Bulgaria offers over 4000 km of rail track. The two major train routes are Sofia to Varna and Sofia to Bourgas. The main rail hub is in the capital Sofia, which has connections to Romania, Serbia and Turkey. Experience diverse scenic views onboard Bulgaria's trains.
Trains in Bulgaria
More information about trains in Bulgaria
The two major train routes are Sofia – Varna (duration: 7-8 hours) and Sofia – Burgas (duration: 6-7 hours). You can also travel both routes overnight. The main train station is the central station ('Tsentralna Gara') in Sofia, where most international trains depart and arrive. Sofia has direct international connections with Belgrade, Bucharest, Istanbul, Budapest, Vienna and Thessaloniki/Athens.
An Interrail pass valid in Bulgaria can be used on all trains operated by the Bulgarian State Railways (BDZ).
Visit the Bulgarian railway company (BDZ) website.
Due to the building of a new high-speed line there are engineering works on the train line between Istanbul (Turkey) and the Bulgarian border. Read more details and alternative routes.
There are 3 types of domestic trains in Bulgaria.
Expresen Vlak faster trains (routes: Sofia – Plovdiv, Sofia – Varna, Sofia – Burgas): reservations required
Barz Vlak local 'rapid' trains: no reservation needed
Patnicheski slower local trains: no reservation needed
Reservations cost about € 0.25. You may have to pay additional commission though. Reservations can be made at the Rila travel agencies, which you can find for example at Sofia train station. See for addresses the BDZ website. It might be good to know that a reservation is called 'zapazeno myasto' in Bulgarian.
Bikes are allowed on most domestic trains upon payment of a supplement based on the distance.
There are various train connections with other European countries:
Sofia – Bucharest - 1 day train and 1 night train
The Black Sea Train circulates during certain periods of the year from Moscow and Minsk to Varna and vice versa.
The Bucharest / Istanbul Express - circulating on the route Bucharest / Stara Zagora / Istanbul.
The Nusic night train from Sofia to Belgrade
The Balkan Express from Sofia to Istanbul
The Bosphorus Express from Bucharest to Istanbul via Dimitrovgrad
Reservations are recommended for international connections.
Spelling of cities in Bulgaria
On Bulgarian train timetables and at train stations in Bulgaria, you'll usually find the local spelling of Bulgarian cities and stations.
Here is the local spelling of some popular Bulgarian cities:
Sofiya = Sofia