Sofia Express, the overnight train giving service between Istanbul and Sofia will depart on 25 April Monday night from Istanbul.
Ministry of Transport announced that Istanbul-Sofia train service, which was suspended two years ago due to pandemic, will restart service on 25 April. This will be the first international train service of Turkey to be resumed.
Sofia Express is a daily overnight service. The departure station in Istanbul is Halkali, at the western edges of Istanbul. The departure station, Halkali, is well connected by Marmaray, the suburban service, which runs frequently all along the city, calling at city center and several points in European ad Asian side. The departure point in Sofia is Sofia Central Station, which is 3 km from city center and has both metro and tram access.
Travel time is 11-12 hours
Train departs on 25 April night from Halkali at 21:40. Train will arrive at Sofia at 9:35 in the morning. Travel time is 12 hours. The first service from Sofia is on 26 April at 18:30. Train will arrive at Halkali in 11 hours, at 5:34.
Couchette and sleeper carriages
Train has 3 carriages of TCDD Tasimacilik, 1 couchette and 2 sleepers. Couchette has 10 compartments, each having 2 double deck berths. Total capacity is 40 passengers. Each sleeper has 10 compartments, each having 1 double deck berth. With couchette and sleepers, total capacity of train is 80 passengers.
There was no dining car in Sofia Express. Passengers had a small compliment package, water, fruit juice and biscuit. Most probably, it’ll continue as it used to.
Fares starting from 30 Euro
Train fares are yet only published by Bulgarian State Railways (BDZ). Travelling in couchette between Istanbul and Sofia costs 60.83 BGN/person (around 30 Euro), 70.61 BNG/person (around 35 Avro) in sleepers. Travelling alone in a sleeper costs 130.45 BNG (around 65 Euro).
Children upto 4 years old can travel free unless a separete seat/berth is requested. Children upto 12 years old can travel with discount. No discount for students nor roundtrips.
Bosphor Express in June
The details of Bosphor Express, which is being operated together with Sofia Express, is unveiled. Bosphor Express, Istanbul-Bucharest train, will again run during summer, between 4th of June and 3rd of October. It’s an additional wagon added to Sofia Express, where wagon is disattached from Sofia Express and attached to another train at Dimitrovgrad for Bucharest. The departure time of Bosphor Express from Halkali will be 21:40, arrival time at Bucharest is 17:05. On the other direction, train will depart from Bucharest at 10:55 and arrive at Istanbul at 5:34. Travel time of train is 18.5-19.5 hours.
Cover photo: Onur Uysal ©