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.
Border crossing took about 1.5-2 hours. In both directions, number of passengers was low as 20. Thus it may take even longer when train is more crowded.
Unfortunately, there’s no restaurant car in train. There’s even no shop/kiosk in Halkali. Thus, you need to do shopping before you get on the shuttle departing from Sirkeci.
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Cover photo by Teoman Can Tamtürk