How to travel from Istanbul to Sofia

Travel options
from Istanbul to Sofia

You can get from Istanbul to Sofia by train, bus or flight.

Our recommendation
bus

To get from Istanbul to Sofia on Jun 29 we recommend taking a bus because it’s the best combination of price and speed.

08:00AMIstanbul8h30 04:30PMSofia
0 transfers
231One-way
Cheapest
08:00AMIstanbul8h30 04:30PMSofia
0 transfers
231One-way
Other options
11:30AMIstanbul9h00 08:30PMSofia
0 transfers
231One-way
11:30PMIstanbul8h30 08:00AMSofia
0 transfers
261One-way
06:00PMIstanbul9h00 03:00AMСофия, Централна Aвтогара (Sofia, Centralna Avtogara)
0 transfers
261One-way

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Travel Information to Sofia from Istanbul

distanceDistance311 miles (501 km)
modeAvailable travel modesBus, flight, ferry or train
fastestFastest modeFlight • $322 (€288) • 1 h 10 min
carriersPopular travel companiesBrittany Ferries or Turkish Airlines

Take a bus, flight, ferry or train to travel 311 miles (501 km) between Istanbul and Sofia. The most popular travel companies which serve this route are Brittany Ferries or Turkish Airlines among others. Travelers can even take a direct bus or flight from Istanbul to Sofia.

Travel Tips: Travel from Istanbul to Sofia

Travel to Sofia easily. Whether you want fast, cheap or something entirely different, our travel experts have collected everything you need to know so you can find the best option from Istanbul to Sofia.
FAQs

Travel between Istanbul, Turkey and Sofia, Bulgaria is: Fully open.

Can travelers from Turkey enter Bulgaria?

International entry is allowed at this time for: Entry is fully open for citizens and permanent residents of Turkey.

Are there rules for self-quarantine when arriving to Sofia from Istanbul?

Conditions of entry into Bulgaria:

  • There are no current restrictions

Are there COVID-19 safety rules for social distancing and wearing face masks in Sofia, Bulgaria?

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, the government of Bulgaria has imposed the following measures:

  • Physical distance requirement: 1.5 metre (s) (5 feet)
  • Face mask requirement: Recommended

This information was last checked on 6/27/22. As this information can change due to the nature of the pandemic, make sure to review the latest COVID-19 travel safety regulations   for your journey from Istanbul to Sofia.

The restriction level for your return to Istanbul, Turkey from Bulgaria is: Fully open.

Is my journey back to Istanbul from Sofia restricted?

Entry into Turkey is currently allowed for: Entry is fully open for citizens and permanent residents of Bulgaria.

Do I need to self-quarantine upon arrival in Istanbul from Sofia?

Conditions of reentry into Turkey:

  • There are no current restrictions

What are the coronavirus safety measures I need to follow in Istanbul, Turkey?

You should observe these safety measures in Turkey as imposed by the government to reduce the spread of COVID-19:

  • Physical distance requirement: 2 metre (s) (7 feet)
  • Face mask requirement: Recommended

This information about your return travel to Turkey was last checked on 6/25/22. We advise you to check the latest COVID-19 travel safety regulations for your trip back to Istanbul from Sofia closer to your date of departure here.

There are 4 ways to travel between Istanbul and Sofia including taking a bus, flight, ferry or train.

The cheapest way to go to Sofia from Istanbul is by taking a ferry, which costs on average $1 (€1).

This is compared to other ways of getting to Sofia:

A ferry is $29 (€26) less than a bus for this trip with tickets for a bus from Istanbul to Sofia costing on average $29 (€26).

Taking a ferry is usually $322 (€288) less than taking a flight to Sofia, which costs on average $322 (€288) for the same trip.

Taking a ferry is about $8 (€7) less than taking a train, which costs on average $8 (€7) for this trip.

The fastest way to get to Sofia from Istanbul is by flight with an average travel time of 1 h 10 min.

Other travel options to Sofia can usually take longer:

In comparison, traveling by bus can take you on average 6 h 15 min.

In comparison, traveling by ferry can take you on average 0 h 0 min.

In comparison, going by train can take 10 h 30 min   on average.

The Istanbul to Sofia distance is around 311 miles (501 km).

The average frequency per day from Istanbul to Sofia is:

  • Around 1 train per day.

However, we recommend checking specific travel dates for your journey between Istanbul and Sofia as scheduled services by bus, flight, ferry or train can vary by season or day of the week.

These are the most popular departure and arrival points from Istanbul to Sofia:

  • Buses most often depart from Istanbul at Istanbul, Büyük Otogari and arrive in Sofia at Sofia, Centralna Avtogara (София, Централна Автогара).
  • Flights mostly depart from Istanbul Airport and arrive in Sofia Airport.

Omio works with many trusted partners that can help you travel the best way from Istanbul to Sofia:

  • You can go to Sofia from Istanbul by bus with Brittany Ferries. You'll see cheap bus tickets for $29 (€26) with Brittany Ferries from Istanbul to Sofia on Omio.
  • You can go to Sofia from Istanbul by plane with Turkish Airlines. You'll see cheap plane tickets for $322 (€288) with Turkish Airlines from Istanbul to Sofia on Omio.

Yes, there are direct routes from Istanbul to Sofia with the following travel companies:

  • You can book a direct bus with Arda Tur or Brittany Ferries.
  • You can travel directly by plane with Turkish Airlines.

Direct services to Sofia tend to save you time and add more convenience as you won't need to transfer at another stop in between, so it's worth paying attention to before booking tickets for your route.

Omio customers who travel from Istanbul to Sofia often also extend their vacation to go to Plovdiv, Bucharest or Burgas. Omio can help you plan your trip by finding the best connections between Sofia and these popular destinations at a great price.

When planning your trip from Istanbul to Sofia, it’s good to keep in mind what tickets to purchase and their prices in the next 7 days:

  • Bus tickets cost on average $29 (€26) one way.
  • Plane tickets cost on average $322 (€288) one way.
  • Ferry tickets are costing $1 (€1) one way on average.
  • Train tickets are costing $8 (€7) one way on average.

However, we recommend buying tickets from Istanbul to Sofia online a few months in advance to get the best deals and save money on your upcoming journey.

Travelling from Istanbul to Sofia: related information

Here are some other resources that might have the information you need

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