Budapest to Istanbul

Budapest to Istanbul information and booking

from
$1799
$
  • Duration
    13
    Days
  • Service
    Standard
  • Difficulty
    Easy
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Highlights

Discover the rich and varied culture of Eastern Europe, visit 'Dracula's Castle' and charming Slavic villages, explore the spectacular cities of Budapest and Istanbul

Tour description provided by G Adventures

From pastoral countryside to forbidding forests and fairytale villages, get on the train from Budapest to Istanbul – definitely the road less travelled, but absolutely a worthy adventure to take. Over 13 days, you’ll explore the weathered architecture of Budapest, grand Ottoman palaces, “Dracula’s Castle” in Transylvania, and much more – all accessed via comfortable trains. With an intriguing combination of cultural colour and exploration off the train, you'll come away with a real feel for this lesser-explored corner of Europe.

Itinerary

Day 1 Budapest
There are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Budapest/Sibiu (1B)
Enjoy an orientation walk of Budapest to get a feel for this westernized city with eastern charm. Opt to spend free time visiting Buda Castle, wandering the streets of Pest, or soaking in a thermal bath. In the evening, board an overnight train to Sibiu. Included Activities: Orientation Walk Transport: Overnight train (beds) (12.00 hour(s))
Day 3 Sibiu/Sighișoara
Explore Sighisoara's medieval walled citadel with its cultural attractions and great restaurants and bars. Sample some Romanian cuisine—the Casa Dracula (original home of Vlad, the model for Count Dracula) is now a restaurant specializing in hearty meat and game dishes of the region. Transport: Local train (1.50-2.00 hours, 90km)
Day 4 Sighișoara/Braşov (1B)
Enjoy a half-day guided tour of Sighisoara's countryside. Take in the beautiful rolling scenery and visit medieval villages and fortified churches. In the early evening, ride the rails to the city of Brasov, the best preserved medieval city in Romania. Included Activities: Sighișoara Region Guided Tour Transport: Train (3.00 hour(s))
Day 5 Braşov (1B)
Impressively situated on a rock outcrop and dominating the valley, this 14th century castle is steeped in history and folklore. Soak in the gorgeous countryside as you learn about the creepier side of Romania. Included Activities: Bran Castle Visit
Day 6 Braşov/Bucharest (1B)
Travel to Bucharest and enjoy an orientation walk. Take time to explore the Soviet-esque architecture, the beautiful cathedral, or indulge in Bucharest's international cuisine. Included Activities: Orientation Walk Transport: Train (4.00 hour(s))
Day 7 Bucharest/Veliko Tarnovo (1B)
Enjoy this charming town and opt to visit the Tsarevets Fortress just outside the city. Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s))
Day 8 Veliko Tarnovo
Hike to the hilltop village of Arbanasi. Soak in the views over Veliko Tarnovo. Opt to go mountain biking or view the murals at the Church of the Nativity. Included Activities: Hike to Arbanasi Village
Day 9 Veliko Tarnovo/Sofia (1B)
A mix of western grandeur and Soviet bulk, Sofia boasts a gold-domed church and delicious international dining. Sample modern takes on Bulgarian and international food, with some great trendy dining opportunities. Included Activities: Orientation Walk Transport: Local bus (3.00-4.00 hours)
Day 10 Sofia/Plovdiv (1B)
Opt to relax over coffee and a Bulgarian baklava, a specialty of the area. Transport: Train (2.00 hour(s))
Day 11 Plovdiv/Istanbul (1B)
Spend the day exploring more of Plovdiv before boarding an overnight train to Istanbul. Transport: Occasionally, the overnight train to Istanbul will not be running. In those cases, we will use the overnight bus service instead. Overnight train (beds) (14.00 hour(s))
Day 12 Istanbul
After getting the lay of the land with a local guide, spend some free time visiting all you can in this eclectic city straddling two continents. In the evening, there are plenty of cool little bars and restaurants to celebrate the end of an amazing journey over a raki or two. Included Activities: Istanbul Guided Walking Tour
Day 13 Istanbul (1B)
We highly recommend you book post-accommodation to fully enjoy this vibrant city.