Budapest to Istanbul
13 days
From $ 2199
Duration13 days

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, you’ll explore the weathered architecture of Budapest, grand Ottoman palaces, “Dracula’s 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.

This tour is operated by

  • Duration: 13 days
    Service level: Standard
  • Physical Grading: Easy
  • Ends in: Istanbul
    Ages: 12+
Budapest to Istanbul - Tour Map

Itinerary

Expand all
Day 1: Budapest
There are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting.
Arrive at any time. We recommend booking pre-accommodation to fully explore this breathtaking city.
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.

This evening, visit a G Adventures-supported social enterprise café and enjoy a farewell drink, before boarding an overnight train to Sibiu.
Meals: B
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.
Arrive in the enchanting town of Sighisoara. Use your free time here to explore the cobblestone streets and medieval architecture.
Day 4: Sighișoara/Braşov
Enjoy a half-day guided tour of Sighișoara and nearby 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.
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.
Meals: B
Day 5: Braşov
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.
Visit the picturesque Bran Castle and learn the history (and rumours) of this fascinating place.
Meals: B
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.
Meals: B
Day 7: Bucharest/Veliko Tarnovo
Enjoy this charming town and opt to visit the Tsarevets Fortress just outside the city.
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.

End place: Veliko Turnovo

Meals: B
Day 8: Veliko Tarnovo

Start place: Veliko Turnovo

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.

End place: Veliko Turnovo

Meals: B
Day 9: Veliko Tarnovo/Sofia

Start place: Veliko Turnovo

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

End place: Sofia

Meals: B
Day 10: Sofia/Plovdiv

Start place: Sofia

Opt to relax over coffee and a Bulgarian baklava, a specialty of the area.
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.

End place: Plovdiv

Meals: B
Day 11: Plovdiv/Istanbul

Start place: Plovdiv

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

End place: Istanbul

Meals: B
Day 12: Istanbul

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

End place: Istanbul

Day 13: Istanbul

Start place: Istanbul

We highly recommend you book post-accommodation to fully enjoy this vibrant city.
Depart at any time.

End place: Istanbul

Meals: B

Inclusions

Included

  • Your G for Good Moment: Nem Adom Fel Café and Bar, Budapest
  • 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
  • Transport

    Train, Public bus, Private vehicle, Metro, Walking
  • Accommodation

    Hotels/pensions (10 nts), Overnight train (1 nt), Overnight train/bus (1 nt)
  • Meals

    10 breakfasts,

Dates & availability: Budapest to Istanbul

Departing Finishing Catalog Price Sale Price Seats left
Departing Sun, 06/30/2019 Finishing Fri, 07/12/2019 Catalog Price $ 2199 Sale Price $ 2199 -
Departing Sun, 07/07/2019 Finishing Fri, 07/19/2019 Catalog Price $ 2199 Sale Price $ 2199 -
Departing Sun, 07/28/2019 Finishing Fri, 08/09/2019 Catalog Price $ 2199 Sale Price $ 2199 -
Departing Sun, 08/11/2019 Finishing Fri, 08/23/2019 Catalog Price $ 2199 Sale Price $ 1869 1 Book
Departing Sun, 08/25/2019 Finishing Fri, 09/06/2019 Catalog Price $ 2199 Sale Price $ 2199 5 Book
Departing Sun, 09/22/2019 Finishing Fri, 10/04/2019 Catalog Price $ 2199 Sale Price $ 2199 -
Departing Sun, 09/29/2019 Finishing Fri, 10/11/2019 Catalog Price $ 2199 Sale Price $ 2199 -
Departing Sun, 10/20/2019 Finishing Fri, 11/01/2019 Catalog Price $ 2199 Sale Price $ 2199 1 Book
Departing Sun, 05/17/2020 Finishing Fri, 05/29/2020 Catalog Price $ 2199 Sale Price $ 2199 16 Book
Departing Sun, 05/31/2020 Finishing Fri, 06/12/2020 Catalog Price $ 2199 Sale Price $ 2199 14 Book

Save up to 50% on tours! Get exclusive access to members-only deals by email.

Subscribe to our newsletter