Bulgaria is very well connected to most of the European countries and the Middle East. The main airport is the Sofia International Airport which receives all the international flights. Varna and Burgas cities have smaller airports which mainly receive charter flights only during summers as these are coastal cities. Central Bulgaria is accessible through Plovdiv Airport. London and few European countries are directly connected to this airport.
Bulgaria Air is the main airline carrier which connects major European cities like London, Madrid, Frankfurt, and Paris. For passengers travelling from the Middle Eastern countries, the flights from Riyadh to Bulgaria are only till Sofia Airport and are one-stop flights. Turkish Airlines, Etihad, S7 Airlines, Aeroflot offer flights from Dubai to Bulgaria. Wizzair and Ryanair offer budget flights to Bulgaria.
The Danube Bridge connects Romania to Vidin in Bulgaria. This is the fastest route to enter Bulgaria from all the Western European countries. There are many bridges and ferry points one has to cross en-route; thus, one should be prepared for the toll charges.
The second route by car is to take the route from Greece to Bulgaria which can be accessed also from Italy directly via the ferry. Border crossing from Greece to Bulgaria are available at Kulata, Zlatograd and Ivaylovgard.
While travelling to Bulgaria before entering the country one must purchase a vignette (driving permit sticker) and display it on the vehicle. This vignette is easily available at all the borders. While travelling in Bulgaria all the domestic cars already have the vignette displayed.
There are many buses which ply from Greece, Macedonia, Romania and Turkey to Bulgarian cities of Sofia, Plovdiv, Burgas, Varna, and Blagoevgrad. Euroline buses mostly ply to and fro from the above-mentioned cities. The travel time varies from 3hrs to 20hrs depending upon the location. At the border, all the passengers have to deboard and go through a regular custom check. Travel visa is required along with the border fees. The bus ticket does not include the border fees which is supposed to be paid extra.
There are good rail connections between Bulgaria and other countries. Sofia and Verna are the major two stations which receive international trains. Serbia (Belgrade), Romania (Bucharest), Hungary (Budapest) and Greece (Thessaloniki) have regular train services till Sofia. Prior reservation is a must to travel. For booking, there are options of many passes. The Interrail Global Pass is the best as it also allows travel to 31 different countries along with Bulgaria. Balkan Flexipass is basically for travel from the countries mentioned earlier to Bulgaria only. The One-Country Pass is valid for one-time travel from any of the countries to Bulgaria, except Bosnia and Herzegovina. There are various discounts offered to children under a certain age, students and senior citizens.
Bulgaria is not very well connected with ferry services as they are majorly seasonal and a few cargo ships offer their services for travel to and fro. There are services one can check to Bulgaria from Ukraine, Russia and Georgia. Burgas and Varna port receive ferries from these countries. Vidin and Lom port receive ferries from Budapest and Vienna. The fares are not very cheap and prior reservations are highly recommended.
To enter Bulgaria, citizens of UAE do not require a visa for a stay of 90 days within a 6-month period starting from the date of issue of the visa. Citizens of the other Middle Eastern countries which are not a part of the UAE require a visa to enter the country unless they hold a valid Schengen Visa or a valid visa issued by Romania, Croatia, and Cyprus.
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