Earth > Europe > Southern Europe > Balkans > Bulgaria > Sofia
|<map lat='42.69858589169842' lng='23.37066650390625' zoom='10' view='3'/>|
|Licence plate:||C, CA, CO|
|Major roads:||A1, A2|
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Take the bus #5 and go with it until it enters the highway. Along the highway there are lots of gas stations, but it is recommended to stay in the bus until it leaves the highway out of Sofia. Then ask the bus driver to get out of the bus, otherwise you will land in the little village of Lozen in the middle of a beautiful nowhere. You will stand on a motorway junction with directions north, east to Plovdiv and west to Sofia. Go down the ramp to direction Plovdiv and you will see some shops where people stop next to the highway. Try standing on the hard shoulder to get a lift or ask people there. Nearly all traffic there goes to Plovdiv or even further east.
Find any underground/metro station (Blue line no. 1) and take the metro to the Slivnitsa (Сливница) stop (direction: Obelya - Обеля). When you get out, you will see a big crossroad - follow the direction out of the city. There are roadsigns that say Belgrade - that is the right direction. You can try to get a lift there but there are still too many local commuters passing. It is much better to take a bus no. 54 and get off when you see Metro hypermarket. There is a petrol station and traffic lights so the traffic is pretty slow.
North towards Bucharest, Veliko Tarnovo and Varna
Take tram 22 in direction east, get off at the last stop. The road parallel to the tramline runs directly out of the city, its possible to hitch anywhere from here but I would suggest a better place after the ring road which isolates only the traffic running to the A2 motorway. 7 km up the road is a Shell petrol station, the last stop for gas before the motorway, you can either walk the 7 km straight up the road or if you look to the left you will see a carpark in front of a car dealership. This is the bus station, take either the 117, 90 or 12, all will run directly up the road and stop more or less in front of the Shell petrol station. You can choose either the petrol station or just up the road is also ideal for hitching. An even better option is to take the 90 and persist with it until you reach the end of a road village called Gorni Bogrov (Bulgarian: Горни Богров), where you can hitch-hike from the bus station directly with great success since it has a lot of room for stopping and cars drive slow.
South towards Blagoevgrad and Thessaloniki
Take tram 5 to the last stop - the tram originates behind the court building in the center of Sofia. Walk another 5-10 minutes in the same direction of the tram until it is clear you are out of that neighborhood where all the traffic is heading out of the city. A good place to stop is at or just after the last stop light so the drivers are already stopped and have time to see you. If you are lucky a trucker will pick you up going all the way to Thessaloniki and on to Italy, otherwise the first 20 km are tricky (lot or cars going short distances) but after you pass Pernik you'll get a ride all the way to Blagoevgrad in no time.
Transport between north and south
If you just want to get through the city as hitching from the direction of the Serbian Nis to Greece to the south or opposite there's a quite useful bus to take. The number is 111 and goes around the ring on the west outskirts of the city. On the north, the end stop is just around some DIY shopping center, need to cross these to get to the ring. On the south the end is not the road to Greece, so be aware to get off in time.