Practical Info

SOFIA AIRPORT

Useful Information

FROM AND TO THE AIRPORT

Sofia Metro Line 1 connects Sofia Airport to the city centre and provides direct connection from the airport to the large residential complexes in close proximity – “Druzhba” and “Mladost”, as well as to more distant complexes to the west – “Zapaden Park” and “Lyulin”.

The journey time from Sofia Airport to the city centre is approximately 18 min.

Changing trains from Line 1 to Line 2 at Serdika Metro Station, passengers can travel from the airport to Sofia Central Bus and Railway Stations within less than half an hour.

Connection with the railway transport is possible at two stops from Metro station Sofia Airport at Metro station Iskarsko shosse, with a changeover there to trains on the Sofia-Plovdiv and Sofia-Karlovo lines.

For further information on the railway time schedule, see BDZ Passenger Services.

The other Metro stations allow convenient transport connections to bus or trolleybus lines of the city transport system.

The metro trains on the route to the airport operate from 5:30 a.m. to midnight on weekdays and weekends/holidays.

The metro station at Sofia Airport is located in the eastern part of Terminal 2. You can reach it by following the floor markings in blue at the public area of Terminal 2.

Sofia Airport provides free-of-charge transportation between the two terminal buildings.

The shuttle bus stops located in front of the terminal buildings are designated by signage and pavement markings.

By public transport

BUS ROUTES NO 84 AND NO 184

84 bus route connects city centre (Gen. Gurko Str.) with Sofia Airport Terminal 2 and Temrinal 1. Then it goes back along Christopher Columbus Blvd. – Tsarigradsko Shose Blvd. to Gen. Gurko Str.

184 bus route connects city centre (Gen. Gurko Str.) with Sofia Airport Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Then it goes back along Christopher Columbus Blvd. – Tsarigradsko Shose Blvd. – Gen. Gurko Str.

Both bus routes operate under an all-day timetable. The exact times, including the first and last buses, are published at the Urban Mobility Center. The journey time from the first to the final stops of 84 and 184 bus routes is approximately 45 min. on weekdays, and 35 min. at weekends/holidays.

384 BUS ROUTE

384 bus route provides access to Sofia Airport – Terminal 2 from Druzhba 2 residential district. The bus service starts from Druzhba 2, goes along Christopher Columbus Blvd. through Druzhba 1 to Terminal 2 and then goes back following the same route.

The bus line operates under an all-day timetable. The exact times, including the first and last buses, are published at the Urban Mobility Center. The journey time from the first to the final stops of 384 bus route is about 25-30 min. on weekdays and weekends/holidays.

In case you want to use public bus transport from Terminal 2, the floor marking in red in the public area will show you the way to the bus stops.

TICKETS AND BAGGAGE

At Sofia Airport you can buy tickets for the public transport at the kiosks of Urban Mobility Center or at Razprostranenie na Pechata (RP) in the public areas of Terminal 2, as well as from a ticket vending machine, installed at Terminal 1 Arrivals public area.  The machine works with Bulgarian levs and coins and the issued tickets are valid for bus lines 84,184 and 384.

Ticket machines for metro tickets are located at Sofia Airport Metro Station. The ticket machines accept Bulgarian banknotes and coins, and one of them accepts credit cards as well.

 

Passengers with regular transport documents are allowed to take up to 2 pieces of hand luggage on public transport vehicles free of charge. Any additional pieces of luggage are charged with a separate transport document.

More information on the types of luggage, transport conditions, routes and timetables can be found at: Sofia Urban Mobility Centre and Metropolitan Sofia.

PARKING

The public unsecured car parks at Sofia Airport are open 24 hours a day. They are situated right in front of the terminal buildings.

The car park in front of Terminal 1 is outdoors, with 400 spaces.

TARIFF

Terminal 2 has a parking garage, which linked to the public areas of Departures and Arrivals through a covered corridor. Its capacity is 800 spaces.


Currency

The monetary unit in the Republic of Bulgaria is the lev (BGN), which is equal to 100 stotinki (st.). Since 1997, the country has been governed by a currency board and the value of the lev has been pegged to the Euro, at a fixed rate of 1 EUR – 1.95583 BGN.

You can find current currency information on the site of the Bulgarian National Bank: www.bnb.bg.

Currency can be exchanged in banks or in any of the country’s many currency exchange offices. Some of these exchange offices also work on holidays. Euro-cheques can be exchanged in banks.

Credit cards: Most Bulgarian hotels and stores now accept VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Diners Club credit cards.


Medical care

Emergency

In case of emergency, you can request for an ambulance by dialing 150. For information on available pharmacies, dial 178.

In case of medical, fire or any other emergency requiring police intervention, you can dial 112 toll free from any Bulgarian land line, public phone booth or mobile phone.

Pharmacies are usually open from Monday to Saturday between 8 am and 8 pm. Each neighborhood has at least one pharmacy on call. This is generally displayed on pharmacy doors. Those on call provide services 24 hours.

There are a large number of specialized private offices and medical facilities in Bulgaria. On receiving consultation and/or treatment at these facilities, patients pay the entire amount for the examination and/or treatment, regardless of whether they have health insurance.

Interested parties may obtain more information about healthcare and the conditions for using healthcare services paid by public funds in Bulgaria by visiting the site of the Ministry of Health (www.mh.government.bg) and the site of the National Health Insurance Fund (http://www.nhif.bg/).

Medical care for foreigners who are residents of the EU, EEA and Switzerland (Austria, Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Sweden, Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein, Switzerland).

Citizens of any of the above member states who are visiting or residing in Bulgaria have the right to avail themselves of their health insurance. When obtaining medical care, they need only visit a medical facility or diagnostic laboratories that has concluded a contract with the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), or any of the state or municipal medical institutions (see the file entitled Healthcare Establishments Register) that are supported by the Ministry of Health. Tourists in Bulgaria can inquire with staff at hotels to gain information about medical care and treatment, and it is the obligation of hotels to provide a list of the addresses of medical facilities and doctors who contracts with the NHIF. (Please note that he healthcare specialists working at hotels often do NOT work with the NHIF, and their services are generally expensive.)

By relying on their own insurance plans, European Union visitors and residents do not have to pay insurance instalments to the Bulgarian National Health Insurance Fund. Instead, they need only present their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Under exceptional circumstances, this right can also be proven by providing a Certificate for Temporary Replacement of the EHIC issued by the same institution that issued the individual’s health insurance card, along with valid identification. It is also necessary to provide the medical practitioner with copies of these two documents. Likewise, by presenting the required documents non-Bulgarians only pay the consumer fee required of Bulgarian insured citizens for the following medical and dental care:

  •     Examination and diagnosis;
  •     Issuance of a recommendation for consultation or for medical tests after the examination;
  •     Determination of medical treatment, including prescriptions, after the examination;
  •     Rehabilitation procedures;
  •     Medical tests;
  •     Treatment;
  •     Prophylaxis.

Non-Bulgarian patients are also required to sign a declaration (Annex 2), by which they certify that they are not in Bulgaria solely for medical treatment.

Emergency assistance

In the event of a medical emergency, call the toll-free telephone number 112. This is also the number to call for any other emergency. The number can also be reached outside the range of your mobile network. The 112 operators also speak languages other than Bulgarian.

Obtaining medicine

If during your stay in Bulgaria, you have an urgent medical need, your doctor can prescribe you drugs. Ask if any part of them or the entire sum for these drugs is covered by the NHIF. If so, you can receive your medicine at a lower cost, since a portion of the cost will be subsidized, as it is for Bulgarian citizens, but you can only do that in a pharmacy that has an agreement with the NHIF. If the drugs are not covered by the NHIF, they may be purchased at any pharmacy, though at the full cost.

Medical and diagnostic examinations and hospital treatment

When additional examinations or hospitalization is required, the general practitioner is the one to provide the recommendation. The healthcare facilities are required to prominently post information regarding the price of medical services; the cases in which patients have to pay for the medical care; and the manner and terms of payment for the medical care.

If the condition is urgent (for instance, in case of a stroke, car accident, heart attack, and the like), patients will be admitted to a hospital without a recommendation from the general practitioner.

Certificate for temporary disability during a temporary stay in Bulgaria

If visitors to Bulgaria would like to be compensated for a disability that occurs during their stay in the country, they must immediately contact a doctor who has an agreement with the National Health Insurance Fund. The doctor will then decide if the case is related to temporary disability or is a work-related accident. It is advisable to notify your employer as soon as possible, either by phone or by fax, about the immediate circumstances and the approximate duration of the disability, and to advise your employer as to your location in Bulgaria during the medical treatment.

Obtaining medical care without the required documents or an identification document

If upon obtaining medical care during a temporary stay in Bulgaria an individual does not present an EHIC and/or identity card, he or she will be treated as a private patient. In these cases treatment shall be paid entirely by the patient or by the insurer, if the individual has health insurance. The same also applies for cases where it is clear that an individual ahs traveled to Bulgaria for medical treatment without the official permission (Е112) of the responsible institution in the individual’s native country.

If visitors are unable to present any of the required documents, however, this does not deprive them of the right to medical care under the provisions of the EU Regulations on Social Insurance. In such cases, the visitor’s personal medical practitioner needs to inform the Regional/National Health Insurance Fund about the case. If you have the right to obtain medical care in your country, the responsible healthcare institution shall confirm that fact by sending a fax to substitute for the temporary insurance form. If it is an emergency, so that confirmation by the responsible institution cannot be provided in time, it is necessary to pay for the medical service in full, at the fees established by the National Health Insurance Fund and the Ministry of Health. In this case, an invoice will be issued containing a detailed description of the medical services provided, including the respective contractual prices. After your return to your home country where you are insured, you can file a claim so as to be reimbursed for the amount.

Medical assistance for citizens of other countries

Citizens of a country other than member states of the EU, EEA, and Switzerland who require medical care in Bulgaria must pay for those services in full. If a patient possesses health insurance, the insurer is responsible to reimburse the costs, whether in their entirety or in part, according to the terms of the insurance agreement. In the case of an emergency, regardless of citizenship, place of residence, or health insurance status, every Bulgarian medical facility is required to offer the necessary diagnosis and treatment. If you are in an emergency situation, medical or otherwise, call the free telephone number 112. The operators also speak languages other than Bulgarian. There are different conditions stipulated for the residents of the states with which the Republic of Bulgaria has agreements and contracts for medical insurance. The right to free access to medical assistance for diplomatic representatives is established by some of those agreements, while others have the right to emergency medical care, and still others provide a wide range of social security and health insurance issues based on the existing bilateral agreements. Such agreements are now in force between Bulgaria and Armenia, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Iraq, Yemen, Jordan, Cambodia, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, the Russian Federation, Slovakia, Ukraine, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Slovenia.