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Advices for Orient Express Interrail

  • 5 January 2022
  • 9 replies
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Hi! I’m currently planning an Interrail trip for August. I’d like to follow the orient express Itinerary, if everyone did this trip would be perfect if he/she could tell me something about this experience. Particularly I would know how can I reach Sofia from Belgrade and then Istanbul (reservation, prices, autobus ecc..).

Thank you so much! 

Mariateresa

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Best answer by seewulf 6 January 2022, 22:42

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Userlevel 4
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To start with the bad news: NO, as for now not possible and no reports as to when/how this will perhaps, maybe reinstated. The better: all the best for just started new year.

You did not tell from where to start, but the traditional route started most often in London/UK and there is an excellent site that describes all possible overland routes from there to all EUR capitals and main cities: seat61, check there and do read full item.

As for now-but only if they really do what is posted online (often not so much) you can reach Sofia from Beograd with 2 changes-these are non-secure. However, the real traditional O-Ex ran via Romania or to be very precise did not have a steady route, it was changed quite often.

You can safely assume-except when countries block all incoming lines du to covid- that all along this line there are long-distance buslines-named ´coach´ in proper UK-english, FLIX is best known-when they give up there will be local lines that often are not even online. Do not worry about having to book monthes advance- pre-covid f.e. there were around a dozen or so with offices in front and near to Spfia main station for direct buses to Istanbul. In fact in the Balkans most people prefer a bus above a train-quicker, much easier to handle, less changes, much more comfortable.

Thank you for your answer!

Yes the trip should start from London. I’ll check the itinerary via Romania with my friends.

Wish you all the best for the new year!

Userlevel 7
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London to Romania quite easy :)

London - Brussels/Amsterdam - (Frankfurt) - Vienna (From Brussels/Paris/Amsterdam start direct Nighttrains to Vienna)  but as you wanna follow the OrientExpressRoute it´s important to know which one?

There where Routes from Paris via Stuttgart - Munich - Salzburg - Vienna - Budapest - Bucharest - Ruse - Istanbul

The part Munich - Vienna was even operated few years via Simbach/Inn instead of Salzburg.

Paris - Basel - Zürich - Sargans - Innsbruck - Zell am See -  Salzburg further as above

Paris - Dijon - Lausanne - Milan - Venice - Trieste - Lubljana- Zagreb - Belgrade - Sofia - Istanbul.

Over the years i´ve done almost all Routes of the OrientExpress but i can be quite hard nowadays and you will not faster as the OrientExpress as you have to change yet several times (few times no good connection) and the trains are especially in the Balkan now slower as before :/

 

Picture from the German Wikipedia Page.
Picture from the German Wikipedia Page.
Picture from the German Wikipedia Page.
Picture from the German Wikipedia Page.

 

Thank you! You’re very kind

Wish you all the best for this new year

Mariateresa

 

Userlevel 7
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Thank you! You’re very kind

Wish you all the best for this new year

Mariateresa

 

Which Route do you prefer?

Note that there is currently no train from Zagreb or Budapest to Belgrade :/
The currently easiest Route is via Budapest - Bucharest - Ruse to Sofia :)
And as there are currently no trains to turkey you can as suggest above catch one of the Frequent buses :) a trip report back from 2019 :) Bucharest - Istanbul :)

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If you want to go from Belgrade to Turkey, there is only one direct train (only in the summer):

The optima express (https://www.optimatours.de/?lang=EN) from Villach to Edirne

Usually, it doesn’t make a regular stop at Belgrade, but if you write them an Email that you pay the full price from Villach, and get on the train in Belgrade, i don’t think that they make problems with that.

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@Womble  good option but the prices for that Route are pretty high :/ And till yet the Optima Express didn´t publish the shedule for 2022 :/ (Serbia is currently upgradeing so many raillines that the train maybe won´t run this year  :/ )

I think we’ll follow the route via Bucharest since is the easiest one. 

 

 

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Maybe take the “ArlbergOrientExpress” route (more scenic than the way via Stuttgart) from Paris via (Strassbourg) - Basel - Zuerich - (maybe a stopover on Lake Constance) - Innsbruck - Salzburg - Vienna - Bucharest - Ruse - Sofia
and then back from Sofia via Craiova - Timisoara - Budapest - Lubljana (here then on the south route via) - Trieste - Venice - Verona - Milan - Brig - Lac Leman - Lausanne - Dijon back to Paris :D

If you won´t be twice in Paris you could catch the Eurostar from London to Brussels and then from Brussels via Cologne to Switzerland (I recommend to catch from Cologne the EC9 to Zuerich with a nice joruney along the RhineValley) it´not 100% historical correct but a worths it.

 

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