Istanbul Sofia Express

Let us inform you about the express train from Istanbul to Sofia, Bulgaria. This train line was put into service after an agreement between TCDD Tasimacilik and Bulgarian Railways.

Due to the road works in the Thrace Region, it was necessary to go to Kapıkule first to use the train. After the completion of the road construction works, it was possible to reach Sofia with a single train without transferring to Kapıkule. The train made its first service on February 20, 2017.

Istanbul Halkali Sofya Ekspres Tren Acilisi
Istanbul Halkali Sofya Ekspres Tren Yazisi

The express train from Istanbul to Sofia offers 1-bed and 2-bed compartments. Each of them has a private washbasin. 4-bed and 6-bed compartments are also among the options you can choose.

Istanbul Sofia Express Timetable and Stops

There are daily reciprocal services from Istanbul to Sofia and from Sofia to Istanbul. The express train departs from Halkali at 22:40 and departs from Sofia at 21:00.

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Within Turkey, departures from Cerkezkoy at 00:14, Alpullu at 01:35, Edirne at 02:21 and Kapikule at 03:20 (arrival 02:37). On the Bulgarian side, it departs from Svilengrad at 04:22 (arrival 03:37), Dimitrovgrad at 05:09, Plovdiv at 06:05 and Pazarcık at 06:48. The train reaches Sofia, the last stop, at 08:45.

On the return from Sofia, the train departs at 21:00 and reaches Halkali at 96:49.
Istanbul Sofia Express Transportation Time

The train is not a bullet train. The Istanbul Sofia train arrives in Kapıkule in about 4 hours and reaches Sofia in 9 hours and 50 minutes in total, i.e. at 08:30. For those who do not want to go to Bulgaria by car, bus or plane and who like train travel, there is an alternative to go to Bulgaria by train.

Istanbul Sofia Express Travel Fares

Istanbul Sofia express line services have different prices depending on the compartment you want to travel in. The buses reaching Sofia may be less comfortable and bedless, but they are cheaper. Even 24-hour Eastern Express tours can be booked for cheaper.

Istanbul to Sofia Express Train Ticket Prices
Position I: 27,72€
Position II: 18,48€

Istanbul – Sofia Express Sleeper Car Supplement Fares
Single (1/1): 35€
Double (2/2): 15€ / Per person

For a 4-seater couchette car, the cost of a couchette topper per passenger and per night: 14€ and 9,40€ for 6 persons. To buy train tickets, you are directed to Sirkeci Station, you cannot buy tickets online. You can probably also buy tickets at Halkalı Station from where the train departs. If you have questions and want to get more detailed information, you can use the Sirkeci Box Office number (0212) 527 00 50.

Istanbul Sofia Express Stops

Starting from Istanbul Halkalı Station, services continue to Çerkezköy, Edirne and Kapıkule. Kapıkule is the last stop at the Turkish borders. In Bulgaria, it goes to Cisri Mustafapasa, Dimitrovgrad, Plovdiv, Pazardzhik, Septemvri and finally Sofia.

Sofia is a small city that can be visited on foot. You can find out where to visit in Sofia, where Ottoman period buildings are seen, on our Sofia travel guide site.