Most travellers arrive at Sofia Airport, a once depressing point of welcome which has now acquired a second, more modern terminal that could be anywhere in the world. The drive from the airport to the city centre is a short one and should not take more than 20-30 minutes. Use the official taxi booth inside the terminal to ask for a taxi, as those loitering outside are likely to overcharge you by anything up to 10 times the normal fare.
Both the train station and international bus station are located in the city centre and are accessible by underground, but the area around them tends to attract 'dodgy' characters so keep your wits about you. Early morning and late at night are to be avoided.
If arriving by car, be aware of the numerous speed traps at the entrances to the city as you will end up with a not insignificant on the spot fine. Driving in Bulgaria is an experience some would prefer not to have, but if you have made it to Sofia then you will already have had a taste of that on the way!
Central Bus Station in SofiaSofia's international bus station (http://tis.centralnaavtogara.bg) is adjacent to the main railways station. Most buses arriving from or going to the countryside or abroad come here. The new, clean facilities, which include a food court, certainly make the idea of bus journey more attractive.
Sofia AirportSofia's airport is conveniently close to the city centre, with the journey into town taking not more than 30 minutes. Sofia airport now has two terminals, 1& 2. Most scheduled flights operate out of Terminal 2 (the new one), Terminal 1 being used for charter flights and budget airlines, such as Easy Jet and Wizzair.. Check carefully with your airline from which terminal it operates.
The road to the new terminal is clearly marked, turning right off Brussels Blvd. before reaching the older airport buildings. The new terminal is modern, bright and clean although rather bland. You could be anywhere in the world! The cafe in the departure lounge charges outrageous prices for drinks, though there are now vending machines with items at more reasonable prices.
Sofia airport's new terminal has a multi-storey car park with over 800 spaces and it is even quite reasonable to leave your car parked there for several days.
Up until recently, there were constant reports of people being ripped off by the taxis hanging around the airport, although the new rules introduced at the end of May 2011 should have put an end to that. As ever, we advise caution.
After much bad publicity it is hoped that Sofia airport authorites will address some of the negative aspects most urgently. If you can, get someone to meet you at the airport. Most hotels operate a pick up service on request. For those on a budget; public transport bus No. 84 stops at both terminals and travels down bul. Tsarigradsko Shosse via the University to ul. Gurko in Sofia city centre and vice versa. The bus ticket (currently 1 lev) can be bought at the newspaper kiosk in either terminal; if your luggage is large you will have to buy an extra ticket for each bag.
The website www.sofia-airport.bg has live flight information in English.
Tourist InformationThe municipality now has three tourist information centres, in key locations where it hands out free maps and brochures depending on availability.They can also recommend and arrange trips or tour guides for you, alternatively join the Free Sofia Tour to get your bearings.
Trains in SofiaAttempts have been made to clean up the train station's image and the area around it but we still feel the place is somewhat creepy and would not like to be alone there late at night.
International trains go from here to Greece, Serbia, Romania and beyond. They tend to move very slowly, though a 'fast' train to Thessaloniki in Greece has been introduced which takes about 5 hours (you can drive it in less!).