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Trains in Bulgaria

 

Bulgaria offers over 4000 km of rail track. The main rail hub is in the capital city Sofia, which has connections to Romania, Serbia and Turkey. Experience diverse scenic views onboard Bulgaria's trains.

Train types in Bulgaria

The train network in Bulgaria is operated by the Bulgarian State Railways (BDZ). You can look up train times on the Interrail train timetable or on the BDZ website.

Map with main train connections in Bulgaria

Domestic trains in Bulgaria

Expresen Vlak

  • ​Faster trains (routes: Sofia to Plovdiv, Sofia to Varna, Sofia to Burgas).

  • Reservations are required (approximately €0.25, or BGN 0.50 in local currency).

 

Barz Vlak

  • Local 'rapid' trains.

  • No reservation needed.

 

Patnicheski

  • Slower local trains.

  • No reservation needed.

 

You can bring your bike on the train in Bulgaria. The fee is 2 BGN (Bulgarian lev, approximately €1) and you can pay this at the ticket desk. 

Popular Connections in Bulgaria

The following routes using trains in Bulgaria don't require reservations:

Route

Travel time

Plovdiv to Burgas 5 hours
Sofia to Burgas 8 hours
Sofia to Plovdiv 3.5 hours
Sofia to Varna 7.5 hours

Sofia has direct international train connections to several countries. Reservations are recommended.

Route Which train? Travel time Reservations
Sofia to Bucharest (Romania) International (INT 460) 11.5 hours Required
Sofia to Budapest (Hungary) Intercity (INT 490, NT 340, FT 340) 20 hours Required
Sofia to Thessaloniki (Greece) Regional (RE 361) 7 hours Required
Sofia to Istanbul (Turkey)* International (INT) 13 hours Optional


*The train from Sofia to Istanbul ends at Istanbul Halkali station for an undefined period of time. This is a suburban station about 25 kilometers west of the city's central station. 

Reservations for trains in Bulgaria

Which trains in Bulgaria require reservations?

 

  • Expresen Vlak

  • Cost: Approximately €0.25, or BGN 0.50 in local currency.

  • You may have to pay an extra commission.

 

How can I make reservations for Expresen Vlak trains in Bulgaria?

 

  • At Rila travel agencies, which you can find at train stations across Bulgaria.

  • Check locations on the BDZ website.

  • A reservation is called "zapazeno myasto" in Bulgarian.

 
Get your Pass for Bulgaria

Interrail Bulgaria Pass

 

  • Gives you access to the trains in Bulgaria and allows you to focus on the entire country

  • Youth, senior and family discounts available

  • Prices from € 51

 

View Bulgaria Passes →

Interrail Global Pass

 
  • Explore up to 33 European countries by rail including Bulgaria

  • Youth, senior and family discounts available

  • Prices from € 185

 

View Global Passes 

Tips and Tricks for Bulgaria

Bulgaria's main train station

  • Central station ("Tsentralna Gara") in Sofia.

  • Most international trains go through here.

  • Use the metro from Sofia central station to reach the airport and city centre.

Spelling of names in Bulgaria

The local spelling of Bulgarian cities can be found at train stations in Bulgaria and on timetables in the country.

Good to know:

  • Sofiya (written as "София") = Sofia

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