by Tom Brosnahan
Travel Info Exchange
Daily buses connect Istanbul with Albania, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Macedonia and Romania.
If you travel via Bulgaria, you may need a Bulgarian
these buses operate from the Emniyet
Garajı bus terminal, but tickets are
also on sale at Istanbul's Büyük
Otogar (Main Bus Terminal) in Esenler.
My friends at Efendi
tickets for buses and trains to Bulgaria, Greece and Europe, and can also reserve flights, hotels, transfers, tours
and all other travel services. More...
to buy bus tickets in Turkey.
Here are the Balkan bus companies:
Buses to Plovdiv and Sofia,
as well as to Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania (Kosova,
Tel +90 (212) 658 3540, -3541, -2, -3; Fax 658 3956
Agents in Sofia, Tel +359 (2) 525004; in Plovdiv,
Tel (2) 631 948
Tel: +90 (212) 658 0292, -0293, -0298, -0299
Routes from Istanbul to
K. Andreevo, Itaskovo, Stara Zagora,
Gabrovo and Lovec, Bulgaria; and Tirana, Albania.
Buses to Macedonia: Gostivar, Kumanovo,
Skoplje (Üsküp) and Tetovo.
Tel +90 (212) 658 1851, firstname.lastname@example.org
Daily buses from Istanbul, Bursa and Izmir to Sofia, Plovdiv, Haskovo,
Ruse, Kirdzali (Kırcalı) and Silistra.
Tel +90 (212) 658 0061
Daily buses from Istanbul to Sofia via
Svilengrad, Haskovo and Plovdiv, depart at 09:00
am, 12:00 noon, 17:30 (5:30 pm), 20:30 (8:30 pm),
21:30 (9:30 pm) and 23:00 (11 pm).
From Sofia to Istanbul, departures
are at 07:15 and 09:00 am, 12:00 noon,
17:00 (5 pm), 20:30 (8:30 pm) and 23:00
Daily buses from Istanbul
to Silistra via Svilengrad,
Topolovgrad, Elhovo, Yanbol, Peteloçka,
Kotel, Omurtak, Targoviste, Sumen,
Razgrad, Isperih, Duolvo and Alfatar
departing at 09:00 am.
Another daily bus goes from Istanbul
to Silistra via Dereköy,
Malko Tarnovo, Burgaz, Aytos, Lülekovo,
Sumen, Venetz, Kliment, Isperih and
Dulovo, departing at 20:00 (8 pm).
Daily buses from Istanbul
to Dobriç via Burgaz
and Varna departing at 09:30 am.
Tel +90 (212) 658 1050, -1051
In Sofia: Tel +359 (2) 325131, 333281; in Plovdiv,
Buses from Istanbul daily except Monday and Saturday
to Kapıkule border crossing and the northeastern
Bulgarian towns of Kotel, Omurtag, Targoviste,
Sumen, Razgrad, Isperih, Dulovo, and Silistre.
Return trips depart Bulgaria daily except Monday
and Thursday. Morava also runs buses from Istanbul
to Kosovo, and Tirana, Albania.
Tel +90 (212) 658 0657, -8, -9; Fax 658 0960.
Buses to the eastern Bulgarian towns of
Aytos, Burgas, Dulova, Isperih, Razgrad, Silistra,
Sumen, Tervel and Dobriç.
Tel +90 (212) 658 0469, -0470
Fax +90 (212) 658 3965
Buses to Burgas, Dobriç, Razgrad and Varna,
also to Romania (Braila, Constanta, Galati and Tulcea).
Tel +90 (212) 658 0522, -0524
Three buses daily to Sofia via Haskovo and Plovdiv,
departing Istanbul at 10:00 am, 6 and 9 pm (18:00
and 21:00), and each evening to Kırcalı
Tel +90 (212) 658 3436, -0179
Fax +90 (212) 658 1836
Agents: Fara Tour, Sofia, Tel +359 (2) 316087 or
315763; Plovdiv, Tel +359 (32) 638065
Materik Tour, Sofia, Tel +359 (2) 831 2107 or 315763;
Plovdiv +359 (32) 638065
One of Turkey's best bus companies
operates daily buses between Istanbul
and Burgas, Dobrich, Haskovo, Plovdiv,
Sofia, Tervel and Varna. More...
Istanbul: Tel +90 (212) 658 3350,
658 2034; Fax 658 3062; Vardar has an
office near Beyazıt
Square: Dibekli Cami
Sokak No. 10; and also offices at the
Garajı near Aksaray Square.
Buses from Istanbul to Macedonia via
Gostivar, Kumanovo, Skoplje (Üsküp)
and Tetovo daily at 18:00 (6 pm).
Buses from Istanbul to Kosovo (Kosova:
Prizren and Pristina) twice weekly,
and from Istanbul to Germany on
Tuesday at 17:00 (5 pm).
Prizren: Dardania Tours, Tel: 00381 29 22 358 -00381
29 44 968
00381 39 43 2326
Some of these buses also depart from
the Eminyet Garajı at
the southern end of Abdullah Çavuş
Sokak just southwest of Aksaray
Square in Old Istanbul (map).
Train Istanbul - Bulgaria - Europe
What about taking the train instead?
I don't recommend it. The train equipment is old and in poor condition. More...
If you decide on the train, the Bosphorus Express (Bosfor Ekspresi) departs nightly for Sofia, Bulgaria and Bucharest, Romania. More...
You may want to read this personal report of a less-than-satisfactory bus journey from Bucharest to Istanbul. More...
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral,
Below, the Emniyet
Garajı is a prime
point for buses to Turkey's neighboring