Public Transport in Sofia

04 Jul 2017

Sofia's public transport is getting better and new trams, trolley buses and buses are already running on some of the routes. It is fairly reliable except in the harshest winters and the lack of A/C or even any form of ventilation on some of the older trams and buses can be highly unpleasant in the summer months. Trams, trolley buses and buses cover the whole of the city, including the outskirts.

Sofia has two underground lines which intersect in the city centre at the Serdika stop. One line runs from the East (Sofia Airport or Business Park Sofia) to the West (Lyulin), via the city centre while the other, shorter, line runs from South to North (Nadezhda). The underground is clean and efficient, though it does get crowded at peak times. Tickets cost 1.60 leva for a single journey and can be bought from the ticket machines at the entrance to the stations. An electronic card with 10 journeys priced at 12 leva (and rechargeable) is a better deal if you are a group (you just pass the card between you) or are spending more time in the city.

Bus, trolley bus and tram tickets can be bought for 1.60 lev from the machine just behind the driver's cabin. The ticket is only valid for the journey on that particular tram/bus. Daily, weekly and monthly travel cards can be bought from kiosks as can packs of 10 tickets, which need to be punched in the machine inside. The fine for not having a ticket is currently 20 leva and is payable on the spot.


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Tickets cost 1.60 leva for a single journey: this single journey means one stop or when you get out for example on fourth stop?
I was in Sofia last week and found getting specific tickets to be a bit of a headache. As Svetoslav said, tram and metro single tickets are now 1.60 Leva. I wanted a 3-day eticket (12 Leva) when I arrived at the airport metro station, but you can only buy the 4 leva one-day tickets there. The airport info desk does not sell transport tickets. If you want the 3-day transport eticket that will cover metro, tram and bus, you have to buy it from the Sofia University metro station (they also have a tourist info office there- closes at 8pm most days). Also, if you buy a 1-day ticket (from the metro- not sure where else to buy them..), you need to get it scanned at the metro cash office every time you travel by metro. This validates your ticket long enough to allow you to pass though the gates. The cashiers know what to do- you can just present your ticket to them without asking for anything and they will immediately scan it. I''ve heard that you can get a book of 10 single tickets, but I think you would have to be a local to know where to get one- probably a newsagent, but I had no luck! Anyway, it''s far easier to have a 1-day ticket. It''s a strange system overall, the transport systems are not really integrated, but are comfortable enough and I love the old trams. The metro trains have air conditioning (contrary to what the guides say!). I hope this has saved someone some hassle!
Over a year ago
As of the 1st of June 2016 the ticket is 1.60 levs. You should immediately validate it in the punching machine, otherwise a fine is incurred. When you buy the ticket from the driver, you should have the exact change.
Over a year ago
The fine for not having a ticket is 20 levs. You should have a ticket for your luggage if the sum of the three dimension for the one suitcase allowed is above 160 cm
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