Bansko to Sofia

How to get from Bansko to Sofia

At 160 kilometers (99 miles) south of Bulgaria’s capital city of Sofia, the mountain town of Bansko is both the largest ski resort in the country and an increasingly popular summer destination.  And while it’s not far, there are a variety of different ways that you can go from Bansko to Sofia.  This is an easy trip and one we have done many times – using all the modes of transport over the years.  Here are the details on how to get from Bansko to Sofia.  We’ll explain how to go from the city of Bansko to Sofia, the fastest way to go from Bansko to Sofia, the cheapest way to go to Sofia from Bansko, and also the most convenient way to get there.  Here’s our guide on how to get to Sofia from Bansko.



Bus Icon

The Easiest Way to Travel

There’s a great bus service that runs from Bansko to Sofia Central.  It’s convenient and cheap.  But you’ll want to pre-book your tickets, as there are only a few buses a day.

It’s about 160 kilometers (100 miles) from Bansko to Sofia, and the journey takes between 2 and 3 hours, depending on your mode of transport and your endpoint in Sofia.  There are buses that go into two different bus stations in Sofia, there’s a (very convoluted) train journey that you could take if you really wanted to, you can take a shared shuttle, a private transfer, or you can rent a car.  Car rentals in Bansko are VERY limited and need to be booked well in advance.

Going from Bansko to Sofia

If you’re taking public transport (i.e. the bus or the train) for this journey, then you’ll want to check where the bus and train stations are in Bansko (they’re on our map).  Both stations are at the bottom of the town, below the old town area of Bansko.  There is no town bus in Bansko, so if you want to get to the Bansko bus or train station, then you’ll need to either get a taxi or walk.  The best way to get a taxi is to use the Taxistars app.

How to Go from Bansko to Sofia – Transport Options

In this guide on how to go from the city of Bansko to Sofia, we’ll cover the best ways to go to Sofia from Bansko.

For transport to Sofia from Bansko you have several options.  The quickest is to take a private transfer or to drive.  Then there are shared shuttles, and finally, there are several public bus services.  I’ll start with the quickest options.

Private Transfers from Bansko to Sofia

The easiest and quickest way to go to Sofia from Bansko is to take a private transfer.  At certain times there are shared transfers available.  They can be booked here.  Outside of ski season and the summer, they run on a reduced schedule and are usually set up to meet flights inbound from the UK, but they will pick you up from your hotel in Bansko.

You can prebook and prepay a private transfer from Bansko to Sofia here.

There are also many transfer companies in Bansko.  Some of these will only operate in the winter months, and while you may be able to book them online, you’ll need to contact each company individually.

Here’s a selection of companies that provide transfers from Bansko to Sofia.

Renting a Car to go from Bansko to Sofia

You can also rent a car from Bansko and drive to Sofia.  There are companies in Bansko, that you’ll find usually by walking down Pirin Street offering car rentals.  One-way drop-off fees are likely to be very high.  You can get a price for Bansko car rentals with Discover Cars here

If you do rent a car in Bansko, then you’ll want to explore some of the following places – Rila Monastery, the Dancing Bears Park, and the glorious second city of Bulgaria, Plovdiv.

Shuttles and Bus from Bansko to Sofia

The cheapest way to travel is to take the bus.  The timetable for the public buses is always posted on the door of the bus station in Bansko.  Here’s a photo of the most recent one.

Bansko to Sofia Bus Timetable

The timetable is in Bulgarian.  And it details the buses that go to (first of all) the central bus station in Sofia and then secondly, the Ovcha Kupel Bus Station in Sofia.  The central bus station in Sofia is connected to the Sofia metro system.  From Ovcha Kupel to a metro station it’s about a 1.5-kilometer walk.

However, some shuttles run this route and don’t start from the bus station.  They’re run by Traventuria, and they must be pre-booked.  The times that Traventuria runs these buses depend on the time of year.  Bansko is an all-season resort, but it is busiest during the winter ski season, so there are more shuttles running them.  There are also more running during the Bansko Jazz Festival in August.

You can book *some* of the buses online.  And we do recommend this if you’re traveling in the holiday season in Bansko.  There is very little difference between the online booking sites (they all have the same buses, it just depends on your preference).

Bus from Bansko to Sofia Central Bus Station

Buses from Bansko go to two different bus stations in Sofia.  The most convenient location for most people is the Central Bus Station, which is next to the Sofia Train station and also connected to the Sofia metro.  There are five buses each day from Bansko to Sofia Central Bus Station.  They leave Bansko at 04:58, 07:00, 12:51, 15:15, and 18:00.  Tickets cost 18 leva per person.

Bus from Bansko to Sofia

These buses take about 3 hours to get to Sofia and make a stop at both Razlog and Blagoevgrad.

You can book *some* of these buses online.  Check the timetable and availability here.

Bus from Bansko Ovcha Kupel Bus Station to Sofia

5 buses go from Bansko to Sofia’s Ovcha Kupel Bus station every day.  These buses depart Bansko at 07:00, 08:00, 08:40, 11:10, and 13:09.  You cannot currently book these buses online.  They stop at Razlog, Blagoevgrad, and take about 3 hours.

Bus from Bansko to Ovcha Kupel Bus Station

The nearest metro station to Ovcha Kupel bus station is Krasno Selo, it’s about a 1.5-kilometer walk.

Tickets cost 18 leva per person.  There’s space for big bags in the hold and it’s cash only.  Pay the driver as you get on the bus. 

Book buses from Bansko to Sofia with 12goAsia

You can search for and book Bansko to Sofia buses with 12goAsia here.

Powered by 12Go system

Book buses from Bansko to Sofia with Bookaway

If you prefer to use Bookaway to book your Bulgarian bus trip, then here’s the link for booking the bus to Sofia from Bansko.

Ride Shares between Bansko and Sofia

If you’re looking for a shared Bansko Sofia transfer, especially in the lower seasons (i.e. not ski season and not August), then try the Bansko Notice Board on Facebook where folks generally post if they’re looking to share a ride.  You can also try the Co-Working Bansko group also on Facebook.

You can also find Bansko to Sofia ride shares in this Facebook Group too.

Train from Bansko to Sofia

There are railway stations in both Bansko and Sofia.  However, there is no direct train line between the two locations and it’s not really a viable route to Sofia.  The train line in Bansko is the narrow gauge railway that goes from Dobrinishte to Septemvri (which is a lovely, if long journey) and you can also use this route as part of a trip from Bansko to Plovdiv. The train to Sofia from Bansko connects at Septemvri and is more of a long adventure than a sensible route.

Map of Bus Stations and transport options from Bansko to Sofia

You can also see the full map of bus and train stations for the route Bansko to Sofia here

How to go from Bansko to Sofia map

The quickest way to get from Bansko to Sofia

The quickest way to get to Sofia city from Bansko is to take a private transfer and you can book a transfer from Bansko to Sofia here.

The easiest way to go to Sofia from Bansko

The easiest way to get from Bansko to Sofia is to take a private transfer (check the rates here).

The cheapest way to go from Bansko Airport to Sofia

The cheapest way to get to Sofia from Bansko is to take the bus and you should prebook your bus tickets here.

Bulgaria Trip Planning Essentials

Final Words on How to Go from to Sofia

We’ve driven from Bansko to Sofia, and we’ve taken buses to and from the central bus station in Sofia and also to and from Ovcha Kupel.  We’ve taken private transfers for this route and we’ve rented cars too.  A bus ticket is considerably cheaper when going between Bansko and Sofia, but the times are somewhat limited.  If you’re able to catch the shared shuttle, then it’s a good option to take.

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