Car Hire in Sofia
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Sofia is a city in Bulgaria, more precisely in the western part of the country. This area was inhabited more than 7000 years ago, and there were many different settlements in this area. Sofia was founded in the Sofia Valley at the foot of the Vitosha Mountains. It is the largest city and the capital of Bulgaria. The city is known for its many mineral springs, such as the Sofia Central Mineral Baths. In addition, Sofia is also known as the center of the Balkans. This region and of course the city of Sofia have a very long and turbulent past. Many different religions and civilizations have passed through and dominated this area in the past. Today there are many remnants of these cultures and civilizations and this fact makes Sofia even more interesting as a city because there is a mixture of different cultures, civilizations, etc. in every corner of Sofia. There are many interesting cultural, historical, and religious sites in Sofia that are really worth visiting. The city is very popular with tourists and travelers from all over the world. Thanks to the temples of three different religions here in Sofia, this city is also known as the "Triangle of Religious Tolerance". The temples of three different religions Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are located close to each other: Sveta Nedelya Church, Banya Bashi Mosque, and Sofia Synagogue. Recently, this triangle has even been expanded into a "square" and includes the Catholic Cathedral of St. Joseph.
But Sofia has much to offer. It is not only a tourist destination but also a very popular city for business and investment. The city has been named one of the top ten places to start a business in the world. It is also one of the most affordable capitals in the European Union. So, there are really more than enough reasons to put Sofia on the list of places where you will spend a few days during your road trip through Bulgaria or even your road trip through the Balkans. You definitely will not regret it, buckle up and drive safely!
Basic info and car hire in Sofia
- Location: West of Bulgaria
- Official language: Bulgarian
- Currency: Bulgarian lev
- Weather: The weather in Sofia is typically temperate. The summers are hot and humid, while the winters are cold and dry. Sofia experiences a fair amount of rainfall generally spread evenly throughout the year. Spring and autumn are mild, although there can be occasional lousy weather. Overall, the weather is pleasant for much of the year.
- Internet coverage: Hotels, bars, restaurants, and cafes offer Wi-Fi.
- Road conditions: The roads in Sofia are generally in good condition, although a few areas can be improved. In particular, the streets in the city center can be pretty congested and challenging to navigate. However, the outskirts of Sofia are well-maintained, and drivers will find it easy to get around. Overall, the road conditions in Sofia are decent but could be improved in some areas.
- Car hire in Sofia: Car hire in Sofia is a great idea to explore all of what Bulgaria has to offer. The most common pick-up location is at Sofia Airport. There are many different car rental companies available and they all offer competitive prices. So it's best to book a car three or eight weeks ahead of time - this will ensure you get an affordable rate! Alternatively, if your travel plans change last minute there are plenty around who can help out as well; just look no further than us here at Orbit Car Hire.
Driving in Sofia
If you want to explore Sofia and the other parts of Bulgaria properly, a rental car is the best option for you. Many people think that Bulgaria is not a safe country for drivers, but the truth is that if you stick to the main roads and highways, you will have no problems during your trips. The local drivers generally follow the rules and will not cause you any problems. So, if you follow the rules and are careful enough, driving through Bulgaria will be a great experience for you.
It is best to park your car only in safe places. It is also good to know that when you leave the capital area, some roads can be in a bad condition, so you need to be extra careful and adjust your speed to the road conditions. In the rural area, there may also be animals on the roads and of course tractors, cyclists, motorcyclists, etc. So always be fully focused on the road. Fasten your seat belt and drive safely!
- Age limits: The minimum age to drive a car in Bulgaria is 18 years old. The minimum age to rent a car in Bulgaria is 20 years old. It can differ between car categories and the minimum car rental age. Young driver fees can apply for drivers under the age of 25. This information is visible in the search engine Orbit Car Hire.
- International Driving Permit: An International Driving Permit is required in addition to a National Driving License if the National Driving License you or any of the Additional Drivers hold is not identifiable as a Driving License. In addition, it is in a non-Latin alphabet (e.g. Arabic, Chinese, Japanese). It can also depend on the country or car rental company you are renting with. If you have found a car on our website, you can press the rental terms link from the supplier for more information about driving license requirements
- Additional papers: A credit card in the main driver's name needs to be presented. A security deposit may be required while renting a car, so the credit card must have sufficient funds. You can find details about the security deposit listed while booking the vehicle and on your voucher. It is essential to have a valid driving license with the name of the main driver and additional drivers when it applies. You will need to have identification with you such as a passport and ID cards. When you pick up your rental car you need to have your voucher with you.
- Additional requirements: If you are driving your car from the UK unless your headlights can be adjusted, it's a legal requirement to carry headlamp converters (stickers for your headlights when driving on the right, so your lights don't dazzle motorists coming the other way). A warning triangle is also compulsory to carry in vehicles in case of a breakdown. It's also recommended to have: Spare bulbs for your car's external lights, a fire extinguisher, a first-aid kit, and a reflective jacket (every passenger should have a reflective jacket which must be worn in case of a breakdown or emergency on a motorway when stepping out of the vehicle), snow chains (use of chains can be compulsory depending on road conditions so check local information. The speed limit when driving with snow chains is 50 km/h)
- Children in the car: According to the UNECE, child restraint seats are now required. Those children aged three and below must have child restraint seats. There are hefty fines implemented for those who won’t abide by the rules. Fifty leva is fine for getting caught not wearing a seatbelt and not having a child seat.
- Driving side of the road: Right
- Lights: All vehicles must drive with their headlights on, even in the daytime
- General speed limits: Speed limits in Bulgaria vary depending on the road. In built-up areas, the limit for cars is 50 km/h while outside these areas the limit is 90 km/h. On motorways, the limit is either 130 km/h or 140 km/h, depending on local signage.
- Parking suggestions: When parking a car in Sofia, it's essential to be aware of the parking regulations. In most cases, you must park in the designated areas, usually marked with blue lines on the ground. If there are no blue lines, you can park wherever there is space, as long as you're not blocking traffic. Parking meters are also standard in Sofia, so pay for your spot. Fines for violating parking regulations can be hefty, so following the rules is best.
Car Hire in Sofia
Most popular car hire at Sofia
The most selected hire car in Sofia is the Fiat 500, Renault Clio, or Opel Corsa. Renault Captur is also being a popular option. The most popular car types in Sofia are mini and economy.
Popular Driving Routes
Popular One-Way car hire from Sofia
Want to rent a car for a one-way trip? No worries! Orbit Car Hire offers a variety of one-way Car Hire options in many locations outside Sofia. One-way car rental is ideal for cross-town or cross-country travel, saving time by not returning to your original site. Start your reservation with Orbit Car Hire and find great options on one-way car hire at locations across the Bulgaria.
- Sofia - Varna (441km, approx. 5,5-hour drive)
- Sofia - Burgas (382km, approx. 3,5-hour drive)
- Sofia - Plovdiv (144km, approx. 1,5-hour drive)
Popular day trips from Sofia
Visitors can enjoy many great day trips from Sofia, Bulgaria. Some popular destinations include the Rila Monastery, the Boyana Church, and the Seven Rila Lakes.
The Rila Monastery is a beautiful Orthodox monastery located in the Rila Mountains. It is one of Bulgaria's largest and most famous monasteries and is a significant tourist attraction. The monastery was founded in 927 AD and featured many stunning buildings, including the Church of Saint John the Baptist and the Tower of Hrisantema.
The Boyana Church is another popular tourist destination near Sofia. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and features some of the best-preserved medieval frescoes in the world. The church was built in the 10th century and has been well-maintained.
The Seven Rila Lakes are a popular hiking destination near Sofia. The lakes are located in the Rila Mountains and are a beautiful sight. They can be reached by hiking trails starting from the Rila Monastery or other mountain points.
What to see in Sofia
Sofia is a very attractive city and a very popular destination among tourists and travelers from all over the world. Sofia is located between the Black and Adriatic Seas and is closest to the Aegean Sea. With its many amazing cultural, historical, and religious sights, it is one of the most popular destinations in the Balkans. The country is perfect for a road trip and Sofia is definitely the city you should put on your list of places to stop over and spend a few days - you will not regret it. Another important fact is that Sofia is a very affordable destination. Sofia has been named the most affordable capital city in the European Union.
If you come to Sofia, there are many attractions you should visit, and one of them is undoubtedly St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. This architectural masterpiece was built at the end of the 19th century and is truly a stunning building that can seat more than 10000 people, making this cathedral the second largest in the Balkans.
St. George's Rotunda is another attraction that you should not miss when you come to Sofia. It is the oldest building in Sofia and dates back to the 300s. It is the heart of ancient Serdica and it is a real miracle that this building survived the past when many civilizations tried to dominate this area there were also many conflicts here, so the Rotunda could be destroyed at any moment in history.
Other places to visit and things to do in Sofia: Vitosha Boulevard, St. Sofia Church, Boyana Church, Vitosha Mountain, National Institute of Archaeology, National Historical Museum, Ivan Vazov National Theatre, Borisova gradina, Serdica Amphitheatre, Central Mineral Baths, Park Vrana, The Synagogue, Banya Bashi Mosque...
Drive your rental car beyond Sofia
Bulgaria or officially the Republic of Bulgaria is a country in Europe, more precisely in the southeastern part of the continent. The country is located in the eastern part of the Balkans and has five neighboring countries. Romania to the north, Serbia and Northern Macedonia to the west, and Greece and Turkey to the south. A border of Bulgaria also runs along the sea, as the country is located on the coast of the Black Sea. The capital of Bulgaria is Sofia and other important Bulgarian cities are Plovdiv, Burgas, and Varna.
This is a country with a very long, rich, and turbulent past. There have been many events here in the past that have shaped the Bulgaria of today. This is a unique country with many different faces. Here in Bulgaria, there are many different cultures and religions and this fact gives the country another dose of charm and spirit. Besides some interesting cities worth visiting here in Bulgaria, especially the big cities where you can visit many monuments, museums, galleries, cultural events, etc., Bulgaria also has a wonderful nature that offers all possibilities to tourists and travelers from all over the world. Especially in the last decade tourism in Bulgaria has grown very fast and there is really a lot to see and do here. You can enjoy here many different sports activities in beautiful nature with mountains, lakes, rivers and of course the Bulgarian Black Sea. Besides many different sports activities, this is also a perfect country for a road trip. You can travel from city to city and explore the rural parts of the country on the way. You can find some amazing authentic villages where you can get a glimpse of traditional life in Bulgaria. There are also many wineries in the countryside, so if you like wine, you can visit many different places where quality Bulgarian wine is made.
Bulgaria is a country that is interesting to visit all year round. It is up to you what kind of activities (swimming, skiing, snowboarding, skating, cycling, running, sailing, climbing, rafting, kayaking, etc.) you prefer on your holiday, but one thing is for sure, you will not be bored in Bulgaria. Each month of the year offers a different face of Bulgaria, and each one is very interesting to discover. Being a culturally very rich destination, you can visit some great monuments here in Bulgaria.
Here are some places to visit in Bulgaria: Varna, Veliko Tarnovo, Sofia, Zheravna, Burgas, Rila Monastery, Bansko, Pamporovo, Pirin National Park, Belogradchik, Plovdiv, Sunny Beach, Koprivshtitsa, Perperikon, Nessebar...
Where to eat, drink, and party in Sofia
Sofia, Bulgaria, is a beautiful place to indulge in some of the best food and drinks in the world. From traditional Bulgarian dishes to international cuisine, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Some of the most popular food and drink options in Sofia include:
- Bulgarian dishes such as banitsa, shopska salad, and tarator soup.
- Italian cuisines such as pizza and pasta.
- Seafood such as grilled octopus and salmon carpaccio.
- Turkish kebabs.
- Russian dumplings are called pirozhki.
In addition to restaurants, there are also many bars and cafes in Sofia where you can enjoy a drink or two. Some of the most popular places to drink in Sofia include:
- The Sofia Pub Crawl takes you to some of the best pubs and bars in the city.
- The 100 Pipers bar is known for its Scottish whisky selection.
- The Blues Bar features live music every night.
- The Boulevard Bistro & Wine Bar has a wide variety of wines from all over the world.
Sofia has something to offer everyone if you're looking for a delicious Bulgarian meal or an international cocktail. With its vibrant nightlife and diverse food and drink scene, it's no wonder that Sofia is quickly becoming one of the top travel destinations in Europe.
What you need to know about renting a car
What do I need to rent a car in Bulgaria?
A credit card in the main driver's name needs to be presented. A security deposit may be required while renting a car, so the credit card must have sufficient funds. You can find details about the security deposit listed while booking the vehicle and on your voucher. It is essential to have a valid driving license with the name of the main driver and additional drivers when it applies.
An International Driving Permit is required in addition to a National Driving License if the National Driving License you or any of the Additional Drivers hold is not identifiable as a Driving License, e.g., it is in a non-Latin alphabet (e.g. Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, Japanese). It can also depend on the country or car rental company you are renting with. If you have found a car on our website, you can press the rental terms link from the supplier for more information about driving license requirements. You will need identification with you, such as a passport and ID cards. When you pick up your rental car, you need to have your voucher.
How old do I need to be to rent a car in Bulgaria?
The minimum age to rent a car in Bulgaria is 20 years old; it can also be different from car categories. Young driver fees may apply to drivers under the age of 25. This information is visible in the search engine Orbit Car Hire.
Do I need car insurance in Bulgaria?
Insurances are essential when renting a car and can be different between countries. When renting a car in Bulgaria with Orbit Car Hire, the country's prices will include mandatory insurance.
Do I need a credit card to rent a car in Bulgaria?
In most cases, a credit card must be presented in the name of the main driver. In addition, a security deposit may be required when renting a car, so it is vital to have sufficient funds on the credit card. When searching for a vehicle at Orbit, you can see credit card requirements from all our suppliers.
Do I need an international driving license in Bulgaria?
An International Driving Permit is required in addition to a National Driving License if the National Driving License you or any of the Additional Drivers hold is not identifiable as a Driving License. In addition, it is in a non-Latin alphabet (e.g. Arabic, Chinese, Japanese). It can also depend on the country or car rental company you are renting with. If you have found a car on our website, you can press the rental terms link from the supplier for more information about driving license requirements.
How do I find the cheapest car hire in Bulgaria?
You can find cheap car hire by comparing prices with all major car rentals at Orbit Car Hire. A good idea can be to book in advance as the costs increase closer to the travel period.
What is the cheapest rental car in Bulgaria?
You will find the mini car category or economy cars as the cheapest car categories. Vehicles such as Kia Picanto, Renault Clio, Toyota Aygo often provide the best prices.
What is the best car rental company in Bulgaria?
You may find excellent services provided by companies such as Abbycar, Enterprise rent a car, Alamo, Thrifty, Firefly, and Mex rent a car.
What types and makes of rental cars deals can I find in Bulgaria?
You will find car types such as mini, economy, compact, Full-Size, and luxury cars. Popular rental cars are Kia Picanto, Ford Fiesta, Renault Clio, VW Golf, Mercedes E-class.
Does my rental car have unlimited mileage when I book it for Bulgaria?
Most car rentals in Bulgaria offer unlimited mileage in their offers.
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