Time in Sofia

Weather forecast


°C

Bulgaria

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Useful Information

Arriving in Sofia

On horseback: Although you can still see horse drawn carts every now and again in Sofia, parking is not very comfortable.

By car: There are numerous signs that direct drivers to the center of Sofia. There are boulevards that link the main road arteries and a ring road that encircles the whole city. It might however help to take a look at the map prior to entering the city by car. http://www.bgmaps.com/map/sofia. Be careful when parking in the city center as there are "zones" where you need to pay for parking. These are always labeled with signs in English so keep your eyes open.

By plane: All passengers planes land either in Sofia Terminals 1 or 2. The airport is relatively close to the city but not comfortable for walking.

Airport Transfer: Transfers from the airport are usually around 10 EUR, you have to book in advance or ask at the airport information.

Public transport from the airport: Bus 84 is the cheapest option; it stops at the airport every 10 minutes, from 05:00 to 24:20. It goes to the center of the city where you can catch the underground at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski Metro Station. You can buy tickets from the bus driver. Bus 384, traveling from 06:00 to 19:25, also stops at the airport but goes only to the nearest metro station.

By train and bus: Regional and international bus services are provided at Central Bus Station Sofia, which lies next to Central Railway Station. Central Railway Metro Station of Sofia Metro (line 2) lies just next to Central Station. There are also a number of public transports that you can take from the stations to the city.
Tramway service: 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 12
City Bus service: 60, 74, 77, 78, 82, 85, 101, 213, 214, 285, 305, 404, 413

 

Money
The Bulgarian currency is the Lev (BGN). The Lev is tied to the Euro at the rate of 1.95583 leva = 1 euro, following its acceptance of a currency board (for easier use we usually regard the rate as 2:1, 2 lev for 1 EUR). This fixed rate is unlikely to change and the country could be expected to join the Euro soon. The current lev is divided in 100 stotinki, which are reflected as coins. You could potentially pay in EUR but most places require you to pay in BGN. Use of credit cards and the presence of POS terminals are growing; however these are currently available in supermarkets, hotels and more upscale restaurants, with most places requiring you to pay in cash. Exchanging money can be done at any bank; do not exchange money on the street!

 

Local Time
Bulgaria is in the Eastern European Time Zone: GMT + 2 hours. With daylight saving time used: Summer time (March to the middle of October): GMT + 3 hours.

 

Safety
Bulgaria is a relatively safe place, even safer following its accession to the EU. Tourists and business travelers should however be wary of potential pickpockets in tourist and crowded areas and it is advised to keep your belongings close. Be wary of fake alcohol sold in nightclubs and hidden prices if visiting gentlemen clubs. Don't exchange money on the street and be careful if someone tries to sell you mobile phones, watches or perfumes on the street, these are replicas.

 

Public transport
With Sofia underground being one of the newest in the world, the provided comfort is worthwhile. Everything is new and clean, with fares costing 1 lev regardless of destination. There are only 2 lines but new stops are constantly being opened. Due to its proximity to Roman excavations in the center of town, many ancient artifacts were found during its construction. Some are displayed in the Serdica Metro Station.

 

Taxis
Taxis in Bulgaria are some of the cheapest in Europe. It is advised to use the larger reputable taxi companies the work at lower rates. Law requires taxi drivers to use their taximeter but currently this is an ongoing problem as there are some companies mimicking the more reputable ones, but with much higher rates. A 10 BGN fare can go to as much as 80 BGN if not careful. Look for one of the following telephone numbers on the side of the cars:
9732121
91119

 

Climate & Weather
Bulgaria has a temperate continental climate with 4 distinct seasons. Hottest months: July, August (max. 28-35°C , or 80-95 Fahrenheit), coldest: December, January (lowest -20°C). Bear in mind that as a mountainous country the weather can change when traveling to higher altitudes.

 

Accommodation
You can book hotels all over Bulgaria though:
http://www.booking.com/country/bg.html
However, please contact me prior to booking as I can try to negotiate some discounts.