From Sofia to Bansko and back
Bansko is one of the three largest skiing resorts of Bulgaria. This picturesque town lies 170 km away from Sofia. On this page you will get the essentials of all manners of reaching Bansko from Sofia and getting back from Bansko to Sofia.
Sofia – Bansko via bus
The simplest and also the most affordable manner of reaching Bansko is via bus. Buses are comfortable enough. You can take them from the central bus station in Sofia (Tsentralna Avtogara) or from the Ovcha Kupel bus station.
Here is the bus schedule:
Sofia – Bansko
Departures from the central bus station at:
07:30, 08:30, 09:45, 11:25, 14:00, 16:45.
Departures from the Ovcha Kupel bus station:
7:00, 9:20, 11:50, 12:30, 13:05, 13:55, 14:30, 15:10, 15:49, 16:20, 16:30.
Bansko – Sofia
Departures from the Bansko bus station for the central bus station in Sofia:
4:58, 7:00, 12:51, 15:15, 15:42, 16:20, 17.23 – excluding Saturday, 17:50.
Departures from the Bansko bus station for the Ovcha Kupel bus station in Sofia:
5:31 – excluding Sunday, 5:52, 5:54, 6:37, 7:00, 8:00 – excluding Saturday and Sunday, 8:47, 9:20, 10:43, 13:09.
The approximate trip duration Sofia-Bansko is 3 hours. The average bus fare in one direction is 13-16 BGN.
Some of the bus lines only stop over at Bansko. The predominant part of them reach Gotse Delchev, and there are also lines reaching Ognyanovo, Yakoruda, Banya, Eleshnitsa and other destinations in the area.
We recommend that you should look up the entire information regarding your trip with the bus stations information offices:
Central Bus Station Sofia:
Address: 100 Kn. Maria Louisa Blvd.
Phone: 0900 63 099 (for all phone operators) – cost 0.60 BGN/min.
Site: Central Bus Station Sofia.
Ovcha Kupel Bus Station:
Address: 1 Ovcha Kupel Blvd.
Phone: +359 87 510 5097, 02/955 5362
Site: Ovcha Kupel Bus Station.
Phone numbers of the Bansko bus station: 0749 521 57, 0888 89 68 33
Sofia – Bansko via train
We recommend that you should travel from Sofia to Bansko via car or taxi instead of taking the train. The train takes a roundabout route, and that takes more time. But if you have plenty of time, take the train and enjoy the magnificent landscapes on the way; you will also see the train station located at the highest altitude all over the Balkans: Avramovo.
Train schedule Sofia – Bansko
Trains leave the central bus station in Sofia at:
6:30, 10:35, 14:30.
The fare for a return ticket depends on the class and ranges from 20 to 25 BGN.
Contact details of the Central Bus Station:
Address: 102 Kn. Maria Louisa Blvd.
National information centre number for the Bulgarian State Railways: 0700 10 200
Phone number of the ticket offices for domestic lines: 0884 363 086
Working hours: 04:00 – 24:00.
Train schedule Bansko – Sofia
Departures of trains leaving the Bansko train station and passing through Sofia:
5:35, 10:27. 14:13, 19:05.
The Bansko train station information office phone number: 0749/8 22 15
From Sofia to Bansko via taxi
We do not recommend that you should take a taxi at the parking space of the Sofia or Plovdiv airports. Very frequently the taxis there are not suitably equipped for trips along the mountain roads to Bansko.
If you manage to find a taxi driver knowing how to reach Bansko, you will most probably be asked to pay a fare that is manyfold the real cost. Your most convenient option is to book a transfer in advance on the Internet.
From Sofia to Bansko via a rented car
Взять авто в аренду, чтобы добраться из Софии в Банско не составит труда. Во всех аэропортах Болгарии It is not difficult to rent a car to reach Bansko from Sofia. There are large European car rental companies represented in all Bulgarian airports.
However, it is preferable to book a car rental in advance, and take care to equip the car for travelling on the mountain roads, especially in winter months.
Car sharing, or joint trips
With the development of social networking sites, joint trips have been soaring in popularity. You can find your companions on the relevant sites, like this one.
On Bulgarian Facebook, there is a specific group for active travellers.
You can also look for a group where it will be easier to find a group intending to travel to a specific town or city: it is sufficient to launch a search containing: shared + Bansko, for example.
Let’s hitchhike from Sofia to Bansko
For young people who are good mixers and are in favour of adventures, we recommend hitchhiking to Bansko. That is a method used very frequently in this country. Take the underground, get off at the last station, and go out on the Trakia motorway, in the direction towards Bansko.