Photo Credit: Eric Salard

Sofia Airport

Sofia Airport (SOF) is located about three miles from downtown and is the main airport in Bulgaria, processing just under 3.5 million domestic and international passengers in 2011. Over 25 carriers serve the airport, including Bulgaria Air, the main operator for trips to Berlin, Moscow, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Rome, Burgas (Bulgaria), and Varna (Bulgaria). Travelers from outside Europe or Russia usually need to connect through one of the major hubs such as Frankfurt, London or Moscow.

There are two terminals, both which have banks, a post office, travel agents, information desks, car rental firms and at least one café located in the pubic area. The VIP lounge is in Terminal 1 and both have retailers, wine shops and duty-free located past border control.

There is a free shuttle bus departing every 30 minutes that links the two terminals (not walking distance apart). Two taxi companies serve the airport, OK Taxi and 91280, both which can be booked at desks in the Arrivals hall (just state your destination and take the slip to the stand outside). Bus 84 links both terminals to the Sofia University Metro Station about 35 minutes away and tickets can be pre-purchased from a newsagent.

Burgas International Airport

The international Burgas Airport (BOJ) is the second busiest in Bulgaria, processing over two million passengers in 2011. Over 60 carriers, including the flagship airline, Bulgaria Air and several budget options including Jetstar and Thomson Airways, operate mainly seasonal flights from Burgas to about 30 major cities including Moscow (Russia), Berlin (Germany), Amsterdam (Holland), and London (England). Bulgaria Air runs one domestic route to Sofia each day.

There are two terminals, one for arrivals and the other for departures, both of which have currency exchange, duty-free shops, a VIP lounge, cafés and fast food outlets. Bus 15 departs every half hour, linking the airport to the train station 15 minutes away. This is by far the cheapest and safest option, although visitors can catch a taxi or rent a car from the arrivals hall.

Varna Airport

The three terminals of Varna Airport (VAR) make up the third largest airport in Bulgaria, located about five miles outside the major tourist city of Varna. May through October is the peak time for seasonal travel, with numerous carriers offering flights from a multitude of European cities. Bulgaria Air runs year-round scheduled flights to Bari, Beirut, Kuwait, Moscow, St Petersburg, and Tel Aviv with additional service in high season to Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Munich, Vienna, and Warsaw. Most visitors coming from places outside of Europe or Russia should connect through a major hub such as Dusseldorf.

Terminal 1 is the main terminal and offers currency exchange, duty-free shops, cafés, and fast food. Visitors can catch a bus or taxi outside the Arrivals hall to get to the city or resort although be cautious of unofficial cabs. The best option is to take the free shuttle bus that links the airport to Varna city center and the airport in Burgas.

Plovdiv Airport

Plovdiv Airport (PDV) is a small international airport with limited facilities, located near Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s second largest city. It is busiest during winter when visitors come to Bansko and Pamporovo for ski season. The main routes come from the United Kingdom, Ireland or Russia with Ryanair running scheduled flights year round to London and S7 flying regularly to Moscow. Seasonal carriers increase the destination list to cities such as Belfast and Dublin. While visitors could take a taxi to downtown, there are buses that wait after every flight and head to the main bus station, Jug, which are a much better option.

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