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Train from Sophia to Varna

Essex
8 posts
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Train from Sophia to Varna

Could anyone please tell me if their is a direct train from Sophia to Varna, if not where would i have to change, also how long would it take and roughly how much? I have also been thinking of getting a coach, which do you think would be better to see some of the beautiful countryside of Bulgaria?

Many thanks to anyone that can help!

Nuneaton, United...
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for Sunny Beach, Bulgaria
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1. Re: Train from Sophia to Varna

Hi There, Here is the website for Bulgarian National Railways. Just click on EN for English and put your dates in for trains to Varna.

http://www.bdz.bg/

Toonman

Israel
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for Romania
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2. Re: Train from Sophia to Varna

yes there is direct train on sofia-varna rute.

actualy thos days I count on the bulgarian rail web 6 daily trains, at:

dep' 07:05 arr' 14:19 o/w 2nd class 25.20 leva

dep' 09:55 arr' 18:05 o/w 2nd class 21.90 leva

dep' 10:40 arr' 19:18 o/w 2nd class 21.90 leva

dep' 13:25 arr' 21:18 o/w 2nd class 21.90 leva

dep' 22:20 arr' 08:00 [have sleeper] 20.50 leva

dep' 23:35 arr' 07:50 [have slepper and couchette] 21.90 leva

for more price as first class and sleep option look on the bulgarian rail web.

Israel
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for Romania
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3. Re: Train from Sophia to Varna

for bus info look at sofia central bus station:

http://www.centralnaavtogara.bg/cbs/home.nsf/vPagesLookup/home~en?OpenDocument

Essex
8 posts
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4. Re: Train from Sophia to Varna

Hi, thank you both for the really helpful information. Could either of you advise me which is the better way to travel, the train or bus. We will be travelling through the day and would like the most comfortable way as it is quite a long journey, although i know there will be no luxury on either!

Many thanks again.

Plovdiv, Bulgaria
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5. Re: Train from Sophia to Varna

I never did Sofia-Varna by bus or train so my opinion is just very general one, and refers for the bus/train services in Bulgaria overall, based not that on my own travel but mostly on what I read/heard.

Bus service is still considered as safer, faster and a bit more comfortable. The bus service is not governmental, contrary to the railway one.

The bus service is held by private companies, as each company operates certain routes; thus you can have several companies operating same route.

Still, it seems that the private companies do not control their employees sufficiently, as there are still instances reported for certain drivers not maintaining their buses well, driving unsafe and having not the most appropriate behavior...

Additionally, the safety of main bus station is overall considered as a bit better than safety of main railway station (though they are located just next to each other)

Essex
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6. Re: Train from Sophia to Varna

Thank you for your comments they are much appreciated. We have been to Varna many times now, usually flying to Varna or Bourgas last time we did fly to Sofia and then got a flight onto Varna but obviously could not see much scenery. I have travelled from Elhova to the Romanian border by car which was nice but i have been told the eastern side of Bulgaria is more beautiful. We have decided to take the bus and will let you know what it was like when i return in May.

Thanks again you helped us make up our minds.

Plovdiv, Bulgaria
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7. Re: Train from Sophia to Varna

Not sure whether any Sofia-Varna bus passes through Veliko Tarnovo but if some bus company offers such route and you have time,

an option to think about is to do 1st Sofia-VT, stay one day there (it's small enough for max. 1 day signseeing+delicious dinner/breakfast/supper), and next day taking bus VT-Varna.

Have a nice trip :) Will be looking forward for your trip report

Essex
8 posts
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8. Re: Train from Sophia to Varna

That is a brilliant idea, thank you.

I have looked up the bus schedules and there is buses that go to V.Tarnova, then onto Omurtag (which i must admit i have not heard of) then Targovishte, Shuman and Varna.

We will be leaving Sofia on the 6.30am bus and i am hoping that we can get off at V.Tarnova, stay their for a few hours then catch another bus onto the above places and be in Varna by early evening.

What a great day sightseeing! Bet we have a great nights sleep too! Long Day!

Do you know if i can book the bus tickets in advance or do i just get them at the bus station? as i could not see anything about that on the website.

Thanks again

Minneapolis
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9. Re: Train from Sophia to Varna

I think you can't book bus tickets in advance, you can buy in advance though. Can someone buy them for you before you arrive? Also, I don't think few hours are enough for Veliko Tarnovo, the main sight there is the old fortress on the Tzarevetz hill and for that alone to get there and back you need couple of hours. Not sure what you plan for your luggage, as the bus station in V. Tarnovo may not have a baggage storage place. Few hours there are enough to walk around the streets, still very pretty to see.

Devon, England
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10. Re: Train from Sophia to Varna

We took the sleeper from Sophia to Varna (direct0 a few years ago - it was a not unpleasant experience, the cabins were clean but basic, and it was a long journey with the train stopping at every station, not helped by two young children who found it exiting and kept asking every time the train stopped 'Is this Varna?' The sleeping cars were locked for the journey, and there were no eating/drinking facilities on board - the toilets were very basic. Tickets had to be pre-booked, and we got a travel agent (sorry, can't remember who) in Sophia to do this.

We returned by coach by day - even though there was a loo on board it was locked and not available for use. There was a stop half way at Veleko Turnevo bus station, which was a queue for the toilets, followed by a queue for food & drink. We was some countryside, but it was quite misty in places.

We haven't flown into Sophia since - however we are at the end of May & are picking up a hire car this time.

Enjoy,

Norma