Whether you’re planning on visiting Bulgaria’s capital or you just ended up at the Sofia Airport by chance, this article will give you all the information you need on getting from the airport to the city.
The Sofia Airport is located at about 10 km away from the city centre. Luckily, there is a pretty good transport infrastructure to get you downtown. Available public transport includes the metro and three bus lines (84, 384 and 184). You can also pick-up a taxi in front of the Arrival building.
Until recently (May 2017) there were only 2 bus lines that were serving the 2 terminals of Sofia Airport. Bus line 84 used to pass through both Terminals (T1 and T2) and would take its passengers in downtown Sofia. Bus line 384’s route is Terminal 2 – Drujba district ( ‘Дружба’ in Bulgarian or ‘Comradeship’). Since May 2017 the line 84 splits into 84 and 184 for a trial period and line 384 is still there doing what it used to do. Going from the airport to downtown Sofia it doesn’t matter which one you take, because both lines pass through T1 and T2. The stops are in front of the Arrival buildings.
If you need to get to the airport then there is a slight difference, because line 84 goes to T2 first and then to T1, while line 184 goes to T1 first and then it continues to T2. So keep this in mind in order to reach your terminal on time for the flight. You can also use this site to check the schedule of the public transport. Simply select the type of transport from the dropdown menu:
– bus (автобусен), tram (трамваен) or trolleybus (тролейбусен)
Choose the number of the line and then the stop/station you need. Its very accurate and gives you precise information.
Another thing you need to know about using the public transport in Sofia is that you need a ticket. Tickets can be bought either from the bus driver or vending machines. Tickets bought from the bus driver should be perforated to become valid! The price of a single ticket is 1,60 BGN and allows you to carry up to two pieces of hand luggage whose dimentions do not exceed 140 cm (lets say 60x40x40, or 55X45x30 or whatever combination up to 140 cm). Should your luggage be bigger than that you need to buy another separate ticket for it. Now buying the ticket can be tricky. Although by law bus drivers are supposed to sell tickets, not all of them have tickets for sale or might refuse to sell you if you try buying with a big note like 20, 50 or 100 lev, because they don’t have change to give you back. This means that you either need smaller notes or if you are a bigger group let one of you buy 4,5 or 10 tickets at once. This advice will save you a lot of trouble, efforts and time. Another way is to use the vending machines. Surprisingly you won’t find them at the bus stops, so there is another hint.
If you are arriving at T2 look for the vending machines inside the entrance of the Metro station.
If you are arriving at T1 look for the vending machines inside the Arrival building.
What you can buy are these: a ticket sold from the bus driver (left picture) or the vending machine:
The only problem with the vending machine is that you cannot use a credit/debit card. You can only use cash and only in Bulgarian lev.
If you are at Terminal 2 you can also use the Metro to get you downtown, it’s safe, fast and useful. We recommend this option. It will take you about 40 minutes to reach Serdika metro station and you can refer to this guide for more information. If you arrive at T1 and want go get to Terminal 2 or vice versa there is a free shuttle bus every 30 minutes. Look for the signs. You can also ask at the information desk to give you the directions to the shuttle bus stop. The shuttle operates everyday, 7:00 – 18:30 h, every 30 minutes. Also check out our complete Sofia Metro Guide.
If you don’t want to use the public transport you can always pick up a taxi. However, bear in mind that there might be scammers to charge you higher prices, so choose your taxi carefully. The company that currently has a contract with the airport is called OK Taxi and they should provide regular prices. Generally the price per kilometer is less than 1 lev. A journey to downtown Sofia should be around 10-15 lev. You can also use different applications to call a taxi as there are many companies out there. Unfortunately, Uber doesn’t operate in Bulgaria.
Well there it is, everything you need to know about getting to downtown Sofia from the airport. You can also check out our full Sofia Public Transport Guide. We hope that you find this guide useful. Welcome to Sofia! Once you arrive to the city make sure to explore Sofia with us by joining our Free Sofia Tour.