Express to the Orient: Paris to Istanbul

15 Days | Follow along a historic train route from France to Turkey

Explorer
Rail
From
CAD $5,435
View dates and book

On this 15-day adventure traversing Europe from Paris to Istanbul, use local trains to follow the historic routes once used by the Orient Express’ carriages in the 19th century. Travel by train all the way from Paris to Budapest, with stops to explore the historic quarters and modern offerings of Strasbourg, Munich and Vienna. Then change lines and follow another historic route from Belgrade to Istanbul, riding local trains to experience Nis, Sofia and Plovdiv as you go. With plenty of free time to explore at each stop, and a passionate local leader on hand to point you in the right direction, there isn’t a moment you’ll want to miss on this rail adventure.

Trip overview

Map of Express To The Orient: Paris To Istanbul including Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Hungary, Serbia and Turkey
Start
Paris, France
Finish
Istanbul, Turkey
Theme
Explorer, Rail
Destinations
Turkey, Hungary, Germany, France, Bulgaria, Austria, Serbia
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Style
Original
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 - Max 12
Trip code
AMSU
We’re in the process of figuring out how much CO2-e this trip generates. In the meantime, find out more about our climate commitments and carbon reduction target.

Why you'll love this trip
  • Choose a slower-paced European journey on a comfortable rail trip – as well as travelling like the locals on domestic trains, you’ll get a taste of history as you follow the route once taken by the historic Orient Express.
  • Stop in for local delicacies as you go – trying tarte flambee in Strasbourg, sharing a traditional Serbian lunch in a Salas property and sitting down for a lavish kaffee and kuchen (coffee and cake) experience in Vienna’s old town.
  • Keep the rail adventures going with rides along rail funiculars to the castles of both Salzburg and Budapest.
  • Explore the streets of Vienna and learn about the long history of Austria’s capital city, from the Gothic architecture to the State Opera House, a paragon of world opera.
  • Get the low-down on Budapest’s classic charm, café culture, and eclectic neighbourhood vibes during your time here. Have you actually been to Budapest if you didn’t go to a ruin bar?

Is this trip right for you?
  • If you love avoiding airport queues this is the trip for you. As public transport is the predominant form of transport on this trip we highly recommend packing as lightly as possible as you will be expected to carry your own bags on and off trains as well as to and from your accommodation.
  • The primary form of transportation on this trip are scheduled local and intercity trains that travel on the railway tracks that were once used by the historical Orient Express in the late 19th Century. We use standard, economy and/or 2nd class local carriages, depending on availability. Cabins on the Overnight Train from Plovdiv to Istanbul are quad-share bunk-style. Please see the daily itinerary for more details. Please also note that minor delays of trains can be common.
  • If travelling to Paris from London we highly recommend using the fast Eurostar train from London's St Pancras station. At under 2.5 hours travel time and with no airport queues, this is by far the most convenient travel option.
  • Hotels in Europe often don't have double beds and rooms can be small by American or Australian standards. Some of the accommodation used on this trip have shared bathrooms.
  • One of the pleasures of travelling in Europe is the ease at which cities can be explored on foot. Your leader will take you on frequent orientation walks, and you’ll be able to explore further in your own time. We recommend you pack comfortable walking shoes for this trip.

Itinerary

Map of Express To The Orient: Paris To Istanbul including Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Hungary, Serbia and Turkey

Inclusions

Meals

13 breakfasts, 1 lunch

Transport

Train, Overnight train, Private transport

Accommodation

Hotel (13 nights), Overnight train (1 night)

Activities
  • Strasbourg - Tarte Flambee
  • Salzburg - Hohensalzburg Fortress Visit & Funicular
  • Vienna - Kaffee and Kuchen Experience
  • Budapest - Castle Visit & Funicular Ride
  • Novi Sad - Traditional Serbian Lunch at a Salas Property
  • Belgrade - Fortress Visit

Dates and availability

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Important notes

TRAIN TRAVEL
The primary form of transportation on this trip are scheduled local and intercity trains that travel on the railway tracks that were once used by the historical Orient Express in the late 19th Century. We use standard, economy and/or 2nd class local carriages, depending on availability. Cabins on the Overnight Train from Plovdiv to Istanbul are quad-share bunk-style. Please see the daily itinerary for more details. Please also note that minor delays of trains can be common.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A Single Supplement is bookable for this trip, excluding day 13 on the Overnight Train. Availability is limited due to small properties that we use. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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Express to the Orient: Paris to Istanbul
From
CAD $5,435