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 at 20 km west of Istanbul, in the middle of nowhere, at Halkali Station.

Where’s Halkalı Station?

TCDD Sirkeci Halkalı Servisi - Onur

But do not worry. There’s a shuttle service from Sirkeci Station. Departure at 21:30, from the side gate. You may hear “be here at 21”, but do not pay attention. Shuttle does not depart before 21:30. Do not worry for horrible traffic of Istanbul either. Train waits for the shuttle in any case.

Cover Photo: Onur Uysal ©

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38 replies »

  1. I took the train this weekend but the train arrived in Sofia 4 hours later and on the way back, the train arrived in Halkali 2 hours later. I tried to claim but TCDD does not want to be responsible for it. Do you know how i can claim for it?

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    • Hi Gonzalo. Sorry about that. TCDD Tasimacilik website explains such cases as below: “If it becomes clear that train will arrive destination with a delay of 60 min or more, passenger has the right to get off the train. Then the amount for “not travelled distance” will be refunded. This has to be done during travel, not afterwards. After travel, the only channel TCDD accepts complaints is written application to head of TCDD Tasimacilik or regional offices (in Istanbul, it’s at Haydarpasa). Since it’s a cooperated train, you can also follow steps of BDZ (Bulgarian State Railways).

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  2. Hi, I shall be traveling to Istanbul for a holiday,and would like to visit sofia, some information (1) where to buy Train ticket ( 2) what is the cost for sleeper for two (3)how much it cost (4)and where to buy tickets in Istanbul (5)up to date timetable,I would appreciate in advance for info you will provide, cheers

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  3. Hi ..
    thank you so match for all these important information.
    some details was not enough clear for me, about prices; It,s a bit confused:
    1- Should I by ticket for couchette first, then I have to by ticket for sleepers in addition?
    2- is single room (one bed) available? how much is it?
    3- How much the ticket (istanbul – sofia) – including sleeper (room with 2 beds- and single room).
    4- Can I buy tickets for round trip from Istanbul? Is it good choice?
    best regards

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  4. Hi, is it possible to buy the tickets a day before departure? Will they be likely sold out? departure is Sunday (night) in March.

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