Can't buy Plovdiv Halkali reservation in plovdiv

  • 20 March 2023
  • 5 replies

Hi everyone :)

I've been to plovdiv's train station office to buy a reservation for the Sofia Istanbul express night train (which stops in plovdiv) but there they told me they couldn't sell reservations because of an informatic issue in there system.

From what I've read online and especially on this forum, there is no way of getting a reservation online. If you know otherwise I'd love to know!

What they seem to tell me to do is to get on the train and buy a reservation on board. At least that's what I understood because I don't speak bulgarian and they didn't really speak English.

That makes me a little worried to do so, especially in the case where there's no more available couchettes on the train. 

So I was wondering if anyone had already done this, or if you could think of any another way to get a reservation 


Thanks in advance!



Best answer by ralderton 20 March 2023, 10:51

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5 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

It’s not uncommon to do it that way, by speaking to the staff on the train to buy the couchette.

No guarantees, but I don’t think you’ll have a problem with it being full. Especially if the reservations system is broken for everyone!

Userlevel 7
Badge +6

Yeah, just go to the train and try your luck. In worst case conductor might sell you his compartment I suppose… and now is so or so not main season, so unlikely that it will be full.

Alright thanks all, that's what I wanted to hear haha! I'll try and will keep this thread updated, so people know if that's doable or not

Badge +5

Last year this train was a terrible time keeper arriving in Plovdiv sometimes two hours late due to engineering work. We decided to travel back and pick up the train in Sofia so we were not waiting in the cold in Plovdiv! It was a very good decision on the night we travelled. You’ll also have a better chance of getting a place and Sofia will most likely have some reservations available. Our advice is pay for a sleeper last year it cost the equivalent of 30 euros for both of us. The sleepers are in my opinion the most comfortable in Europe but you’ll still have to get up in the middle of the night for passports . We arrived three hours late so had a very civilised sleep. Bring your own food!


Has anyone else tried this recently? I’ll be trying to get on at Plovdiv in the summer and worry it will be full!