Airports in Bulgaria: The Complete Guide

Bulgaria is a cultural melting pot and a country with diverse terrain, which makes it a great holiday destination. Whether you’re in for the sunny beaches along the Black Sea coastline, the skiing or snowboarding resorts or a mountain hiking trip in the lake regions, you’ll need to fly in to one of Bulgaria’s airports

The Balkan country has five passenger airports located in different regions.


Read on to find out which one will take you closest to your favourite holiday pastime or jump straight to an airport.


Sofia Airport - IATA code SOF

This is Bulgaria’s main international airport. It is also the largest and the busiest with almost 7 million passengers for the last year.
Sofia Airport is home base for BH Air, Bulgaria Air and Bulgarian Air Charter. It is serviced by Lufthansa Technik-Sofia.


Location

Sofia Airport is situated about 10 km east of Sofia city centre. This makes it suitable for destinations in the western half of Bulgaria.
As Sofia is located at the foot of Vitosha mountain, ski lovers can get to the snowy slopes in less than 30 minutes. Those who fly in for business or the culture, can get to the Bulgarian capital easily and conveniently too.

Terminals

Sofia Airport has two terminals.
Terminal 1 is used as a hub mostly by low-cost carriers like Wizz Air, Ryanair and Easyjet, so cheap flights will take you there.
There’s a VIP terminal in the west wing with a separate entrance. So if you’re looking for some privacy, this is the Terminal for you.
Terminal 2 is the hub for the Bulgarian flagship carrier. Airlines like Air France, Lufthansa, and British Airways have scheduled flights to this terminal.


Transportation

To Sofia city

Bus lines 84 and 384 take travellers to the city centre in less than 30 minutes. The bus stops are conveniently located at the exits of the Terminals.
Tickets can be bought at the offices at Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 or a ticket machine at Arrivals (Terminal 1). The price of a single ticket is 1.60 lv (about 0.80 Euro).
NOTE: You will need to buy an additional ticket if your luggage is larger than 60x60x40 cm.

Metro. The metro station is at Terminal 2. There is a free shuttle bus travelling between the two terminals if you;re scheduled to arrive at T1. The ticket price to Sofia city is the same.

Taxi services. The taxi offices can be found at Arrivals of both Terminals 1 and 2. A taxi from Sofia airport to city center should only cost 12 to 15 leva (20 leva at the absolute maximum - night and longer distance), which is about 6-8 Euro (10 max).

Rent-a-car. Car rental services can be found at Arrivals, after Customs control, at both T1 and T2.


Intercity connections

Only a stop away on the Metro, at “Iskarsko shose”, the underground is interconnected with the national railway system. Trains can take you easily to cities in western Bulgaria like Plovdiv or Blgaoevgrad, for example.
A short bus or metro ride away, at the northern end of Sofia city, you can also find the Central Railway and Bus stations right next to each other.


Nearby destinations

Sofia is a great starting point for holidays to ski resorts: Vitosha, Bansko and Borovets. If you are curious about local culture, head to the capital!


Airlines

All major airlines, like Air France, AlItalia, Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways, fly to Sofia Airport. Fly in from Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Berlin, Marseille, Milan, etc.


Burgas - IATA code BOJ

The second largest international Bulgarian airport had over 3 million passengers in the last year. Burgas Airport serves the seaside resorts in the area, like well-known Sunny Beach and Sozopol.


Location

‘The sunniest airport in Europe’ is located about 10 km southeast from Burgas city centre. It is near a neighbourhood called Sarafovo, so you may see this as part of the airport name.

Terminals

The airport has two terminals as of 2013 - Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.


Transportation

To Burgas

Bus line No 15 takes you to the city centre within minutes. The bus stop is right at the entrance of the airport area.

Taxi. Offices are located at Arrivals of Terminal 2. It takes about 15 minutes to the city centre. You can book online or call in advance (phone numbers can be found at Burgas airport website).

Car rental. A number of rent-a-car companies offer their services at the airport, like Hertz, Avis, Europcar, etc. Check at Terminal 2, Arrivals.


Intercity connections

A public bus runs between the airport and the main bus station in Burgas. From there on you can catch buses to the holiday resorts along the coast.


Destinations

Nearby holiday resorts include Pomorie, Sunny Beach, Primorsko as well as 3000-years old Nessebar and charming Sozopol (founded around 610 B.C.).


Airlines

There’s an year-round service from Russia and the UK operated by Aeroflot/ Siberia Airlines and Wizz Air UK. Seasonal flights are served by Norwegian Air, Wizz Air, Electra Airways, Aeroflot and Ryanair.
Fly in from Amsterdam, Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, Moscow, and London.


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Varna - IATA code VAR

The third largest Bulgarian airport serves over 2 million passengers, most of them travelling to the northern Black Sea coast resorts. The busiest time at this airport is between mid May and the beginning of October.


Location

Varna Airport is situated about 10 km from the historical maritime capital of Bulgaria, near the town of Aksakovo.

Terminals

Terminal 1 was built in the 1970s but is now closed. Terminal 2, built in 2013, serves all air travellers and has a 1,800,000 passenger capacity.


Airlines

Air carriers travelling to Varna include Austrian Airlines, Aeroflot, Siberia Airlines and Turkish Airlines. Seasonal flights are also operated by Wizz Air, TUI, easyJet, Eurowings, among others.


Transportation

To Varna

Bus line No 409 takes travellers to Varna city centre and the ride takes about 20 minutes.
Note that the bus passes through popular beach resort Saints Constantine and Helena and even reaches the well-known Golden Sands. Buy tickets on the bus.

Taxi. The taxi offices are in front of Terminal 2. You can book your cab online or call - for more details visit the Varna airport website.

Car rental. Rent-A-Car service offices are located at Arrivals, Terminal 2. You can book a car with companies like Avis, Choice, Hertz, Europcar, etc.


Intercity connections

A public bus runs between the airport and the main bus station in Varna. From there on you can catch buses to the holiday resorts along the coast.


Destinations

Apart from Saints Constantine and Helena and Golden Sands, Varna Airport offers easy access to Albena, Balchik, and other beach resorts located on the northern coast of the Bulgarian Black Sea.


Plovdiv Airport - IATA code PDV

This is a fairly small airport that serves about 150,000 passengers. Although it is less busy than the others, in the last year the number of passengers served has grown by 45%. Most travellers choose this airport because of the easy access to the mountains and ski resorts in The South and Central regions of Bulgaria.


Location

The airport is situated about 10 km away from the second largest city in Bulgaria - Plovdiv. As it is very close to the town of Krumovo, this airport is sometimes called Plovdiv-Krumovo.

Terminals

This small airport has a new passenger terminal as of 2009, designed to serve up to 600 passengers at peak hour.
There is a Business lounge that can fit up to 10 guests. A 30 minute stay including drinks and refreshments would set you back 35 Euro per passenger.


Transportation

Unfortunately, there is no public transport going between the Airport and Plovdiv.

Taxi. Five Plovdiv-based taxi services operate at the airport. Booking can be done online or over the phone (all numbers are available at the Plovdiv airport website).

Car rental. For those who prefer the independence and convenience of Rent-A-Car services, visit the airport website to book online or via phone with companies like Avis, Choice, Hertz, Europcar, etc.

Transfer cost from the airport to Plovdiv city centre should cost about 10 Euro.


Destinations

Plovdiv Airport is popular among passengers travelling to the nearby ski resorts - Bansko, Pamporovo and Borovets.
Plovdiv is also a great destination in itself. Bulgaria’s oldest city was named European Capital of Culture 2019. Make sure you stop here to admire the Roman stadium, the Ancient theater, and the charming cobbled streets of the Old town. Take a short detour to the Bachkovo monastery before you head for the slopes!


Airlines

This airport is typically used for charter flights. It does also have a scheduled service from Tel Aviv operated by Arkia Israeli Airlines and Ryanair flights from London Stansted. There are also seasonal flights by Siberia Airlines from Moscow-Domodedovo.


Trivia

Some of you may have already seen Plovdiv Airport! It was was the setting for the climax of the 2012 American film The Expendables 2.


Gorna Oryahovitsa Airport - IATA code GOZ

This small airport in northern Bulgaria has international status but is mostly used for cargo. Passenger traffic ceased at the beginning of the 21st century. Yet the airport is still used today - mainly for charter flights (serving football teams) and business jets. Last year it had 388 passengers.


Location

Gorna Oryahovitsa airport is believed to have good prospects due to its great location in the central northern region of Bulgaria. What is more, there are no big airports serving the area. The town of Gorna Oryahovitsa is equidistant from major cities like Sofia, Varna, Russe, Burgas and Plovdiv. The airport is only 10 km away from Veliko Tarnovo, also known as the "City of the Tsars".

Transportation

The airport is close to the town of Gorna Oryahovitsa, which is a major railway junction in Bulgaria. From here on you can catch trains to a great number of holiday destinations, simply take your pick!


Destinations

Nearby Veliko Tarnovo is famous for its unique architecture reflecting the town’s glorious days as the historical capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom.
In Medieval times, Veliko Tarnovo had Armenian, Jewish and Roman Catholic merchant quarters. The ancient City of the Tsars will surely fascinate you also with its charming craft shops and cobbled streets.
While here, don’t miss Tsarevets - the palaces of the Bulgarian emperors. If you are here during a summer weekend, make sure you stay the night to witness the audiovisual show, called The Sound and Light.
Tour companies also offer various trips stopping at sacred and religious sites, winery and tasting tours, as well as off-road safari, para tandem or jeep tours in the area.



Hope we’ve sparked the explorer inside you!
Safe travels!