Cheap Flights to Sofia

Sofia overview

Best Time to Book a Cheap Flight to Sofia

Summers in Sofia are warm and sunny with temperatures usually in the low-20s and low humidity. The months of July and August, however, can experience temperatures around the high-20s. The city becomes busy during the summer months, with lots of visitors on their way to the Black Sea resorts or hiking along the many nature trails. As a result hotel rates may be higher and cheap flights to Sofia are harder to come by. In May/June the city hosts the popular Sofia Music Weeks International Festival. This remarkable music event showcases both Bulgarian and international concerts, operas and ballet performances, as well as a whole host of other activities, including exhibitions and singing master classes.

Winters are cold with below freezing temperatures and snow from December through February. Winter is when you are less likely to find tourists lingering in the city, although it can also be busy with people passing through to the various ski slopes. The Vitosha Mountain is located only 6 miles (10 km) from Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia. This is the highest ski resort in Bulgaria and offers wonderful conditions for snow sports. If you do not mind the cold and snow, this can also be a great time to take advantage of Sofia’s wealth of indoor activities including museums, galleries, and cultural entertainment. You may want to pack an umbrella whatever month you take a flight to Sofia as rain is typical throughout the year, but especially in April and May.

The shoulder seasons of spring and autumn can be a great time to visit as there are less tourists and it is more likely you’ll find a cheap flight to Sofia and hotel. The climate is fairly mild, but may suit those who prefer to explore the city when it is a little cooler.

Why Fly to Sofia?

Find a cheap flight to Sofia and see a city with Turkish and Russian influences (Bulgaria was a contented Soviet state for 50 years) and a dash of European Union "connectedness" (since 2007), Sofia is a fascinating place to visit.

At about 7,000 years old, it is one of the oldest cities in Europe. Long before there were flights to Sofia, the Thracians, Greeks, Romans, Macedonians and Turks all flocked there for its life-giving mineral springs - there are seven independent springs in the city. It's no exaggeration to say that this stylish city is one of the jewels of Eastern Europe.

One of the most important landmarks is the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. This enormous neo-Byzantine church (it is one of the largest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in the world), all green and gold domes, was built in memory of the Russian soldiers who died wresting Bulgaria from Ottoman rule in 1878.

The Church of St. Sophia dates from the 4th and 6th centuries, making it a significant example of early Christian architecture in the Balkans. The city received its name from the church, which means “holy wisdom,” in the 14th century. The church became a mosque during Turkish rule, but one of the minarets was destroyed in an earthquake 30 years later and it was then converted back into a church. The church holds a lot of value for the city’s residents who attribute their survival during occupations and natural disasters to the church’s powers. 

Getting around Sofia

Sofia’s public transport network of buses, trolleys and trams reaches all corners of the city from early morning to late evening. Buy tickets from street kiosks. Fares are cheap, but one-day and multiple-day tickets will save you even more money. Be prepared and travel with a map, and don’t be afraid to ask locals for help. Despite public transit system’s extensive coverage, stops aren’t well-marked and contain little, if any, information. For a bit more money, you can travel in a private minibus, which is faster than a regular bus. Don’t worry about buying tickets ahead of time, just pay the driver when you board. Calling for a taxi can get lost in translation. Make sure the meter is running and know where you’re going. Drivers expect you to know where you’re going and often need you to give directions. 

Don’t drive in Sofia. With public transport and taxis available, battling the traffic isn’t worth the hassle.

Getting from the airport

Most tourists who take a flight to Sofia will arrive at Sofia International Airport (SOF) which is situated 6 miles (10km) east of the city. Regular bus service runs on a frequent schedule day and night from the bus station close to Arrivals. Taxis are available, and passengers are advised to use O.K. Supertrans taxis from outside the arrivals hall; its enquiries desk is located inside the arrivals hall. Most hotels and tourist resorts run their own airport shuttles.

Sofia insider information

  • The main sights of the city are concentrated around Aleksander Batenberg Square, Narodno Sabranie Square and Tsar Osvoboditel Boulevard. The area is paved with yellow bricks, which were a wedding present from an Austro-Hungarian Emperor to a Bulgarian Tsar.
  • If you like places of worship, Sofia is the place for you. The city has several, the best known being the Alexander Nevski Memorial Church. It was built in the early 1900s to honour the Russian soldiers who died trying to liberate Bulgaria from Ottoman rule during the War of Liberation in 1878. The interior is gorgeous with frescoes and woodcarvings by Bulgarian and Russian artists.
  • Next to it is the church of Saint Sofia. The Russian church, St. Nicholas, is beautiful with gilded domes. There are also the Orthodox Church of St. Nedelia, the Central Synagogue and Banya Bashi Mosque. Finally, St George Rotunda is said to be the oldest building in Sofia. It dates back to the 4th century. It’s a museum and is listed by Unesco as is the medieval Boyana Church, whose interior is covered with scenes from the bible and paintings of saints.
  • Zhenski pazar or “women’s market” is to be found between Slivnitsa Boulevard and Ekzarh Yosif Street on Stefan Stambolov Boulevard. A daily market selling food, flowers, clothes and more. The Tsentralni Hali (Central Food Halls) is beautiful with impressive 20th-century ironwork. It underwent a three-year renovation fairly recently and offers a modern version of the bazaar-shopping experience. It’s a nice place to shop for foodstuffs, have a coffee and soak up the atmosphere.
  • Borissovata Gradina is Sofia’s central park. The Ariana Lake, Vassil Levski National Stadium and Bulgarian Army Stadium is there. There are also open-air swimming pools. Yuzhen Park (the Southern Park) is Sofia’s second-largest park, and has several children’s playgrounds.

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Prices found by our users for South African departures to Sofia

Airports for Sofia

Cheapest flights to Bulgaria

How much do things cost in Sofia?

Transport
Taxi - fixed fee
R 6.37
Petrol (1 litre)
R 17.65
One-way ticket (local transport)
R 8.07
1 hour taxi waiting fee
R 106.46
Markets
Loaf of white bread
R 7.72
Bottle of wine
R 64.52
A dozen eggs
R 22.22
Large bottle of water
R 7.11
Clothing & Shoes
Pair of Nike shoes
R 1032.15
Pair of jeans
R 743.08
Restaurants
Meal at McDonald's or similar
R 64.52
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 litre)
R 12.53
3 course meal for 2
R 322.62
Cheap meal
R 80.65
How much does a beer cost in Sofia?
Bottle of local beer (0.5 litre)
R 10
Local draught beer (0.5 litre)
R 16
Imported beer (0.33 litre)
R 24
Bottle of beer (imported beer)
R 17

More information about Sofia

  • Spend your evenings drinking local beers in Sofia’s vibrant mehani, or traditional Bulgarian taverns
  • Golf fans will enjoy playing at the excellent St Sofia and Air Sofia golf clubs just east of the city
  • Take time to relax in Sofia’s four huge parks, or hike up the forested mountain in the Vitosha National Park
  • Book cheap return flights to Sofia Airport, located just 5km to the east of the centre of the city
  • Discover the Roman and Byzantine buildings in and around the city, including the 4th Century Church of St George
  • Fly to Sofia in winter and have a great time skiing on the slopes of the resorts high on the Vitosha Mountain
  • Journey outside of Sofia and make the most of the outdoor activity centres in the surrounding countryside
  • Explore the magnificent medieval architecture of Boyana Church, located on the outskirts of Sofia
  • As one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, Sofia is an ideal destination for a holiday in Bulgaria
  • Take a look at the links above to find the best deals on return or one way flights to Sofia

International departures to Sofia

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