Ultimate Train Travel Guide for Bulgaria

This guide provides all the information you need to know about train travel in Bulgaria, including details about the country’s railway network, international trains, and night trains.

Trains in Bulgaria

The train is a great option if you want to travel across Bulgaria, as it connects most of the important tourist destinations in the country.

Whether you want to visit the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, historic Plovdiv, beautiful Veliko Tarnovo, or want to head out to the Black Sea beaches around Varna or Burgas, the train will take you there.

Although train travel in Bulgaria might not always be fast due to the mountainous nature of the country and old rail infrastructure, it is highly affordable and often scenic too.

When it comes to international rail connections, the picture isn’t as great, as lots of cross-border trains from Bulgaria to neighbouring countries have sadly been discontinued in the last decade.

bulgaria railway line train travel
View over the railway line between Sofia and Plovdiv in Bulgaria. ©Paliparan

The Bulgarian railway network

The Bulgarian railway network reflects the geography of the country, which is characterised by two mountain ranges (the Balkan Mountains and Rhodope Mountains) running from west to east.

Along most of its northern border with Romania, the Danube River serves as a formidable natural barrier.

This means that most railway lines in Bulgaria run parallel to these mountain chains from the west to the east, while there are only a few north-south railway lines crossing the mountains.

Located in the west of the country, the Bulgarian capital of Sofia forms the heart of the railway network, while cities and towns such as Plovdiv, Dimitrovgrad, Gorna Oryahovitsa, and Ruse, form important railway junctions.

Bulgaria’s most important railway lines run from Sofia towards the port cities of Varna and Burgas on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, with one line running from Sofia to Burgas via Plovdiv, and another line running from Sofia to Varna via Gorna Oryahovitsa.

The most important north-south axis runs from Ruse on the border with Romania via Gorna Oryahovitsa, Veliko Tarnavo and Stara Zagora to Dimitrovgrad, where it joins the mainline from Sofia and Plovdiv towards the Turkish border.

Another important north-south line links Vidin on the Romanian border with Sofia and Kulata on the border with Greece.

While the Bulgarian rail network covers most of the country and the train service on the main west-east railway lines is rather good, schedules can be poor or even outright erratic away from these main lines.

bulgaria railway network
Map of the Bulgarian train network showing the most important railway lines. ©OpenStreetMap/Paliparan

Train operators

Passenger trains in Bulgaria are operated by the Bulgarian State Railways (Bulgarski Darzhavni Zheleznitsi), abbreviated as BDZ (БДЖ in Cyrillic script).

Domestic Bulgarian tickets can easily be booked through the BDZ website, although it’s of course also possible to buy them at a railway station.

If you’re travelling from a station without a ticket office, which is common for smaller rural stations, you can usually also purchase your ticket from the conductor on the train.

When you buy your train ticket online, you will receive a PDF ticket that you can either print at home or show on your phone to the conductor.

One advantage of booking online is that you can select your exact seat from a seat map on trains with optional or obligatory seat reservations.

varna railway station train travel bulgaria
BDZ passenger train at the railway station of Varna. ©Paliparan

Train types

Trains in Bulgaria are categorised into five different types, namely:

BVZR (БВЗР in Cyrillic): A fast train with obligatory reservation
MBV (МБВ): International fast train
BV (БВ): Fast train
PV (ПВ): Passenger train
KPV (КПВ): Local passenger train

All of the fast trains only stop at the most important stations, while passenger trains and local passenger trains stop at every station en route (the difference between the two is that PV trains are deployed on routes shorter than 100km, while KPV trains on shorter routes).

Seat reservations are obligatory for BVZR trains, as well as MBV trains on cross-border routes (but not when using a MBV train for domestic travel).

For MBV trains on domestic routes, as well as BV trains, reservations are optional, but not mandatory.

If you take a train where reservation is not possible or only optional, you can simply choose any available seat you want.

BVZR and BV trains have both first and second class carriages, MBV trains always have second class coaches and might have first class as well depending on the route, while PV and KPV trains are second class only.

blagoevgrad station departures board
Train departures board at the station of Blagoevgrad. ©Paliparan

Ticket prices

In Bulgaria, the train ticket price is based on the distance travelled, the category of train you use, and of course on the travel class.

By western standards, train ticket prices in Bulgaria are extremely affordable, even for first class or a private sleeper compartment on a domestic night train.

For example, a second-class train ticket on a fast train from Sofia to Varna costs 24 BGN (€12.25), while first class is priced at 30 BGN (€15.30).

On a night train, an additional supplement must be paid if you wish to have a berth in a couchette or a sleeper.

If you were to travel in a private sleeper compartment on a night train from Sofia to Burgas, you pay just 45.05 Bulgarian leva (€23) in total – ticket and sleeper supplement combined.

That’s even cheaper than a night in a hotel!

Train tickets in Bulgaria, including international trains, have fixed prices, so it doesn’t matter how far in advance you book.

Except for trains with mandatory reservations to the coast during peak days in the high summer season, sleeper compartments on night trains, as well as the popular international night train linking Sofia with Istanbul, tickets should be readily available even if you purchase them on the day of travel.

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Travelling by train across Bulgaria is a great adventure. ©Paliparan

How are Bulgarian trains likes

The majority of trains in Bulgaria are locomotive-hauled, although diesel multiple unit (DMU) trains or railcars are also used.

What most of these Bulgarian trains have in common is that they are rather old and not really up to modern standards.

Many trains are covered in graffiti on the outside and can be grubby on the inside, with quite some wear and tear.

Whether or not your train will have power sockets is always a big surprise, and you certainly shouldn’t expect any Wi-Fi internet on board.

Toilets on board trains are basic at best, and downright dirty and smelly at worst.

On the positive side, Bulgarian trains are generally quite comfortable, particularly if you book a first class seat.

The locomotive-hauled trains often feature carriages with windows that can be opened, which is great for those who enjoy fresh air or photography from the open window.

Seats on Bulgarian trains are either in open plan saloon cars, or in coaches with compartment-style seating.

If your train has seating in open plan saloon cars, you will find that second class has two abreast seating on either side of the aisle, while the seats in first class are in a more spacious 1+2 configuration.

On trains with seating in side compartments, second class compartments usually have either 6 or 8 seats, while first class compartments always have 6 seats, which are extra plush.

bulgarian train side compartment seating
Bulgarian train with seating in side compartment. ©Paliparan
bulgaria fast train first class
First class compartment on a Bulgarian fast train. ©Paliparan
second class compartment
Second class compartment. ©Paliparan
first class coach saloon style
Saloon style seating in a first class coach. ©Paliparan
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A second class coach with saloon style seating. ©Paliparan
Basic toilet on a Bulgarian train. ©Paliparan

Dining cars on Bulgarian trains

Although some Bulgarian trains have dining cars, they are a relatively rare occurrence, and you need to have some luck finding one attached to your train.

A dining car is usually attached to the Sofia-Plovdiv-Burgas train, and you can also find a dining car on some trains on the Rhodopes narrow-gauge railway line from Septemvri to Dobrinishte.

However, it’s worth noting that Bulgarian dining cars are more like bistro wagons, offering basic snacks, coffee, soft drinks, beer, and wine, so you shouldn’t expect to find cooked meals.

If you travel by train in Bulgaria, it’s therefore best to always bring your own food and drinks with you.

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Dining car on the Sofia-Plovdiv-Burgas train. ©Paliparan
rhodopes narrow-gauge railway line bar wagon
Bar wagon on one of the trains traversing the Rhodopes narrow-gauge railway line. ©Paliparan

How are Bulgarian night trains like

While daytime trains in Bulgaria are often old and grubby, the situation is entirely different when you take a night train across the country.

Over the last few years, the Bulgarian State Railways have acquired dozens of modern Turkish sleeping cars that meet all modern standards.

Although the Bulgarian State Railways also owns much older sleeper and couchette cars (usually with 6 berths per compartment), they are becoming increasingly rare on the Bulgarian railway tracks.

In each sleeper compartment, there are three berths and a small washbasin, and the door can be locked from the inside to ensure the safety and security of you and your personal belongings at night.

These Bulgarian sleeper compartments can be booked as ‘berth 2nd class’, ‘berth 1st class’, and ‘berth business class’.

If you book a ‘berth 2nd class’ ticket, you will share the compartment with two other passengers, whereas with a ‘berth 1st class’ ticket, you will only share it with one other passenger, as there are only two berths set up in the compartment.

Booking ‘berth business class’ on a Bulgarian night train simply means that you reserve an entire sleeper compartment for single occupancy.

If you book online, you can select your own berth from a handy seat map, or have one assigned automatically.

Bulgarian night trains are segregated by sex, which means that if you are travelling alone as a woman, you will always be assigned in female-only compartment and share the space with other women.

Of course, if you travel as a couple or as family members, you can share the same compartment as long as you book together.

When travelling together as a couple, you should make sure to select two ‘berth 1st class’ tickets if you want a private compartment for two.

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Boarding a Bulgarian night train bound for Varna at the railway station of Sofia. ©Paliparan
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A private sleeper compartment on a Bulgarian night train. ©Paliparan

Bulgarian night train routes

Night trains are available on the following domestic routes in Bulgaria:

– Sofia to Varna
– Sofia to Burgas
– Sofia to Silistra
– Sofia to Dobrich

On the Sofia to Varna and Sofia to Burgas routes, up to three night trains per day can be available in each direction, so just select whatever departure and arrival hours suit you best.

Although you won’t find them listed in the online timetables (and they can’t be booked online, but only at a Bulgarian ticket office), there are also night trains from Sofia to Silistra and Dobrich.

These are actually through coaches which are attached to different trains, which is why they don’t appear online.

For example, the Sofia-Dobrich sleeper carriage is attached to the Sofia-Varna night train until Poveljanovo, where it is detached from the train and attached to another train bound for Dobrich.

The same applies to the Sofia-Silistra night train, with the difference that only a couchette carriage, rather than a sleeper wagon, is used on this route.

varna black sea beach
Beach in the city of Varna on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast. ©Paliparan

Travelling by train to and from Bulgaria

Unfortunately, the rail links between Bulgaria and its neighbouring countries have significantly deteriorated over the last decade, making international train travel rather challenging.

For a country that was once traversed by the famous Orient Express, it’s quite a sad situation.

Although there are decent rail links between Bulgaria and Romania, and one international night train connecting Bulgarian capital of Sofia with Istanbul in Turkey, there are currently no trains from Bulgaria to either Serbia, North Macedonia, or Greece.

With the exception of train tickets from Romania to Bulgaria (and only in this direction!), international train tickets between Bulgaria and any of its neighbouring countries cannot be bought online.

To buy international train tickets in Bulgaria, you need to visit a Rila Office, which is the official agency of the Bulgarian State Railways equipped to handle international train bookings.

The Rila Office is often nothing more than a simple ticket window inside the train station.

You can find a Rila Office at the most important railway stations in Bulgaria, such as Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, and Burgas, as well as at border stations like Ruse and Vidin.

If you have an Interrail or Eurail pass and require an international train reservation while you are in Bulgaria, you should also head to the Rila Office.

The complete list of Rila Offices in Bulgaria can be found here.

ruse railway station
The main hall of Ruse railway station, which also has a Rila Office. ©Paliparan

International day trains to Bulgaria

Travelling by daytime train is an excellent option if you want to enjoy the scenery while heading to or from Bulgaria.

The German Railways route planner is the most comprehensive and user-friendly online tool when it comes to looking up international connections within Europe.

Let’s take a look at all the international rail connections between Bulgaria and its neighbours.

Bulgaria to Romania via Ruse

With the exception of the Dobrudja region in north-eastern Bulgaria, the mighty Danube River forms the border between Bulgaria and Romania.

There is a railway bridge across the Danube between Vidin and Calafat, as well as between Ruse and Giurgiu, which forms the main rail link between Bulgaria and Romania.

There is just one train a day in each direction between Ruse and Bucharest over this bridge, which is called the Friendship Bridge.

This train, a simple railcar, is operated by CFR (Căile Ferate Române), the national railway company of Romania.

During the summer season, which runs from mid-June to mid-October, the Ruse-Bucharest railcar is replaced by a proper locomotive-hauled train.

In theses months, there are also direct through carriages from Sofia, Veliko Tarnovo, and Varna attached to the Ruse-Bucharest train, meaning that you can travel from these cities to Bucharest without the need to change trains at Ruse.

Outside of these months, you will have to change trains at Ruse if you want to travel from cities like Sofia, Varna, or Veliko Tarnovo to Bucharest in a single day.

The same counts in the other direction, as from mid-June to mid-October there are direct through coaches from Bucharest to Sofia, Varna and Veliko Tarnovo, while outside these months you have to change trains in Ruse.

In Bucharest, you can connect to trains all over Romania, as well as to night trains heading to Hungary, Austria, Moldova, and the Ukrainian border.

Check our Romania train guide for more information about onward connections from Bucharest.

Although the connection in Ruse might seem short, the Bulgarians usually hold the connecting trains in case of a short delay to ensure that all passengers make this important connection.

Bulgarian passport control is conducted on the platform in front of the international train at the railway station of Ruse, while at the Romanian border station of Giurgiu Nord, the Romanian border guards will perform a passport check on the train while you remain on board.

Don’t worry if the border guards take your passport and walk away with it – this is part of the normal procedure, and they will return within a couple of minutes after they have scanned the travel documents of all train passengers in their office.

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A Bulgarian border guard stands in front of the Romanian train that links Ruse with Bucharest. ©Paliparan

Bulgaria to Romania via Vidin

If you want to travel between Bulgaria and Romania, you can also use the daily train that connects Vidin with Craiova.

This train, which is also operated by CFR, crosses the Vidin-Calafat railway border over the New Europe Bridge, a relatively new bridge opened in 2013.

There are easy same-day train connections at Vidin to and from Sofia.

In Craiova, you can connect to trains running north to Sibiu, or west to Timișoara, Arad, and the Hungarian border.

Of course, you can also connect at Craiova for trains heading east to Bucharest, although for travel between Sofia and Bucharest, it’s much more convenient to use the route via Ruse.

Check our Romania train guide for more information about trains in Romania, as well as onward connections to Hungary, Austria, and other European countries.

craiova station
Craiova station, Romania. ©Paliparan

How to book trains between Bulgaria and Romania

Although you can book trains between Romania and Bulgaria online at the international CFR website, it cannot issue e-tickets for international trains to Bulgaria, which means that you still need to collect your physical ticket at the ticket office of a Romanian railway station before departure by presenting your reservation number.

This means that you cannot use the CFR website to book an international train itinerary if you want to travel one-way from Bulgaria to Romania – in this case you have no alternative but to buy your ticket at a station in Bulgaria.

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The Bucharest-Ruse-Sofia train runs through the Iskar Gorge north of the Bulgarian capital. ©Paliparan

Other border crossings with Romania

If you want to take a route off the beaten path between Bulgaria and Romania, it’s also possible to take a train to Silistra.

At Silistra, you can cross the border on foot to Ostrov in Romania, from where you can catch a ferry across the Danube to Călărași.

Although it’s only 30 minutes walking from Silistra’s railway station to the border and ferry port, you should note that the distance between the ferry port of Călărași and its railway station is fairly long, so you’re best off calling a taxi.

Călărași is linked by train to Ciulnița on the Bucharest-Constanța mainline.

The cross-border railway line between Kardam in north-eastern Bulgaria and Medgidia in Romania is currently only used for freight traffic.

danube sunset ruse bulgaria
Sunset over the Danube. ©Paliparan

Bulgaria to Turkey

There are currently no daytime trains between Bulgaria and Turkey.

However, there is a sleeper train linking Sofia with Istanbul, which is detailed in the relevant chapter about international night trains below.

Bulgaria to Serbia

The railway line linking the Bulgarian capital of Sofia with Niš in Serbia was once traversed by trains such as the Orient Express on its route between Istanbul and Western Europe.

However, over the last few decades, the service along this scenic railway line has slowly disintegrated.

First, the direct sleeper train from Sofia to Belgrade was discontinued.

In the last few years, the service was cut back to just a daily train running from Sofia to Dimitrovgrad just across the Bulgarian-Serbian border (not to be confused with the Bulgarian city of Dimitrovgrad near the border with Turkey).

However, with no trains running between Dimitrovgrad and Niš, this left a major gap on the rail route between Sofia and Belgrade.

Now even the train service from Sofia to Dimitrovgrad has been suspended, requiring travellers to take a bus from Sofia to Niš, from where you can take an onward train to Belgrade.

The bus service between Sofia and Niš is operated by Niš Ekspres.

belgrade old train station
You used to be able to take a train from Belgrade’s lovely old railway station to Sofia, something which is sadly no longer the case. ©Paliparan

Bulgaria to North Macedonia

There is currently no rail connection between Bulgaria and North Macedonia.

At the moment, infrequent trains only run as far as Gyueshevo a few miles short of the North Macedonian border.

Partly thanks to EU funds, this railway line is in progress of being extended from Gyueshevo into North Macedonia, and by 2030, there should be trains running between Sofia and Skopje.

At the moment, you have no other choice but to take a bus between Sofia and Skopje, with companies like Transkop AD Bitola and Matpu operating buses on this route.

skopje sofia bus
Waiting at the bus station of Skopje for the 8.30am bus to Sofia. ©Paliparan

Bulgaria to Greece

Train travel from Bulgaria to Greece is another great example of a once-thriving international rail link that has virtually ceased to exist.

There used to be daytime services between Sofia and Thessaloniki, as well as a night train from Bucharest via Sofia to Thessaloniki.

Indeed, some of these trains once ran all the way south to Athens!

However, these trains have all sadly been discontinued, and currently there are only trains going from Sofia as far south as Kulata, just short of the actual border with Greece.

The situation in the region of Thrace in eastern Bulgaria doesn’t look any better, as there are currently no international passenger trains running on the railway line between Svilengrad and Alexandroupoli.

Again, there is no real alternative here besides the bus, with the busy route from Sofia to Thessaloniki being the most convenient option.

Union Ivkoni and Arda Tur operate buses between Sofia and Thessaloniki, with some bus services stopping at intermediate cities and towns such as Dupnitsa, Blagoevgrad, Sandanski, and Kulata.

In Thessaloniki, you can again take a train in order to reach Athens.

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There are no cross-border trains between Bulgaria and Greece at the moment. ©Paliparan

International night trains to Bulgaria

Although there used to be night trains from as far as Hungary and Russia to Bulgaria not even that long ago, there are currently only two international night train services to the country.

Bulgaria to Turkey by night train

If you want to travel from Bulgaria to Turkey, the daily night train linking Sofia and Plovdiv with Istanbul’s Halkali station is an excellent option.

This night train, which is operated by the Turkish Railways (TCDD), features both 4-berth couchettes, as well as sleeper compartments.

Each sleeper compartment has two berths, and as a solo traveller, you can either share it with a passenger of the same sex, or book it for sole occupancy.

During the summer months from mid-June to mid-October, a Turkish night train (4-berth couchettes only) also links Bucharest with Istanbul, stopping along the way in Bulgarian cities such as Ruse and Veliko Tarnovo.

When the seasonal train to Istanbul is not running, you can still reach Turkey from Ruse and Veliko Tarnovo by travelling south to Dimitrovgrad and boarding the Sofia-Istanbul night train there.

Tickets for both of these Turkish night trains cannot be booked online.

However, Andy Brabin from the reliable booking agency Discover by Rail can arrange these tickets for a small fee and will deliver them to your hotel in Sofia, Bucharest, or Istanbul, or arrange a personal handover at the station.

You can inquire about it by e-mailing Andy at tickets@discoverbyrail.com.

For more information about onward rail connections in Istanbul, read our train travel in Turkey guide.

turkish night train sleeper compartment
Private sleeper compartment on a Turkish night train. ©Paliparan

Interrail and Eurail in Bulgaria

If you possess an Interrail or Eurail Global Pass, your train travel in Bulgaria will be covered by it.

Note that seat reservations are obligatory for BVZR trains, as well as on the international MBV trains on cross-border routes.

Fortunately, the costs for this are minor, with a seat reservation on a domestic Bulgarian train costing around €0.50, while you pay around €3 for a seat reservation on the international trains from Bulgaria to Romania.

Supplements for Bulgarian night trains range between €6 for a berth in a 3-bed sleeper and €15 for a private sleeper.

The sleeper supplement for the Sofia-Istanbul night train ranges between €10 for a couchette berth and €35 for a private sleeper (note that a 1st class Interrail pass is required if you want to book a compartment for solo occupancy on this train).

I don’t recommend buying a One Country Interrail or Eurail Pass for Bulgaria, as you would need to do some extensive long-distance travel across the country to justify the expense of the pass.

Given how inexpensive train tickets are in Bulgaria, buying for point-to-point tickets will almost always be cheaper.

However, buying a Global Interrail or Eurail Pass can be great value if you plan to incorporate Bulgaria on a longer trip across Europe, especially if your travels will also take you to Central or Western Europe.

This is especially true if you value the flexibility of a travel pass.

That being said, an Interrail or Eurail Pass is generally not worth if you only focus your travels on south-eastern Europe.

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Trains from opposite directions pass each other at the small rural station of Hitrino in north-eastern Bulgaria. ©Paliparan

Scenic railway lines in Bulgaria

Given that Bulgaria has a couple of imposing mountain ranges, it’s no surprise that the country also has a couple of highly scenic railway lines.

The railway line from Gorna Oryahovitsa south towards Veliko Tarnovo, Stara Zagora, and Dimitrovgrad offers some breathtaking scenery.

Also the railway line from Sofia north-east towards Mezdra (which is used by trains to Vidin, Ruse and Varna) is highly scenic as it traverses the imposing Iskar Gorge.

Perhaps the most beautiful train ride of them all in Bulgaria is the Rhodopes narrow-gauge railway line from Septemvri to Dobrinishte, which is an absolute must for train travel fanatics.

From the Septemvri to Dobrinishte train, which also stops in the Bulgarian ski resort of Bansko, you can enjoy some spectacular mountain views.

As the railhead of this narrow-gauge railway line at Septemvri is located on the Sofia-Plovdiv mainline, it’s easy to include it on your Bulgarian rail itinerary.

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Travelling from Septemvri to Dobrinishte on the Rhodopes narrow-gauge railway line. ©Paliparan
rhodopes narrow-gauge railway line bansko
Approaching Bansko on the Rhodopes narrow-gauge railway line. ©Paliparan

Bulgarian railway stations

Bulgarian railway stations come in all forms and sizes, ranging from the brutalist central station of Sofia, to the elegant classical architecture of the train stations of Varna and Plovdiv or the 1950s communist style station of Ruse.

The bigger stations such as Sofia and Varna will have all the facilities you expect from them, such as both domestic and international ticket offices, luggage lockers, and a variety of kiosks, mini markets, shops, and bakeries.

However, some rural stations may resemble little more than bus stops, and might not even have a place to shelter.

Railway stations in Bulgaria aren’t particularly accommodating for travellers with disabilities or mobility issues, as platforms are often only accessible by stairs and level-boarding of trains is virtually non-existent.

On the plus side, train stations in Bulgaria are generally safe, even late at night.

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The main hall of Sofia Central Station. ©Paliparan
varna railway station
Varna’s beautiful railway station. ©Paliparan

Bulgarian train travel tips

Travelling by train across Bulgaria can be a great pleasure, but you should also take into account that delays are a common occurrence.

It’s therefore best not to rely on short connections and to always have a backup plan in case you misconnect, such as checking in advance whether there is a later train that will bring you to your intended destination in time.

Another useful travel tip for international train journeys to and from Bulgaria is to consider split ticketing, which is especially advantageous if you plan to travel from Romania to Bulgaria.

Instead of booking your Bucharest-Ruse-Sofia ticket at a Romanian station or on the CFR website, you can save some money by only booking a ticket from Bucharest to Ruse this way, and then booking another ticket from Ruse to Sofia on the Bulgarian Railways website.

This also has the advantage of allowing you to select your exact seat on the online seat map for the Ruse-Sofia train, or for any other connecting train you might take.

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Gorna Oryahovitsa, an important railway junction in Bulgaria. ©Paliparan


Travelling by train is a great way to see the magnificent cultural and natural sights of Bulgaria.

Whether you’re travelling to major Bulgarian cities like Sofia, Plovdiv, and Veliko Tarnovo, the Black Sea beaches near Varna and Burgas, or Bansko in the mountains, the train will take you there.

Although Bulgarian trains can be grubby and old, they are comfortable and highly affordable.

Night trains in Bulgaria offer a completely different experience, as the Bulgarian State Railways has introduced brand new Turkish sleeper coaches that meet modern standards, ensuring a great night’s sleep.

Sadly, there is much to be left desired when it comes to international train travel to and from Bulgaria.

Only two daily trains connect Bulgaria with Romania, and a daily Turkish night train links Sofia with Istanbul, complemented by the sleeper train from Bucharest to Istanbul via Ruse and Veliko Tarnovo during the summer months.

Currently, there are no trains operating between Bulgaria and Serbia, North Macedonia, or Greece.

Travelling around Bulgaria and the surrounding countries by train therefore takes a bit of planning, but it’s well-worth the effort.

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Koen works as a freelance journalist covering south-eastern Europe and is the founding father and editor-in-chief of Paliparan. As a contributor to some major Fleet Street newspapers and some lesser known publications in the Balkans, he travels thousands of miles each year for work as well as on his personal holidays. Whether it is horse riding in Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan mountains, exploring the backstreets of Bogotá, or sipping a glass of moschofilero in a Greek beachside taverna, Koen loves to immerse himself into the local culture, explore new places and eat and drink himself around the world.

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