When visiting Sofia, there are several ways to get to the top of Mt. Vitosha. The first is by bus #66, which works on the weekends and holidays. The second way is to walk, which isn’t practical for a short term trip. The third way is to take one of the ski lifts – either the Dragalevtsi Lift accessible by bus #93 and going to Aleko, or by the Simeonovo Gondola Lift, which is enclosed and can seat four. Both offer spectacular views
of the city and mountain, and are both run by Vitosha Ski (click here for the website – there apparently is an English version, but it must be under construction.)
There are two buses that go to the lift base in Simeonovo. I started my journey from the Hladilnika bus terminal, easy to get to by bus #9TM, or as of last week, tram #10 (see updates section too). Bus #122 starts from Hladilnika, leaving once an hour. I boarded the 13:10 bus, an older Mercedes Benz Connecto No. 1901. The bus really only makes four stops – once leaving the bus terminal it travels south on Cherni Vruh Boulevard, turning east onto Okolovrusten Put (Ring Road), stopping once, and then making a right onto the Simeonovo Lift Road, stopping in front of the lift base. The whole journey took just 15 minutes, as we arrived at 13:25.
The Gondola Lift has only started working thus summer after a long period when it was inoperable, causing headaches for tourist during last year’s ski season. In the summer, the lifts work only on the weekends and holidays, costing 8 leva up, and 10 leva for a round trip ticket. The lift takes a break from November 1st until the snow builds up, about a month or so. Check the website for more information if planning a visit.
The other bus that serves the lift is #123, which runs between Simeonovo and the G.M. Dimitrov Metrostation. This bus runs about every 45 minutes, taking about 30 minutes one way. I did not travel on this line, but I decided to include it here for interested parties.