When you travel by rail in Bulgaria, you’ll likely find more than you ever expected. Bulgaria has an interesting historical and cultural heritage and attractive landscapes. Be sure to visit the capital Sofia, nestled in the foothills of two mountains, and filled with exciting sights and sounds. Your Eurail Bulgaria Pass is your ticket to a true rail adventure.
Traveling by train in Bulgaria
Bulgaria quick facts
Population: 7.3 million
Currency: Lev (BGN)
Dialing code: +359
Trains in Bulgaria
Bulgaria has a wide network of train routes, often with nice scenic views. Major train routes are Sofia – Varna and Sofia – Bourgas.
Places to visit
Ancient ruins with a story
Settled several thousand years ago, Bulgaria’s second-largest city, Plovdiv, is rife with ancient ruins and remnants of Roman roads. Especially in old town (Staria Grad), which is a goldmine of artifacts. Don’t miss the Ethnographical Museum, which charts the town’s history, and the ruins of the Roman Theatre of Ancient Philippopolis (Plovdiv’s previous name). Plovdiv’s hilly terrain and colorful architecture is endlessly charming.
Plovdiv is a city best seen on foot. From train station Tsentralna Gara the center of town is a 15-minute walk, and the old town is another 15 minutes beyond that.
The coastal city of Varna and the surrounding areas are rich in history, and also have fantastic beachside resorts. It’s a best-of-both-worlds situation, as the amazing Roman Thermae are the largest ruins in all of Bulgaria, and the Varna Summer Festival includes all of the fun that the Black Sea beachfront has to offer. Don’t miss the Archeological Museum in Varna – some say it’s one of the best in the whole country.
It’s less than a 10-minute walk from Varna central station (Gara Varna) to the beachfront.
Sofia's streets of gold
Situated at the base of the picturesque Mount Vitosha, the capital city of Sofia is one of the oldest in Europe and the largest in Bulgaria. Your Eurail Bulgaria Pass is the key to uncovering its quaint boutiques, gold-colored streets and dynamic culture. The National Historical Museum will tell you all you need to know about Bulgaria’s past. One of the largest museums in the Balkans offers 650,000 exhibits.
The National Historical museum can be reached by bus 66 and 111 and trolleybus 2.
The cliffside fortress town
Located in central Bulgaria in an unspoiled countryside, the picturesque town of Veliko Tarnovo features ancient buildings hovering at the edge of a rocky cliff, overlooking the Yantra River. The stunning Tsarevets Fortress dates back to the 5th century, and you shouldn’t miss the sound and light show at sundown. But most of the art and architecture in town has its own story to tell, and it’s a story worth hearing.
Several buses leave from Veliko Tarnovo center and deliver you to the entrance of the Tsarevets Fortress, about 2/3 of a mile (1 km) from the center of town.
In a celebration of ‘Mother March’, and the hope for health and happiness at the beginning of the Spring Equinox, Bulgarians exchange red-and-white decorative dolls (called Martenitsas) and wish each other health and happiness for the new season. Many Bulgarian towns celebrate with their own festive activities.
The Martenitsa festivities take place all across Bulgaria.
Varna summer festival
You know a summer festival is good when it lasts 5 months. Varna celebrates its busiest and most beautiful time of year with spectacular music, events, local food and drinks throughout the entire summer (and autumn!).
Varna summer festival takes place in the city center, which is within walking distance of the main train station.
Kazanlâk Rose Festival
Bulgaria is one of the largest producers of rose oil in the world, and this precious commodity is responsible for the production of perfumes, chocolates, liqueur and jams enjoyed the world over. This annual harvest festival includes costumes, dancing, drinks and much more.
Take the train to Kazanlâk. All festivities are in walking distance of the train station.
Eurail passes for Bulgaria
Most popular passes with Bulgaria
Eurail Global Pass from USD$259
The Eurail Global Pass is the flexible and value-for-money train pass that lets you explore up to 27 countries by rail. Hop on board comfortable trains that take you right to the center of Europe's cities. One day you're relaxing on a gondola ride in Venice and the next you're discovering Prague's fairy-tale castle.View Eurail Global Pass
Eurail Bulgaria Pass from USD$96
The Eurail Bulgaria Pass lets you experience the best of Bulgaria by rail. Wander around the dynamic and cosmopolitan city of Sofia, step inside the ancient Roman amphitheater in Plovdiv and enjoy the lively beach parties in Varna on the Black Coast.View Eurail Bulgaria Pass
Eurail Select Pass 4 countries from USD$183
Discover 4 bordering countries with the Eurail Select Pass – 4 countries. Plan the route of your choice between and within each country, and spend as much time as you like at each stop.View Eurail Select Pass 4 countries
All Eurail passes with Bulgaria
Here's a list of all Eurail passes for your travels through this country: