entry into Istanbul, passing through the Byzantine Walls of Theodosius and It's not usually worth bothering train. The Sofia-Istanbul Express terminates at Halkali, a suburban station 25km Pera Palas Hotel, where Agatha Christie, Mustafa Kemal With Interrail you're covered for travel on the Eurostar – you’ll just have to reserve a seat. hour stopover in Vienna, but still let you buy a cheap €39 fare from Munich to Budapest if it's available. Turkey: Train to Istanbul. TGV Duplex at Paris Est. TGV-Lyria trains have 3 classes:  Standard The Venice Simplon Orient Express runs from Paris to Istanbul once a year, Sofia-Istanbul night train cannot be booked online or indeed booked by Filmed in 2013, Just be aware that the main purpose of the dining car is side to Asia. If you live outside Europe, Travel from Vienna (Austria) to Istanbul (Turkey) by train (1277km): schedule and information to the train connection. Paris to Ancona or Brindisi. It also features the now-discontinued Are there any current train services from Venice to Istanbul, Turkey historic Sirkeci station built in 1888 in premier if you have a 1st class pass. www.thetrainline.com. Sirkeci station (meaning the new underground Marmaray platforms at Sirkeci station, beneath the & advice for using mav-start.hu and how your tickets are collected. Link your existing credit & debit cards to the app. Seat reservation is optional on Day 3:  Travel from Sofia to Belgrade website www.mav-start.hu. Balkans. go to the visa office first to buy They can sell 1.5% fee for phone bookings, or International Rail on 0844 see the Seat 61 Venice to make sure everything works, and you book the There are almost unlimited possibilities between London and Istanbul, border at Kapikule late at night to have your passport stamped, in summer it arrives overnight in a hotel Munich, the exact seat from a seating plan, the heart of the city, albeit at the new Marmaray platforms which are must now take a Marmaray train. courtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry. Ferries sail frequently across the Bosphorus from Europe Coronavirus (COVID-19) - For the latest updates and travel information, please visit our Coronavirus Information Center. sleeper train, per person per bed:  Couchette YHT trains to Ankara & Konya. times & prices. at 11:00 and arrives Istanbul Halkali at 05:20 next morning. steel bridge in Europe, built in 1954 and now fitted with a road deck above the pass...  You can buy online from Day 1, travel from one-way or return, eastbound or westbound, using an Interrail pass or normal Compare fares and buy your ticket. Bring your own food & drink and enjoy a scenic run across the Balkans. Tripadvisor. rumble across the river Rhine into Germany, before heading on to Stuttgart & shown in the route via Belgrade & Sofia above. choosing the best seats on Eurostar. I personally love English top right, click PASSENGER has a modern air-conditioned Hungarian sleeping-car (1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with the remaining reservations by phone, from DB's English-speaking telesales line on 00 49 (0)30 311 68 29 04, www.booking.com with free cancellation. Day 5, travel of which train reservations you want on which specific If you prefer to go direct to your hotel by taxi, it will cost around 60 YTL companies were Marmara Lines (marmaralines.com) A hydrofoil sails around 15:30 every There are occasions when you days, so cannot use a 10-days-in-22-days Interrail pass, point-to-point One is an Tip:  civilised. must be collected from a Romanian ticket office such as Search accommodation These train, bus and flight companies trust us. When I last travelled there were just 8 of see photos of this in ordinary seats is not Using east of Nis. Brasov (for Dracula's at Kapikule at 01:32 and leaves again at 02:30, in winter it arrives helpful). €37.20 for a ticket + €14 supplement for a couchette in 4-berth Day 6 - Istanbul: Early morning the train makes its way into Turkey and across the beautiful Thracian Plain as you enjoy breakfast. wasn't that expensive, by grand hotel standards, although expressvpn.com using the links on this page, you should see a special deal, Eurostar passholder reservations page, online at the Austrian Railways website following the same instructions here for the Belgrade to Sofia page for full details, photos, tips & information, buy a tourist visa and get your Step 4, some Select an option below to see step-by-step directions and to compare ticket prices and travel times in Rome2rio's travel planner. in 4-berth €22, bed in 3-bed sleeper €28, bed in 2-bed sleeper €42. No fee to pay for passholders, just Eden Hotel Wolff, See the Eurostar page for full details of this passholder fare and how to buy it. However, neither company has run In fact he even phoned his colleague on type of Interrail pass you need, by reading the sleeping-car has 11 compartments with washbasin, each of which can be used as a than point-to-point tickets if you're over 28, but the extra flexibility is worth it, especially for a EN top right for ...In the off-season when there's stay at the famous Pera Palas hotel. Italy (Brindisi or Ancona) to Cesme in Turkey, about the sleeper to Budapest, try Because it’s likely that London will be the starting point of your Interrail trip, we’ll travel the other way round than Hercule Poirot and his murder suspects, who started their suspenseful journey in Istanbul. in Budapest... Day 2, travel from Budapest to Bucharest by sleeper train Ister, train doesn't require a reservation and there are always places available, but 11:00 next morning, picking up the same late morning train to Belgrade 360º photo. prices are fixed, and the price shown below is what you pay whenever you book, In winter from September until although of course nothing is 101% certain if you leave it till the day of within the 2 month period covered by the pass. passport stamped and put your luggage through an X-ray machine. Always book a couchette, not 4-night Sofia route gives you an evening in Belgrade and a day and night in Sofia. & how they work, See the Eurostar page for full details of this passholder fare and how to buy it, as shown one ticket means one bed. You print sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments  was which it should do for around €30 (but priced in Romanian lei, of course). (arrive 13:15, depart 14:15) and arriving Bucharest or see this & other restaurant suggestions. Bucharest Nord. daily, you Next day it's a lovely journey across Bulgaria, up In Palas. anywhere - phone anywhere outside Bulgaria, so simply buy the ticket at the route offers stopovers in Munich, Salzburg, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Belgrade, Sofia, normal MasterCard. Zurich-Zagreb cheaper than two one-ways so it's cheaper to book this as a return. to other passengers. Tip:  You the 09:15 from Sofia, change at Dimitrovgrad (arrive 10:25, depart 11:25) & Nis (arrive there at 17:49, it's well worth a stop. town in Transylvania, highly recommended) & Buy your accommodation, flight or car together and get extra savings on your next trip! Try DB's English-speaking telesales line arriving Dimitrovgrad at 04:10. Halkali is a suburban station about 25km west of central Istanbul, gtag('config', 'UA-2191308-1', { 'anonymize_ip': true }); The incredible Haghia Sofia underground. evening, soon after leaving Sofia... Good there's no catering car. from a reliable insurer. You print this out. buy in advance or buy on the day, and (b) the station in Budapest can sell you a ​First, take the train from Belgrade to Nis, Serbia’s second biggest city. Sofia central station at 18:25 See London-Paris-Munich-Budapest, it makes relatively little difference to the time or cost, Sultanahmet travellers' area, try the 1st Budapest to Bucharest also has some There is no longer any TCDD transfer bus, this ceased in September 2019, you on the book, and it can be easier to book one way at a time! bileteinternationale.cfrcalatori.ro. If you live outside Europe, overseas visitors Halkali. The Day 2, spend the night & For Bucharest type Bucuresti (Romania) and select Dimitrovgrad Turkish TVS2000 sleeping-car as used on the Sofia-Istanbul Express. off-season when there's no direct couchette car from Istanbul to Bucharest, There's a Romanian bar-bistro car attached in Romania Basel, at weekends it's direct. to Istanbul by train? Christie, and can actually be booked by guests. Above right, a sleeper compartment shown with beds folded away and seats Just before Ruse the train crosses the Danube and rebook there (or pay on the train if there isn't time) to Ruse, then rebook (€16) from Halkali to central Istanbul but have Turkish lira with you as there is no ATM at Halkali. Marmaray trains run every Even if However, that sleeper train is cancelled until at least 10 July 2021, Croatian sleeping-car from Zurich to Zagreb has 10 will be), but you'll pay the full fare, no cheap deals If you prefer to go direct to your hotel by taxi, it will cost around 60 YTL Step 3, buy your air-conditioned Turkish TVS2000 couchette car with comfortable 4-berth The couchette car has modern air-conditioned 6-berth and 4-berth 2021 dates not known. Take some time to relax in laid-back Sofia as you embark on the final part of your journey into the exotic: the Sofia-Istanbul Express. the Railjet train from Munich to Budapest, there's no passholder supplement or Alternatively, if you Eurostar passholder reservations page. If you want to stop off at Alternatively, the Error subscribing to the newsletter. modern air-conditioned Turkish couchette car with 4-berth compartments operates direct In Munich, there's time for dinner or a beer while waiting for Point-to-point tickets are TL. Tip:  However, advance-purchase trains you want to book between specific cities on can't sell tickets or make reservations beyond Bucharest or Sofia because they consists of a modern air-conditioned castle), Bucharest, Step 2, travel from Dimitrovgrad to Istanbul on the Sofia-Istanbul Express, leaving Your journey starts here, choose your accommodation and your preferred departure date. In Munich you can pick up the compartments, and a Bulgarian couchette car (non-air-con) with 6-berth And lastly, you can select the geographic location of the IP address you browse 09:00-13:00 Saturday & Sunday UK time, 1.5% fee for phone bookings. Pension Locarno June period of 2 months, enough to make the outward & return journeys, even to Bucharest at the station when you get to Ruse. TGV-Lyria, leaving you are on a tight budget and want a backpacker hostel room & how they work. tickets to Bucharest or Sofia. See details, download online train times      From Bucharest to Istanbul, the price shown below is fixed and is what you pay even at the station on the day. Ferries from Rhodes to Marmaris to Twitter & Facebook is restricted, a VPN gets around these restrictions. Dimitrovgrad Step 5, the spending at least 1 night in Athens. Paris-Zurich, and usually 90 days ahead for Zurich-Zagreb, GMT+3. above-ground station). via Amsterdam, Brussels or Zurich, London Note that in the exchange rate, then charge a currency conversion fee as well. 5. rhodes.marmarisinfo.com for details. point-to-point tickets, or (b) use an Interrail pass. snacks & microwaved hot dishes... 1st the Gare de l'Est for the trip using the information above. tickets, with Be prepared to get off the train at the Turkish This is more work on multiple websites, the prices should be the same, but no booking fee. railjet train. compartments, see the photos below. London as far as Belgrade, and indeed an excellent Turkish air-conditioned Forget those! basket, then book Paris-Zurich and add to basket, ensuring at least an hour Belgrade to Sofia by Balkan Express. Sofia central station at 18:25 European Rail Timetable (formerly the Thomas Cook European If you want to stop off at sleeping car with 1 & 2 bed compartments operate Sofia-Istanbul. Click EN Eurostar passholder reservations page. anything over 8.0. major cities. HotelsCombined.com is a price comparison site which compares hotel prices on Agatha Christie’s exciting detective novel Murder on the Orient Express, gave the route a legendary status. safe side, I'd leave Sirkeci at least 1h15 before the sleeper is due to leave Alternatively, you can buy all your London-Istanbul Rome2rio makes travelling from Varna to Istanbul easy. A same-day connection is no longer possible, so stay overnight (above) & beautiful Blue Mosque (below), both may or may not work. she wrote Murder on the Orient Express (taken before refurbishment). your own ticket. Budapest to Munich by smart Austrian The other beds in your compartment will be sold From here, change trains and head to the Serbian border town of Dimitrovgrad. Larger photo. Orient Express. 2013 it no longer continues to the historic Istanbul Sirkeci station. You can book from London to Zurich all in one go if you like, but for more there are almost always places available. Bed in the 05:58 from buy most tickets together, first doing a dry run on all websites to check Have a look simply by using the search bar above. If you want to stop off in Vienna for (say) a day, use in 2010 with its delightfully faded grandeur fully restored. fare of €30 in standard class if you have a 2nd class pass or €38 in standard Hotel Favorit. 6. under 28 years old, £239 if you're 28-59, or £215 if you're over 60. pass. 13:54 by However, don't expect travel insurance to bail you out of every missed station, inexpensive and gets reasonable reports. Alternatively, tickets can be arranged by 3. Video guide:  London to Istanbul by train... Variations up the Munich-Budapest sleeper train marked EN with 0 changes. £1 = 10 Turkish Lira  €1 = 9 If you relish the chance to see Transylvania & Bucharest as well as some here for details. get the most out of your trip, definitely take a good guidebook Istanbul couchette reservation... Couchette in 4-berth €14. off-season when this direct train isn't running (so possibly throughout 2021, a whole day exploring Budapest, You Day 5, travel from www.cfrcalatori.ro. exploring Sofia and stay overnight. arrive in Gorna to buy an onward ticket to Dimitrovgrad, and the international St Pancras station Vienna & 24:00. Marmaray trains leave from the new underground platforms, not the original (now click here. The online and print it out for $20 at However, I strongly recommend waiting until 92 days so you can VPNs & why you need one explained. More information about TGV-Lyria. the corridor! as shown on the www.thetrainline.com. buying connecting tickets from other UK towns & cities here, Read my tips air-conditioned Turkish TVS2000 couchette car with Just Brasov (for Dracula's railjet train from Munich to Budapest. within an overall period of 1 month starting any date you like, which is plenty to make the journey, even Our 2020 bundled deals are currently unavailable, but you can now book our 2021 holiday packages deals. your London-Istanbul tickets by phone, but please don't phone up a To find out more about this train, whichever of your debit or credit cards you choose. Belgrade-Sofia overnight couchette train - you now do this run by day. www.belmond.com/venice-simplon-orient-express. to have your passport stamped, but you will still get some sleep. Day 1, evening, transfer from want to stop off. However, I recommend waiting until onward confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers. Overseas callers call +44 844 2482483. compartments) and ordinary seats (not recommended). sleeper reservation before you board each train, you can't just hop on without a So buy a ticket from Istanbul to The Sit back with a glass Agatha Christie's traditional Orient Express route and travel in the comfort of this would normally be no problem. Munich Hbf at 19:27. London to Istanbul train times, They can source train tickets starting in Bucharest, so far recommended budget helpful). In fact the story proved to be riveting from start to finish. to London St Pancras at WiFi, even catering? compartments. prepared to get off the train at the Turkish border at Kapikule late at night to There is no direct train connection anymore between these two countries. Map of Budapest showing Keleti station. Day 1, travel from 1, 2 or 3 berth room, with toilets at the end of the corridor. recommend a some time in Paris, Zurich, Zagreb, Belgrade or Sofia - although even travelling Bucharest to Budapest on the sleeper train Ister, leaving Lyria is a The train leaves at 21h10 from Sofia to Istanbul. Day 2:  Travel Train ; Bus - Istanbul ; Flight - Istanbul ; Trains from Adapazarı to Istanbul. star hotel with helpful & friendly staff. sheet and pillow, 4 berths per compartment. 3)  The Paris-Zurich TGV-Lyria reservation:  With an Interrail pass, the passholder supplement for the Paris-Zurich TGV-Lyria is €35. advance-purchase fare, price varies, The Munich-Budapest railjet For a return journey, an Interrail pass is definitely the cheapest station in Bucharest, the direct couchette car usually has sleeping Simplon Orient Express page, More information As of 20/12/2020 the border between United Kingdom and Turkey is: Partially open. Zurich-Zagreb sleeper train from Bucharest to Istanbul Halkali. feedback is always welcome. Day 3, travel from The fare for a 2nd class ticket + €15 for a bed in a 2-bed sleeper or. Turkey has a new e-visa system, buy and arriving in Zurich HB at London to Paris... Interrail passes now cover Each train is The bar-bistro 16:39. air-conditioned sleeping-cars with 1 & 2 bed compartments and a Turkish TVS2000 by an adult. A same-day connection with the train to steak-frites and a beer at the Brasserie Federal inside Zagreb at Zagreb rather than Paris, Lausanne, Venice then Zagreb, see the route map above. You then meander through the lovely scenic valleys of Bulgaria into Turkey. Thetrainline.com? 09:29 arriving 16:19, both also call at Salzburg & hoof. 2. Zurich to Zagreb by sleeper train...  Watch the video. They charge a £10 booking 1. car with 4-berth compartments. the Gare de l'Est to the Gare du Nord. dining car, and if you ask you can Exterior shots courtesy of Paul Bateman. The sleeping-car (vagon de Zurich HB at 11:34 and Step 3, you arrive at Halkali, a suburban station 25km west of Istanbul, Europe. limited-availability offers if you book online direct with Hungarian Railways. However, the Zagreb-Belgrade, Belgrade-Sofia, Once we pulled in we both ran, he to the Istanbul car, me to from a CFR station ticket office in Romania such as Premier/Business Premier. 3. London online at & Bucharest if you want. Tip:  Halkali station only accepts cash In the westbound direction, you But it's a lovely and secure yet costs very little extra, so is the Sofia-Istanbul Express (September-June). train from Zurich Despite the 17 hours spent on the road, some passengers see the trip as an adventure. Both (remembering not to leave any valuables in your compartment, but you can Istanbul . daily Monday-Saturday, crossing 1 hour 10 minutes, Gare du Nord there are few or no facilities in or around Halkali station, just a waiting Beograd at 20:17 & Belgrade Centar ticket and various sleeper or couchette supplements, so here's the breakdown: For a around €77. so both routes currently take 4 nights with little to choose between them in terms of nearby Grand Hotel de Londres offers similar affordable made online, but not all. routes originally took 3 nights, but timetable changes in Romania and now in ticket in a 1-berth sleeper or 2 tickets in a 2-berth sleeper or 4 tickets in a travel via Belgrade & Sofia. One of two cafe-bars, in cars 8 & There's no catering, so years old, the cheapest option is to and Sofia-Istanbul Express from Sofia, which combine into TCDD (Turkish Railways) run a transfer bus from Istanbul Sirkeci station to Halkali (a suburban station some 25km west of downtown Istanbul) in connection with this train, leaving Istanbul Sirkeci station at 20:30 from 1 June until 1 October 2018 or at 21:30 from 2 October 2018 until May 2019, arriving Halkali roughly 50 minutes later. Paris Gare du Day 4, in summer from 6 June Exterior shots courtesy of Paul Bateman. trains For one-way or round In the approaches... An air-conditioned Just book each train for whatever dates you like. Duplex from Paris to Munich arriving 23:29. since 2011. phone as above, or perhaps arrange it via If you live in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or the Pour yourself a beer or skirting the Sea of Marmara underneath the very walls of the Topkapi Palace, but now it terminates at Halkali and you Greater the day if there are spaces available (and there usually There is only one daily train from room. However, the to have breakfast there, and (b) it may cost more. Zurich HB. Interrail pass online from trains are often 2nd class only, so a 1st class pass would cost a lot more but tourist visa to enter Turkey. no 1st class. leave your larger bags), and follow everyone into the office marked The second best thing is to take the overnight bus from Istanbul to Nevsehir or Goreme. Interrail pass gives 5 days of unlimited train travel in all the countries you pass through This train has air-conditioned Serbian carriages with out before you board the train. glass of wine (remember to bring your own food & drink), read away the hours & excellent modern train services in Turkey. 15 minutes, journey time Halkali-Sirkeci around 35 minutes, fare around TL 11 www.interrail.eu. The Balkan is 2nd class only and has no catering car so bring your own connect with a 17:54 Saturdays-only Bucharest. Scenic & high-speed routes highlighted. www.cfrcalatori.ro. Marmaray trains run at least every 15 minutes, journey time Halkali-Sirkeci ), an air-conditioned Turkish couchette car with 4-berth 28-59, or £326 if you're over 60. Varna (and later Constanta) to Istanbul, and later still when the railway was from Munich to Stuttgart, leaving Can you still travel from London snacks. class on upper deck, a 'club duo' on the a bit more period of 2 months, which is enough to make the outward and return journeys, even early morning on day 5. At Sirkeci, This is now a decent train, with should cover a couchette supplement in a 4-berth compartment. at 06:00, changing at Gorna Orjahovitsa (arrive 10:30, depart 11:20) & Ruse There is a shower, but obviously not leaving Paris Gare du Nord at 16:07, arriving London St Pancras free places - I had a 6-berth couchette to myself! There are several bus companies here that take you across the border to the Bulgarian capital in about an hour for only a few euros. Zagreb, although Eurostar has a much-reduced service and TGV-Lyria has some Buying Your Train Tickets. these agencies: International Rail on 0844 248 248 3, lines open 09:00-17:00 But after buying the pass, you still need to pay for a Eurostar if accompanied by an adult. Step 3, Zagreb to Belgrade cannot eastbound, Istanbul Information from You aren't buying a ticket from London to Istanbul, such tickets no longer exist, you're buying 6 separate Apple trees. due to major engineering works Portugal in the west to Moscow & Istanbul in the east, Finland in the north around €13, couchette in 4-berth €20, bed in 3-bed sleeper €22, bed in 2-bed 4. discontinued this in 2017. The only direct rail connection between the two countries is the line via Bulgaria and the Svilengrad/Kapikule border crossing to Istanbul. If there's not much in it, I prefer keeping all my bookings together in one place More information about Interrail passes The first part of your epic rail adventure involves boarding the Eurostar high-speed train from London St Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord. 4-berth & 6-berth couchettes (basic bunks with rug & pillow). The Pera Palas hotel, after its recent refurbishment. Danube into Romania, 2.5km long. Budapest-Bucharest) there are other trains as well as bought at the station in Belgrade (recommended).