Earth > Europe > Southern Europe > Balkans > Bulgaria > Sofia
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Hitching in and around
Sofia has a ring road. Drivers transiting between Serbia and points further east in Bulgaria will go around the north of the city. If you are dropped off on the ring road, you can walk a few hundred metres to a bus stop and take a bus to the city centre.
Take the metro (blue line) to Tsarigradsko shose, the Inter Expo Center. You have Metro (shop, mall) on your right, keep walking 1 km, you will reach a traffic light that is perfect to hitch, you might not even wait more than 5 minutes. Perfect stop. Some experiences suggest that it is difficult to get a direct ride to Istanbul from here unless you start as early in the morning as possible when the relevant traffic for Istanbul leaves the city. Also, waiting times can be longer than five minutes. Shorter rides are easier to catch.
Take metro and get to stop called Младост 1 (Mladost 1). Walk north along Yerusalim street until you get to the main road Tsarigradsko Shose. You should see Carrefour shopping centre around. Then take bus number 5 direction Lozen and go with it until it leaves main road on a cloverleaf junction. Get off on the next stop and go back to the junction. 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 and bars where people stop next to the motorway. 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
- Chillion (2018) Didn't have any money so decided to walk it to location 1, though trolleybus 5 also goes there half way. Didn't like the location so walked on a further until I got to the Clover Junction (location 2). Did not like this one either so walked on further where the shops and restaurants started. Here you have a wide shoulder/parking space, a toilet and a tap to refill water bottles. With a "Plovdiv" sign got picked up and dropped off the fork road that splits between Plovdiv (left path) and Istanbul (right path). Since I was heading to Istanbul I made a sign and hitched on the curving shoulder. Got picked up in 10 mins, straight (extremely lucky) ride to Istanbul.
West towards Serbia
Take the metro to the stop Slivnitsa (Сливница). Take bus 54 towards Bozhurishe or walk northwest along the avenue Slivnitsa for 2 km until you meet the Sofia ring road. You can hitch 200 m after the intersection with the ring road already, or walk further down the road (two bus stops after the ring road) to the Lukoil station. There is still a lot of local traffic, so you'll probably have to accept at least one short-distance lift before you can stop a car going all the way to the border.
Another way is to take the bus 54 towards Kalotina all the way to the end. It ends on the highway to Belgrade on a very good hitchhiking spot. But bring some cardboard with you from the city center since there aren't any trash cans.
This road enters Serbia at the Kalotina-Dimitrovgrad border crossing.
This also works very good. Take metro to Slivnitsa and than bus 54. On third bus station go out and just near Lukoil petrol station is very good place to hitchhike(it is also bus station)
Oct 2017 8 The.skinny.chick tried the first option and was very lucky to get a Turkish truck driver in 10 min till 140 km from Belgrade.
May 2019: choush took the bus 54 all the way to the last stop (direction Kalotina) and stood on the main road where there is a tiny spot for cars to stop but most traffic is very fast and its hard for cars to see and stop on time. Later switched to the intersection (where the bus stops) which leads to the highway. Stood around 1 hour and eventually accepted a ride back to the next Lukoil petrol station (5 min by car, 20-30 min walking). No idea if thats the Lukoil that the others are talking about.
Southwest towards Skopje
Take tram number 19 in the direction Knyazhevo all the way to the last stop. You will recognize the last stop because it turns off the road to make a tight loop and doubles back on its route. As you hop off the tram, come back on the main road and keep walking the direction of Tram and the first main road that turns left is where there is a bus stand where you can catch bus number 59 that will take you all the way out of the city to nice spots to hitch from along the road that goes towards Pernik.
For the first nice spot along this direction heed the following: after about 8 minutes on the bus be on the look out for a gas station on the left side of the road. Get off as soon as you see this gas station as there is a nice place about 400 meters up the road where cars and lorries can safely pull off for you.
It is possible to ride on a bit farther if you miss this stop. The bus pulls off the main road about 3km later and goes into rural neighborhood where you must get off less you wish to be lost in the countryside. If you find yourself here walk in the same direction as you are destined on a small road that runs parallel with the highway until you cross under it. On the left just after the bridge is a small foot path that will lead you up onto the bridge, over the railway, and onto the highway where right here you can find another space for cars to pull off the road safely for you.
Recommended Way :) below Updated Nov 2014 A very good way to get out of Sofia is taking tram no. 5 ( or Tram 19). It goes all the way on Bulevard Tsar Boris III to the city limits, and you can hitch on that road directly. Get out at the last stop and continue walking on this road until you find yourself a good spot. There is red light right where the Tram turns left for its last stop which is the moment it turns left. Here keep walking on the Tsar Boris III road off which the Tram turned and the second red light is a good place to show sign and get a car in case you are trying to go in direction of South West or North Macedonia Bulgaria border. People near the border are quite helpful and in case you are going to Pernik/Skopje have a sign ready someone may actually be going all the way to Skopje. In winter time try to start really early since it gets dark very quickly and people may be reluctant to pick up single guys.
North towards Veliko Tarnovo, Bucharest, 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.
This works very good. Just go with tram 22 to last station and cross road.and you will be in direction to Veliko Tarnovo on bus station. It is not so easy to catch ride on bus station for 117,90 and bus 12 but you can walk just maybe one km on main road and come to Lukoil petrol station, there you just need to ask drivers to pick you up.
South towards Blagoevgrad, Thessaloniki
Take tram 5 to the last stop - the tram originates behind the court building (Съдебна палата) 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. Or don't mess with the walking, take the bus #58 and go till it leaves the road for the village of Vladaya/Владая. 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.
If you're in a car continuing in the direction of Belgrade you can get off where they turn right, where it says something like "transit Belgrado". If you walk a bit further you will find a bus stop for bus #5.
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. nomad:Sofia