If you are planning to visit Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, you might be wondering how to get around the city. Sofia has a well-developed public transport system that includes buses, trams, trolleybuses, metro and taxis. In this blog post, we will explore all the facets of Sofia’s public transport and give you some tips on how to use it efficiently and comfortably.
Buses, trams and trolleybuses
Sofia has a network of over 100 bus lines, 15 tram lines and 9 trolleybus lines that cover most of the city. The buses, trams and trolleybuses operate from 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., with some night lines running until 1:00 a.m. The fares are the same for all modes of transport: 1.60 BGN (about 0.80 EUR) for a single ticket or 4 BGN (about 2 EUR) for a daily pass. You can buy tickets from kiosks, vending machines or on board (with exact change). You need to validate your ticket at the start of your journey by punching it in the yellow or red boxes inside the vehicle. If you are caught without a valid ticket, you will face a fine of 20 BGN (about 10 EUR).
Sofia’s metro system is relatively new, with the first line opening in 1998 and the second line in 2012. There are currently two metro lines that intersect at Serdika station in the city center. The metro operates from 5:00 a.m. to midnight, with trains running every 3 to 10 minutes depending on the time of day. The metro is fast, clean and comfortable, and it connects some of the main attractions of the city, such as the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the National Palace of Culture and the Sofia Airport. The fares are the same as for buses, trams and trolleybuses: 1.60 BGN for a single ticket or 4 BGN for a daily pass. You can buy tickets from vending machines or ticket offices at the metro stations. You need to validate your ticket at the entrance gates by scanning the barcode.
Taxis are another option for getting around Sofia, especially if you are traveling late at night or with luggage. Taxis are plentiful and easy to find, either at designated taxi stands or by hailing them on the street. However, you should be careful of taxi scams that charge exorbitant rates or take longer routes. To avoid being ripped off, always use reputable taxi companies that display their name, phone number and tariff on the car door. The official tariff should be no more than 0.79 BGN per kilometer during the day and 0.90 BGN per kilometer at night. You can also order a taxi by phone or through an app, such as TaxiMe or Yellow Taxi.
Tips and tricks
Here are some tips and tricks to make your public transport experience in Sofia more enjoyable:
– Get a Sofia City Card, which gives you unlimited access to all public transport modes (except taxis) for 24 hours (9 BGN), 48 hours (15 BGN) or 72 hours (20 BGN). The card also includes free admission to some museums and discounts at various attractions, restaurants and shops.
– Download the Urban Mobility Center app, which provides real-time information on public transport schedules, routes and delays. You can also use Google Maps or Moovit to plan your trips.
– If you are traveling with children under 7 years old, they can ride for free on all public transport modes (except taxis). You just need to show their ID or passport if asked by a controller.
– If you are traveling with a bicycle, you can take it on the metro for free during weekends and holidays, or for an extra fee of 1 BGN during weekdays. You can also take it on some buses, trams and trolleybuses that have a bicycle sign on them.
– If you are traveling with a pet, you can take it on all public transport modes (except taxis) for free if it is small enough to fit in a carrier or a bag. Otherwise, you need to pay an extra fee of 1 BGN and keep your pet on a leash and muzzled.
Sofia’s public transport system is a convenient and affordable way to explore the city and its surroundings. With a little bit of preparation and awareness, you can enjoy your travels in Sofia without any hassle.