We always used to say that if you arrived in Bucharest by bus then something, somewhere, had gone very, very wrong. This, after all, is a city with no real, central bus station, in a country where many inter-city buses are little more than glorified minibuses.
In some parts of the In Your Pocket empire the bus (or coach, as we tend to call it in Britain) is in fact the best way to get around. The Baltics, where trains are as good as non-existent (railway lines up there were built to go to and from Moscow) has a famously good coach service, with many of the coaches being positively luxurious, such as the Vilnius – Riga Express:
Anyway, last week we got a call from a friend who will be travelling from Bucharest to Sofia next month for In-ger-land’s European Championship qualifier there on September 1st. He was adamant that he did not want to take the train (because, as is the wont of trains in these parts, it takes a circuitous route to its destination), while flying was out as prices for a return trip were already north of €300. He didn’t fancy driving either.
So he asked us if we knew of any buses which did the Bucharest – Sofia trip. We didn’t then, but we do now.
As it turns out, the fastest (and by far cheapest) way to get by non-airborne public transport from Bucharest to Sofia is in fact by coach. There is a daily service, the coach leaving Bucharest at 16:00 and arriving in Sofia just under seven hours later. The only stop (border checks excepted) is at Ruse.
The price is €18 single, €35 return. The Bucharest departure point is the Double T bus stop at the very end of Calea Victoriei (where it meets the river). In Sofia the coach arrives and departs from the city’s huge bus station, itself next to Sofia train station.
Though the route is operated by a Bulgarian company and not Double T, their office at Calea Victoriei 2 (next to where the coach stops) will sell you tickets for the Sofia coach.
As we have not done the journey ourselves yet, we can’t tell you anything about the coach itself. If anyone has, do let us know.