Flying to Bulgaria?
Flights to Bulgaria - discounted flights and lots of information about Airlines, Airports Visas and useful travel tips.
There is a great and extensive network of transportation services in Bulgaria, run by air, rail, bus, and rent-a-car companies. Due to the central location of Bulgaria, direct flights take approximately between three and five hours and travel from the main European cities. For example, it takes up three hours from London Gatwick (Bulgaria Air) or London Heathrow (British Airways).
In Bulgaria a Visa is required by all travellers except nationals of EU countries, for stays of up to 90 days within each six-month period (except nationals of Ireland and the UK, who may stay for up to 30 days within a six-month period); nationals of Croatia, Chile, Japan, Korea (Rep), Lichtenstein, Malaysia, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland, who don't need a visa for Bulgaria for stays of up to 90 days within a six-month period; and nationals of Andorra, Australia, Canada, Israel, Macedonia (Former Yugoslav Republic of), Monaco, New Zealand, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, USA and Vatican City, for stays of up to 30 days within each six-month period.
The main airline in Bulgaria is Balkan Bulgarian Airlines (LZ) and the main international airports in Bulgaria are:
Sofia Airport: (SOF) 10 km. Far from the city, a 20-minute trip. There are buses every ten minutes that join the airport with the city. There is a service of taxis: the route must be negotiated before departure.
Vrazhdebna, more commonly known as the Sofia Airport (SOF), is the main airport in Bulgaria. The airport serves Bulgaria Air and Hemus Air. Sofia Airport was the main headquarters for Balkan Airlines, but recent bankruptcies in the airline industry has led to that once popular airline’s demise.
Built in the 1930s, Sofia Airport has outgrown its location. Decades ago, Sofia was a small city with plenty of room. Today, the airport can barely handle the air traffic it receives on a daily basis, and expending the airport is planned for the future.
Architectural plans call for a new airport terminal to be built east of the present airport. A second runway will be installed and will cross the Iskar River via a large bridge. The current cost of this expansion is 200 million euros. There is some financial help being planned with contributions by the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, EU's Phare Programme, and the European Investment Bank. The ISPA has offered an additional 50 million euro grant.
Unfortunately, the construction company discovered a problem after a geological study and the expansion was delayed pending a review of the contract and new estimate. The works were reassumed in August 2005, after the amends. Strabag, the building company, also announced in August that they would be unable to meet the deadline for construction. They requested an eight-month extension. By February 2006, a five hundred meter section of ceiling fell off the new terminal’s ceiling. This led to an investigation into poor construction quality. The expansion was stopped until a new estimate and construction plan could be agreed upon.
In the meantime, other airports accept travellers.
Varna Airport (VAR) 9 km. Far from the city. There is a service of buses every 20 minutes, and a good taxi service.
Bourgas Airport (BOJ) 13 km far from the city. There is a service of buses every 20 minutes, and a good taxi service.
If you are flying in or out of Bulgaria, the following airlines offer service from both Varna and Bourgas Airports.
- Aegean Airlines
- Air France
- Air Malta
- Austrian Airlines
- Bulgaria Air
- British Airways
- Czech Airlines
- El Al
- Hemus Air
- Jat Airways
- Malev Hungarian Airlines
- Olympic Airlines
- Pulkovo Airlines
- SN Brussels Airlines
- Turkish Airlines
- Viaggio Air
It is necessary to comply with some requirements to fly to Bulgaria: an update passport and a visa to enter or travel around the country. However, a visa is not necessary to those travellers who come from countries that have agreements with Bulgaria or for tourists staying less than 30 days.
The value of the personal objects needed during the flight should not surpass the limits set by the Bulgarian customs office. Some objects, such as cameras, electric devices, jewellery, etc. must be declared when arriving in the country and must be taken away when the traveller leaves. It is banned to take artworks, coins, or other historic, artistic, or scientific valuables.
If the traveller intends to visit small towns or cities, he or she must take into account that, with the exception of big cities, it is not easy to change traveller's cheques. It is advisable to exchange money in banks, not in the black market, to avoid scams, and to change small amounts of money, since the "Leva the Bulgarian currency, has no value out of the country.
Note: To avoid misunderstanding, it is necessary to remember that some gestures in Bulgaria are quite different. Some of them may mean exactly the contrary idea from the ones made in the rest of Europe. In order to express "yes" in Bulgaria, we must shake our head. Nodding equates to "no."