Route, timetable, station and ticket details of train running between Sofia and Halkalı:
* Based on route data provided by EcoTransITWorld.
What kind of a train I’m going to travel with? Electric loco and TVS 2000 passenger coaches
How long is the route? 560 km
How long it takes? 10 hours
How can I buy the ticket? Only at stations where international tickets office exists
When can I buy the ticket? 60 days prior to departure
* As of 7/2017. Please click for TCDD’s official timetable.
* Please click station name for location, all trains calling and timetables, working hours and contact info of station.
There is connected bus service between departure station Halkalı Station which is far away from city center and Sirkeci Station which is the at the center of old city of Istanbul and used to be the main station for all westward trains.
Sofia-Halkalı couchette seat/berth: 28.48 €/person
Sofia-Halkalı sleeper seat/berth: 33.48 €/person (double), 62.72 €/person (single),
* As of 7/2017. Pls check current fares from TCDD’s official website.
This train is called Balkan Express in Balkan countries.
The service used to be given by bus connections due to engineering works. This temporary situation had ended as of 20 February 2017.
Turkey is GMT +3 and Bulgaria/Romania is GMT +2 (No daylight time policy in Turkey).
Train passes through Kapikule/Svilengrad border crossing.
Check Balkan Flexipass if you are going to travel in Balkan countries by rail.
What travellers say?
Istanbul Sofia train guide for beginners - Onur and Senem had travelled to Sofia and came back to Istanbul by Istanbul Sofia Express on July 2017.
To Sofia by Bosphor Express - Teoman Can Tamturk from Turkey, working in tourism industry, decided to travel to Sofia with recently restarted Istanbul-Sofia Express and wrote his experiences in detail.
One night on a train from Istanbul to Sofia - Taylor Davidson, an entrepreneur and photographer, took an overnight train ride on the Istanbul-Sofia Express from Istanbul, Turkey to Sofia, Bulgaria.
Overnight train from Istanbul to Sofia - Amy, a social media marketer, teacher and traveller with a lust for life, decided to brave the train from Istanbul to Sofia in Bulgaria in August 2015.
Cover photo by Onur Uysal