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Budapest to Istanbul
SAVE UP TO $200 on this tour

From pastoral countryside to forbidding forests and fairytale villages, this tour from Budapest to Istanbul is 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. With an intriguing combination of cultural colour and exploration, 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
  • Supplier Tour ID/Link Tour Code: EABI/126893
  • Starts: Budapest, Hungary
  • Finishes: Istanbul, Turkey
You will Visit
  • Budapest
  • Istanbul

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Budapest

Arrive at any time. We recommend booking pre-accommodation to fully explore this breathtaking city.
There are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting.

02

Day 2: Budapest/Sibiu

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.

03

Day 3: Sibiu/Sighișoara

Arrive in the enchanting town of Sighisoara. Use your free time here to explore the cobblestone streets and medieval architecture.
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.

04

Day 4: Sighișoara/Braşov

With a local guide, venture into the Romanian countryside to visit traditional villages. Get a true sense of life in this less-visited region. Transfer to charming Braşov.

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.

05

Day 5: Braşov

Visit the picturesque Bran Castle and learn the history (and rumours) of this fascinating place.
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.

06

Day 6: Braşov/Bucharest

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.

07

Day 7: Bucharest/Veliko Tarnovo

Enjoy some free time to explore more of Bucharest in the morning before travelling to Bulgaria and one of the oldest cities in the world, Veliko Tarnovo. Wander the medieval town, visit the museums, or sample your first taste of Bulgarian cuisine.
Enjoy this charming town and opt to visit the Tsarevets Fortress just outside the city.

08

Day 8: Veliko Tarnovo

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.

09

Day 9: Veliko Tarnovo/Sofia

Travel to Sofia and take an orientation walk of the capital city. Later, wander down the pedestrian street or visit the eclectic Ladies' Market.
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.

10

Day 10: Sofia/Plovdiv

Travel to Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second-largest city. Visit the hilly old town, museums, or the Theatre of Ancient Philippopolis, one of the many Roman ruins found here.
Opt to relax over coffee and a Bulgarian baklava, a specialty of the area.

11

Day 11: Plovdiv/Istanbul

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

12

Day 12: Istanbul

Enjoy a city tour with a local Turkish guide. Opt to visit the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar, Aya Sofya, and the Topkapı Palace.
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.

13

Day 13: Istanbul

Depart at any time.
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