Plovdiv to Bansko – bus, train, shared & private transfers [2019]


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If you’re heading to Bansko, then it’s likely that you’re getting there from one of Bulgaria’s major cities – Sofia or Plovdiv.  Head on over to our other article Sofia to Bansko if you’re coming from the capital.  If you’re arriving from Plovdiv, then here are details on how to get from Plovdiv to Bansko (and vice versa).

Where is Bansko?

Bansko is well-known as Bulgaria’s biggest ski resort.  It’s around 2.5 hours from Plovdiv or 2 – 2.5-hour drive from Bulgaria’s capital city, Sofia.

Where_is_Bansko_Map

How to get from Plovdiv to Bansko

The transport options from Plovdiv Bansko include:

  • Private Transfer
  • Airport Taxi
  • Public Bus
  • Trains

This article will detail how to get transport both directly from Plovdiv Airport to Bansko and also from Plovdiv City to Bansko.

If we need a private transfer (when we’re carrying lots of bags, or when we arrive in the wee small hours we use Hoppa Transfers – save up to 30% off the regular rates when you book online!


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Plovdiv Airport

Plovdiv Airport is 12 kilometres south-east of the city.   There is a single terminal and this is a small airport.  It is, however, served by Ryanair, so cheap flights are often an option.

If you wish to travel from Plovdiv to Bansko on public transport, then your first stop should be one of Plovdiv’s bus stations.  For this, you will need to get into Plovdiv city.

 

Plovdiv Airport to Plovdiv

The best way to get from Plovdiv Airport to Plovdiv is to take a taxi.  A taxi from Plovdiv airport to city centre, Plovdiv, will cost 15-20 leva.  There is no Plovdiv Airport Bus from the airport to the city.  Four taxi firms are approved at the airport.   They are Viailet, Taxi 1, Perfect Taxi and Eco Taxi.

You can find details of them here – . http://www.plovdivairport.com/en/taxi-services

Plovdiv is a great place to spend a weekend or longer! Why not book some extra time in Bulgaria and spend a few days here?



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In Plovdiv bus stations and train stations relevant to going to Bansko are at the south end of the city.  There’s a map below.

Where to stay in Bansko

If you;re a skier, then you may want to stay at the higher end of town near to the Gondola,  however, during ski season most hotels, apartments and guest houses in Bansko will provide a shuttle service to the ski area.  Outside of the ski season, there are more restaurants and places to eat in the old town.  Here are our recommendations for where to stay in Bansko.

Momini Dvori Boutique Hotel

2 Nikola Vaptsarov Sq., 2770 Bansko, Bulgaria

Fabulous location off a side street in old town Bansko, this family run boutique hotel provides free shuttles to the gondola ski lift during the ski season and is charmingly located in the old town area.

  • Large private bathrooms with robes and slippers
  • Free sauna
  • Fabulous Bulgarian and international food at the tavern with terrace

Book a room in the old town now! Rooms here aren’t often available!

Boutique Hotel Uniqato

119 Pirin Str, 2770 Bansko, Bulgaria

Balconies with town or mountain views and free parking at the hotel.  This is a great location located very close to the gondola ski lift.

  • Private bathrooms
  • Flat screen TV
  • Free wifi
  • Great Victoria Italian restaurant attached to the hotel
  • Free steam bath and sauna
  • Private underground parking

Great location – fabulous books – reserve yours now!

Guest House Hayloft

4 Mingyo Todev Str., 2770 Bansko, Bulgaria

One of the best places to eat and stay in Bansko.  A superb family run traditional tavern and guest house, rooms have free Wi-Fi and satellite TV.   Next to Pirin Street, with pubs and restaurants, but off the main track.

  • Rooms all have hardwood floors & wooden furniture
  • Private bathrooms with hair dryers and free toiletries
  • Incredible hosts with amazing food and hospitality

Amazing hospitality and lovely rooms – book yours now!

Regnum Bansko Apart Hotel & Spa

Asanitsa 2770, 2770 Bansko, Bulgaria

Great location next to the Glazne River with incredible pools and spa rea.  There is a heated huge outdoor pool, water slides and children’s pool as well as a sauna and steam bath.

  • Complimentary fruits and water on arrival
  • Turkish cuisine during the winter season
  • Live jazz music at weekends in the lobby bar.
  • Gym & entertainment room
  • Underground garages.

Superb pool and spa area – get a little luxury here in Bansko now!

Plovdiv to Bansko Public Bus

There are at this time two buses per day operating between Plovdiv and Bansko.  The Plovdiv Bansko bus leaves from the Plovdiv South Bus Station (Rodopi), which is close to the South (Yug/Zug) Bus Station and also very close to the Plovdiv train station.

Plovdiv_Bus_station_train_station_and_centre

Buses leave for Bansko at 1300 and 1410.  Check times as these may change in different seasons.  The cost of the ticket from Plovdiv to Bansko on the bus is 13-15 leva.

Bansko Bus and Train Stations

Bansko bus station is at the bottom of the town.  It is 3 minutes from the train station.  Everywhere you might want to go in Bansko is uphill from both the bus and the train station.  Bansko taxis are expensive compared to Plovdiv.  A taxi from the bus station to the Gondola area will cost around 8-10 leva.  It takes 25-30 minutes to walk and it’s a steady uphill.  The bus and train station are open year round as Bansko is an all season town.

Bansko_Bus_and_Train_Stations_Main_Square_and_Gondola

 

An up to date bus timetable is posted on the doors of the Bansko bus station.  It is only in Bulgarian.  Use Google Translate to help you out.

Bansko Bus Station Timetable July 2017

There is a Bansko to Plovdiv bus at 0650 and the second one at 0820.  You can find bus timetables for Bulgaria here – http://www.avtogari.info/



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Plovdiv to Bansko by Train

This is a fabulous route.  If you have a half day to spare.   First, you take a train from Plovdiv to Septembri (sometimes spelt Septemvri).  You can buy a ticket in Plovdiv all the way to Bansko.

Then you switch lines and transfer onto the narrow gauge railway from Septembri to Dobrinishte.  Bansko is the second to last stop on the line.

You have two options on train times – either starting early in the morning or early afternoon. Timetables can be found on the Bulgarian Train website and they’re here for your convenience.

Plovdiv_to_Bansko_by_Train_Timetable

Plovdiv_to_Bansko_by_Train_Second_Time

The Plovdiv to Bansko train ticket costs 8.60 Bulgarian leva.  The route is 172km

Plovdiv_to_Bansko_Train_Route

The narrow gauge train is a glorious if slow ride.

Bulgarian Trains Fares and Timetables can be found on the official site in both Bulgarian and English http://www.bdz.bg/en/

Bansko Train Station

Plovdiv to Bansko train station

When leaving Bansko the times for trains are posted online and also in the train station.  Buy tickets shortly before departure.

Place Names in Bulgarian

  • Bansko in Bulgarian is Банско
  • Plovdiv in Bulgarian is Пловдив
  • Septembri in Bulgarian is септември

Bansko Train Timetable July 2017

Shared Transfers from Plovdiv to Bansko

At the time of writing, there are no shared transfers from Plovdiv to Bansko. Hoppa may make them available. 

If you’re looking for a shared 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.

Private Plovdiv to Bansko Transfer

Most transfer companies that go from Plovdiv to Bansko are Bansko transfer companies.   There is a combination of Bulgarian companies and British expats who run these businesses.  All are competitive and provide a variety of sizes of vehicles.  It’s possible to book and pay online with some, although most prefer cash on arrival at your destination in either leva or euros.

Here’s a selection of transfer companies that can help.  These are not affiliate links, we do not receive a commission when you click.  These are prices directly from their websites and through conversations with them.

Note that transfer availability is greater from Sofia to Bansko than from Plovdiv to Bansko.  Here are details of some of the transfer services from Plovdiv.

 

Rental Cars from Plovdiv to Bansko

Rental cars are also available in Plovdiv city and airport.  It takes approximately 2.5 hours to drive from Plovdiv to Bansko  Beware potholes and unmarked speed bumps bumps in the road.

Plovdiv_to_Bansko_Routes

Signposting throughout Plovdiv and en route to Bansko is in both Bulgarian Cyrillic and English.  Signs are not always obvious.

Our Experiences going from Plovdiv to Bansko

We have utilised rental cars, private transfers, buses and trains on our journeys between Plovdiv and Bansko.   We’ve found the Bansko Plovdiv Bus to be easy to use.  This can be a gorgeous journey – we love the narrow gauge train for instance – or a lovely drive. This isn’t a difficult journey, it simply requires a little planning depending on the time of day or your arrival.

Resources



Booking.com

 

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About Sarah Carter

Sarah Carter is an avid reader, writer and traveller. She loves hiking, sailing, skiing and exploring the world through food. She left a successful career in IT security and compliance in both the UK and US to travel the world with husband and partner in adventure, Nigel.


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