Since January 1st, 2007, the Republic of Bulgaria has been applying the European Union's Common Visa Policy subject to the terms of the Accession Treaty. Joining the Schengen area is a key priority of the Bulgarian government, but currently Bulgaria issues national visas only. Those visas do not give their holders the right to enter the Schengen area. There is a visa-free regime for holders of Schengen visas for a stay of up to 90 days. They have the right to enter and reside in the Republic of Bulgaria for a period of no more than three months in any six-month period from the date of the first entry, without needing to have a Bulgarian short-stay visa. Detailed information about procedures and list of countries subject to visa can be found here.
Getting to Sofia
All major European airlines have between one and three direct flights daily to Sofia Airport from all main hubs (Munich/Frankfurt, Paris, Vienna, London, Athens, Istanbul, Rome, Prague, Brussels, Amsterdam, etc.) and provide convenient connecting flights from most of the major cities in the US and Asia. Low cost companies (WizzAir, EasyJet) provide frequent flights from about 15 points in Europe as well. Sofia Airport is about 10 km from the centre of the city. Public transportation to and from the centre (including a metro line expected to be finished before 2015) is convenient. Taxi services to the centre cost between 7 and 10 EUR depending on the time of the day.
Public Transport in Sofia
The public transportation in Sofia is based on a metro, bus lines and trams . There is also a very affordable Taxi service available everywhere in Sofia. Some of the recommended licensed Taxi companies are: OK Supertrans, Green Taxi, Omega Trans.
If you choose to take a taxi from the airport, go to the right at the arrivals hall and take the door to outside on your right-hand side. Follow the yellow signs for the taxi stands, where taxis are waiting. There might be taxi drivers inside the arrivals hall offering you taxi service, but typically they are NOT from licensed Taxi companies and might charge you more than the standard tariffs.
NEW! Since April 1st, 2015 the Line 1 of the Metro connects Sofia airport with the centrum of Sofia. A jurney from the airport to the venue hotel should take aprox. 18 min and will cost you 1BGN (aprox. 0.50 EUR). More info about tickets and how to find the metro station at the airport can be found here and a plan of the airport with the metro station here.
The currency used in Bulgaria is Bulgarian Lev . The exchange rate with euro is fixed to: 1EUR = 1.95583 BGN. You can withdraw Bulgarian lev from any ATM machine in Sofia or you can exchange money at any bank branch in the city.