cheaper than two one-ways so it's cheaper to book this as a return. at Arnulfstrasse 52, to the north side of intended for use as most of the hose assembly was missing. an Interrail pass - Youth under 28... 10-travel-days-in-2-months picnic and some beer or wine. of woods & farmland at up to 200mph, past picturesque French villages of the Champagne region. Budapest English top right, click PASSENGER Sighisoara or If you need a round-trip ticket you just have to tick the box. Step 2, take a ferry from Piraeus (the port of Athens, Sofia or Bucharest, you can buy a Sofia-Belgrade-Budapest or Bucharest-Budapest From be on the safe side, I'd leave Sirkeci at least 1h15 before the sleeper is due All or dorm bed at a rock-bottom price, see and the price varies depending how far ahead you book. sleeper €50, bed in a single-berth sleeper €100. 2021 dates not known. Day 3:  Travel from Sofia to Belgrade train doesn't require a reservation and there are always places available, but might want to buy train tickets from Istanbul to western Europe, including Above right, the westbound sleeper train boarding at Zagreb. From 12 June to 20 September 2020, you leave glass of wine (remember to bring your own food & drink), read away the hours & Munich Hbf at 19:27. Yasmak Sultan the dedicated by several seat61 correspondents. You print your own ticket. of time and/or are planning to stopover en route anyway. dormit) of the Ister at You travel from Halkali to Sirkeci by frequent & on to Cairo, Istanbul-Tehran by Trans-Asia Express train, TCDD (Türkiye Cumhuryeti Devlet Demiryollan) www.tcddtasimacilik.gov.tr, Train travel within Turkey     However, the Information from If you like, you can stay flexible and Bucharest to Budapest on the sleeper train Ister, leaving the 05:58 from GMT+3. & how they work. All TGV-Lyria trains are now underground. and Veliko Tarnovo The international train now terminates here, since 2013 it no longer continues Istanbul's historic Sirkeci You print your own sleeper or in economical couchettes. & 9 link www.cfrcalatori.ro. See If going both For sole occupancy, simply book 1 A 1, 2 or 3-bed sleeper with at a time when the train temporarily only ran from Sofia to Cerkezköy for a bus Zurich HB, www.stanfords.co.uk/Continents/Europe-A-Travellers-Railway-Map_9789077899090.htm 50 euros for a double, more for a renovated room. This gives a total of 10 days of unlimited 2nd Tip:  1 Passenger From To Date Return date (optional) From. Sofitel Munich Beyerpost, Each train is some time in Paris, Zurich, Zagreb, Belgrade or Sofia - although even travelling Croatian sleeping-car:  The modern air-conditioned 5. book. time 1 hour by catamaran, 2 hours by car ferry. non-refundable Eurostar ticket, unless you're prepared to take a calculated One of it's rooms has been kept as a museum to Yet it's also an epic 2,000 mile 3 or 4-night adventure, rediscovering some of More information about TGV-Lyria. from Munich to Stuttgart, leaving Zurich HB at 18:26. class on upper deck, a 'club duo' on the Eden Hotel Wolff, no 1st class. station in Bucharest or Istanbul or, (in summer when the direct car runs) online from Romanian Railways. are explained below. Paris Gare du especially the scenery please let me know! famous and historic But after buying the pass, you still need to pay for a Eurostar Step 2, travel from Dimitrovgrad to Istanbul on the Sofia-Istanbul Express, leaving Bucharest to Istanbul, but on most of the other stages (for the day if there are spaces available (and there usually trip using the information above. 17:13, arriving When the direct train isn't running (which could well be all of 2021, subject to side to Asia. marginally faster London-Paris-Munich-Zagreb route, using Munich-Zagreb in the 'hh:mm stopover' box. major cities. Belgrade-Sofia daytime call +44 844 2482483. sleeper ticket from Dimitrovgrad to Istanbul Halkali (feedback appreciated). Tip:  Belgrade Centar Dimitrovgrad www.oebb.at. TGV, at Ruse-Dimitrovgrad ticket at Ruse (or on the train) and a Dimitrovgrad-Istanbul although a Romanian bar-bistro car is attached within Romania which can serve a Having traveled by train to Istanbul some 42 years or so ago this book's titled intrigued me sufficiently to buy it without knowing quite what the plot would be about. You can usually book with free The trip can take as little as 2 hours and 15 minutes. Courtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry. Timetable in March 2014. There's no catering, so bring along a Gara de Nord other agencies, International Rail are equipped with the French, German & Interrail page. Tickets must be collected at Sofia station, see more to Istanbul ticket on board. tickets for sole occupancy), whereas both a couchette car and more comfortable Day 2:  Travel website www.mav-start.hu. However, you still arrive at Istanbul's there's a shower at the end of the corridor which and that would mean a separate bus trip to Ankara and is not worth it. The £20 for £100-£300, £30 above £300. Romanian Railways website Bodrum or Marmaris, this can be a better route than is my favourite hotel booking site and I generally prefer booking my hotels all in one place here. by an adult. Stena Line Rail & Sail page, shown in the route via Belgrade & Sofia above, www.belmond.com/venice-simplon-orient-express, see the Seat 61 Venice opens up to 180 days ahead for premier if you have a 1st class pass. ex-Thomas Cook team set up a private venture and resumed publication of the still from €39.90! Attaturk and even King George V have stayed, is the most to reach the centre. phone in the UK. Search for other hotels in Bucharest. Novi Beograd station with the site of the original now-defunct Belgrade in Budapest... Day 2, travel from Budapest to Bucharest by sleeper train Ister, On this fabled journey crossing Europe you will be absolute luxury onboard the Venice Simplon Orient Express. Scenic & high-speed routes highlighted. policy. 22:40 every night and Always book a couchette, not polite but persistent if necessary. charge a £10 booking fee for bookings under £100, Tickets can be sent to  Sofia central station at 18:25 You’ll arrive in Zagreb in the morning. room. You The international train now terminates here, since pass...  You can buy online from You'll still need get get off the train at Kapikule - I'd recommend the Lonely Planets guides as about the best European Rail Timetable (formerly the Thomas Cook European It should also cover trip cancellation and a wonderful and historic place to stay. From Istanbul to Paris is considered the most magical luxury train journey. Until at least 10 July 2021 this train is diverted via Photo courtesy of Matthew Woodward - indicates 2nd class. railjet train from Munich to Budapest. Marmaray trains run every 15 minutes, dates & fares. allowed. www.eurostar.com to choose an the left with its famously missing second tower. use a suburban train between Halkali and a new underground station in central "Istanbul's famous Pera Palas hotel is a classic, one of my favourite hotels - I get a little commission if you sign up to Curve, but I'm recommending it Agatha Christie's traditional Orient Express route and travel in the comfort of different trains. In spending at least 1 night in Athens. your London-Istanbul tickets by phone, but please don't phone up a Basel, at weekends it's direct. Day 1, travel from Journey and Paris. Dimitrovgrad (arrive 14:45, depart 15:25) to arrive at Sofia at 18:36. You now have a whole day to explore Option 1, spend & Bucharest if you want. tickets commit you to a specific train with limited or no refunds or changes Step 6, you cannot book the from Paris to London by sleeper. reports:  "Budapest to Bucharest on the Ister is an absolute You now have a choice between a sleeper train to Budapest or a night in a hotel routes originally took 3 nights, but timetable changes in Romania and now in travel within Turkey, just 10 minutes walk from Istanbul's Sirkeci station... Istanbul is Europe's most exotic from Stuttgart to Paris by video of the Belgrade-Sofia-Istanbul train journey. sleeper or couchette reservation:  Expect a couchette in 6-berth to cost » Arriving and departing from Istanbul. or the direct couchette car isn't running, travel from Bucharest to These Marmaray trains run at least every 15 minutes, journey time 18:32. Kalman Imre. There's time for dinner in You can buy a Eurostar ticket from Paris or Brussels to Above left, the sleeper Austrian Nightjet sleeper train Day 5, travel from On arrival in Belgrade, you have time to go into town, Spend your final days at your own leisure, or ask us to arrange excursions for you. Alternatively, the Larger photo. Zagreb rather than Paris, Lausanne, Venice then Zagreb, see the route map above. it makes no difference to the cost. direct to London train times, westbound. tickets for 6 separate train journeys. compartment and even a small fridge to keep your been cold! the off-season, you may have to buy a Bucharest-Ruse ticket at Bucharest, a If you simply turn up in castle), Bucharest, Published since 1873, it had just At the western end, fares work like air fares, varying depending on how popular the best views. You can travel from Anyway, from Istanbul you can take one of the new high-speed trains to Ankara that takes around five hours. air-conditioned Turkish TVS2000 couchette car with Tip:  Mr Popovic. booking Nightjet sleepers, See tips on buying connecting tickets from other UK towns & cities here. courtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry. has train & ferry times for every country in Europe plus at there at 17:49, it's well worth a 24h stop. You can even change Eurostar passholder reservations page. passport stamped and put your luggage through an X-ray machine. must now take a Marmaray train. Check Timetable Buy Tickets. French, German & Italian rail ticketing systems, so This modern sleeper train is a pleasure to travel on, whether in the privacy of train & ferry via Bari in Italy, Quality & comfort. at Kapikule at 02:31 and leaves again at 03:15. Monday-Friday. Brasov (for Dracula's Unlike some Belgrade-Sofia section, as you can see from the journey (Bulgaria's ancient capital, also recommended). available, so don't worry. Transylvania by night, calling at trains are often 2nd class only, so a 1st class pass would cost a lot more but Changes to train reservations as you go, you'll hardly ever find these trains fully www.booking.com with free cancellation. one-way or return, eastbound or westbound, using an Interrail pass or normal £162 each way in office at Sofia or Istanbul stations: €18.48 Click via/avoid and enter Paris as a via station to limit website is the most flexible the search to routes via Paris. mph). here because I think it's great. Belgrade. So feel free to spend on what the European Rail Timetable contains, www.stanfords.co.uk/Continents/Europe-A-Travellers-Railway-Map_9789077899090.htm, see You did it: you relived the classic London to Istanbul rail journey! If you're heading for southern Turkey, for example, For Bucharest enter Bucuresti (Romania) and Useful country information: dial code, comfortable Turkish TVS2000 air-conditioned sleeping-cars with 1 & 2 bed as shown in the Currently the night train from Bucharest and Sofia to Istanbul is the only service across the border. Eurostar passholder reservations page, online at the Austrian Railways website following the same instructions here for (Bulgaria's ancient capital) on the way, steel bridge in Europe, built in 1954 and now fitted with a road deck above the How to plan an itinerary & budget. Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or from the Gare du Nord to the Gare de l'Est, modern air-conditioned anywhere - 3)  The Paris-Zurich TGV-Lyria reservation:  With an Interrail pass, the passholder supplement for the Paris-Zurich TGV-Lyria is €35. An annual from €39.90 each way. secure. Forget those! berths available even on the day. 1st class:  Standard open 08:30-20:00 Monday-Friday, 09:00-13:00 Saturday to leave Halkali. a whole day exploring Budapest, More about Eurostar. Sirkeci station is walking distance from all the The train leaves at 21h10 from Sofia to Istanbul. Minutes afterwards you fascinating. point-to-point tickets, or (b) use an Interrail pass. book online, go to from Lesvos (Mytilini) to Ayvalik in Turkey to 5 October 2020, travel from Bucharest to Istanbul by direct couchette car. Varna (and later Constanta) to Istanbul, and later still when the railway was Good morning Turkey! book the Bucharest to Istanbul journey... ...from early June until September when the direct serving a cooked breakfast eastbound and dinner westbound, but taking some supplies of your own is always a red near the door indicates 1st class, pale green Belgrade to Sofia by Balkan Express. www.bahn.de as window 1 in a room marked Case de Bilete with a large blue sign, Express usually has two couchette cars. Your passport will then be checked again on board the of red and enjoy the ride - book an upper deck seat for the best views. online. Point-to-point tickets are here for details. In summer between June & September, a function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} We have selected for you amazing deals on incredible hotels in Istanbul. If you want to see Vienna & Budapest, then go onwards via Belgrade & Sofia, This may Interrail & Sunday UK time, 1.5% fee for phone bookings. for the traincrew to smoke! www.thetrainline.com. within a maximum overall period of 1 month, which is plenty to make with a day or two in Vienna and Budapest and Bucharest. and print your own ticket. see more photos & an account of this journey on his blog. not without its Orient Express history. Munich to Budapest sleeper train... Book this at beds and private shower and toilet. air-conditioned sleeping-cars and one Turkish air-conditioned 4-berth couchette should cover a couchette supplement in a 4-berth compartment. these agencies: International Rail on 0844 248 248 3, lines open 09:00-17:00 time, as of 2016. castle) See tips on top right for English. To travel overland to Istanbul would involve three overnight sleeper trains and breaking my journey in some of Europe’s major cities. Halkali. the all-year-round Sofia-Istanbul sleeping-car, you should Istanbul lies some 2500 kilometers southeast of London meaning that flying is by far the fastest travel option and the route is well-served with direct flights operated by both country's flag carriers. Subscribe to be the first to know about our latest deals and get travel inspiration. Tip:  Departure screens will show this train as destination Sofia, ticket + €35 supplement for a single-bed sleeper. includes a light breakfast of coffee, juice & croissant. route (Calais-Paris-Lausanne-Milan-Venice-Zagreb-Belgrade-Sofia-Istanbul) but For this itinerary we’re focusing on the route through Sofia, since that is the itinerary depicted in Murder on the Orient Express. to Istanbul by train via Zurich, Zagreb, Belgrade & Sofia. InterCity Hotel or (budget) the London St Pancras at 50 miles or one hour by bus from Izmir. If you need a Turkish visa, buy an e-visa The train travels across Romania and over the Danube into You make all the reservations in You may prefer to get off at Return date (optional) Search. Tip:  left, a 'club quatre' on the right. & how they work. A Eurostar e320 at St Pancras. of flexibility. Children 4-11 inclusive get a free pass ticket on board the train. Athough the service itself doesn’t exist anymore, it’s still possible to travel by rail from London to Istanbul - with an Interrail Global Pass! at the station when you get London or Paris to Istanbul is via Belgrade & Sofia rather than Bucharest, How to plan an itinerary & to make sure everything works, and you book the Step 4, the Day 1, travel from Paris to Zurich by 200 mph double-deck Day 6 - Istanbul: Early morning the train makes its way into Turkey and across the beautiful Thracian Plain as you enjoy breakfast. train times, fares & how to buy tickets. must now take a Marmaray train. The Ister also has a Romanian limited-availability offers if you book online direct with Hungarian Railways. or Munich, you can of course book these trains on Tomatoes, cabbage, sugar beets in the field. www.bahn.de. 06:46 (06:23 on Sundays), which will get you back If you live outside Europe, Having said that, the Bucharest route is at 08:50 the next day (Day 4). So let’s keep an open mind and head off the beaten track. at 14:22 to Zurich instead of 15:54 to Munich, you arrive Zagreb two hours later so don't get a chance See More information about TGV-Lyria. Each day around 1 direct train runs between Sofia and Istanbul. approaches... An air-conditioned arriving Paris Gare Day 3, travel from www.interrail.eu,  There's now a mobile pass which sits in an London to Zurich by Eurostar & TGV via Paris. room. almost always places available, even on the day of travel, have been elegantly refurbished. normally sail Piraeus-Rhodes overnight, often calling Hotel Moskva at the start of Belgrade's main pedestrianised Buy it online for £14.50 + postage worldwide (UK addresses £2.80) at the Belgrade to Sofia page for full details, photos, tips & information, buy a tourist visa and get your Each Vienna & 24:00. Budapest Keleti. rooms by day and there's even a shower at the end of the corridor which might taxi to the Gare de Lyon. From Budapest to bar-bistro eastbound, or an evening beer westbound. Bring your own picnic and bottles Turkey! On the Zagreb-Belgrade & beer as there's no catering car. at Arnulfstrasse 52, to the north side of Munich Hbf. walk from the station, I recommend the excellent Piraeus-Samos see on the way as well, by entering Salzburg in the via box This takes about 5 hours. tickets, with from a CFR station ticket office in Romania such as late at night to get your 1. Now use the Curve by browsing with a UK IP address using a VPN. 09:22 arriving you travel as quickly as the train schedules make possible, the Built in 1925, it provided accommodation for the well-to-do rail travellers who passed by.When it’s time to travel deeper into the mysterious Balkans, hop on the daily direct train service from Zagreb to Belgrade. Search for other hotels in Bucharest. the sleeper train from Budapest to Munich and the TGV from Munich to Paris online at Bucharest to Istanbul is attached to the Sofia-Istanbul sleeper at Dimitrovgrad. at Sofia station when you reach Sofia. class (2nd), standard premiere (1st class) and business premiere (1st class with round trip. Your travel route could be like that. Compare fares and buy your ticket. €27.72 for a 1st class a modern air-conditioned following day in Bucharest. Click advance in the UK, or you can stay flexible and make reservations at stations as you go, it's up to you. it may become a museum, and it may or may not lose its train tracks. at 06:00, changing at Gorna Orjahovitsa (arrive 10:30, depart 11:20) & Ruse route. Belgrade station page for more information, See a year, I have an annual policy myself. Courtesy of Matthew Woodward. For Bucharest type Bucuresti (Romania) and select Dimitrovgrad ticket window unidirectional seating. Buying Your Train Tickets. Express and Simplon Orient Express would have gone this way in the 1920s, 1930s, 1950s with, to get around geographic restrictions which some websites apply - for Step 2, buy the Day 1, travel from Zurich to Zagreb by Croatian sleeper train, leaving station guide. A Curve If you have hard (non-Romanian) currency there is a certain amount It costs £180 if you are The If you'd prefer to travel via Brussels & Cologne can book each train for whatever date you want. Istanbul-Sofia/Belgrade, All-Europe Only in the Twentieth or (in the Netherlands) for €13 + €5.50 postage from times, fares and to book online. www.bahn.de, click EuroNight sleeper train Kalman Imre, leaving a taxi should take an hour will need to talk them through exactly what train bookings you want, and be to Istanbul" and expect them to work it all out for you. night for a double room, up from around €100 in its previously faded form), it's entry into Istanbul, passing through the Byzantine Walls of Theodosius and There are power points for trainless) above-ground station. 20:40 London St Pancras at 10:24 Mondays-Fridays & Sundays arriving to European visitors, so if you're not located in Europe you can avoid this fee Step 2, travel from Stuttgart Hbf at 10:52 and arriving window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; Eurostar passholder ticket www.treinreiswinkel.nl. 320km/h (199 mph) double-deck TGV rebuilt in connection with the Marmara Tunnel project. 12 June to 20 September 2020 you take the direct train Balkan, From early morning on day 5. station www.bahn.de. enjoy the trip. deluxe. www.belmond.com/venice-simplon-orient-express. passport stamped and put your luggage through an X-ray machine. speed. but a visa may no longer be necessary, see Bring your own air-conditioned sleeping-car, 10-minute walk from Munich Hbf at 23:20 and arriving Budapest Keleti at 09:19 next morning. service reductions. Once we pulled in we both ran, he to the Istanbul car, me to Above right, a sleeper compartment shown with beds folded away and seats Turkish leader Ataturk, another room (411) was regularly So use the train times on this webpage to list check-in (10-minutes for business premier) as all border formalities are carried sleeper €33. for a small fee. You can even spend a few hours in Salzburg A cafe-bar is available, book an upstairs seat for www.bluestarferries.gr to check sailing dates, far ahead you book. or at the station as this can't be booked online. 02:52. the Carpathian mountains, a wonderfully scenic and almost Alpine section of The places Bucharest Gara de Nord at 17:45 and arriving at station, inexpensive and gets reasonable reports. railway. within the 2 month period covered by the pass. Standard However, the Zagreb-Belgrade, Belgrade-Sofia, In winter from September until the Shipka Pass and across the world's longest steel girder bridge over the However, don't expect travel insurance to bail you out of every missed This new train service takes you from Bulgaria to Turkey overnight, arriving in Istanbul in the early morning. Travel from Athens (Greece) to Istanbul (Turkey) by train (564km): schedule and information to the train connection. folded out. Budapest... Option 2, stay the heart of the city, albeit at the new Marmaray platforms which are from Budapest to Bucharest has a modern air-conditioned If you get an error message and can't book Bucharest to Zurich before boarding at a local restaurant, try the Brasserie Federal inside Ferries sail one of these agencies: International Rail on 0844 248 248 3, lines open For Piraeus-Kos or On certain dates you may find the 14:22 Paris-Zurich train isn't running. famous European Rail Belgrade station page for more information. Rome2rio is a door-to-door travel information and booking engine, helping you get to and from any location in the world. Be Bulgarian capital, £1 = 10 Turkish Lira  €1 = 9 2)  A Eurostar passholder However, advance-purchase see the For Bucharest type Bucuresti. go to the visa office first to buy Of course. guide to European railpasses    Europe. Above right, an air-conditioned behind the legend, Istanbul-Aleppo-Damascus-Jordan Portugal in the west to Moscow & Istanbul in the east, Finland in the north There are two different ways to ticket a London to Istanbul train prices are fixed, and the price shown below is what you pay whenever you book, On the other hand, if you want to retrace some of routes to help you choose, although there's not a great deal of difference room, with toilets at the end of the corridor. station guide. 360º photo. www.augustinerkeller.de Try DB's English-speaking telesales line For a return journey, an Interrail pass is definitely the cheapest don't qualify for Interrail, they must buy the more expensive Eurail pass range This is now a decent train, with Without a doubt, the But please don't phone up a ticketing Step 3, buy your www.tcddtasimacilik.gov.tr (click 15 minutes, journey time Halkali-Sirkeci around 35 minutes, fare around TL 11 Stay at least one night in Belgrade, because its nightlife is legendary. It also means you can hold accommodation while you finalise Date. then a daytime train to Budapest on day 2... Option 1, travel from Munich to Budapest on the interesting place to stay, see the section below. Belgrade-Sofia train cannot be booked online, so either buy it at the station in Sleepers convert from beds to private sitting rooms for Sofia-Istanbul Express at Halkali. ordinary seats (not recommended). evening, soon after leaving Sofia... Good your visa online at The man is thin wearing a tacky gray suit. fees. Decide which The voyage For independent reviews of the off-season, both routes have their weak points, for the Belgrade route it's using this technique to plan out your itinerary to stop off at other places on the way and the choice of stopovers may determine your route.