727 - İstanbul Sofya Treni - Onur

Istanbul Sofia train guide for beginners

Train service between Istanbul and Sofia has started. But it’s not easy to reach to clear official information. Only chance is travellers’ shares, where you need to check if the information is up-to-date or not.

We travelled to Sofia for you, and prepare this little guide:

What’s inside?

Timetable, tickets, access to train
WC, luggages, lights, air conditioning
Life on way

Cover Photo: Onur Uysal ©

Written by Onur Uysal

Railway consultant. Owner of RT Media & Consultancy. Founder and editor of Rail Turkey.


  1. Why are there so few passengers on the Sofia/Bucarest-Halkali Istanbul route ? Well, I took the Bucarest Halkali sleeper last month, but only very few people know it exists. The DB or SBB online timetable show all the relations with train changes (3 train changes for the Bucarest Halkali train) but they don’t mention anything about direct carriages (…) – If they would update their website info, or if TCDD would tell them to do, then they would stand a chance to attract more travellers (apart from the rail enthusiasts, the Interrail travellers …)

  2. Hi, I want to take the train from Sofia to Istambul. Do you know where I can buy the tickets in Sofia? Thanks for the help!

    1. With SBB at the station in Switzerland they proposed 1st class single sleeper Bucuresti – Halkali Istanbul for CHF 200; the same purchased at Bucuresti the day of the travel came out half price (and they accept CC payments). In meantime I learnt that the sleeper car has been cut.

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