Connecting at Sofia Airport - useful tips for transit passengersAs the article about Bulgaria air suggests Sofia International Airport (SOF) is not a very popular tranist point. This is mainly because Bulgaria air, which uses the airport as a hub is a regional point-to-point carrier. If you happen to have a Bulgaria air connecting flight, you will most probably have no problems, as Terminal 2 is well organized, rather compact and the airline will take care of you.
However, Sofia Airport may prove very tricky in repsect of connecting flights. It has two passenger terminals situated far away from each other- Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Terminal 1 is the old terminal, which currently serves primarily as a hub of the low cost carriers. As air traffic to Bulgaria has been growing greatly over the past couple of years, Terminal 1 became too small to accommodate the traffic demands. At peak hours, waiting time for security check would exceed 2h and the lines would start from outside the terminal building. In order to solve this problem, in early 2017, Ryanair migrated its operations to the newer Terminal 2 and traffic at Terminal 1 was alleviated. Currently it all goes fine with waiting time as only Wizz Air, Easyjet and some charter airlines such as BH Air, Mistral operate ouf of Terminal 1. If you have a connecting flight involving any of these carriers, most probably you will need to change terminals as all the remaining scheduled carriers operate out of Terminal 2. The distance between the two terminals is around 2km and cannot be easily covered on foot. Sofia Airport offers free shuttle bus between the terminals which runs between 7.00AM and 7.00PM every half an hour. If you need to switch terminals faster or later in the evening, you will need to either hire a taxi or wait for the public bus 84, which operates between 5.30AM and 11PM. You need to buy a ticket with a price of BGN 1,60 (roughly USD 1). The tickets are available from the driver, but you need to have change in local currency at hand.
In terms of amenities, Sofia Airport is not the best. The good news is that there is free unlimited wifi of adequate quality. Terminal 1 has cafes, a duty free and souvenir shop. There is a cafe, ATM and newstand in the public area. Terminal 1 is generaly outdated and in need of renovation, so spending a long time is not very pleasant. Terminal 2 is new and has more amenities in the transit area including a couple of duty free shops, cafes, souvenirs and toy shops, airport lounge and space for relaxation. Its public area hosts a flower shop, bank, food corner, pharmacy.
In case you have a lot of time to kill, a good idea may be to pay a short visit to the city center of Sofia. There is metro linking Sofia Airport Terminal 2 directly with the city center. Trains operate every few minutes and it takes around 20 min to get into the heart of Sofia. Ticket price is BGN 1,60 (roughly USD 1) for a single journey.
In case you would like to sleep over, there are a few hotels located in the close vicinity of the airport. Ibis Sofia Airport Park & Fly 3* is the closest, sitauted at some 800 meters from Terminal 1. All of the hotels offer aiport pick up / drop off. You can check and book them here.
For any additional information you can always consult with Sofia Airport official website.
By Connectionreview.com editorial team. Updated May 2019