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Navigating Sofia: A Detailed Guide to Public Transport

Bustling buses, quaint trams and modern metros – Sofia really does have us spoilt for choice! As someone that is prone to getting lost, I was genuinely shocked at how easily I was able to travel around Sofia. Everything was  so straightforward and easy to comprehend. Public transport in Sofia is also super affordable, there is a detailed breakdown of all the ticket prices for you below.

Its worth mentioning that Sofia is actually a very walkable city – so you won’t need to use public transport constantly. However, If you experience travel FOMO and usually feel the need to cram three museums, a park, and at least twenty photo stops into a single day – then you are definitely going to want to read this.

Ticket prices in Sofia

Here is a full breakdown of all public transport prices in Sofia:

  • Single travel ticket issued by the bus driver – 2.00 lev ($1/€1)
  • Single travel ticket without right of transfer (issued from a cash-desk or ticket-machine) – 1.60 lev ($0.80/€0.80)
  • 30 Plus (A ticket allowing travel with transfers within the first 30 minutes) – 1.60 lev ($0.80/€0.80)
  • 60 plus (A ticket allowing travel with transfers within the first 60 minutes) – 2.20 lev ($1.10/€1.10)
  • Daily unlimited ticket for all lines – 4.00 lev ($2/€2)
  • 24hour ticket including night transport and additional bus lines supplementing the main bus lines – 6.00 lev ($3/€3)
  • 3 day ticket/72 hour unlimited card for all lines (electronic) – 15.00 lev ($7.50/€7.50)
  • 30 day unlimited ticket for all lines – 50.00-70.00 lev ($25-35/€25-35)
  • Fine issued by ticket inspector for not having a ticket – 40.00 lev ($20/€20) This fine is payable on the spot.
  • Tickets can only be purchased with Bulgarian lev or stotinki (coins) and occasionally with your bank card.

Ticket options and where to buy them

Tickets for public transport in Sofia can be purchased from various locations, including:

1. Ticket Kiosks: Look for yellow or green ticket kiosks located at major bus and tram stops, as well as metro stations.

2. Public Transport Vehicles: On buses and trams, you can buy single-drive tickets directly from the driver or conductor. These tickets need to be perforated, you’ll find an old-fashioned clicky machine on every bus and tram. Ensure that you have the exact change for the driver. They are entitled to reject larger banknotes if they don’t have change.

3. Metro Stations: Ticket machines are available at metro stations, allowing you to purchase single-ride tickets, daily passes, or even rechargeable cards for multiple journeys.

4. Some of the smaller news-stands and cigarette kiosks near bus stops sell all-day tickets as well.

Fun fact: When the single-drive ticket price was raised from 1.00 lev to 1.60 lev, many citizens of  Sofia began consciously leaving behind their perforated tickets on the seats so that other people would have the opportunity to use the same ticket. So have a look around the bus before purchasing your ticket, you never know, you might just get lucky.

Sofia Metro Map

Sofia Metro

Sofia has a total of three underground metro lines that are really simple to understand. Lines one and two intersect at the Serdica stop in the city centre. One line runs from Lyulin in the West all the way to Sofia Airport in the East. A shorter line runs from North Park (in the North, obviously) to Vitosha in the South.

A third line was recently introduced from the Gorna Bava district in the West, intersecting near the National Palace of Culture, intersects again near the Eagles Bridge, and ends in Hadzhi Dimitar.

Travelling by metro from Sofia city centre (Serdika) to Sofia Airport will take you around 25 minutes. For comparison, it takes around 20 minutes by taxi.

Top Tip: Be sure to take a screenshot on your phone of the Sofia metro map included above!