How to reach Varna from Sofia
The trip from Sofia to Varna and back can turn into a real trial if you start organizing it at the last moment. Below we will describe the diverse options you can use to reach Varna from Sofia.
Which options for reaching Varna from Sofia are there
Sofia – Varna via bus
Buses leave for Varna from Sofia’s central bus station, each 30 minutes. The bus fare with the different companies does not vary much.
Union Ivkoni sell tickets costing 31 BGN in one direction, depending on the bus and on the number of stops on the way. The return ticket costs 54 BGN.
Global Biomet and Etap – Address offer tickets costing 32 BGN in one direction, and the return fare is 54-55 BGN.
Trips by bus take almost as the same period as via train, around 5 hours. In the summer, especially in August, there can be traffic jams. For smokers going via bus is more convenient, as stoppage periods on the way are longer than those via train.
On Bulgarian trains, planes and buses smoking is strictly forbidden!
You can check bus schedules and fares on the site or at the following phone number: 0900 63 099.
Sofia – Varna via plane
The Wizzair low cost airline offers the cheapest plane fares to Varna: 19.99 BGN. But it is possible to buy a ticket at that cost only in advance, 2-3 months earlier. The average fare is 50-70 BGN in one direction. Paying for the baggage is separately, 10-20 BGN for one place, according to the volume.
Bulgaria Air performs four flights a day to Varna. The fare for a ticket in one direction is 65 BGN with hand baggage only, and 95-211 BGN in economy class.
Sofia – Varna via train
As you can naturally expect, trips by train, as well as by bus, remain the cheapest options of reaching Varna from Sofia. But don’t expect you will find a sleeper ticket for the night trip at the last moment.
The Bulgarian Railway Company, BDZH, offers 20-day advance sales in the summer, as well as booking tickets, for 6 extra fast trains and 17 fast trains. Please note that you have to register them at the cash desk on the day of the trip.
The bus fare for the train trip Sofia – Varna in one direction is 31.80 BGN for second class, 39.60 BGN for first class, and the return fare is 49.90 – 62.25 BGN.
The cost of the seat booking, both on a fast and on an extra fast train costs 50 Stotinki, regardless of the class. Add to the ticket cost 8 BGN for a sleeper place in second class, 10 BGN for a sleeper place in first class, and 15 BGN in business class. In business class you will travel alone in the compartment with a first class ticket.
Customers with sleeper tickets can transport for free three baggage items at maximum, with maximum dimensions of 55 x 45 x 80 cm. In the event of carrying baggage items of larger dimensions you will pay 2 BGN per place, for up to 2 items, and 1.5 BGN for 3-4 items.
You can check to train schedules and fares here.
Via car from Sofia to Varna
Travelling via car is a convenient, comfortable way, favourite with many tourists, but in summer, especially in August, there can be traffic jams and accidents.
You can also use several options there. These comprise going in your car, renting a car or booking a transfer.
There are several itineraries from Sofia to Varna:
- Sofia – Zimnitsa – Rishki Pass – Shumen – Varna: it comprises a distance of 505 km, 360 of which are along the motorway. Some car driving fans recommend the way through the Rishki Pass as a convenient and safe one. It is especially suited to aficionados of beautiful landscapes.
- Sofia – Yablanitsa – Turnovo – Shumen – Varna: it comprises a distance of 445 km, 140 out of which are along the motorway.
- Sofia – Plovdiv – Kotel – Omurtag – Turgovishte – Shumen – Varna – 415 km.
- You can also travel to Varna from the capital via Burgas – Sunny Beach – Byala… But in the summer roads along the coast are filled with heavy traffic.
In addition to the cost of petrol, you have to purchase a vignette if you are driving your own car; intertown roads in Bulgaria are toll roads.
Car sharing, or joint trips
Joint trips have become increasingly popular among young people with the spread of the Internet. If you like communicating, are into making new acquaintances, and wish to save, you can find companions travelling from Sofia to Varna, for example on Facebook.
By travelling with a companion, you will reach your destination in comfort, and you will share the petrol expenses with the driver.
You can also hitchhike to Varna from the capital. Just go out on the Hemus motorway, in the direction of Dolni Bogrov, and wait for a car to pick you up.