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Samuel07
Traveller
2 comments

Posted 10 years ago

Hi everyone!
For this summer I'm planning an interail trip of 22 day.
For the moment, the schedule is the following,
I'm Swiss: [b]Zurich->Zagreb->Belgrad->Sofia->Bucarest->Constanta->Cluj-Napoca->Oradea->Budapest->Wien->Zurich[/b]
Do you know something about these cities, countries? Is there cities I have to visit absolutely in these countries?
I heard that Sofia is not so beautiful, what is your opinion?
Normally, we are going to take 4 night trains (zurich-zagreb; beograd-sofia; sofia-bucarest; constanta-cluj), is it possible to book it directly on the train or at the station or do you know where we can do it?

Thank a lot for your answers! Cheers! :D

Samuel

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Peter
Traveller
9326 comments

replied 10 years ago

Hi Samuel.
Note that you can not travel for free in your country of Switzerland - so for the route to Zagreb: [u]https://rail.cc/en/how-to-interrail[/u]
For the two other night trains: buy them at the station. In Belgrade the best is the ticket office Wasteels (Mr. Popovic) at the main station. There you will get both.
Peter :)

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Samuel07
Traveller
2 comments

replied 10 years ago

Thank you! :)
Yes I know, I'm going to pay my ticket until the border.

Cheers ;)

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Flo
Traveller
10723 comments

replied 10 years ago

Hej Samuel,

you should be able to get reservations for all trains at your local SBB station. Anyway, it will sufficient to get them locally as well.
The Sofia - Bucuresti night train is reported to consist of a single seated carriage only at the moment but you should be able to get a bed in one of the Russian cars running through to Moscow (locally in Sofia at the RILA office at the main station).

I havent been to Zagreb, but I really like Beograd; Sofia and Bucuresti are quite interesting as well, and I would prefer Sofia over Bucuresti personally - but I have been to both cities just one day each.
Have a look here for a few photos:
:arr: [u]https://rail.cc/blog/bucharest-sofia-istanbul-train/[/u]
:arr: [u]https://rail.cc/blog/bucharest-sofia-istanbul-train//[/u]

Maybe you can also fit in Plovdiv and Brasov (both described in the above links), even if it is just for half a day (for instance you could go with the Beograd - Sofia night train, continue to Plovdiv and return to Sofia in the evening).


Flo 8)

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Samuel07
Traveller
2 comments

replied 10 years ago

Thank you so much! You did a great job! o)
I already want to be on the rails to the easterncountries!

Do you think it is possible to include Instanbul to my trip or it is too much for 22 days? At first I thought that I would go another time to Istanbul by plane, because there is enough to see there I think.
But if I go to Plovdiv, i II already do a part of the distance to Istanbul, so maybe better not to go back to Sofia...

But the way back from Istanbul to Bucuresti takes 31 hours because of a transfert time of 11 hours in Gorna Orjahovica.

And also as it will be summer, i thought that it was a good idea to go to the coast in Constanta, so I still don't know.

It should be a better Idea to do then Istanbul ->Varna and then Varna ->Bucuresti.

So I have to think about that and talk to my friends!

Cheers

Samuel o)

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Flo
Traveller
10723 comments

replied 10 years ago

Hej,

glad I could help a bit. I think you should really consider going to Istanbul. I think it would be worth it and if you calculate two days in each city as an average you'd still have a few days left.
Istanbul - Bucharest normally is a direct train and takes about 20h30 - no change at Gorna Orjahovitsa needed. However, as you probably read in the blog post the train currently starts at Halkali, a suburb of Istanbul. This situation is said to last until end of May, then the train should start at Cerkezkoy, about two hours away from Istanbul (the train should leave Cerkezköy at midnight)...since you then also have to get off the train at Kapikule at the border very early in the morning it wont be a very pleasant night but you could still sleep throughout the day.
Also, there can be construction works in Bulgaria from time to time with bus replacement service on parts of the line. But also then there always should be a direct connection to Bucharest, without having to wait 11 hours at Gorna Orjahovitsa.

If you also want to go to Plovdiv then you really should think about Istanbul as well. Even if you are there just one night (so you would have two days there) it is definitely worth it. :)

If you are feeling adventurous, you might also be interested in using the Kardam/Negru Voda border crossing to get from Bulgaria to Romania. However, train services are sparse, especially on the Romanian side where the line also is reported to be closed in the near future. And you would have to walk between the two termini, which is about 8km or so... ;)
:arr: [u]http://www.bueker.net/trainspotting/map.php?file=maps/bulgaria/bulgaria.gif[/u]
:arr: [u]http://www.bueker.net/trainspotting/map.php?file=maps/romania/romania.gif[/u]

Istanbul - Varna could be an option too, yes.