There are some complete 'cowboys' operating coach tours out of Prague, but a reliable operator is GROUP (not to be confused with another operator -GRUP- who run daily coaches into Sofiya from Germany). GROUP run a daily service between Bulgaria & the Czech rep. The cost of a ticket 1-way was 1500kc/115Lev. (Approx. £50/$70)
Their coach leaves Prague @09:00 - from Sofiya @10:00 - arrival time in both cities is around 06:00 the next day, but is is dependent on delays through customs. In my experience, this effects the service out of Bulgaria, & the entire coach was searched crossing into Hungary, when returning to Prague...
The best thing about this approx.18 hour journey, is the scenery, especially rural Serbia, but there are some major cities to be observed as well, most notably; Belgrade, Budapest, & Bratislava, & Brno...
Another reliable operator is BALKAN HORN - & they also pass through Serbia, but the full itinerary is London to Varna, via Prague, & due to the many permutations of where you get on or off, & whether journey is reserved in advance, there is no overall journey time or ticket price, but a return ticket for London>Sofiya, starts at £199 - or to go 1 way in the other direction, 260Lev
If you compare this to EUROLINES for the same route, online they offer the same price, but when I tried to book, they demanded £40 booking fees, BOTH WAYS + £20 insurance, on top of the stated fare...
A complete con, that means their actual fare for London>Sofiya is £299 - a third more than BALKAN HORN - & for a journey that is scheduled to take 10 hours longer than BALKAN HORN who depart London at 19:00 & arrive in Sofiya @10:00 - & the return to london arrived a couple of hours ahead of schedule...
For €15 you can get a bus to Varna (about six hours),
Good service, a stop in between and fun!
Just go to the busstation and ask a woman in a little store,
Be there early, so you can leave two or one hour later!
GROUPS is a good operator!
One tip; go and sit on your OWN seat!
There is a new service ( Rila Monastery Shuttle) operating to get to Rila Monastery from Sofia and Bansko. This is a shared transfer for only 25E per person and you get to visit Rila Monastery and Boyana Church - two UNESCO sites in one day! The mini-buses depart every day at 9.00. You might be picked up from your hotel upon request. You need to make a reservation ahead.
Bulgaria's train network is rather comprehensive, but many routes are not very direct and trains usually take longer to reach their destination than buses do. Buses tend to be some 30% than trains, but they also connect many smaller places of tourist importance that are far from a train station.
The most comprehensive bus timetable search engine is:
Unfortunately it still does not list many small private operators in less-populated areas, even when the missing routes are the most common mode of transport to these destinations. Double-check with local bus stations whether there is a more convenient bus, in case it seems logical that there is one. My travel pages also list timetables by city.
Articulated buses with electric engines contribute to keep the air in Sofia clean. But Bulgaria use coal power stations for the generation of electric power, so the environmental gain is only in the cities.
To travel from Sofia:
Took the bus from Sofia to Plovdiv. The Central bus station
( avtogar ) was only four tram stops from the flat in Sofia.
The Central Bus station, the Train station and the Trafik Market are all together. All local trams and buses go by there. I used tram no. 4.
The ticket agent was very friendly and helpful. I wrote the word Plovdiv on a paper in Cyrillic letters. There was no problem. She sold me the ticket, pointed out on it the hour and Platform number and showed me where to wait.
From Sofia to Plovdiv
I was lucky and got a double decker bus. The first seat on the upper level was empty - grabbed it.
Great views but HOT! These buses are not air-conditioned and one cannot open the windows.
I am sorry to tell you that the bus nr' 84 from airport to city center
[Sofia University] is available from 05.00 a.m. - to 11.00 p.m, all year round.
about OK Supertrans taxi you make the reservation by phon/net so I am shure that iven the taxi desk will be close , you will have a taxi that will wait for you on time, for more diteil contact the company:
all the best
Tickets cost 0.70 lv ,. You buy them at kiosks and punch them as soon as you get on the bus/tram, etc. Sometimes drivers sell tickets too.
You can buy a "talon" with 10 tickets for 6lv. There alre also day, week and monthly passes.
Buses, trams or trolley buses are pretty regular and cheap. They operate between 6.30AM and 11PM.
Tickets are sold at booths at most stops. A single ticket costs 0,50 BGN (0,25 EUR) and should be 'cancelled' (stuck in the wee ticket machine) as soon as you get on the vehicle.
You can also buy a combined ticket for 2, 3 or 5 journeys.
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