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Budapest to Istanbul
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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, youll explore the weathered architecture of Budapest, grand Ottoman palaces, Draculas 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.


Duration: 13 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Physical rating: Easy
Accommodation standard:   Budget% Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 126893
Starts: Budapest, Hungary Finishes: Istanbul, Turkey
You will Visit
  • Budapest
  • Istanbul

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Budapest

There are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting.

Included Activities:
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

02

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))

03

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)

04

Day 4: Sighișoara/Braşov (1B)

Enjoy a half-day guided tour of Sighișoara's countryside. Take in the beautiful rolling scenery and visit medieval villages and fortified churches.

In the early evening, transfer to Braşov - the best preserved medieval city in Romania.

Included Activities:
Sighișoara Region Guided Tour

Transport:
Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s), 115km)

05

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

06

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))

07

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))

08

Day 8: Veliko Tarnovo (1B)

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

09

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)

10

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))

11

Day 11: Plovdiv/Istanbul (1B)

Spend the day exploring more of Plovdiv before boarding an overnight train to Istanbul.

Transport:
Transfer by bus to Istanbul and arrive just before dinner and some free time to explore.
Local bus (7.00 hour(s))

12

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

13

Day 13: Istanbul (1B)

We highly recommend you book post-accommodation to fully enjoy this vibrant city.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Budapest orientation walk
    • Romanian villages and countryside tour (half-day, from Sighisoara)
    • 'Dracula's Castle' (Bran)
    • Bucharest orientation tour
    • Hike to Arbanasi village
    • Sofia orientation walk
    • Istanbul city tour with local guide
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Hotels/pensions (11 nts), overnight train (1 nt)
    • 10 breakfasts
    Transport
    • Train, public bus, private vehicle, metro, walking
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout
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Tour 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