Driving in Sofia

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Sofia StreetsDriving in Sofia with the crowd of people, cars, buses and trams especially during the rush hours, can be a traumatic experience – you need iron nerves and peeled eyes. However, once away from the city centre, traffic runs quite freely. Street names are almost exclusively in Cyrillic so, even with a map, orientation can be difficult.

Visitors have to know that Bulgarian drivers flash their lights to signal ‘get out of the way’, and not to give another motorist the right of way. Alternatively, this can be a warning: ‘police ahead!’ The trams always have priority. Pedestrians have the right of way on “zebra striped” crossways though not all drivers abide the rule. On one-way streets park only on the right.

Blue and Green Zone parking is in effect in many built up areas. Parking vouchers are usually sold on the spot by parking attendants. Also you can find various private parking lots in and around the centre. Restricted parking is strictly enforced with wheel clamping and towing.

Visitors have to avoid breaking traffic rules even if the locals seem to do so. The police officers rarely speak English and you can get into big trouble.

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