Bulgaria by Train

Trains - Tickets - Routes

A Travel Guide For Train Travel In Bulgaria.

Here you will find information for Bulgaria about trains, routes, tours, connections, where to buy train tickets, and more.

Useful Information

Population: 7.05 million

Currency: Bulgarian Lev

Language: Bulgarian

Capital: Sofia

Country Code: +359

Time Zone: Eastern European Time

Train Companies

The railway network in Bulgaria is operated by Bulgarian State Railways (BDZ).

bulgaria rail map

Copyright: RAILWAYHERO

Train Tickets

ticket-icon

Buy your train tickets for Bulgaria online on the BDZ official homepage.

Buy your train tickets online at OMIO and compare trains, buses & flights.

Rail Passes

Interrail / Eurail Pass

Do you want to travel throughout Europe flexibly and comfortably? Then the Interrail Pass is perfect for you. With the Interrail Pass, you can visit 40,000 destinations in 33 countries in Europe. You can travel for up to 3 months by train.

Balkan Flexi Pass

With the Balkan Flexi Pass, you can travel by train through 8 countries in Eastern Europe. This pass allows you to travel by train in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Romania.

TrAIN tYPES

Patnicheski Flak (P) are local trains that stop frequently.

  • 2nd Class only
  • No reservations possible
  • Air-conditioning offered on some services
  • Bicycles can be taken on train for a small fee

Barz Vlak (BV) are fast local trains that connect Bulgaria’s largest cities.

  • 1st Class: Rows of three seats (2+1)
  • 2nd Class: Rows of four seats (2+2)
  • No reservations required, but if desired, the fee is 0.25 € and is the same for both classes.
  • Bicycles can be taken on the train for a small fee

Expresen Vlak (Fast3P) quickly connect Sofia to Plovdiv, Varna, and Burgas

  • 1st and 2nd Class offered
  • Reservations required, reservation fee: 0,25 €
  • Air-conditioning offered on some services
  • Bicycles can be taken on the train for a small fee

International Vlak (IV) are express trains, which connect Bulgaria to the neighboring countries of Turkey, Greece, Romania, and Serbia.

  • Routes:
    • Sofia – Belgrade, Serbia
    • Sofia – Thessaloniki, Greece
    • Sofia – Istanbul, Turkey
    • Sofia – Bucharest, Romania
    • Vidin – Craiova, Romania
  • 2nd Class seats only
  • No reservations required, except to Thessaloniki, Greece

Night Trains:

Balkan Express
Routes

    • Sofia – Plodiv – Dimitrovgrad* – Istanbul, Turkey **
  • Reservations required
  • Sleeping Accommodations
    • May vary by carriage as the train is made up of a mismatch of Bulgarian, Romanian, and Turkish trains.
    • Shared 4-bed or 6-bed couchette (kuşet) or
    • 1 and 2-bed private sleeper compartment
    • Air-conditioned and inclusive of bed linens.
    • Bathrooms are located in the coach carriage
  • * Joins with the Bosphorus Express
  • ** Arrives at Halkali station, which is on the outskirts of Istanbul; however, shuttles run frequently between Halkali and Sirkeci, the main station in Istanbul.

Bosphorus Express

Routes

    • Bucharest, Romania – Russe, Bulgaria – Dimitrovgrad, Bulgaria – Istanbul*, Turkey
  • Reservations required
  • Sleeping Accommodations
    • May vary by carriage as the train is made up of a mismatch of Bulgarian, Romanian, and Turkish trains.
    • Shared 4-bed or 6-bed couchette (kuşet) or
    • 1 and 2-bed private sleeper compartment
    • Air-conditioned and inclusive of bed linens.
    • Bathrooms are located in the coach carriage
  • Tickets can only be bought at the train station or through a travel agency
  • * Arrives at Halkali station, which is on the outskirts of Istanbul; however shuttles run frequently between Halkali and Sirkeci, the main station in Istanbul.
  • ** Switch to Balkan Express to continue to Sofia, Bulgaria: Dimitrovgrad, Bulgaria – Plovdiv, Bulgaria – Sofia, Bulgaria

Barz Vlak (BV) night train:

Routes:

    • Sofia – Burgas
    • Sofia – Dobrich
    • Sofia – Solistra
    • Sofia – Varna
    • Plovdiv – Varna
  • Reservations required
  • Sleeping Carriage
    • 1 and 2-bed compartment (designated as 1st Class ticket) equipped with a washing facility
    • 3-bed compartment (designated as 2nd Class ticket) equipped with a washing facility
    • Air-conditioned and inclusive of bed linens.
    • Bathrooms are located in the coach carriage
  • Sitting Carriage:
    • 1st and 2nd Class offered
    • Bathrooms are located in the coach carriage

Night Train 460/461

Routes:

    • Thessaloniki, Greece – Sofia, Bulgaria – Bucharest, Romania
  • Operating in the summer
  • Couchette Carriage
    • 4 and 6-bed couchettes available
    • Toilets are located at the end of every coach carriage
    • Bedding is provided
  • Seating Carriage
    • 2nd Class seating only
    • Toilets are located at the end of every coach carriage
    • Bedding is provided
  • Labeled as: D 1460/460, D 461/1461

 

Golden Eagle Danube Express
Korona-Express
Rhodopenbahn

Routes

Frequently Travelled Routes In Bulgaria

National

 
From > To
Duration Changes Transport
Sofia to Varna 8:00 Direct Train
Sofia to Plovdiv 2:45 Direct Train
Sofia to Burgas 6:00 Direct Train
Varna to Burgas 4:46 Direct Train

 

International

 

 
From > To
Duration Changes Transport
Sofia to Bucharest, Romania 10:03 h 1 Train
Sofia to Budapest, Hungary 21:19 h 2 Train
Sofia to Belgrade, Serbia 5:00 h Direct Bus
Sofia to Thessaloniki, Greece 6:42 h Direct Train
Sofia to Istanbul, Turkey 9:35 h 1 Night Train
Sofia to Chisinau, Moldova 24:00 h 2 Train

Bulgaria travel routes

The Mystical Orient Express

The Mystical Orient Express

Bulgaria: From Sofia To Varna

Bulgaria: From Sofia To Varna

Main Train Stations

  • Sofia
  • Plovdiv
  • Varna
  • Burgas

Good to know

Best Time To Travel To Bulgaria

We recommend traveling anytime between April – June, and September – October. For a beach holiday to the Black Sea, the summer months are wonderful. July and August are the months with the least precipitation and the nights are mild. From June on, the sea is a great temperature for swimming.

The summer months may be too hot for sightseeing tours in cities or round trips in Bulgaria, but the milder temperatures in spring and especially in autumn are perfectly pleasant. Snow can be expected in Bulgaria from December to February, with plenty of opportunities for downhill skiing and backcountry skiing. 

  • High Season: June – August
  • Low Season: November – March

 

Accommodation In Bulgaria

Booking

The best place to find cheap hotels for is to book by www.booking.com. There you will find a large selection of cheap hotels, hostels, and apartments. > BOOK HERE

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Hostelworld

If you are looking for a low budget accommodation, then go on www.hostelworld.com. They have the best choice of cheap hostels for backpackers and low budget travelers. > BOOK HERE

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Guidebooks For Bulgaria

Travel with a guidebook ease your journey to find best sights and things to do. Buy it on Amazon.

Travel Insurance

We highly recommend not to travel without insurance. Don’t fret! World Nomads offers many different travel insurance coverage plans to suit your trip best. > BUY HERE

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