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Istanbul to Sofia bus

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Istanbul - Sofia Bus Schedule

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Journey Information

There are 13 intercity buses per day from Istanbul to Sofia. Traveling by bus from Istanbul to Sofia usually takes around 9 hours and 31 minutes, but the fastest Arda Tur bus can make the trip in 7 hours and 30 minutes.

Distance314 mi (505 km)
Shortest duration7h 30m
Cheapest price$43.99
Trips per day13
Most frequent serviceArda Tur
Bus lines3

How much is a bus ticket from Istanbul to Sofia?

$52.30 is the average price of a bus ticket from Istanbul to Sofia. Taking a bus is an affordable way to make this trip. It’s easy to find a bus ticket at this price or lower when you use Wanderu to book your trip online in advance of your travel date.

Monthly average prices

$68$55$41$27$14JASONDJFMAMJ
If you're on the hunt for the cheapest bus tickets from Istanbul to Sofia, mark your calendar for December. During this period, you can expect to find the lowest average ticket price of the year, just $42. However, taking the bus from Istanbul to Sofia during May is not so cheap. This time of year, ticket prices often reach an average of $56. The best way to find deals on a trip in May is to plan ahead and book your bus ticket as early as possible.

What bus companies travel from Istanbul to Sofia?

There are 3 bus lines from Istanbul to Sofia available for you to search and compare on Wanderu. With 6 daily trips, Arda Tur usually has the most buses running on any given day. Here are some time and price comparisons for all the available options:

BusDaily TripsAvg. TimeAvg. Price
Arda Tur69h 7m$48.13
Citylines69h 59m$57.88
Huntur Turizm19h 0m$44.45
  • Arda Tur is a Bulgarian intercity bus company serving a large number of cities in Bulgaria as well as destinations across Europe, like Czech Republic, Austria, and Germany. Onboard, you’ll find extra legroom, air conditioning, restrooms, complimentary WiFi and power outlets. There are also snacks and drinks available for purchase as well.

  • Citylines, a prominent Bulgarian bus company based in Sofia, offers an extensive network of routes connecting cities within Bulgaria and beyond, operating numerous daily trips. The company's services extend to countries such as Greece, Turkey, Montenegro, and Germany, providing convenient travel options for passengers. One of Citylines' popular routes is the 12-hour journey from Sofia to Athens, which runs twice daily, and passengers can enjoy amenities such as air conditioning, onboard restrooms, and Wi-Fi connectivity for a comfortable and convenient travel experience.

  • Huntur Turizm is a prominent Turkish bus company based in Istanbul, specializing in passenger transportation since 1969. It has established itself as one of the leading companies in the country, offering bus journeys to notable destinations such as Razgrad, Rousse, Kubrat, and Haskova. On-board amenities include movie screenings, Wi-Fi connectivity, and beverage services.

Frequently Asked Questions

The bus takes an average of 9 hours and 31 minutes to cover the 505 kilometers from Istanbul to Sofia. However, the fastest bus only takes 7 hours and 30 minutes. It’s definitely on the longer side, so plan to get comfortable for a long road trip. Keep in mind that your actual bus may arrive earlier or later than scheduled, depending on whether there is more or less traffic than usual.

Sunday tends to be the busiest day for buses, as many passengers take the bus to Sofia at the end of the week. If you are planning to travel on a Sunday, you should make sure to book tickets well in advance as they may sell out.

On the other hand, Thursday is typically the least busy day for bus travel on this route. If you’re looking for a little extra space, a Thursday ticket is the way to go.

The first bus leaves at 8:00am and the last bus leaves at 11:00pm. To see the times for all buses from Istanbul to Sofia, enter your specific travel dates in the search bar.

There are 13 scheduled buses that travel from Istanbul to Sofia every day, so you have a decent number of options to choose from. Furthermore, all of these are direct buses which you can take the entire route from Istanbul to Sofia without transferring.

City Information

Sofia

Sofia - BGKIE-0

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Sofia - BGKIE-1

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Sofia - BGKIE-2

Image credit: Unsplash

The Bulgarian capital of Sofia lies in the Sofia Valley at the foot of Vitosha mountain. Known for its vast history stretching over seven millennia, Sofia is one of Europe's oldest cities, making for a metropolis where long-standing traditions meet modern entertainment.

Sofia's most iconic and popular tourist destination is the St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral. Completed in 1912 and built as a memorial to the 200,000 Russian soldiers who died in the Russo-Turkish Liberation War, the cathedral's crypt is open to visitors and has a vast collection of religious icons.

Because of Sofia's fascinatingly long history, it is no surprise that the city is filled with various historic sites and era-defining buildings. The Rotunda Church of St. George is one such place and is said to be the oldest building in Sofia. This ruin dates back to the 4th century, and the fact alone that it has remained mostly unscathed since then is reason enough to visit.

Sofia has also developed a vibrant contemporary scene, with many festivals and events taking place annually, including the internationally prominent Sofia Independent Film Festival and the GuitArt Festival.

Sofia can be easily reached by air via its conveniently located international airport, as well as by rail from various cities in nearby countries, including Istanbul, Belgrade and Bucharest. Various international and national bus services also offer daily transportation to the city. The vast majority of them operate out of the Sofia Central Bus Station.

Station Information

Where does the bus leave from in Istanbul?

Main departure station: Istanbul Esenler Otogari

Istanbul has two bus stations with service to Sofia.

All bus stations in Istanbul:

  • Istanbul Esenler Otogari

  • Esenler Otogarı Otoparkı

Where does the bus arrive in Sofia?

Main arrival station: Central Train Station

Buses arrive in Sofia at 5 stations, depending on which bus line you are traveling with.

Bus stations in Sofia:

  • Central Train Station

  • Serdica Bus Station

  • Airport Arrivals Terminal 2

  • Sofia Bus Station Serdika

  • Central Bus Station

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