Bulgarian State Railways (BDZ)
Bulgarian State Railways (also known as BDZ) is Bulgaria's main railway operator. The company operates three principal types of train:
- Expresen Vlak - express services which require seat reservations;
- Barz Vlak - fast trains, no reservation required; and
- Patnicheski - slow trains, no reservation required.
Reservations (or zapazeno mysasto in Bulgarian) cost around €0.25 (although this fee may vary depending on point of purchase). The company also operates a number of international services. Reservations are recommended for these more popular routes.
The company has ticket offices at many of the country's main stations, including Sofia Central Station.
BDZ trains are generally old and in relatively poor condition. Investment is currently being made in the fleet however, with new routes and trains being introduced gradually.
Luggage & Facilities
Passengers may travel with bicycles on most express services. They should be stored in the last coach of the train, and there is a fee of BGN 2.00 per bike (paid at the same time as ticket purchase). Alternatively, bicycles may be carried as extra baggage, in which case an additional fee is payable depending on distance:
- up to 100km - BGN 2.80;
- up to 200km - BGN 3.20;
- up to 300km - BGN 3.70;
- up to 400km - BGN 4.30;
- up to 500km - BGN 4.80; and
- over 500km - BGN 5.40.
Certain routes operate with adapted carriages for wheelchair users. These carriages include dedicated toilet facilities. If you are require assistance and are planning on travelling with BDZ, please notify the company at least one day in advance by contacting them directly.