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Parking in Bulgaria

Parking in Bulgaria, except in the bigger cities, unless stated otherwise, is free. It is also very intuitive for those used to driving in Europe. A sign “P” indicates parking places.

GuideBG Briefs

Parking on the streets in Sofia

Parking in Sofia, like in many large European cities, can be quite challenging, particularly on business days. Originally built to accommodate around a million residents, Sofia now houses over 2 million people, with daily car traffic exceeding half a million. The city’s public parking spaces are insufficient to meet this demand, leading the municipality of Sofia to attempt to reduce vehicle numbers. Sofia offers two types of short-term street paid-parking zones: the Blue zone in the city center and the Green zone surrounding it. Parking fees in both zones can be paid via SMS, but this option is limited to Bulgarian mobile operators’ customers. You’ll need a local SIM card to pay for parking by SMS. For information on how to pay using a Bulgarian cell phone number, you can check out the Sofia Municipality’s Parking resource page. Parking can also be paid with parking coupons or via any of these user-friendly car park apps – SMS Parking appUrbo app, or SofiaPlus app.

If you are visiting for the first time, we favor walking and using a taxi or public transport to guarantee a lovely time in Sofia.

If you arrive by car in Sofia and your place of stay does not provide a parking option, we can complement the following paid parking spots in the city:

  • around Cathedral Saint Alexander Nevski (paid via apps, SMS, and car park coupons) 
  • on the main square close to the Bulgarian National Bank (paid via apps, SMS, and parking coupons) 
  • close to the National Palace of Culture (paid via credit card or cash) 
  • you can also park in the many malls in the city (paid via credit card or cash) 

In addition to the parking spots above, we can recommend Park & Ride (park and take the metro) car park options for the city of Sofia:

  • Park & Ride Tsarigradsko Shose 
  • Park & Ride James Bouchard 

The Sofia Urban Mobility Centre’s website provides more detailed information on Park & Ride (prices, payment methods, lost car park tickets, etc.).

In the Big Cities

Parking in big cities (Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas, Ruse, V. Turnovo, Pleven, etc.) is also zoned, and similar parking rules as in Sofia may apply. We recommend you ask for parking instructions or a parking spot provided directly by your place of stay.

In Resorts

Car park in ski and summer resorts can also be zoned, and similar parking rules as in the cities may apply. We recommend you ask for parking instructions or a parking spot provided directly by your place of stay. Most resorts also provide large public parking spaces.

If you forget to pay

If you neglect to pay for parking or fail to extend the time to the maximum limit, your car might face towing, especially in cities or resorts during peak seasons. In such cases, seek out a police officer or, even better, hire a local taxi driver to take you to your vehicle’s location. Once you’ve paid the fine, you’re all set to leave.

Forgetting to pay may result in a yellow clamp attached to your car’s front wheel on the driver’s side. Look for a notice under the wiper, including a contact number. Call this number, and a mobility service representative will arrive. You must pay a fine of BGN 20 for improper parking. After settling the fine, you can depart freely.

If you, by mistake, park in the wrong spot

Authorities may impose a fine of up to BGN 200 if a driver parks in a designated space. These spaces are for vehicles serving individuals with permanent disabilities and vehicles adapted and operated by these individuals. The rule applies to public parks, gardens, children’s playgrounds, pedestrian areas, and sidewalks within settlements.

You can pay for the fines via Sofia Plus application, which works with Android and iOS.

Essential details

Bulgaria's Road Trips

Enhance your understanding and delight in the traditional events and unique locales Bulgaria has to offer. Alongside these, discover other mesmerizing places within the country. We invite you to peruse our recommended itineraries for these insightful explorations.

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