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Language: Bulgarian | Currency: Lev (лв) | Local time: EEST | Avg. Flight time: 3.5 hrs
Seven airlines currently connect Bulgaria’s capital Sofia with London.
British Airways and Bulgaria Air operate year-round services between London Heathrow (LHR) and Sofia. Low-cost carrier Ryanair runs daily services from London Stansted (STN) to Sofia and three times a week to Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s second largest city, while easyJet flies from London Gatwick to Sofia and Varna, with additional seasonal services from London Stansted to Sofia during the winter ski season.
Hungarian low-cost airline Wizz Air offers some of the cheapest fares from London Luton to Sofia, Varna and Burgas. Thomas Cook and Bulgarian carrier BH Air also run passenger services from London Gatwick to Varna and Burgas between May and October.
The flight time from London to Sofia is approximately three hours and ten minutes, and three hours and twenty-five minutes each to Plovdiv, Varna and Burgas.
Ryanair also runs services from Birmingham (BHX), Liverpool (LPL), and Glasgow (GLA) to Sofia. There are no direct flights from Edinburgh (EDI) and Glasgow to Sofia, but flights with one-stop connections are available.
During the summer months, Thomson operates a weekly direct service from Bristol (BRS) to Burgas. Catering to the huge demand for a summer escape to the Black Sea Coast from other UK cities, BH Air operates seasonal routes to Burgas from Aberdeen (ABZ), Belfast (BFS), Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff (CWL), Doncaster (DSA), East Midlands (EMA), Edinburgh, Glasgow, Humberside (HUY), Leeds Bradford (LBA), Manchester (MAN), Newcastle (NCL) and Norwich (NWI).
Although fares to Bulgaria are more expensive in the summer, it’s still considered affordable by many UK travellers. Expect to pay a premium to fly to Burgas or Varna between June to September, however. Flights to these destinations are considerably cheaper outside the summer months.
The ski season in Bulgaria runs from mid-December to mid-April. At the height of the ski season, flights to Sofia can cost much more as the city is only an hour away from the fantastic ski resorts of Vitosha and Borovets, and under two hours away from Bansko. Avoid Christmas and New Year, and book well in advance for the cheapest deals.
Visas are not required for British passport holders. However, to enter Bulgaria, a passport valid for at least three months beyond the length of your stay is required, unless you hold a valid Bulgarian ID card.