'Mode' : From
The bus station from Plovdiv to Kazanluk is the North station, Sever Avtogar
There are 2 in the morning at 0700 and at 1330. More later in the day. The trip takes ~2 hours.
Be aware - the bus station in Kazanluk does not appear to be a large city station. No signs!
It looks like a small town on a busy thoroughfare (highway).
I wouldn't have recognized it if a very nice lady didn't tell me that this was the Kazanluk station!
The driver stopped off about 1/2 way into the trip to buy a bunch of tomato plants!!
Seems he is a local man - talked to some of the passengers quite familiarly.
The trainstation is at Bovev blvd and is well organized. In Bulgarian the trains departures are on a big computerscreen and in the underpass. Platforms are not numbered. Tickets are sold upstairs (local trains) Trains to Sofia: duration 2 and a half hour (there are 3 expresses each day, costing 7 lv) or slow (there are 8 slow trains costing 5 lv). Trains to Karlovo durartion 2 hours (only 6 slow a day, costing 4 lv). Trains to Veliko Tarnovo (5 slow trains with a duration of 4 hours, costing 9 lv)
Plovdiv's Central Railway Station is on the main Hristo Botev thoroughfare in the city centre, about a kilometre from the Old Town. It is particularly well-connected to Sofia with 16 trains per day in both directions and is on the mainline between Sofia and Bourgas. From Sofia the express trains take about 2 hours with the slower trains up to 3 and a half.
The station itself is an attractive Neo-Baroque building in the National Revival style and has all the services expected of a major city rail terminus. The only caveat is that the signage from the platforms isn't very obvious and so when arriving by train you'll only recognise it because it is the first proper covered station building you'll encounter after leaving Sofia!
There are plans to renovate the station over the next couple of years and a local architectural studio, Arkont-A, was awarded the tender in July 2008 - so maybe they'll factor in a couple more signs into their planning.
For any travelling by long-distance bus:
Write the name of the place that you want to go to on a piece of paper in Cyrillic letters.
If you give that to either the information booth clerks and/or the ticket sales people there is no problem.
I found that everyone was more than willing to be helpful - even to the extent of taking me by the arm and escorting me to the correct place to wait for the bus. That was a special!
More usually they would point to the number of the correct platform on the ticket and then point in the general direction of that platform. Really easy to find with all the willing helpers around :)
Plovdiv's main train station is located on ul. H. Botev, not far from the centre. Trains from and to Sofia are frequent, about every hour. Other trains travel East to Burgas and less often to Varna.
There are 3 bus station in Plovdiv: Avtogara Yug on ul. Botev (a bit East of the train station) for buses to/from Sofia and a couple of other towns.
Avtogara Rhodopi (South of the train station) for buses to/from towns in the Rhodopi area e.g. Smolyan.
Avtogara Sever (near the Filipovo station) for buses to/from towns in the North, e.g. Veliko Tarnovo.
From the bus station or the train station find Ivan Vasov avenue go up till you reach a big square square after about 10-15 minutes, you are already in the city center now. There is a big Information center there, get a free map (the main sites are highlighted on it) and start exploring the city. The old town is just 5’ walk from there, just follow the main pedestrian street.
The city center is compact so you can see everything easily, just walk around, high temperatures and the hills will get you tired of course (the old town is up on one of the hills of the city) so don’t forget to do small breaks, get into some of the museums or stop for a coffee
You wont need any but if so the ticket for the local buses is 1lev(about half euro), there is an inspector in every bus that comes to you and you get the ticket from her (not from the driver!). Local buses run from about 5.30am till about 23.00. We noticed also some mini buses.
We used some local buses to reach the suburbs but we didn’t use any taxi. If you need one don’t forget to check always the rate per km which is always written on the side window.
Plovdiv is located on the banks of Maritsa river, about 152km SE of Sofia.
We used train from/to Sofia. Return ticket costs 15leva (about 8euro) and the train ride was 2,5 hours.
There are many different platforms, hopefully there were screens with information about arrivals/departures showing the platforms too.
The station seems very old but it’s very nice, in neo baroque style, not much English spoken (it’s always helpful to have your destination written on a paper in Cyrillic to be sure).
There is an area with luggage lockers (2lv for 24 hours!)
There are numerous buses connecting Sofia with Plovdiv in about 2 hours, most of the buses run every hour but on peak moments there are buses on half an hour. You can just buy your ticket at the bus station (about 14 leva one way)
Plovdiv is also connected with numerous small towns around, depending on the destination you have to go to one of the 3 bus terminals
Avtogara Yug(South) opposite the central train station is the one for Sofia
Avtogara Rhodopi station is behind the central station, very useful for many small towns in Rhodope mountains, we took a bus to Bachkovo from here, for a 35’ ride the ticket was 4 leva one way. We bought the ticket at the station and we went to the sector that they told us and just got into the small bus. The bus station is modern, there were some café to wait and a clean WC (they charge 0,50lev)
Avtogara Sever (North) is a bit out of town (bus 21 will get you there), we didn’t use this but I guess it serves the cities to the north.
Plovdiv Airport is located 12km SE of the city (near Krumovo village on the route Plovdiv–Assenovgrad) with a shuttle bus connecting the airport with a railway station which is 3km away.
I guess most of the people come to Plovdiv from other Bulgarian town by train/bus/car but there are some low cost companies that serve the Plovdiv airport from some European countries.
There are 3 busstations. The main one is the Yug station, opposed to the train station. You can go to Sofia (duration 2 and a half hour, leaves hourly, costs: 7 lv), Varna (6 hours duration, leaves three times a day, cost 12 lv) Veliko Tarnovo (duration four hours, leaves three imes daily, costs 9 lv) and Karlovo (for Koprivshita: leaves hourly, duration is two hours and costs 3 lv). From Rodopi bus station (accessible trough the underpass at the train station) there are Busses to Karlovo (4 busses each day) and Bachkovo. At the sever bus station (accessible best by taxi, its in the suburbs) a bus at 4.30 p, goes to Koprivshtitsa. Finally, there is The “Express Transport” Private Association at Botev Blvd 45 which is specialized in express bus transport services to and from Sofia. To Istanbul you pay 40 lv for the bus at the Yug Station
Plovdiv has three separate bus stations each handling buses to and from different parts of the country.
The main central bus terminus is the "Avtogara Yug" (South) which is across the road from the central railway station. This is where services to and from Sofia and the south of the country arrive and depart. The buses depart from well-signposted bays and you can get one of the cheapest coffees in town (50c) from the cafe here. The ticket office is adjacent to the departure area where you can buy tickets for all destinations and companies.
The other main bus station is the "Avtogara Sever" (North). This is a bit out of town, across the river, and can be reached by either local bus #21 or by taxi. I found this one a bit confusing as the bus station itself is set back from the main road and isn't particularly well signposted - it's through the building marked "APTEKA" (Pharmacy!). At the front of this there is what appears to be a bus station but this is just a parking and setting down area. Once you realise where it is it's once again organisedly laid out with the ticket office next to the departure lounge and the buses depart from clearly marked bays.
The third terminus is the "Avtogara Rhodopi" which is behind the main railway station and accessible from it (and the main Hristo Botev Blvd) through the pedestrian underpass. This deals with buses from the Rhodope Mountains and other smaller destinations. I haven't used this one but it too seems well-organised.
Taxis are as cheap, maybe even cheaper than bus rides if you are with 3 or 4 people. Five kilometre will cost 2lv. Taxis arrives every 5min. Order taxis from the companies offering the lowest prizes and wait for it. Ask the locals who often use taxis what the best companies are
Plovdiv's airport has been recently revamped with its new International terminal being opened in August 2009 at a total cost of about 20 million Euros. At the time of writing (January 2010) the only scheduled flights using it are from Moscow but the airport authorities hope to be able to attract airlines from throughout Europe over the course of the next year or so.
In addition to scheduled flights the airport will still handle regular charter carriers and act as a back-up to Sofia airport.
The terminal is designed to handle a throughput of 1,000 passengers per hour (aiming for 500,000 per year) and the infrastructure is also in the process of being upgraded.
The airport is located just outside the village of Krumovo, about 12 km from the city centre, on the main Plovdiv to Asenovgrad road and railway line. Krumovo railway station too has had a recent revamp, as has the line itself, and the journey time from Plovdiv is now 11 minutes with modern high-speed electric trains in operation.
UPDATE Ryan O'Crapo Air are offering a regular scheduled service from November 2010 - me I'll stick to flying in and out of Sofia or Varna until they get a decent airline.
This is the new Bus Station in Plovdiv. There are cafe's shopping on the lower level. This connects to the Plovdiv train stations a few meters away. To get to Plovdiv you can take a bus ride from Kazanlak, Sofia, Stara Zagora or any other major city. You can also take a train to Plovdiv from some areas like Sofia & Kazanlak.
Plovdiv buses can be used easily but the problem is that there is no information about the schedule and also some of them don’t run frequently. It is absolutely possible for people to wait even half an hour on the bus station.Public transport starts running around 05:30 and stops at 23:00. You must buy tickets from the bus, but not from the driver, there is a ticket collector in every bus.A single ticket costs 1 lev (0.50 EUR). Also there are passes but the shortest period is one month and the price is around 30EUR.
But don’t worry – Plovdiv is explored even easily on foot, the main sightseeings are located in the walking area and the Old town.
Here is a link to the scheme of the buses network, unfortunately is in Bulgarian
The taxi in Plovdiv are much cheaper compared with those in Sofia, Varna and Burgas. The starting rate is 0.90 lv (0.45 EUR) and the rate per km is 0.65 lv for daytime and 0.75 for nighttime.All taxis are yellow and have stickers on the windscreen with the phone number, company name and rates in BGN. In case you catch a taxi from the street always look at the rates, especially in front of the railway station. There are drivers who don’t work with any companies and they can charge you too much although they’re also yellow and look like the others a lot. Some of the most popular are: Violet: 032/6160, Elma: 032/6665, VIP: 032/6103 and so on.
Rhodopi bust station is not the largest but is modern .Buses that run from that station go mostly to Rhodopi mountain – Chepelare, Pamporovo, Smolyan and all the little cities and villages in the area.
The station is located on the other side of the underpass of the train station, just behind Billa supermarket on pl. Avtogara Rhodopi 1
In the following link, you can find a picture with the timetable of the bus station but it's only in Bulgarian: