Trains from Slovenia - Istanbul

  • 22 February 2023
  • 2 replies

Hi everyone. 


I can´t find a trip from Slovenia through Croatia (Zagreb) -- Serbia (Begorad) - Bulgaria (Sofia) to end destination Istanbul.

It doesn´t have to be this exact route. Departure in Ljubliana and arrival Istanbul only are fixed. 


Is there still this covid problem, that trains can´t pass the border?

Or is it a problem of interrail website? 

Does anyone know more here? 

Planing this is already quite complicated, which makes me considering doing this trip in the Balkans at all. It seems to be stressful. What do you think? Is it still worth it?







Best answer by MartinM 23 February 2023, 10:40

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Userlevel 7
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  1. You should not plan with the Interrail website or the rail planner app. They're unreliable and often out of date. Try the DB planner.
  2. There are still no trains from Croatia to Serbia. Nobody knows when they'll start again. It's not COVID-related anymore; I'm afraid there's some politics involved.
  3. There are no trains from Serbia to Bulgaria.
  4. You could travel via Romania.
Userlevel 7
Badge +6

As @rvdborgt suggested, I would also suggest to travel via Romania. Romania is definitely worth a stopover and you can take a train from Ljubljana direct to Budapest. From Budapest there are many train options into Romania - by day and by night.
From Romania you have two possible options to go by train to Bulgaria: either from Craiova to Vidin with the once daily train and then from there several options to Sofia. 
Or you go via Bucharest and from there to Ruse. From Ruse you can travel onto Sofia, Plovdiv, Dimitrovgrad, from where you can catch the nighttrain to Istanbul.

Definitely worth to travel in this area as it is cheap and beautiful. But you might think about buying single tickets instead of an Interrail.