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Istanbul to Budapest early April

  • 2 February 2023
  • 8 replies
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Hi, we are a couple in our 60s travelling from Istanbul in early April to Budapest.

Can anyone recommend some routes through Sofia or Bucharest . I know that the train to Bucharest takes 20 hours with a change of train in the middle of the night.

Any small towns or cities recommended on either route.

 

Many thanks.

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Best answer by Hektor 2 February 2023, 15:22

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If it's not for the fastest route, I'd take the sleeper to Sofia (comfortable), stay one day there and would take the route via Vidin - Craiova and would stay en route in Romania another night.

It's possible to go directly to Budapest but this (or going directly to Bucureşti) means uncomfortabe night trips in seating cars with changes. Don't know if you'd like to do that?

Badge +5

The Istanbul to Sofia train only has sleepers and couchette cars. This train can only be booked in person and it is becoming more popular. Last year weekend dates in the summer were fully booked. Book the sleeping car as they are very cheap and comfortable although you do get turfed out in the middle of the night for passports! 

The Istanbul to Sofia train only has sleepers and couchette cars. This train can only be booked in person and it is becoming more popular. Last year weekend dates in the summer were fully booked. Book the sleeping car as they are very cheap and comfortable although you do get turfed out in the middle of the night for passports! 

Many thanks for the advice. We are leaving Istanbul on the first Monday in April. How far in advance can I book a sleeper ? Are there cabins for two ?

 

If it's not for the fastest route, I'd take the sleeper to Sofia (comfortable), stay one day there and would take the route via Vidin - Craiova and would stay en route in Romania another night.

It's possible to go directly to Budapest but this (or going directly to Bucureşti) means uncomfortabe night trips in seating cars with changes. Don't know if you'd like to do that?

Thanks for the advice, Hektor.

The Istanbul to Sofia train only has sleepers and couchette cars. This train can only be booked in person and it is becoming more popular. Last year weekend dates in the summer were fully booked. Book the sleeping car as they are very cheap and comfortable although you do get turfed out in the middle of the night for passports! 

Many thanks for the advice. We are leaving Istanbul on the first Monday in April. How far in advance can I book a sleeper ? Are there cabins for two ?

 

There are two turkish sleeper schedulded (recommended).(There is also a cheaper couchette car (not recommended)). A cabin for two is about 15 € per person.

But I think it needs to be booked in Istanbul itself. I would do it first thing when arriving in Istanbul (the old station (Sirkeci) is in the middle of main sights so it's easy to stop there and AFAIK it's normally open from 7 to 22).

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Many thanks for the advice. We are leaving Istanbul on the first Monday in April. How far in advance can I book a sleeper ?

You can only book it in Turkey, so as soon as you arrive there, I suppose. You can also book it at the old Sirkeci station in the city centre, and of course at Halkali, but that is not in the centre.

Are there cabins for two ?

Yes there are.

Userlevel 7
Badge +6

The Istanbul to Sofia train only has sleepers and couchette cars. This train can only be booked in person and it is becoming more popular. Last year weekend dates in the summer were fully booked. Book the sleeping car as they are very cheap and comfortable although you do get turfed out in the middle of the night for passports! 

Many thanks for the advice. We are leaving Istanbul on the first Monday in April. How far in advance can I book a sleeper ? Are there cabins for two ?

 

There are two turkish sleeper schedulded (recommended).(There is also a cheaper couchette car (not recommended)). A cabin for two is about 15 € per person.

But I think it needs to be booked in Istanbul itself. I would do it first thing when arriving in Istanbul (the old station (Sirkeci) is in the middle of main sights so it's easy to stop there and AFAIK it's normally open from 7 to 22).

I am not 100% sure but I think the international ticket office in Sirkeci is only open 8-20. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

There were recent announcement it was closed much more times now-perhaps also SUNs or so.

This as all normal TR traintickets can be booked online or on post-office etc. and this is the only remaining train that goes out of TR with special regime for that. I have no idea if these other offices can also handle it for this train.

check seat61.com IF you are hell bound on that day, then they advise to contact a local tr-agent-which will of course slap on some extra fee and may not even understand you have a pass (but the normal fare-only is barely more as an average passday

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