Tickets and cards:
The standard fare for a single ride on the Sofia
Metro is BGN 1. Tickets are sold at all metro stations and can be purchased either from the box offices or the ticket vending machines installed there. Please, remember that once a ticket is issued you have only 30 minutes to validate it, so don’t buy any extra tickets.
Alternatively, you can opt for the handy 10-ride rechargeable electronic cards. They are designed for temporary use and are issued at every metro station in exchange for BGN 1 deposit that you can get back as soon as you return the card. Every e-card is charged with 10 credits (rides) and can be subsequently recharged an unlimited amount of times. Each recharging, as well as the initial charging, costs BGN 8, which makes the e-cards more economical than the normal metro tickets. All e-cards must be validated at the validation machines before descending to the platform.
Currently the Sofia Metro comprises two lines
. The Red Line connects the western (Lyulin and Obelya Housing Estates) and the eastern (Mladost Housing Estate) parts of the city. The Blue Line runs from Nadezhda Housing Estate to the northwest to Lozenets Housing Estate to the south. Both lines share a common starting/ending point – Obelya Station. They also meet once again at Serdika Station to create a useful junction at the very heart of Sofia where people can change trains.
Since this is the fastest and the most convenient public transport available in Sofia it shouldn’t be too surprising that it gets fairly crowded sometimes, especially between 8 am and 10 am and 5 pm and 7.30 pm on workdays. This shortcoming, however, is completely compensated by the fact that in rush hours there are trains every three to five minutes or so. Indeed, there are rarely any delays in the Sofia Metro and when they do occur, there is a good reason for them. The service operates every day from 5 am up until midnight. Its opening hours are even further extended on official holidays such as Easter, New Year’s Eve, etc.
All stations of the Sofia Metro are well-maintained and new… and, more importantly, all of them boast unique architectural designs. Lavov Most Station, for example, is a tribute to Old Sofia, while Serdika Station is set up as an archaeological museum full of precious artifacts. The latter is also located in close proximity to some of the city’s most important cultural and historical monuments, such as Banya Bashi Mosque
, the Sofia Public Mineral Baths, the Presidency, Sveta Nedelya Church, Vitosha Boulevard and of course, the largest open-air museum in the country. Sofiiski Universitet Sveti Kliment Ohridski Station offers just as impressive set of landmarks. Once you get out, you will find St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
, Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, the National Library, the Parliament, etc. Perhaps NDK Station and the imposing National Palace of Culture standing majestically above it also deserve an honourable mention here… the list can go on forever.
With several extensions and a whole new line underway, the present-day shape of the Sofia Metro resembles a very promising opening chapter of a great novel that is yet to be completed.