and have elevators. The only problem would be in some of the older stations (from Serdika to Slivnitsa station on the M1 – the first metro line. Fortunately, the local authorities are currently trying to fix this.
The intersection of the red, yellow and blue lines is Serdika station, where you can transfer from one line to the other. This is also where you need to get off if you are looking for the Free Sofia Tour and the city’s main landmarks. The starting point is just two minutes walking time from the station, as shown on the map below:
Hope that this was helpful. Have a safe journey! We look forward to seeing you!
Also check out our:
Sofia Airport to City Center Guide
Sofia Public Transport Guide
Last Updated: August 2020
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Quick question about the ‘luggage ticket’ – if I get a three-day card, would that cover my luggage too?
Hello, James! You can travel with 2 pieces of luggage as long as each of them do not go over the 60/40/40 cm dimensions. If your luggage exceeds this size you will need to buy an aditional ticket for it.
Is valid metro ticket for the bus or tram ?
Unfortunately the ticket is valid only for the metro only. For the bus you will have to buy another one. It’s best to buy a day card, as it costs only 4 BNG (2 euro) and is valid for unlimited travels throughout the day, whereas 2 tickets ( for the metro and bus) would cost you almost the same.
Dear Vasil, if I take metro from airport till serdika station, I need extra ticket to ndk station? is there any direct connection from airport to ndk? blagodaria!
You need to buy only one ticket, unless you have a big suitcase (please check out the exact dimensions in the blogpost above) for which you will have to buy another ticket.
Otherwise 1 ticket is all you will need. To reach NDK you will have to change metro lines. From the airport the metro line is the red one so you have to change it to the blue one at Serdika. Just look for the signs to the blue metro line (Serdika II) and from there take the metro for one stop till NDK metro station.
I’ll visit София tomorrow; second time within 3 years.
* the greek word for yr name.
dear vasil, are you sure that I have to change line?
As per this, https://www.metrosofia.com/images/sofia-metro-lines-2016-july.png sofia’s airport and ndk station are both blue!
check also, this:
thank you for your interesting article. Next week, on Friday, I’m going to Plovdiv for a three months internship. I’ll arrive from Italy at the Sofia airport at 15,35. I’m thinking that’s it’s better for me to take the metro line. So I’ve a question for you: my train to Plovdiv will be at 17,20. Which metro line have I to take? It seems I’ll have a changeover at Serdika Station, but I don’t understand it very well. could you, please, explain it better to me? thank you very much, and… sorry for my bad English.
Ciao Maria! Greetings from Bulgaria 😉 To get to the Central Train station in Sofia from the airport the easiest way is the metro. You have to take the line from the airport (it is only 1) and ride until Serdika, where you have to change to the second metro line (Serdika II, its below Serdika I) and from there ride for 3 stops until the metro station called Central Train station. It will take you directly to the Train station and you will need about 40-50 minutes from the airport. If you haven’t bought a train ticket yet, I would advise you to choose going to Plovdiv by bus, because it’s faster and more convenient and our trains are really old-school and not very good. So unless you want to experience a travel back on time, choose the bus. The bus station is next to the train station, so good luck
thanks for your fast and useful answer! I’ll think about your advice about trains and buses.
Have a nice evening.
Thanks for a helpful article. I am due to arrive at Sofia airport on Monday at Terminal 1. Can I walk to the metro from T1?
If I buy the daily ticket and I have a big luggage more than 60x40x40, do I need to buy another ticket for it? Or is the daily ticket enough?
Thanks a lot
Hello, Hani, you need another ticket for your luggage.
thanks for great guide
Hi Vasil: I’m staying in Bulgaria near the Lavov Most Station. Is it possible to change trains at Serdika and go north on the blue line or does the train only go in one direction? I guess I could hoof it from Serdika if necessary.
Hu, Shane! Yes, at Serdika station is where you can take the other metro line to go north.
I’m sorry, but i find this incomprehensible. Why does the red love flow into the blue line?
Hello, James, I agree that the scheme looks a little bit confusing. It’s because the two lines are connected and they intersect at the Serdika station. That is why the red line flows into the blue one.
Hi Vasili, thanks for the tips.
Question: If I want to know most of the Sofia’s metro stations, is it possible to do a “round trip” in the metro, from start to finish? I mean, can I take the metro at Airport Station, and reach Vitosha station, without make any line change?
If not, what happen when you reach Slivnitsa station (starting from Airport station)? The train stop and go back? Or is it continue to Obelya station?
Thanks a lot!
Hi there! Yes, that’s possible! Once you reach Slivnitsa station the train will automatically continue to Obelya station and eventually you will reach Vitosha station without any line change.
Hi Vasil! Is it possible to buy Sofia metro day pass at the airport ticket kiosk? Is it better than buying a 10 trip pass? How much is the cost for each one? Thanks for your help!
Hi John! You can buy a day pass at the Sofia Airport metro station ticket office. The day passes can be used in the entire public transport network (including the metro). The cost is 4 BGN and it is valid for the entire day. If you are planning on using more than 2 different means of public transport, then the day pass is your best option. If you are planning on using just the metro the 10 trip pass is a better option. Keep in mind that the price of the 10-trip pass is currently 12 BGN and it is valid ONLY for the metro. You will also have to pay a refundable 1lv for the electronic card. You will get it back once you return the card.
Hi, do children need a ticket too? My children are age 5 and 11 years… Thanks…
Hi! Children up to 7 years old can use the public transport free of charge. However, they need to have a special card which can only be issued to children that are registered within the municipality of Sofia. So, if you are visiting Sofia just for a few days your children will need regular tickets. Hope this helps.
Hi, firstly I would like to thank you for a great tour when I was in Sofia in November 2017. I am returning 3times this year first in April and have read your article on the metro. I will be traveling on my disabled scooter again and thought that rather than catch a taxi I might use the metro. I am staying at 46 even Kirill metodniy and wonder if service station is the nearest and whether I need a second ticket for the scooter?
Thank you again for the wonderful tour Chris Butler
Hello! If I understood correctly you are staying at str. Kiril and Metodii 46, right? The nearest metro station is Lavov Most. You will not need a second ticket for your scooter. Enjoy your time in Sofia!
Hi! I’m staying in a Airbnb at Yosif Gourko street.
We arrive around 23.00 in the evening. What’s the best en cheapest way to reach our apartment? Bus or metro?
Hi, thanks for all the great info.
Can the 10 trip pass be used by several persons at the same time (eg, 4 people using up 4 rides at one time)?
We are 4 people coming to Sofia and we plan to join the free tour!
Hi there! The 10 trip pass can only be used by 1 person.
Can you tell me, can i go from central train station to inter expo center station? is it possible to go that way?
Should i change different trains to reach the final station ? I don’t have any experience with metro.
Hello Mera! Yes, it is possible. You can take the metro for 2 stops to Serdika metro station. Then you should change to Line 1 in the direction of Sofia Airport.
Hello, does Sofia University metro have ticket machine that accepts credit card? Thanks
Hello Ananthi! Unfortunately, no. However, there should be an ATM nearby.
Would you know which metro station I get off to go the big shopping mall with the free bus
Hello! You are probably looking for Sofia Ring Mall. The free bus that can take you there stops next to the Sofia Business Park metro station.
Hi. Can I buy a 3 day pass at the airport for use on all of the public transport. Thanks
Hello! Yes, you can 🙂 Enjoy your stay in Sofia!
Hi does the metro run 24hours per day please?
Hello! The metro runs from 6:00am to 11:30pm.
please,let me know what is the metro station next to Slavyanska street (ART GALLERY) in Sofia.Thank you
The closest metro station is the Sofia University metro station. It is about a 5-minute walk.
I need to be at Sofia airport at 6:30am, what time should I take the metro at Serdika?
Thank you in advance!
Hi! The earliest train for the Sofia Airport leaves from Serdika at 5:09AM. The journey takes around 30 minutes. To be there by 6:30AM, it’s best if you take the train departing at 5:56AM.
Hi, can you tell me please – if I have 2 suitcases, do I need 3 tickets altogether? Thank you
Hello Caroline! As of 2018, you don’t need extra tickets for your luggage. Enjoy your stay in Sofia!
Hello, I will be arriving to Sofia by train and from there I want to get to the airport. Is it possible to buy the metro tickets with euros at the Central Train Station? If not, is there a place nearby to make the change to bgl? Thanks!
Hello Alan! The only currency that is accepted in Bulgaria is the Bulgarian Lev (BGN). You will find a money exchange office at the Central Train Station.
I am disabled and use a scooter. I am thinking of using the metro from the airport to the Holiday Inn Hotel at the Business Park Station. Is that possible? And which station is it as I cannot see it on the map?
Is all the Metro scooter friendly?
Hello Peter! Yes, that is possible. You can take the metro from Sofia Airport Metro Station at Terminal 2 to Mladost 1 station. Then you’ll need to change trains and take the one that goes to the Business Park Station. Fortunately, these metro stations are all relatively new. Therefore, they are all equiped with elevators and you should have no problem with your scooter.
Hello , Can you please tell me if the Sofia Metro is suitable for people in wheelchairs ?.
The Sofia Metro was largely built in the last 10 years. Therefore, all the new stations are suitable for people in wheelchairs. The only problem would be in some of the older stations (from Serdika to Lyulin station) of the first metro line. Fortunately, the local authorities are currently trying to fix this.
Where can I get a monthly pass for the metro only in Sofia
Hello Margaret! Here are all the options https://www.sofiatraffic.bg/en/transport/punktove-za-prodazhba-na-prevozni/p/1
Hello! If I want to go from Serdika II metrostation to NDK,can I pay a ticket using a Visa Card?
Hello! Yes, you can now pay with a Visa card.