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Sofia Airport is around six miles (10km) from the city centre and serves more than four million passengers each year. It was expanded considerably in the immediate post-communist years, with a new terminal and runway both operational by the mid-2000s, and a new air traffic control tower that opened in 2012.
Spread over Sofia Airport’s two terminals are various facilities, shops and restaurants, including two cafes and a deli sandwich bar, a post office, ATMs, and several lounges. In the Departures area of Terminal 1 there’s a small VIP lounge often used for press conferences and other events, while Terminal 2 is home to the Pliska lounge and the lower level Preslav lounge. You can use these by purchasing a single-entrance invitation, which is valid for up to three hours.
Major airlines serving Sofia Airport include Bulgaria Air, British Airways, Lufthansa, and others. It’s also well-served by the main budget airlines, with flights departing from airports across the UK. If you plan to continue your trip from Sofia then direct flights are available from Sofia Airport to more than 50 destinations across Europe and the Middle East.
Sofia Airport is well connected to the rest of the city by public transport and road. The most straightforward journey is via the metro line 1, which delivers you to the heart of the city centre in around 18 minutes. For journeys further afield, change to line 2 at Serdika metro station for a connection to Sofia Central bus and railway stations. Metro trains on the airport route operate daily; catch one from the airport metro station in the eastern section of Terminal 2.
For a taxi head to the offices inside the airport at Arrivals in either terminal. Alternatively you can choose from several car rental companies, also with offices in either terminal.
Sofia is well known for being one of the most affordable capitals in Europe. Whatever kind of trip you’re taking, you’ll find an extensive range of great value accommodation, from basic guesthouses and mid-range business hotels, to luxury five-star design hotels or traditional grand old properties.
The area around Alexander Nevski Cathedral, City Garden and the Bulgarian Parliament is home to some of the most upmarket options, while the streets south of the central railway station have a larger range of cheap hotels. Stick close to pedestrianised Vitosha Boulevard for shopping, dining and nightlife, or head south to the foothills of Mount Vitosha for a more rural-inspired spa hotel escape.
Sofia’s varied history is reflected by its fascinating blend of architecture; you can easily spend hours wandering the streets to take in its Soviet-era, Roman, Byzantine and neo-Classical buildings. Visit the National Museum of History to learn more about the country’s past, or get a real taste of Bulgaria at Sofia’s restaurants and bars in the city centre, which also enjoys a thriving nightlife scene.