Sofia Airport (BG: Летище София, Letishte Sofia; IATA code: SOF) is Bulgaria’s biggest and most important international airport with around 7 million passengers a year. It is located only 10 km east of the city center. That’s quite a small distance compared to other capitals and makes getting to the city really quick.
Sofia Airport has two completely separate terminals that are almost 2 km away from each other. Be careful and make sure you check which one your flight departs from.
Terminal 1 was opened in the late 1930s and served as the only terminal until 2006. Despite it has been fully renovated and extended by a separate building for arrivals in 2000, it is still old-fashioned and small for an international airport. T1 is currently used by Wizzair, Easyjet, Eurowings, Laudamotion and some flights of Bulgaria Air.
Shopping and dining (after security control)
All this terminal has is one duty free shop, a liquor store offering Bulgarian wines and spirits, a souvenir shop and a newspaper kiosk. There are two bars which only serve basic food, such as sandwiches and snacks. There is no proper restaurant in the terminal.
There is a lounge as well, located to the left after leaving passport control. It provides free WIFI, soft drinks, snacks and a playing area for children. It is open between 9:30 and 22:00, the entrance fee is 14.40 EUR for up to 3 hours of stay.
Located 2 km to the east of T1, Terminal 2 was opened in 2006. It is much bigger than T1, and has a modern design with airbridge-equipped gates and special attention to disabled access. The 50-m-tall control tower is even newer, it was inaugurated in 2012. Due to its structure and higher passenger capacity, the new terminal serves most of the traffic of the airport. All airlines use T2 except the low-cost ones, Ryanair is the only budget airline operating at T2.
In 2009, a park was created next to the terminal with a lake and an amphitheater for future events. The Iskar river, which is Bulgaria’s longest one (368 km) running entirely within the country, flows just next the park. It’s an interesting fact that the river is crossed over by the airport’s runway.
Shopping and dining (after security control)
Terminal 2 is equipped with stores similar to the T1 ones, but has one major advantage: a fully featured restaurant offering various dishes. Despite being a new facility, T2 lacks international brand stores.
T2 has two lounges. Preslav Lounge is intended for business travelers. It can be found on level “0” (below the level of passport control) and offers computer, photocopier, printer and fax usage. This is the only place where smoking is allowed after security control at the airport as this lounge has a designated smoking room. It is open according to flight schedules, the entrance fee is 18 EUR for up to 3 hours of stay.
The other lounge, called “Pliska”, is located on level “+1”, to the right after passport control. It offers newspapers, magazines and computer usage if needed. It’s open between 08:00 and 23:00, entrance costs 14.40 EUR (for 3 hours, just like the others).
Banks and ATMs can be found in the public areas of both terminals.
The only smoking area at the whole airport after security control is located within Preslav Lounge (T2), the entry costs 18 EUR. T1 doesn’t have any smoking area after security control.
Shuttle bus between the terminals
As the terminals are not close to each other, Sofia Airport provides direct shuttle bus service between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. The route takes only about 5 minutes and has no intermediate stops. The buses operate every day between 05:00 and 23:00. They depart every 15 minutes from the stops located right in front of both terminals. The transfer is free of charge, there is no need to show a flight ticket or any proof of travel.
Walking between the terminals is also possible on the public footpath and will take around 20 minutes.
Sofia Airport has a contracted partner taxi operator called OK Supertrans (BG: ОК СУПЕРТРАНС). It is the only company allowed to provide taxi service from the airport. You can request a car at their offices at both terminals or you can pick the first one in the queue at the designated taxi stands outside the terminals.
A ride to the city center costs between 15 and 20 BGN. As for prices in general, the operator has a daytime rate of 0.79 BGN/km and 0.90 BGN/km at night between 22:00 and 06:00. The wait rate is 0.22 BGN/minute. You can find more information on the operator’s website.
CAUTION: We are still getting reports about overcharging taxi drivers, asking 50 BGN or even more for a ride. That’s an absolute rip-off as a trip to the city center should not cost more than 20 BGN (maybe a bit more in case of a traffic jam). We recommend asking the driver for an estimated price before you get in the taxi.
TIP: If you are traveling to the city center or anywhere near a metro station, there is no need to waste your money on a taxi. The metro is quick, clean and safe. It is also the cheapest way of getting to the city center as you only need a regular metro ticket for 1.60 BGN. You can have a nice dinner for the taxi price afterwards 🙂
Metro service to/from Sofia Airport is available since 2015. Coming out from Terminal 2, you’ll find the metro station to your left, just next to the terminal building. Unsurprisingly, the station is called Sofia Airport (BG: Летище София) and is the terminus of line 2. It will take you to the city center (e.g. Serdika station) directly in about 20 minutes.
The metro operates between 05:00 and 24:00 every day. If you’re going to Sofia Business Park, you can interchange at Mladost 1 (Младост 1) station for line 1 going southward.
Terminal 1 has no metro connection. You can take the free shuttle bus to Terminal 2 to reach Sofia Airport metro station.
Tickets can be bought in the entrance hall of the station at the staffed ticket office and from vending machines as well. A single ticket costs 1.60 BGN.
In the entrance lobby you’ll see the 3.5-meter-tall statue of Orpheus, the famous mythological musician who is said to be of Thracian origins. The bronze sculpture, weighing 1 ton, quickly became popular among tourists. It is the work of the renowned Bulgarian sculptor Krum Damyanov.
Public transport buses from/to both terminals:
84 and 184: to Orlov Most (Eagles’ Bridge, Орлов мост) and Knyazheshka Garden (Княжеска градина), close to metro stations Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski (СУ „Св. Климент Охридски“) and Stadion Vasil Levski (Стадион „Васил Левски“). Runs approximately every 20 minutes on weekdays, every 30 minutes on weekends and holidays.
384: southward to Druzhba 2 housing estate. Runs every 30 minutes.
Bust tickets can be bought at the kiosks of Urban Mobility Center at both terminals, also from a ticket vending machine at T1. The price is 1.60 BGN. Please note that despite the same price, single bus tickets are not valid for the metro (and vice versa, metro tickets are not valid for the buses).
IMPORTANT: public transport buses from/to the airport do not operate at night. For detailed timetables, check Urban Mobility Center’s website here.
You can find the following international and local car rental companies in the arrivals area of T1: Top Rent-A-Car, Europcar, Choice Rent A Car, Easyrent Bulgaria, SurPrice Car Rentals.
You can find the following car rental companies in the arrivals area of T2: Choice Rent A Car, Top Rent-A-Car, Sixt, Avis, Enterprise, Rent A Car Bulgaria, Budget, Hertz, Avtojet, Europcar, Moto Pfohe, Emerald, Thrifty, Firefly, Gates Car Hire, Easyrent Bulgaria, SurPrice Car Rentals.
Both terminals offer paid parking 24/7. T1 has an outdoor car park with 400 spaces while T2 offers an 800-space garage. The prices are the same for both. It is 2 BGN up to 20 minutes, an hour costs 3 BGN up to 3 hours, then every hour added costs another 1 BGN. A full day (24 hours) of parking is priced at 30 BGN with every started day being 10 BGN plus, up to 6 days. From day 7, every started day adds 5 BGN to the costs. Keep your parking ticket safe, the fee is 20 BGN in case you lose it.
Offical website of the airport: https://www.sofia-airport.bg/en/passengers