HOW TO GET TO PLOVDIV?
If you are planning on visiting Bulgaria you will most likely want to see Plovdiv too. But HOW DO YOU GET TO PLOVDIV? Let us tell you few things about Plovdiv first. Plovdiv is the second largest city in the country and proudly defending its title as such against the city of Varna. However, at the end, Plovdiv still wins!
The city has been continuously inhabited for 7000-8000 years. When you walk on the streets of Plovdiv you should know that you are simply walking on top of one of its many city layers, because Plovdiv is a city that combines history and modern day life, and sweetly blends them in one! Plovdiv is famous for its seven hills (six today) and you can easily recognize it as you are arriving from Sofia (usual start of the trip).
LOGISTICS FROM SOFIA AIRPORT TO PLOVDIV
If you decide that you want to go to Plovdiv directly from Sofia airport, then the following steps/tips will show you HOW TO GET TO PLOVDIV? You have few options + alternative way!
- Option 1: Upon landing at SOF you can take the subway/Sofia Metro to the central bus station. The metro gate is just on the left from the main Terminal and easily found by following the markings on the Terminal’s floor. The ticket you buy from a ‘ticket machine’ or cashier. It costs 1.60lv ($1) and it is valid for both lines: blue and red. Typically, you don’t need to pay extra for carrying luggage with you on the subway, but depending on the number of bags and size you carry, you might need an additional ticket. If you follow basic airline luggage policies: 1 checked bag up to 50lbs (23kg) and 1 carry on, you will be fine. You will take the Blue line and transfer to Red line at Serdika station /you can download a map of subway lines from Sofia Metro site/. The Bus Depot is two stops away from Serdika.
- Option 2: Upon landing at SOF you can exit from the right door and wait in queue for a Taxi. Tell the driver “bus station” and within 15-20 min for the price of 15lv ($10), you will be in front of the bus depot. Most drivers don’t speak good English, but the taxi company serving the airport is decent and reliable. You can even order a taxi ahead of time at the OK Taxi Site. They also offer rides to Plovdiv, at times, for the price of 100-150lv ($70-$100) with prior reservation.
- Option 3: order a private van to take you to Plovdiv. You can reserve on Sofia Airport Transfer site.
AT THE BUS DEPOT
As you enter the Bus Depot, turn right and you will see few windows labeled “24 hours of ticket sales”. Ask for a ticket for the next bus to Plovdiv and go to sector 6 (the very left side as you exit the building). The direct buses from Sofia to Plovdiv (operated by Vitosha or Hebros Express) always leave from sector 6, and there is a bus on every hour BUT not exactly ON the hour! Infobus offers bus schedules. One ticket to Plovdiv costs 14lv ($8). Luggage is free. The driver will check your ticket and put the one half-of-al-luggage sticker on the back of your ticket, and the other half on top of your suitcase. Passengers have assigned seats, written on tickets, and it is the respectful thing to do and keep your seat assignments. Buses to Plovdiv are usually full.
LOGISTICS FROM OTHER LOCATIONS IN SOFIA TO PLOVDIV
Subway is the easiest way to get around Sofia and reach the airport or bus station. Both lines meet at Serdika station, so regardless of your ‘permanent’ location in Sofia, you can easily get to the bus depot. Bus lines 213, 404, 11 and many others all go to the Main Train Station and Bus Station (they are next to each other). You can plan your trip by using Eway.bg.
Cost of ticket is 1.60lv, but if you have lots of luggage or larger size suitcases, you will have to buy tickets for them too. Yes, it doesn’t make any sense, but ticket checkers love to catch out-of-towners or foreigners on bus lines specifically going to train and main bus stations. The fine is about 50lv ($35), but the argument will cost you enough time to miss your bus/train. You can purchase tickets in advance from a ticket boot or from the driver. If you purchase from the driver, make sure you have exact change.
ALTERNATIVE WAY TO GET TO PLOVDIV
Some people prefer to take the train from Sofia to Plovdiv and go on an adventure because that’s what Bulgarian trains are. Although a bit cheaper than bus tickets, train travel takes longer and Bulgarian trains are not the cleanest. There are three types of trains: regular passenger, fast, express. If you plan on taking the train your best bet is to take the Express train. You can check schedules and purchase your tickets online from the BDZ official website /Bulgarian Railroad/.
Note: it is typical for Bulgarian websites to have outdated info, so keep in mind that schedules and prices might not be accurate.
So now that you know how to get to Plovdiv it’s time to learn “How to Get Lost in Plovdiv?” and enjoy it to the fullest!