İstanbul Bükreş treni - Onur

Bosphor Express (Istanbul Bucharest train)

Route map, train timetable, main stations and ticket options of international train running between Halkalı and Bucharest:

This train is running only during summer. In 2018 international train timetables, it’s planned to run between 1st of Juna and 28th of September.
Bosphor Express (Bucharest Istanbul train) travel info

What kind of a train I’m going to travel with? TCDD electric loco + CFR passenger coaches

What options I have? Couchette (4 persons) + sleeper (2-2 persons)

Any food service in the train? No food service

How far is it from Halkalı to Bucharest? 940 km

How long it takes from Halkalı to Bucharest? 17-19 hours

How can I buy the ticket? Only at stations where international ticket desk exists

When can I buy the ticket? 60 days prior to departure

Cover photo: Onur Uysal

Next page: Route map and main stations

23 thoughts on “Bosphor Express (Istanbul Bucharest train)”

  1. Ay want to gou from halkali to Istanbul dou you heaw eni bus or train to Istanbul.? Im from România. End ai wil arive AT halkali from București. But ai want to gou to Istanbul

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Are un bus special din cai ferate ce pleaca după șoșire trenului, in fața de gara de Halkalı spre gara Sirkeçi și centrul Istanbulului. In altă direcția autobusul pleaca de la gara Sirkeçi (cred la oră nouă dar nu sunt sigur. Are un gișe in gara Sirkeçi)


  2. Thanks for posting, tagger Romanian and Hungarian sites seem to contradict the Turkish ones, I was thinking of setting from Bucharest to istanbul with an overnight stop in veliko tarnovo. Can I do both legs direct or will I need to change? If I read you post correctly the locomotive will change but the passengers will remain on the carriage right through, is that right? Do they still require to disembark at the border crossing?


    1. Hi Stuart. Bucharest-Istanbul train is a direct train, no need to make interchange. Yes, locos will change a couple of times.. Unfortunately, you need to disembark at BG/TR border, in Turkish side, at Kapikule. Take it as a old-fashion ceremony where you may find chance to meet new friends. 🙂


  3. By virtue of my passport I am allowed visa-free entry to Romania. However, I can’t travel to Bulgaria. If I take the Bosfor Express from Turkey to Bucharest, would I need some kind of transit visa for Bulgaria or would I be allowed to pass as I am allowed into Romania. I can fly to Bucharest from Istanbul, but then where’s the fun in that? Some clarification will be appreciated in this regards. Thnx


    1. So, it’s by air then. Dont have time to get a manual Bulgarian visa that too only for transit. They dont have e-Visa facility. Wish I could have travel by the train to Bucharest and then further to Vienna. But then whereas I can enter Austria on my passport, I cant do the same for Hungary, and would likely need a visa. Unfortunate.


  4. Your Timetable for Bosphor Exp and the route map shown are not in Sync. The Routemap shows it goes thru Shumen LLYmeh but the time table shows it goes thru Veliko Tarnevo. Kindly correct it.


    1. Thank you. Unfortunately, the routemap is the only digital mapping of the route. Timetable shows the up-to-date route. We hope to update the route as soon as any of the operators on this route shares the digital route map.


    2. Dear Mr Uysal,
      Your website is so fantastic- particularly where you give the detail station-wise timetable for
      trains. Keep up the good work and please update the details as and when required. So many travellers will learn to depend on your information.
      I’ve written to Mark Smith of to highlight your website as a source of detail information on Turkey Travel. Wish to meet you someday in Turkey. Best wishes
      Gautam Hazrachoudhury
      Kolkata, India

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “”Couchette: 51.2 €/person
    Sleeper: 70.2 €/person (Single room surcharge: 62.6 €)
    Sleeper (3 beds): 59.2 €/person“”

    I m confuse on couchette and sleeper.

    Can u explain more
    On the sleeper
    70.20€ per person
    Add 62.60€ ?

    If i m travel with my friend
    Are we gonna pay
    70.20+70.20 and add 62.60 again ?

    I m 1 st time travel to bucharest from halkali..


  6. From Oct 2018 to May 2019, I heard you can get a ticket to Ruse and then change over to TCDD operated couchette from Ruse to Istanbul. Is this correct


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