Highways in Bulgaria

The length of the public road network in Bulgaria is 44,089 km, of which 43,649 km are paved roads. The length of the motorways is 830 km.

Toll roads

An electronic vignette will be available in Bulgaria from January 1st, 2019!

A fee (vignette) is charged for the crossing of foreign vehicles on the roads of Bulgaria. The amount of the fee depends on the vehicle category and the length of time the road has been used. Roads on which driving without a vignette is prohibited are marked with a “  vignette  ” sign.

No vignette is required for driving on city streets with the signs D11 or D12 as well as on circular and ring roads.

In addition, there are sections with special payments – bridges and ferries.

Vignette costs

Vignette costs (EUR) for passenger cars up to 3.5 t (including trailers) for 2021:

Tariffs for 2021:

Prices for vignettes in Bulgaria
TSweekend7 days1 month3 months1 year
 BGN 10 (€ 5.10)BGN 15 (€ 7.70) 30 BGN (15 €)BGN 54 (€ 28)BGN 97 (€ 49)

If the total mass of the vehicle and the trailer is> 3.5 tons and the weight of the trailer itself is <3.5 tons, an additional vignette is required for the trailer. The cost is the same as for a car.

For trucks, the fare depends on the distance traveled.

 Motorcycles are exempt from the toll in Bulgaria.

Where can I buy a vignette?

  • On the Internet at  www.bgtoll.bg  ;
  • Using the BGTOLL mobile application, available for Android and iOS;
  • Use of terminals for self-payment in retail stores and in regional road departments of the “Road Infrastructure” agency;
  • at the cash desk, at sales points and regional road departments of the “Road Infrastructure” agency.

At the border checkpoints there are signs that inform you about the need to buy a vignette.

The information is presented in 3 languages ​​- Bulgarian, English and German.

Validity of the vignette

Weekend vignette –  gives the right to use the Bulgarian roads from Friday 12:00 to Sunday 23:59.

7-day vignette –  gives the right to use the Bulgarian roads for seven consecutive calendar days from the specified date.

Example: If a vignette is purchased on January 21, 2021, it is valid up to and including January 27, 2021.

1-month vignette –  gives the right to use the Bulgarian roads for 1 month from the specified date.

Example: If a vignette is purchased on January 25, 2021, it is valid up to and including February 24, 2021.

3-month vignette –  gives the right to use the Bulgarian roads for 3 months from the specified date.

Example: If a vignette is purchased on February 11, 2021, it is valid up to and including May 10, 2021.

1-year vignette –  gives the right to use the Bulgarian roads for 1 year, starting from the day of purchase until the corresponding date in the following year.

Example: If a vignette is purchased on February 19, 2021, it is valid up to and including February 18, 2022.

An electronic vignette can be purchased 30 days before it is valid. Paper vignettes are no longer used.

Penalty for driving without a vignette

The control of the payment of the vignette fees is carried out by the Ministry of Interior and the Customs Service when the vehicle leaves the territory of Bulgaria via the border checkpoint.

Around 300 fixed cameras and 105 vehicles are used on the roads in Bulgaria. They read license plates around the clock and check the system to see whether the corresponding toll – an electronic vignette – has been paid.

According to the Road Traffic Act (  LAW FOR TRAFFIC ON THE POTENTIAL  )  ,  the fine for driving on roads without a vignette for vehicles with a maximum of 8 seats including the driver’s seat is  BGN 300 (€ 153)  .

Land with special payment

You have to pay for the ride on bridges over the Danube between the cities of Ruse (Bulgaria) – Giurgiu (Romania) and Vidin (Bulgaria) – Calafat (Romania).

And also ferries between the cities of Silistra (Bulgaria) / Calarasi (Romania), Nikopol (Bulgaria) / Turnu Magurele (Romania), Oryahovo (Bulgaria) / Bechet (Romania) and Svishtov (Bulgaria) / Zimnicea (Romania).

Bridges over the Danube

The bridge between the cities of Ruse – Giurgiu was built in 1954 and is 2.223 m long and for a long time remained the only bridge between Romania and Bulgaria.

Bridge coordinates:  Google Maps  ,  Google Earth  .

The bridge between the towns of Vidin – Calafat was opened in June 2013 and has a length of 1,971 m. In contrast to the old bridge, this bridge has 2 lanes for cars in each direction as well as bicycle and pedestrian paths.

Bridge coordinates:  Google Maps  ,  Google Earth  .

Tariffs for 2021:

Tariffs for crossing Danube bridges in Bulgaria
Vehicle typeRuse – GiurgiuVidin – calafat
 motorcycle—–—–
 Vehicle with 8 + 1 seats (including driver) / private car€ 26 €
 Freight vehicles, including a trailer,
with a maximum permissible total weight of up to 3.5 t
6 €6 €
 Freight vehicles, including a trailer,
3.5-7.5 t
€ 12€ 12
 Vehicle from 9 to 23 seats (including driver)€ 12€ 12

The fare will be collected in cash before entering the bridge. On the Bulgarian side, payment is accepted either in Bulgarian taxes or in euros. For vehicles with foreign registration, however, payment is  only made  in euros.

Ferries across the Danube

There is no strict timetable for ferries crossing the Danube. At peak times, ferries can leave when they are being refilled.

Ferry schedule

The  Silistra – Calarasi ferry  operates all year round from 05:00 to 24:00. In heavy traffic, e.g. B. in the summer months, additional ferries can operate and depart when they are full. The journey takes about 12-15 minutes.

The ferry  Nikopol – Turnu Magurele  has had the following timetable since 2017:

Timetable for the ferry Nikopol – Turnu Magurele in Bulgaria
Turnu Magurele – NikopolNikopol – Turnu Magurele
08.0008.00
12:00 p.m.12:00 p.m.
4 p.m.4 p.m.
7.30 p.m.7.30 p.m.

The journey takes about 30 minutes. Ferries at 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. are optional and only available subject to availability.

The ferries on the  Oryahovo – Bechet  line operate around the clock and run every 2 hours. From Bulgaria at even times (10:00, 12:00 etc.), from Romania at odd times (11:00, 13:00 etc.).

The Svishtov – Zimnicea ferry   operates from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and leaves every 1.5 hours. The journey takes about 15 minutes.

Ferry tariffs for 2021

Ferry tariffs across the Danube in Bulgaria
Vehicle typeSilistra – CalarasiNikopol – Turnu MagureleOryakhovo – BechetSvishtov – Zimnicea
 motorcycle€ 21 €€ 23 €
 Vehicle with a total weight of
up to 3.5 t
8 €10 €€ 124 €
 A car with a trailer with a total weight of up to 3.5 t15 €15 €20 €8 €
 minibus25 €30 €30 €8 €

Parking in Bulgaria

Most of the parking spaces in cities are paid for. The parking spaces are marked blue or green and are billed using a pay-and-display system.

Parking in Sofia can be paid for in two ways:

  1. Send an SMS message to the number 1302 – in the blue zone or 1303 – in the green zone. However, you must have a mobile phone number from a Bulgarian cellular operator. Payment is made every hour. After sending the text message, the subscriber will receive a confirmation that the payment has been processed successfully.
    Five minutes before the prepaid time expires, the subscriber receives a notification that he has to pay for the additional time.
  2. Buy a parking ticket. Parking tickets are sold at every ticket office at the bus stop or at the ticket office at the subway station. There are 3 types of parking tickets:
    1. Voucher for BGN 0.50, with which you can park for 30 minutes in the green zone
    2. Voucher for BGN 1.00, with which you can park for 60 minutes in the green zone or 30 minutes in the blue zone
    3. Voucher for BGN 2.00 with which you can park for 120 minutes in the green zone or 60 minutes in the blue zone

Parking fees in Sofia:

Parking fees in Sofia
 Blue zoneGreen zone
Paid time– Monday to Friday
from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

– Saturdays
from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
– Monday to Friday
from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
leisure timeon Sundays and public holidayson Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays
Maximum stay2 hours4 hours
Price for 1 hourBGN 2.00 (€ 1)BGN 1.00 (€ 0.5)

Parking fees vary from city to city, but the average cost for an hour is around one euro. If there are no signs, parking is free.

Fines for incorrect parking from BGN 20 to 50 (€ 10-26).

The fine for parking in areas with disabilities is BGN 200 (€ 102).

Detailed map of the parking zones in Sofia  (5.4 MB).

Bulgaria road map

Road map of Bulgaria  – in JPEG format (13.8 Mb).

K.

Basic traffic rules in Bulgaria

Speed ​​limit

Standard speed limits in Bulgaria (unless otherwise stated on signs).

Cars:

  • in the village – 50 km / h
  • outside the village – 90 km / h
  • en route – 120 km / h
  • on the highway – 140 km / h

Cars with trailers:

  • in the village – 50 km / h
  • outside the village – 70 km / h
  • on the way – 90 km / h
  • on the highway – 100 km / h

Motorcycles:

  • in the village – 50 km / h
  • outside the village – 80 km / h
  • on the way – 90 km / h
  • on the highway – 100 km / h

Only vehicles with a maximum speed of more than 50 km / h are permitted on the road and the motorway.

For vehicles with snow chains, the maximum speed is 50 km / h.

The maximum permitted speed in the pedestrian zone is 20 km / h.

According to Decree No. 233, the speed limit on Bulgaria’s motorways has been increased to 140 km / h from June 26, 2012. This only applies to the newest or recently renovated sections of the motorway.

The law was also amended to include a term such as “fast lane”. The speed limit on such roads is 120 km / h.

The current maximum speed limits for passenger cars on the roads of European countries.

alcohol

The maximum permissible blood alcohol level is  0.49 ‰  . The police can carry out spot checks for breath alcohol vapors. If the test is positive, the driver must undergo a blood test, which will be done in the appropriate medical facility.

If the blood alcohol level is between 0.5 ‰ and 0.8 ‰, the fine is BGN 500 (€ 255) and the driver’s license is suspended for 6 months.

If the blood alcohol level is between 0.8 ‰ and 1.2 ‰, the fine is BGN 1,000 (€ 510) and the driver’s license is suspended for 1 year.

In the event of repeated infringement, the fine will be between BGN 1,000 and BGN 2,000 (EUR 510 to EUR 1,020) and the driver’s license will be suspended for a period of 1 to 3 years.

If the blood alcohol level exceeds 1.2 ‰, the law provides for a prison sentence of up to 1 year.

In the event of refusal to take an alcohol or drug test, the fine is BGN 2,000 (€ 1,020) and the driver’s license is suspended for 2 years.

Acceptable blood alcohol levels while driving in Europe.

dimmed headlights

The low beam is required around the clock all year round.

This change in law came into force on August 7, 2012. Previously, dipped headlights were only required from November 1st to March 31st.

Additional fog lights may only be used if visibility is severely restricted due to fog, snow, rain or similar circumstances. The optional red rear fog lights can only be used when visibility falls below 50 meters.

When driving in a tunnel, the beginning of which is marked by a corresponding traffic sign, the use of low beam is mandatory.

The fine is BGN 20 (€ 10).

In which European countries is the use of dipped headlights mandatory during the day?

Transportation of children

Children under 3 years of age are only allowed to travel with child restraint systems that are suitable for their weight. Children under 3 years of age can be carried in the front seats provided the airbag is deactivated.

Children from 3 to 12 years and under 150 cm are not allowed to drive in the front seats. You can only drive in the rear seats of the vehicle with suitable child restraint systems that are suitable for your weight.

Child seats must comply with UNECE regulation No. 44 – “Uniform provisions for restraint systems for children in motor vehicles”.

The fine is BGN 50 (€ 26).

Requirements for the transport of children in light vehicles on the roads of European countries.

Seat belts

The use of seat belts is compulsory for front and rear passengers   .

The fine is BGN 50 (€ 26).

Make a phone call

It is forbidden to use a telephone communication device that is not equipped with a technical device that allows negotiation without the use of hands while the vehicle is in motion.

The fine is BGN 50 (€ 26).

Fines for phone calls while driving in European countries.

tint

It is forbidden to restrict the visibility of the windshield and side windows of the vehicle in order to reduce their transparency.

In the case of rear windows, the degree of light transmission is not regulated if the vehicle is equipped with rear-view mirrors on both sides.

The degree of light transmission of the glass must comply with UNECE regulation No. 43 “Uniform regulations for safe glazing materials and their installation in vehicles” – 75% for windshields, 70% for side windows.

The fine is BGN 20 (€ 10).

Punish

In the event of a traffic violation committed by a foreign driver, an offense will be drawn up and a receipt will be issued. Any penalty must be paid by the driver immediately before proceeding.

The fine  does not  have to be paid directly to the police officer who issued the receipt. The fine is paid in the bank branch by transfer!

No  legal remedy can be lodged against fines up to and including BGN 50 (€ 26)  .

If the traffic violation concerns the suspension of the driver’s license (e.g. driving with a blood alcohol content of more than 0.5 ‰; speed of more than 50 km / h), the driver’s license confiscated by the police will be sent by diplomatic mail to the country in which it is. was issued.

Table of penalties for traffic violations in Bulgaria:

Fines for traffic violations in Bulgaria
violationFines (  BGN)
Violation of the rules for the use of sound signals10 (5 €)
Failure to comply with the stop request in front of the “STOP” sign20 (10 €)
Violation of the overtaking rules30 (15 €)
Go in the opposite direction on a one-way street30 (15 €)
Parking with the engine running50 (26 €)
Driving on the bus lane50 (26 €)
Past a red light100 (51 €)
Failure to comply with the requirement to give way to pedestrians using traffic100 (51 €)
Violation of the driving rules by level crossings20 – 150 (10-77 €)
Refusal to submit documents for review50 – 200 (€ 26-102)
License plates are not placed in specially designated locations50 – 200 (€ 26-102)
Exceeding the speed limit will result in an accident200 (102 €)
Entering an oncoming traffic lane on a freeway or expressway1,000 (€ 510)

Speeding Penalty Table (BGN)

Speeding fines in Bulgaria
About speed  
up to 10 km / h20 (10 €)20 (10 €)
11-20 km / h50 (26 €)50 (26 €)
21-30 km / h100 (51 €)100 (51 €)
31-40 km / h400 (204 €)300 (153 €)
41-50 km / h600 (€ 306)400 (204 €)
over 50 km / h700 (357 €)600 (€ 306)

At a speed of over 50 km / h, a driver’s license is revoked for 3 months. And for every 5 km / h that exceeds 50 km / h, the fine increases by 50 BGN (26 €).

If the offense is repeated, the penalty will be doubled.

Traffic rules of Bulgaria  in Bulgarian language (846 Kb).

Useful information

petrol

Unleaded petrol (95 and 98) and diesel are available in Bulgaria. There is no such thing as leaded gasoline. Petrol stations are available.

It is allowed to carry 10 liters of gasoline in cans on the territory of the country.

Emergency numbers

  • European emergency number – 112
  • Police – 166
  • Ambulance – 150
  • Fire Brigade – 160

Compulsory equipment

Equipment  You  Must Have in Your Car:

  • Fire extinguishers  – optional for motorcycles.
  • First aid kit
  • Warning triangle  – optional for motorcycles.
  • Reflective Vest  – A reflective vest is a must have for anyone who gets out of their car day or night during a stop or accident on the highway. This rule also applies to motorcyclists. Fine
    from BGN 50 (€ 26).

Requirements for equipment that must be in the car in different European countries.

Winter equipment

Winter tires

The use of winter tires in Bulgaria has been mandatory since January 21, 2017. Winter tires must be used between November 15th and March 1st  or have  a tread depth of at least 4 mm.

That is, according to the law, you can use summer tires as long as their tread depth is more than 4 mm. Otherwise you will be fined BGN 50 (€ 26).

spikes

The use of studded tires is  prohibited  .

Anti-slip chains

Snow chains must be used when a suitable road sign is installed. It is therefore highly recommended that you have snow chains in your vehicle between November 1st and March 1st.

Requirements for the use of winter and studded tires in different European countries.

Recommended equipment and other rules

The function for displaying the location of cameras at a fixed speed in GPS-based navigation software must be deactivated.

The use of radar detectors is not prohibited by law, at the same time the use of anti-radar is  prohibited  . The fine is BGN 50 (€ 26).