709 - İstanbul Bükreş Treni - OnurPassenger

Istanbul-Bucharest train started

Bosphor Express giving service between Istanbul and Bucharest has started.

The overnight train service between Istanbul (Halkali) and Bucharest, Bosphor Express, has started as of 3rd of June.

The train is actually couchette wagons attached to Sofia Express until Dimitrovgrad and then attached to Sofia-Bucharest train. In this way, travellers can travel between Istanbul and Bucharest in same compartment without any interchange.

Bosphor Express has only couchette wagons where each compartment has 4 seats/berths. Travel time is approxiametely 19 hours.

There is neither dinner car nor buffet in train. Travellers have to bring all food/drink with them.

Similar to other international trains, tickets of Bosphor Express can be bought only at stations with international ticket office, Halkali, Sirkeci and Sogutlucesme in Istanbul. No sales via internet or call center.

This train runs only during summer until 3rd of October.

Timetable and more details for Bosphor Exress

Cover photo: Onur Uysal ©

18 replies »

  1. Hi, is it possible to travel with the dog in Bosfor express? Is there any special ticket for dog?

  2. This is a fun train. I’ve gone both ways on a number of occasions. The Turkish conductors are cheerful, and you usually get an entire compartment to yourself. However, the Bulgarian leg of the journey is excruciatingly slow. And the train stops in the middle of nowhere for 3 hours (the conductor told me “they make very good raki in this village”). Also be prepared to be woken up in the middle of the night when you enter Turkey. The officials are grumpy — I guess they’d rather be in bed too.

  3. Hello, I will be going to Bucharest for work in the near future. Which company does this train belong to, is it organized by the Turkish State Railways? When I asked them about this train, they said they didn’t know, there is only a trip to Sofia.

    • Ask to international ticket office at Sirkeci. You can call or visit. You can find details at Sirkeci station page of Rail Turkey.

  4. Hi, I’m travelling with a interrail ticket from Budapest to Istanbul on the 28th of July. I saw it is not possible to book a seat online or via telephone. Is it realistic to plan to reserve a seat on spot on the same day or is the train often full? Any advice to prevent getting stuck on the in-between? Thanks for the help.

    • Sorry, no other solution. It was not full in recent years. Due to this no-online issue, I don’t expect any change.

  5. Is the Bosphor Express to Bucharest running now? (Please say it is!)

    Thanks, Barbara

    • I wish I could. By chance, I checked last weekend via TCDDT office and now by BDZ. It’s still not clear if it’ll start. If yes, it’ll start by early June, for sure not before that. Just a note, maybe you already know, Istanbul-Sofia + Sofia-Bucharest is available with possibility to shorten travel by using mid stations.

    • Hi Onur, thanks for the quick response. We have booked from Istanbul to Dimitrograd, and will pick up a connection to Bucharest from there. However:
      We were hoping to stay the previous night in Edirne. Unfortunately we arrive back in Istanbul (Istanbul airport) at 18.00 and the Edirne train leaves at 18.00. We were told at Sirkeci Station that we could not get the Sofia Express (leaving 20.00) to Edirne, so we just booked Istanbul-Dimitrograd.
      Since then we have been told it should be easy to get a bus to Edirne in the evening. If so, can we simply take our seat from Edirne the next evening, even though we booked from Istanbul?
      Cheers, Barbara

    • Hi Barbara. Stupidly, Sofia Express cannot be used for domestic transports. I’m quite sure it’s related with old border crossing rules and yet nobody dealt to update it. So, I’m even not sure if train stops at Edirne for passenger exchange, even if it stops for technical purposes, especially if there’s no passenger ticket from Edirne. So be ready for possible obstacles. Would a plan like getting to Edirne by domestic train and then getting to Sofia Express at Edirne (or Kapikule in worst case) with ticket be interesting for you??

    • Hi Onur

      The domestic train leaves too early, but we thought of getting a bus (should have thought of it earlier).
      The next night we could get a taxi to Kapikule if necessary.
      We already have a ticket from Istanbul to Sofia, but we are worried that the train may not stop at Edirne or Kapikule, or may not let us on.
      We could try and change the ticket at Sirkeci but time is short as we’re flying to Samarkand at 1.30. Do you know what time the ticket office opens?

      Many thanks, Barbara

    • It’ll surely stopping at Kapikule for customs check. Passengers are directed to police station for that. So no worry. Not sure about Edirne. Better to ask (and inform) ticket office if possible. I guess int ticket office is not open after departure time of Sofia Express. Since it’s the only int train service from Turkey.


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