Warning to Visitors

Some of the information below may be out of date as a result of changing timetables and services. Please double check the accuracy of all information before travelling.

The booking forms should be up to date however, so if tickets for a particular service are available, then the service should be operational.

Belgrade

Belgrade (or Beograd) is Serbia's capital city, located on the Sava and Danube rivers. The city is home to around one quarter of the country's population, spread over 17 municipalities.

The city has a considerable public transport system, with buses, trams and trolleybuses. A commuter rail network also operates within the city, linking in with the city's international rail services. It is also possible to travel to the city by coach, with daily links to cities across Europe.

How to get to Belgrade from
Route 1:

The overland journey between Belgrade and Istanbul is made on-board the Balkan Express, a service shared with the Bosphorus Express between Dimitrovgrad and Istanbul.

The service offers both standard and first class seats, but also couchettes. The service is operated by Bulgarian Railways using relatively old, but nonetheless comfortable trains.

Passengers will need to have the appropriate visas for the border crossing between Turkey and Bulgaria.

From March 2012 until late 2013, a rail-replacement bus is in operation between Istanbul and Kapikule as a result of engineering work.

If you are travelling towards Istanbul, the train will terminate at Kapikule and you will be transferred to a bus (accepts rail tickets and passes). The bus will arrive at the same time as the train is scheduled to. Travelling towards Belgrade, the bus departs from outside Istanbul Sirkeci Station at the same time as the train is meant to leave, and travels as far as Kapikule where passengers can board the train as usual.

Seeing as the overnight portion of the journey is made on a coach, buying a seated ticket rather than couchette may be adequate.

Route 2:

There is one train a day between Belgrade and Sarajevo. The journey takes around 9 hours when it runs on time. The service isn't known for its reliability, so don't be surprised to arrive a few hours behind schedule.

The train consists of three carriages, one of which is a restaurant car. Generally speaking, most of the people that use the service are tourists/backpackers, and very few locals use the service. The restaurant car doesn't tend to be that well stocked, so make sure that you bring extra food and drink for the journey.

Be aware that there is no air conditioning on-board the train, which can get extremely hot and uncomfortable. Dress lightly and bring a fan and plenty of water to drink. The whole train is second class seating only, there is no first class option. Generally, the carriages are fairly dirty, but still more enjoyable than the alternative bus ride.

You can read more about one journalist's expierences on this train here.

This route is currently suspended.

Route 3:

The train between Munich, Zagreb and Belgrade takes a stunning route through the Austrian Alps. The journey is made onboard a EuroCity train, which is comfortable, and consists of a mix of Slovenian and Serbian coaches. A restaurant car is usually attached to the train.

If you don't like the sound of this daytime train, there is an overnight sleeper train between Munich and Zagreb, the Lisinki sleeper train. Either way, it is amazing to think that you can take a train that passes through five different countries in a relatively short space of time.