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Last updated at 11:04 (UK time) 19 Aug 2011

Bulgaria v England

Frank Lampard celebrates second goal with Glen Johnson & Theo Walcott (Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
England play Bulgaria at the Vasil Levski National Stadium in Sofia at 21:15 on Friday 2nd September in a European Championship qualifier. This page provides some important safety tips and other useful information.

Passports and visas

  • You don't need a visa to travel to Bulgaria, but your passport should be valid for the duration of your stay.
  • Get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. The EHIC is not a substitute for medical and travel insurance, but entitles you to emergency medical treatment on the same terms as Bulgarian nationals. You will not be covered for medical repatriation, on-going medical treatment or treatment of a non-urgent nature. See our EHIC page.
  • You should still remember to take out some travel insurance, even if you're only going for one night - it could save you a lot of money if you get into difficulties. 
  • It is also necessary to carry ID with you as all times. We advise you to carry a copy of the information pages of your passport at all times as proof of identity and leave your passport secure in a hotel safe.

Getting to the stadium

  • The Stadium is in the city centre and easy to find, it has its own metro station but this will be crowded on match day.
  • Taxis are plentiful and cheap by UK standards, although vehicles may not be in very good condition.  Most taxis are metered and the yellow taxis are generally considered reliable, but avoid taxis parked outside hotels or in tourist areas – ask your hotel to call a taxi or flag down a passing taxi with a green “available” light in the window. Check the tariffs on the vehicle window before boarding as they can vary considerably.
  • At Sofia airport you should use a taxi from one of the two companies (OK Supertrans and S-Express) operating the official rank.  Each of these companies has a manned desk in the Arrivals Hall from where it is advised you book a car for your onward journey. 
  • A taxi fare from the airport to the city centre should cost no more than 12BGN.  Bus route 84 goes from terminal 1 and Bus route 284 from Terminal 2, the fare is 1BGN single and you must purchase a ticket from the driver or machine, there is a 10 BGN fine for fare dodging, the airport routes often have inspections!
  • It is a circular route and you should get off just after the Eagle’s bridge (Orlov Most) for the city centre.
  • The Bulgarian Police will provide an escort for fans from Alexander Nevsky Cathedral but there will also be a fan zone in front of the stadium.

At the match

  • There will be a police presence at the stadium.
  • England Fans will be located in Blocks 43, 44 and 45 of the stadium and will enter through turnstiles 23 and 24. The turnstiles will open 2 hours before the kick-off.
  • It is normal for away fans to be asked to stay behind up to half an hour after the game has finished to allow home fans the time to disperse.

Staying safe

  • As in any other city beware of pickpockets and bag snatchers at airports, railway stations, around the town centre and when using public transport. Only carry what you need, leave spare cash and valuables in hotel safety deposits.
  • Check our travel advice for Bulgaria before you travel.

In an emergency

Emergency services: 112

British Embassy
9 Moskovska Street
Sofia 1000

Tel: + (359) (2) 933 9222

See also

Useful links