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Traveling to Istanbul via train

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West Chester...
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Traveling to Istanbul via train

Hello == would welcome any advice and comments on a trip a friend and I are planning for next summer with final desination Istanbul ... we would like to fly to London to spend a few days and then complete the trip to Istanbul via train. Any suggestions, definite do's and don'ts, recommendations, and/or other thoughts? Our hope is to stop off on our ticket for an overnight or two, but are just beginning to think about the possible trip routes and their advantages or disadvantages. Any advice on any aspect of this trip would be appreciated.

Many thanks, Linda

London, United...
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11. Re: Traveling to Istanbul via train

Just to let you know - we are travelling to Istanbul from London in the first week of October - for our honeymoon! We are going to go to Paris, then overnight to Rome, train to Bari and take a ferry to Patras in Greece. Then train to Athens and on to istanbul via thessaloniki. We Are planning to take about 9 days with a few stops on the way.I'll let you know how it goes.( we got this route idea from seat61!)

West Chester...
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12. Re: Traveling to Istanbul via train

Thank you, newadventurer, intentionally blank, and NikiandRob, for all your great info! Sounds like some great trips planned, and I would LOVE to hear about them when you all return! I won't be leaving until summer 2008 and so will have much time to take in all of your info. Thanks, too, for all the advice on the seat61 website; it sounds like just what I need to see. I hope you will write again, either on this forum or privately to me, to let me know how your trips have gone. Thanks again, very much.

Paradise Point...
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13. Re: Traveling to Istanbul via train

Hi,

My husband & I will be travelling from Switzerland to Turkey by train in February 2008 via milan, Venice, Ljubljana, Belgrade & Sofia. We will let you know how we get on with the train travel and any hints we can pass on we do so.

Stuck in North Texas
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14. Re: Traveling to Istanbul via train

Nikki & Rob, Bill&Linda, Happy Wanderer,

We are hoping to join the happy travelers to Istanbul, but not until September 08, so we hope to learn from all of your trips and your postings on TA when you return.

*Today* (may be different tomorrow) we are planning to fly to Prague, then train to Budapest, then train & guide to villages in Romania, then fly from Bucharest to Istanbul.

We are senior travelers - although always on a budget in order to travel at all - we need more creature comforts than before. Can't sleep sitting in a couch all night anymore! Also, our first trip to Central/Eastern Europe and it's a tremendous adventure. We just can't wait!

Happy Wedding and Delicious Honeymoon for Nikki & Rob. Post all about your travels as soon as it's possible.

West Chester...
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15. Re: Traveling to Istanbul via train

thank you happy wanderer and brahmama for checking in -- and can't wait to hear about any and all adventures through europe via rail to istanbul! I look forward to hearing about all -- and will also post after I return as well.

happy traveling to all! Linda

London, United...
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16. Re: Traveling to Istanbul via train

Well - we're back from our trip - and it all went very smoothly. The sleeper train from Paris to Rome was fine - but I would suggest taking a picnic because the restaurant was not great. It arrived in Rome 1 hour late, whcih appears to be normal.

The train from Rome to Bari was fine - but the conductor charged us a supplement on our 1st class Inter rail global passes. The ferry from Bari to Patras is a lovely modern boat and we had a very comportable cabin (not cheap but worth it). We bought tickets for the coach to Athens while still on board the boat. It's a bit dearer than the public bus but makes things very simple.

Athens is a lovely city - highly recommended. New metro lines make travel across the city very easy. We managed to book the train tickets to Istanbul but the station ticket office is only open from 13.40 onwards so we eneded going back twice and then he didn't book us into first class even thouogh out inter rail tickets were ist class! The stop that you have to make in Thessaloniki is a bit grim - just sitting in the station buffet because the town is not very inviting - but it's only and hour or so. Travelling across the Turkish border is an experieence - you have to get off and go to passport control to pay your 10 Euros, but we arrived in istabul in good spirits. Istanbul is a fantastic place - you MUST go! Let me know if you have any question - i'm sure you'll enjoy your trip.

West Chester...
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17. Re: Traveling to Istanbul via train

Thank you Niki and Rob -- I'm sure I will have questions as we get ready to book and plan over the next coming months. Loved hearing your details, and perhaps can get some more info as we get closer. So glad you enjoyed your trip -- sounds like you loved Istanbul. How much of Turkey other than Istanbul did you get to see? Thanks for replying! Best, Linda

Cambridge
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18. Re: Traveling to Istanbul via train

Hi Linda,

You may want to look at the website www.seat61.com which was developed and is edited by a British man who is an avid fan of rail travel. It gives you a wealth of up-to-date information on rail travel from the U.K to practically anywhere in the world. It has suggested routes for the trip to Istanbul from London, several of which do not go through Greece (some people on here suggest the only way to get to Istanbul from London by train is via Greece, I think), plus fares and lots of information on the types of train you would be travelling on. Hope you find it useful.

Paradise Point...
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19. Re: Traveling to Istanbul via train

We have just completed the 48 hour train journey from Switzerland to Turkey (via Italy, Slovinia, Serbia and Bulgaria)- and what a great journey it was, have so many photos. There was a lot to see on the way and I am happy to pass any hints to those who are interested in making a similar trip. A sleeper is a must, food and water are important to take and if you do not like smoking, then the journey will be uncomfortable as we were the only 2 in the sleeping car that did not smoke. As it was Winter, the Sleeper carriage was not crowded. The Border crossings are a nuisance in the night time - think we were awoken 4 times on the first night. But overall a wonderful experience that we will never forget. PLease contact me if you need any detailed information, as I am happy to share our hints with you.

Janelle

20. Re: Traveling to Istanbul via train

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