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London to Bulgaria by train, a 48 hour Balkan adventure

It's not difficult to travel to Bulgaria by train, in fact it's a safe, comfortable and interesting journey. The train ride from London to Bulgaria takes as little as 48 hours, by Eurostar to Paris, 200mph double-decker TGV to Munich, the excellent air-conditioned sleeper train to Budapest, leisurely daytime train to Belgrade (with an evening to see something of the city) then another overnight train with a couchette to Sofia. The train times, fares, and how best to buy tickets are all explained on this page.

Train times, fares, tickets & information

Route map: London to Bulgaria by train

Useful country information

Train operator in Bulgaria:

BDZ (Bâlgarski Dârzhavni Zheleznitsi), www.bdz.bgSofia-Istanbul by train

Eurostar times & fares    All-Europe online train times


Beginner's guide to European railpasses    Buy a rail pass online

Time zone:

GMT+2 (GMT+3 from last Sunday in March to last Saturday in October).

Dialling code:



£1 = approx 2.3 Lev.   Currency converter

Tourist information:    Tripadvisor Bulgaria page


UK citizens don't need a visa to visit Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary or Romania.

Page last updated:

11 November 2015.  Train times valid 13 Dec 2015 to 11 June 2016.

London to Sofia by train

Option 1: London to Sofia via Paris, Munich & Budapest

This is is the fastest and cheapest option, if you use the option B version show below. Alternatively, the option A version is the most direct and comfortable way, with a whole day free in Budapest as this uses a new direct Budapest-Sofia train which started running in December 2014.

London → Sofia

  • Day 1: Travel from London to Paris by Eurostar, leaving London St Pancras at 10:24 (11:01 on Saturdays) arriving Paris Gare du Nord at 13:47 (14:17 on Saturdays). It's a 10 minute walk from the Gare du Nord to the Gare de l'Est.

Munich to Budapest by sleeper train Kalman Imre

Cosy & inviting, a hotel on rails, this is the modern air-conditioned Hungarian sleeping-car of the Kalman Imre at Munich Hauptbahnhof... The sleeping-car has 10 compartments with washbasin, each of which can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth room, with toilets at the end of the corridor. The fare includes a light breakfast of coffee, juice & croissant. Watch the Hungarian sleeping-car video. There's time for dinner in Munich before boarding, try at Arnulfstrasse 52, to the north side of Munich Hbf.