Metro Sofia is the rapid transit system that serves the capital of Bulgaria. The city has over 1.6 million inhabitants. Its streets can not handle the daily traffic volume, so that the metro system is essential. The construction of this network has been inconsistent. Planned in the sixties it did not begin to be built until the nineties. Soon after, the work was stopped because of lack of funds. Metro Sofia, known in their language as Sofiysko metro was inaugurated in January 1998 with 5 stations and 6.5 kilometers of route. Currently the system has 2 metro lines with 34 stations and 38.6 kilometers. It’s used by 450,000 passengers daily. It was built and is operated by Metropolitan EAD.
The general scheme of development and construction for 2020 consists of 3 lines serving Sofia from the downtown to the periphery of the city, a route extension of 65 kilometers, 63 stations that will support daily 1.2 million passengers.
The Sofia Metro has an average station distance of 1100 meters, an operating speed of 90 km/h, maximum capacity of 50,000 passengers per hour per direction and when the system is completed the minimum frequency between trains will be 90 seconds.
Sofia Metro lines and stations
Sofia Metro has 2 lines:
Line 1 or Red Line, opened in 1998. Links Obelya to Tsarigradsko Shose. The route covers an area of 29 km and serves 23 stations. This line has two branches. A northern branch coming from Tsarigradsko Shose to Sofia Airport. A southern branch that joins Mladost to the Business Park Sofia.
Stations: Obelya, Slivnitsa, Lyulin, Zapaden Park, Vardar, Konstantin Velichkov, Opalchenska, Serdika, Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, Vasil Levski Stadium, Joliot-Curie, GMDimitrov, Musagenitsa, Mladost 1. North Branch: Mladost 3, Inter Expo Center – Tsarigradsko Shose, Druzhba, Iskarsko Shose, Sofiyska Sveta Gora, Sofia Airport. South Branch: Aleksandar Malinov, Akad. Aleksandar Teodorov-Balan, Business Park Sofia, Sofia Park (planned) Simeonovo (planned)
Line 1 Map
Line 2 or blue line. Opened in 2012. It covers an area of 10.6km and serves 11 stations. Links Lozenets to Lomsko Shose in the south. The two lines intersect at Serdika. It’s planned to build a branch to lliyantsi and once completed this route will be 17 kilometers long and will serve 17 stations.
Line 2 Map
Line 3. It’s planned to build a line to connect Ovcha Kupel to Vasil Levski with a 16 kilometers route serving 19 stations (although the official website states 23 stations and 19 kilometers). The approximate date for its opening is 2018. Of the 19 underground stations, 11 will run underground and 8 stations at surface level. One of the main obstacles to its construction is the lack of funds.
Sofia Metro hours and frequency
The metro service works from 5:00 to 24:00 every day with a frequency of 3-7 minutes from Monday to Friday at rush hour, and up to 14 minutes during normal business hours. On weekends and holidays frequency varies from 6-15 minutes.
Tickets and fares
A single ticket can be purchased from machines or at the box office. The price is 1 BGN (about € 0.5) and is valid for 30 minutes. There are also 10 trip tickets cards that cost 8 BGN (approx. € 4) plus a 1BGN deposit, which is refunded when the card is returned.
Day passes cost 4 BGN (approx. 2 €) and are valid for unlimited travel on all the metro lines, buses, trolleybuses and trams in Sofia.
Monthly and yearly passes
There are also regular and customized monthly passes. These are only valid on the subway and are priced at 35 BGN (18 €) and 42 BGN (21.5 €) respectively. The difference between these passes is that the customized is not transferable (name and photo of the holder is on it). There is also a version of the monthly pass valid for all the public transport in Sofia (metro,bus,trams,…) for 50 BGN (€ 25.5) and 60 BGN (30.5 €) respectively. Likewise there is another pass for three months with regular and customized versions valid for all the public transport system in Sofia for a price of 130 BGN (66.5 €) and 156 BGN (80 €). A 6 months pass regular or customized valid for the entire transport network has a price of 255 BGN (€ 130.5) and 306 BGN (€ 156.5). Annual pass valid for the entire network cost 500 BGN (€ 255.5) in its regular version and 600 BGN (€ 306.7) the customized one.
There are discounts for students and seniors.
Parking in Sofia Metro
Some stations in Sofia offer free parking for 2 hours.
The fine for traveling without a ticket on the subway in Sofia is 20 BGN (10 €).
You can carry a bicycle in non-peak hours.
You can get to the airport by line 1, northen branch without paying extra fare.