Country info: Bulgaria (България)
Rail companies: BDZ (Български Държавни Железници)
Currency: 1 euro = app. 1.95 Bulgarian Lev (BGN)
Train travel in Bulgaria: train types, tickets, fares, discounts & other useful info
National Train Service:
Train types in Bulgaria: Suburban, Passenger, Fast & International trains
- Suburban (marked as КПВ or 'Sub' on BDZ website): suburban trains (крайградски пътнически влак), no seat reservation requires
- Passenger (marked as ПВ or 'Ord' on BDZ website): passenger trains (пътнически влак) on medium & long-distance routes, no reservation required
- Fast (marked as БВ or 'Fast' on BDZ website): fast trains (бърз влак) serving long distance routes, seat reservation not compulsory, but possible (0,50 BGN)
- Fast* (marked as БВ3Р or 'Fast3Р' on BDZ website): fast trains (бърз влак съ задължителна резервация) serving long distance routes, higher tariff applies & compulsory seat reservation (0,5 BGN), most of these trains also have a special name (like 'Rhodopes', 'Golden Sands', 'Seagull'). Previously such trains were known as express trains or ускорен бърз влак
- International (marked as МБВ or 'Int' on BDZ website): international trains (международен бърз влак), seat reservation not compulsory, but possible (0,50 BGN)
Couchette & Sleeper reservations fares on Bulgarian trains: 5 BGN for couchette, 10 BGN for 3 bed sleeper, 12 BGN for double sleeper (NB: 1st class ticket required) & 18 BGN for single sleeper
Majority of Bulgarian domestic tickets are sold only 5 days in advance, but for holidays period and summer season advance sale starts 20 days in advance. Domestic tickets for distances <100 km are valid for one day, 3 days for journeys >100 & <300 km and 30 days for journeys >300 km
Discounts, special offers & ways to save money for passengers traveling by train in Bulgaria (BDZ):
- Return ticket purchase gives passenger 10% discount compared to standard full fare ticket price
- For journeys with fast trains on certain routes BDZ gives 20% discount
- 20% discount applies also for the tickets on suburban journeys <50 km during weekends & public holidays
- Groups (3 to 6 passengers) receive 15% discount for one-way tickets on all Bulgarian trains
- For trains "Golden Sands" & "Seagull" from Sofia to Varna & Sofia to Burgas BDZ offers 30% when puchasing return tickets.
International Train Service:
a) Regular discounts
SET tariff (valid for rail journeys between the members of South-East Europe Railways Group (SERG), which are the railway companies of Albania, Bulgaria, FYR of Macedonia, Greece, Romania, Turkey, Serbia, Montenegro & Republika Srpska (ZRS)
Passengers can also take advantage of special Multilateral Agreement between a number of Central European railway companies. It allows to get 30% (or 40% for youth<26 years old and 50% for groups more than 6 passengers) discount from regular SCIC-NRT tariff fare on any return ticket purchased for connections between countries participants of the tariff Agreement (Czech Republic (CD), Hungary (MAV), Romania (CFR), Poland (PKP), Slovakia (ZSSK), Bulgaria (BDZ), Serbia (ZS) and FYR Macedonia (MZ)
Though at the same time potential passengers need to be careful and also consider possible bilateral agreements between Bulgarian Railways (BDZ) and rail companies in other countries (those might be cheaper at the end). In case of Bulgaria it's cheaper to purchase tickets to Serbia, Turkey and Romania using different discount (SET tariff)
b) Special offers (SparSchiene)
- 'Munich Special' (via Serbia, Hungary and Austria) from Bulgaria to Munich: 399,77 BGN (via Passau) and 382,17 BGN (via Salzburg)
- Sofia to Thessaloniki return ticket offer - 25 euro (purchase in advance required), 'standard' price one-way ticket is 16,80 euro (≈ 33 BGN), return 33,60 euro (65,80 BGN)
- Bulgaria-Germany (via Serbia, Hungary and Austria): without use of ICE trains - 477,22 BGN (1 adult passenger), 715,83 BGN (2 passengers), etc.; with use of ICE trains - 520,25 BGN (1 passenger), 780,38 (2 passengers), etc.
- Bulgaria-Austria (via Serbia, Hungary): OeBB <100km: 1 adult passenger – 219,05 BGN, 2 passengers – 328,58 BGN etc.; OeBB >100km<400km: 1 passenger – 265,99 BGN, 2 passengers – 398,99 BGN, etc. & OeBB >400km: 1 passenger – 275,38 BGN, 2 passengers – 413,07 BGN, etc.
- Bulgaria-Czech Republic (via Romania, Hungary and Slovakia): CD <100km: 1 adult passenger – 338,36 BGN, 2 passengers – 507,54 BGN, etc.; CD >100km<300km: 1 passenger – 381,39 BGN, 2 passengers – 572,08 BGN, etc. & CD >301km: 1 passenger – 418,55 BGN, 2 passengers – 627,82 BGN, etc.
- Bulgaria-Slovakia (via Romania, Hungary): 301,20 BGN (1 adult passenger), 451,80 (2 passengers), etc.
- Bulgaria-Hungary (via Romania): MAV<100km: 238,61 BGN (1 adult passenger), 357,92 (2 passengers), etc., MAV>101 & <250: 250,35 BGN (1 adult passenger), 375,52 (2 passengers), etc., MAV >250km: 262,08 BGN (1 adult passenger), 393,12 (2 passengers), etc.
- Bulgaria-Hungary (via Serbia): BDZ<70km & MAV<100km: 160,38 BGN (1 adult passenger), 240,57 BGN (2 passengers), etc.; BDZ<70km & MAV>101<250km: 172,11 BGN (1 adult passenger), 258,17 BGN (2 passengers), etc., BDZ<70km & MAV>250km: 183,85 BGN (1 adult passenger), 275,77 BGN (2 passengers), etc.; BDZ>70km & MAV<100km: 203,41 BGN (1 adult passenger), 305,11 BGN (2 passengers), etc.; BDZ>70km & MAV>101<250km: 215,14 BGN (1 adult passenger), 322,71 BGN (2 passengers), etc., BDZ>70km & MAV>250km: 226,88 BGN (1 adult passenger), 340,31 BGN (2 passengers), etc.
- Bulgaria-Greece (Thessaloniki): BDZ<220km (50,07 BGN – one person and 75,10 BGN – two; 37,94 BGN for one student (ISIC) and 56,91 BGN for two), etc.; BDZ>220km (57,89 BGN – one person and 86,84 BGN – two; 43,81 BGN for one student (ISIC) and 65,72 BGN for two), etc.
- Bulgaria-Greece (Athens): BDZ<220km (131,04 BGN – one person and 196,56 BGN – two; 98,96 BGN for one student (ISIC) and 148,45 BGN for two), etc.; BDZ>220km (138,86 BGN – one person and 208,30 BGN – two; 104,83 BGN for one student (ISIC) and 157,25 BGN for two), etc.
- Bulgaria-Ukraine (via Romania): UZ<750km: 289,46 BGN (1 adult passenger), 434,19 BGN (2 passengers) etc.; UZ>750km: 336,40 BGN (1 adult passenger), 504,60 BGN (2 passengers), etc.
- Bulgaria-Russia (via Romania, Ukraine) – RZD<1500km (293.37BGN one person and 440.06BGN - two); UZ>1500km (348.14BGN one person and 522.21BGN - two) (CityStar to Russia is not offered since December 2012)
One of the major deals for domestic & international train travels in the region is Balkan Flexi Pass (special pass offer for journeys in the area of south-east Europe). Balkan Flexi Pass (validity period of one month) allows unlimited number of rail journeys during of 5, 7, 10 or 15 days on rail networks of Bulgaria, FYR of Macedonia, Greece, Romania, Turkey, Serbia & Montenegro
Balkan Flexi Pass prices (2nd class):
It is also possible to purchase Rail Plus Card in Bulgaria, it gives the card holder 25% discount on any international ticket for train journeys between many countries in Europe. Rail Plus Card prices: <26 and >60: 30 BGN and 80 BGN for passengers between 26 & 60 years old
How to Buy Train Tickets in Bulgaria:
For certain trains/routes (e.g. Sofia to Varna, Sofia-Plovdiv-Burgas, Sofia to Gorna Oryahovitsa, Sofia to Blagoevgrad) within Bulgaria it is possible to purchase tickets online via BDZ website www.bdz.transportinfo.bg
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