Bulgaria - train tickets

Old Dec 28, 16, 9:45 pm
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Bulgaria - train tickets

Good day all,

I am flying into Sofia and plan to take a train to Plovdiv. Based on the online information it looks like there is a new interchange station from metro to train (Iskarsko Shosse), which seems convenient as it's only 2 stops away from the airport.

However, the station looks like a lonely platform - no ticket booths or service of any kind. BG railways website says "tickets can be purchased on board" when traveling from that station, but that page does not look terribly authoritative. I'd rather not get in trouble/have to pay a fine/get kicked out for having no ticket. Printing out a web page in English probably won't help much.

Has anyone taken a train from that station? Anyone can comment on buying tickets on board a train?
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Old Feb 2, 17, 2:44 pm
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To close the loop, in case anyone ever finds this thread on the search engine - tickets are indeed sold on board the train by conductor. It's cheap (about 7lv per person in "1st class"), and while the train is old and not terribly fast, it gets the job done.
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Old Aug 26, 19, 1:46 pm
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We recently took the train from Varna to Plovdiv and used the opportunity to review Bulgarian train service in general.

The Bulgarian train network spans over 4000 km and connects all of the major cities and towns in Bulgaria.

Bulgarian trains are antiquated and slower than buses between cities. So if you are looking for the fastest way to get around Bulgaria then the Bulgarian train is not your best option.

But if you are not in a hurry taking the Bulgarian train is a unique experience that is retro and cool. The train cars have a very communist feel they appeared to us to be old East German passenger cars.

Riding a Bulgarian train gives you a feel for what life was like in communist Bulgaria in ways that are both positive and negative but always interesting!

There are three types of Bulgarian Trains: ekspresen (express), barz (fast) or patnicheski (slow).

Express trains and fast trains connect the major cities while the slow trains provide connections to the smaller or more remote towns.

Travelling by train in Bulgaria is cheap. An express cross-country trip between Sofia and Varna costs about $20.

Our one-way second class Bulgarian Train tickets from Varna to Plovdiv cost 18.60 leva ($10.70).

Reservation are available online at https://bdztickets.com/en/ but only on certain routes...and the online booking system is buggy.

Overall taking the train in Bulgaria is a pretty cool experience if you have the time.

More details: https://readyjetroam.com/bulgarian-train-service/

Disclaimer: that link leads to an article I wrote on a website that I have a financial interest in.
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