Welcome to Sofia, dBias partners!
Meeting venue and agenda
The meeting place is Best Western Plus Bristol Hotel. The hotel is located at 69 Hristo Botev Blvd. (see map on the right)
The place was chosen because of its convenient location with walking access to the city center and at a distance of about 600 meters from the metro station Serdika (M4, direct line from T2 airport).
To make a reservation with a discount, write directly to the hotel at firstname.lastname@example.org and mention the code dBias. The hotel offers preferential rates per night: single room - 45 EUR, double room 55 EUR. Alternatively, you can book your room through booking.com or another online booking system, although you will not be able to request the discount.
Parking is available in a car park near the hotel. The price for 24 hours is 8 euros per car. Please mention that you will need a parking space when booking.
Hotel location and downtown area
Sofia airport has two terminals with T1 serving all low-cost carriers. Low-cost routes to SOF are mostly flown by Wizz Air, Ryanair (operates from T2), easyJet and Transavia.
Terminals 1 and 2 are connected by a free shuttle bus, which runs every 15 minutes between the hours of 5:00AM – 11:00PM.
If you start your travel in Central or Western Europe, you are most likely to use SOF as your entry point to the country. Partners from neighbouring countries have a handful of other options for their arrival. SOF is a small airport with about 3.3 million passengers in 2021, slowly recovering but still significantly down from the over 7 million in pre-pandemic 2019.
The aiport is located within the city boundaries and is served by city buses and metro (M4 - yellow line).
If you prefer to use a taxi to get to your hotel, make sure you order one at the desk in the arrivals' hall and follow their instructions. Do not respond to individual taxi drivers who offer you service! Show your order slip to the taxi company's steward when you exit the terminal building, they will direct you to your allocated cab.
Moving around in the city
Sofia Airport is connected to the city center via Metro Line 4 (yellow line), in an 18-minute journey. Sofia Central Bus and Railway Station is only 30 minutes away if you change from Metro Line 1 to Line 2. Trains run from 5:30AM – 12:00AM, and you can catch one at the Sofia Airport metro station, located in the eastern part of T2 (follow the blue lines on the floor).
Current fares for the public transport system are:
- 1,60 BGN for a single trip
- 4,00 BGN for a daily pass (unlimited use)
Transfering between metro lines is considered part of the same trip as long as you do not exit the metro system.
The most convenient way for paying the fare (if you are not a holder of a local pass) is to use your contactless debit or credit card (Visa/Mastercard). You need to check-in as soon as you enter the vehicle or at the metro station automatic gates by tapping the card onto the validators. If you use the same card, your daily trips are continuously added, but there is a daily cap at 4.00 BGN. You will not be charged more, thus equating the payment method to a standard daily pass, but you still do need to check-in for every trip you make. The system works for check-ins only, there are no check-outs.
The local currency is Lev, 'lev' meaning 'lion' in Bulgarian. The currency is BGN and it is roughly equivalent to 0,5 EUR. Bulgaria has a fixed exchange since 1997 with 1 EUR = 1,95583 leva. As a matter of convenience, you may divide the local prices by 2 to be able to make comparisons with the Euro area prices.
Avoid airport exchange desks. You can withdraw local currency at any regular ATM, including at the airport.
All major credit/debit cards are accepted in almost all stores/restaurants. Some restaurants would also accept cash payments in EUR, but do inquire first.
Stay in touch!
Milena Zvancharova: +359 888 655411
Theodora Dimitrova: +359 899 891262
Gergana Pencheva: +359 897 933175
Andy Stoycheff: +359 888 680408
Note that we are all available on FB Messenger, Whatsapp or Viber - feel free to use your preferred communication channel if you have any questions or issues with your participation or travel.
As tradition goes, there will also be a dedicated dBias Sofia group on Whatsapp set about a week before the meeting. Do keep everyone posted on your travel progress, arrival at the hotel or urgent drink plans!