Traveling from Sofia to St Petersburg used to be costly. However, with low-cost airlines now flying to and from St Petersburg, the city is becoming more accessible to Bulgarian tourists.
Budget airlines are offering direct flights from Sofia to St Petersburg from as little as 58 BGN ( 33 USD) one way, making it more affordable than ever before to visit one of Russia’s most beautiful and interesting cities.
Travelers can take advantage of low fares to experience this grand city of great cultural and historical importance.
Flying from Sofia to St Petersburg
St Petersburg is just over 1,226 miles (1,973 km) from Sofia, Bulgaria. The quickest and easiest option for traveling between the 2 cities is to fly from Sofia International Airport to Pulkovo Airport in St Petersburg.
Until recently, expensive plane tickets prevented tourists from flying between Bulgaria and St Petersburg. However, low-cost fares now mean that flying from Sofia to St Petersburg can be cheap.
How long is the flight from Sofia to St Petersburg?
A direct flight from Sofia to St Petersburg takes just over 3 hours. The average 1-stop flight takes around 6 hours however this could extend to as long as 22 hours depending on the layover time.
Direct flights from Sofia to St Petersburg
In June 2020, travelers can expect to pay from $186 to $201 for a direct, one-way flight from Sofia to St Petersburg whilst in September and October 2020 flights are available from $78.
With the increased availability of cheap direct flights from Sofia to St Petersburg, travelers are benefiting from quicker journey times, without the need for a lengthy airport wait.
Non-direct flights from Sofia to St Petersburg
As inexpensive direct flights are currently only available on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, it may be necessary for travelers to take a non-direct flight. Several flight combinations are available at varying costs:
Flying from Sofia to St Petersburg via Warsaw
One option when flying from Sofia to St Petersburg is to make a stop in Warsaw, Poland. In June 2020, one-way tickets can be purchased from $236.
- Sofia International Airport to Warsaw Chopin Airport: 2 hours
- Wait in airport
- Warsaw Chopin Airport to Pulkovo Airport, St Petersburg: 1 hour 55 minutes
Flying from Sofia to St Petersburg via Athens
Another possibility is to make a stop in Athens, Greece. A one-way ticket in June 2020 costs from $204.
- Sofia International Airport to Athens International Airport: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Wait in airport
- Athens International Airport to Pulkovo Airport, St Petersburg: 3 hours 45 minutes
Flying from Sofia to St Petersburg via Moscow
It is possible to travel from Sofia to St Petersburg with some airlines via Moscow. Flights are available in June 2020 from $309.
- Sofia International Airport to Moscow Sheremetyevo: 3 hours 5 minutes
- Wait in airport
- Moscow Sheremetyevo to Pulkovo Airport, St Petersburg: 1 hour 25 minutes
Other layover airports include:
- Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, the Netherlands
- Munich International Airport, Germany
- Bratislava Airport, Slovakia
Available routes and prices depend on the month in which the journey is being made. Cheaper fares can be found outside of peak season which extends from mid-June to September.
Getting from Pulkovo Airport to St Petersburg city center
Once in St Petersburg, travelers have several ways to get from the airport to the city center.
Pulkovo Airport is situated 14 miles (23 km) south of St Petersburg. Both public and private means of transport are available:
Taxi from the airport to the city center
For a more reliable service, visitors should go to the taxi desk in the arrivals hall rather than using a driver offering their services at the gate.
The journey by car takes no more than 45 minutes and the fare is around 1,900 RUB (30 USD).
Private transfer booked prior to travel
Travelers can book a private car with a driver in advance. Transfers can be booked online and most hotels will be happy to arrange this for a small fee.
The journey by private car takes around 45 minutes and most companies charge approximately 1,250 RUB (20 USD).
Bus and metro services
City buses to Moskovskaya metro station depart from outside the airport and cost less than 63 RUB (1 USD). From Moskovskaya station there are metro services with several city center stops. This is the cheapest option for getting to the center and the total journey time approximately 1 hour 10 minutes.
The Airport Express shuttle bus is a comfortable service with air conditioning and plenty of space for luggage. The Airport Express stops at Vladimirskaya, right in the city center, and costs about 408 RUB (6.5 USD). This operates 24 hours and tickets are purchased in the arrivals lounge.
How to Apply for a Tourist Visa to Travel from Sofia to St Petersburg
Tourists from Bulgaria intending to visit the city for a short-term stay are now eligible to apply for the St Petersburg E-visa online. This permit allows for single-entry stays of up to 8 days in the region.
The Russia E-visa application can be completed from anywhere in the world, only an internet connection and a few personal details are required.
By applying online applicants can save time as there is no need to present supporting documentation at a Russian embassy or consulate.
Processing time for the St Petersburg E-visa is around 4 days however travelers are advised to apply at least a week before departure. Once approved, the eVisa is sent to the applicant via email. The eVisa is valid for 30 days from the issue date.
Foreign nationals can check the Russia E-visa requirements online.