Bulgaria: Domestic and International Trains

Last updated May 2017
Good to Know
 

Trains are often much slower than busses, although a lot more scenic.

 
Bulgaria has an extensive but run-down rail network. Most train cars are old and very hot in winter and summer. Frequent delays are reported and the level of cleanliness leaves much to be desired.  Catering services are also unreliable and dining cars are often absent.

Yet, if you are willing to turn a blind eye to the above discomforts, rail travel remains an affordable way to see the countryside and the many scenic railway routes.
 
 

INTERNATIONAL TRAINS

 
Overnight trains to Belgrade, Bucharest, Istanbul, Kiev and Moscow leave daily. Note that a valid passport and visa might be required. 
 
 
 

The daily train from Sofia to Yambol before departure at Sofia's Central Train Station.
 
 

DOMESTIC TRAINS 

 
Frequent domestic trains (including sleeper trains) leave for Varna and Burgas. The same trains pass via Plovdiv, St Zagora and Gorna Oriahovitza.
 
Less frequent trains leave for Vidin, Vratsa, Koprivshtitsa, Blagoevgrad and the Greek border.
 
 

SCHEDULE

 
Check bgrazpisanie.com or the “Schedule of train movements” mounted on the wall of the Railway station for detailed information on train schedule. 
 
 

BUYING TICKETS FROM OUTSIDE BULGARIA

 
RailEurope.com offers tickets and passes, including a “Bulgaria pass” for all Bulgarian trains, but the prices are several times more expensive than buying a ticket from the local train station.
 
Even with the sometimes long queuing factored in, it might not be worth purchasing train tickets from outside Bulgaria.
 
 

BUYING TRAIN TICKETS FROM BULGARIA

 
Tickets for same-day trains are sold at the ticket offices at the stations. You must know where you are going and how to say it in Bulgarian, as it is highly unlikely that the ticket agent will speak English.
 
 

A train ticket to the Bulgarian Railways.
 
 
International train tickets, sleeper couches and advance tickets can be reserved in the Rila Train Ticket offices.
 
There is one in the Central Railway station at the end of a corridor to the left of the main entrance. Passports will be required.
 
The other Rila Train Ticket Office in Sofia is located at:
5 Gurko str

 
A long-awaited online ticket sales service should start functioning sometime in 2014.
 
Last updated May 2017
 
   
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train sofia bulgaria
train sofia bulgaria