727 - İstanbul Sofya Treni - OnurPassenger

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. 

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

Ticket sales at Sirkeci

Unfortunately, there’s no way to buy it through internet. There’s no even way to buy it from a train station other than Sirkeci. But don’t worry. Train is not full, you can buy it just before you get on the train.

No names on tickets, you can buy it before you decide with whom to go. 🙂

Roundtrip is possible, but no discount. Cash and credit card are accepted.

Where’s Sirkeci station?

Do not expect much to learn at ticket office

There were two officiers at Sirkeci with very limited English. One of them didn’t want to answer any question even in Turkish.

Timetable and ticket fares of Istanbul-Sofia train

Train departs from Halkali

Unfortunately, trains cannot reach Istanbul city center yet. The departure station is Halkali, 20 km west of Istanbul.

Where’s Halkalı Station?

But do not worry. In March 2019, Marmaray project was commissioned. The suburban trains started running between Gebze and Halkali, which enables reaching Halkali without any interchange from many points in Istanbul, such as Sirkeci, Bakirkoy, Bostanci, Ayrilikcesmesi, Sogutlucesme.

Marmaray suburban trains

Cover Photo: Onur Uysal ©

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50 replies »

  1. Hi,
    I’m planning a trip to Turkey and I would like to take the train from Sofia to get off at Edirne. There is no way to reserve tickets on the Bulgarian railways website. Can they be booked only at the Sofia station? Looking at the timetable the train stops at 3-4a.m. at Edirne station, is it correct? Are there connections from the station to the center at that time?
    Thanks, Gio

    Liked by 1 person

    • unfortunately, sofia express is not sold online. yes, arrival at Edirne is too late (or too early should I say). train station is at the edges of the city, 5 km from city center. only transport to city center is by taxi at that time. ask help from station staff if needed.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. hello, thank you for sharing this information of train to Sofia. This is very useful for us.

    And excuse me that I have a question. If I would take the train from Edirne to Sofia. How much is the ticket price? (I cannot find any hints or info from internet, there is only price from Istanbul to Sofia.)

    Thank you very much.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. They charged me 10 EUR for my bike, even when I took of the wheels and it fitted perfectly in my compartment. At the ticket office they said I could take the bike without any cost, on the train I had to pay 10 EUR. Also the trainstaff is very unfriendly.


  4. Can I buy sleeper tickets in Istanbul for the train Plovdiv-istanbul?
    Also if I read correctly there is no sleeper trains from Oct 2 on, I’m travelling Oct 19


  5. Can’t remember but found out since that it’s incorrect but apparently because of construction on the line there have been long delays and the train goes only part of the way in Turkey and then you get bussed the rest because there are stations closed due to the same rail construction what do you know?


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