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Black Sea Region Travel Tips

4.0 stars

Insider advice for your Black Sea Region vacation

By train Greece to Istanbul 4 stars
I've just travelled by train from Thessaloniki , Greece, to Istanbul. It was only a 3 day return trip, and the cost is reasonable - €120 return for the overnight sleeper, plus hotels and food whilst in Istanbul.

The train journey is poor. OSE (the Greek railway) laid on the train for the 1st leg. The buffet car/bar included in the ticket price was open, but they weren't serving. Instead, 'they'' were playing cards and drinking whiskey all night through! The cleanliness of the train was appalling - dirty bed linen, dirty sink, and I won;t describe the toilets. The journey was delayed 8 hours - so instead of the 12 hours advertised, it was 20. The same on the return journey. And, apparently, it always is! They just don't like to say so. But that loses you 16 hours of your 2 days in istanbul, and makes the trip less value for money. Nevertheless, my 1st time in Istanbul, I found it fascinating. A large city with an eclectic mix of cultures from Byzantine to modern European. 18 million people live there - and most seem to be on the streets when you're walking. Wonderful shops (you must visit the Covered Bazaar and barter your way through it's reputed 3,000 different shops) and clean, tidy, and seemingly well-organised. I'm definately visiting again, but via a different method!


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