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Travel from Budapest to Istanbul: so many questions! =/

Seattle, Washington
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Travel from Budapest to Istanbul: so many questions! =/

Hi Romania Tripadvisors!

My sweetheart and I will be in Budapest from mid-Feb to mid-April of 2014, and then want to make our way down to Istanbul. We are (of course) on a shoe-string budget, and are trying to figure out the most economical way to do so. We do understand the truth of time=money, and are also interested in stopping along the way to check out some interesting places in Romania and Bulgaria. We have 6 days to make the journey.


-What are the most inexpensive routes and methods? I am seeing that buses may not be a bad idea, since we aren't determined to blitz straight through. But what routes would be most advisable? I'm hoping to get ideas of the current costs of at least a few train and bus options. Please help?

-And, as we will be traveling in the tail-end of winter, is weather (and possible delays) something that we should consider?

-What are some recommended things/towns to stop to check out, that wouldn't add too much time or cost to get to? I am very curious about Veliko Tarnovo, in Bulgaria, as I learned that it is on the train route from Bucharest to Istanbul. Are there any other places that would be worthwhile to spend a day or two in, in late March?

My most heartfelt gratitude goes out to anyone taking the time to share their experience and expertise with us!


-Brine & Natalie

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1. Re: Travel from Budapest to Istanbul: so many questions! =/




So many things to do and so little time . You have 6 days for Romania and Bulgaria or just for Romania?

You can take the train from Budapest and stop in Sighisoara . Depending on your arriving time you could :

- leave your luggage at train station , go explore the medieval citadel and take a train later for Brasov

- spend the night there if you arrive in the evening

Brasov is a beautiful town and day trips can be done by bus from there to :

- Bran Castle and Rasnov fortress


- Harman and Prejmer fortified churchies

There is a free walking tour in Brasov


From Brasov you can go by bus to another wonderful town Sibiu

On the train route from Brasov/ Sibiu to Bucharest is Sinaia . You can stop there , visit Peles Castle and take a later train to Bucharest


There is also a free walking tour in Bucharest



For information on trains:


Important info;

- the name of the train station in Bucharest is Bucharest North ( Bucuresti Nord)

- trains marked as R ( regio ) must be avoided , they are cheap but slow and dirty

For information on buses :


Destination Expert
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2. Re: Travel from Budapest to Istanbul: so many questions! =/

well .... it mean you have a 6 day for all the journy and 3 for Romania .

so take the night train to Sighisoara , spend few hours :


continiu to Brasov .

bace your self in Brasov city for 2/3 days and discover the area serund the city :


then continiu to Bucharest with stop over for 2/3 hours at sinaia and finely

go to Bucharest on your way to Bulgaria .

Quainton, United...
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3. Re: Travel from Budapest to Istanbul: so many questions! =/

You can buy cheap train tickets from Budapest to Sighisoara/Brasov/Bucharest at the Hungarian railways site www.mav-start.hu - from as little as €29 if you use a day train, a bit more with a couchette.

Once in Romania, you can book Romanian domestic trains at www.cfrcalatori.ro

The Bucharest-Veliko Tarnovo-Istanbul train cannot be booked online, book that at the station.

Seattle, Washington
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4. Re: Travel from Budapest to Istanbul: so many questions! =/

I really appreciate all the information--Dariana, David, and Seat 61 dude, you are all the best! ;) Each of you: the best. ;) ;) I will look closely into the links and info that you all posted, and come back with more questions as they come up. To clarify, though, real quick: knowing that 6 days is an extremely limited amount of time, our plans are to find just one or two awesome locations to stop in/travel to (as we make our way south), and explore the immediate vicinity for a day or two. Finding a place to make a very temporary base in Romania is definitely a priority, but spending a day in Veliko Tarnovo (Bulgaria) sounds lovely, as long as it is realistic (time-wise and reasonably en route).

Thank you Thank you Thank you!

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5. Re: Travel from Budapest to Istanbul: so many questions! =/

Brasov is the best town to use as a base in Romania. In Sighisoara and Sinaia you can just stop for a few hours , get off the train, visit and take a later train to another destination.

New York City, New...
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6. Re: Travel from Budapest to Istanbul: so many questions! =/

Hey, you're passing an awesome country between Romania and Turkey! Try getting off at Gorna Oryahovitsa and spend some time in and around Veliko Turnovo. I'll send you a personal message with specific suggestions since this is the Romania forum.

7. Re: Travel from Budapest to Istanbul: so many questions! =/

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