Buses Turkey-Balkans-Europe

Last Updated on May 6, 2019

Daily buses connect Istanbul with Albania, BulgariaKosovo, Macedonia and Romania.

If you travel via Bulgaria, you may need a Bulgarian visa.

Many of these buses operate from the Emniyet Garajı bus terminal, but tickets are also on sale at Istanbul’s Büyük Otogar (Main Bus Terminal) in Esenler.

My friends at Efendi Travel sell tickets for buses and trainsto BulgariaGreece and Europe, and can also reserve flights, hotels, transfers, tours and all other travel services. More…

Here’s how to buy bus tickets in Turkey.

Here are the Balkan bus companies:

Alpar Turizm

Buses to Plovdiv and Sofia, as well as to KosovoMacedonia and Albania (Kosova, Arnavutluk, Sqiperi).
Tel +90 (212) 658 3540, -3541, -2, -3; Fax 658 3956
Agents in Sofia, Tel +359 (2) 525004; in Plovdiv, Tel (2) 631 948

Derya Tur

Tel: +90 (212) 658 0292, -0293, -0298, -0299
Routes from Istanbul to K. Andreevo, Itaskovo, Stara Zagora, Gabrovo and Lovec, Bulgaria; and Tirana, Albania.

Drina Trans

Buses to Macedonia: Gostivar, Kumanovo, Skoplje (Üsküp) and Tetovo.
Tel +90 (212) 658 1851, office@drinatrans.com

Huntur Turizm

Daily buses from Istanbul, Bursa and Izmir to SofiaPlovdivHaskovo, Ruse, Kirdzali (Kırcalı) and Silistra.
Tel +90 (212) 658 0061


Daily buses from Istanbul to Sofia via Svilengrad, Haskovo and Plovdiv, depart at 09:00 am, 12:00 noon, 17:30 (5:30 pm), 20:30 (8:30 pm), 21:30 (9:30 pm) and 23:00 (11 pm).

From Sofia to Istanbul, departures are at 07:15 and 09:00 am, 12:00 noon, 17:00 (5 pm), 20:30 (8:30 pm) and 23:00 (11 pm).

Daily buses from Istanbul to Silistra via Svilengrad, Topolovgrad, Elhovo, Yanbol, Peteloçka, Kotel, Omurtak, Targoviste, Sumen, Razgrad, Isperih, Duolvo and Alfatar departing at 09:00 am.

Another daily bus goes from Istanbul to Silistra via Dereköy, Malko Tarnovo, Burgaz, Aytos, Lülekovo, Sumen, Venetz, Kliment, Isperih and Dulovo, departing at 20:00 (8 pm).

Daily buses from Istanbul to Dobriç via Burgaz and Varna departing at 09:30 am.
Tel +90 (212) 658 1050, -1051
In Sofia: Tel +359 (2) 325131, 333281; in Plovdiv, (32) 620063.


Buses from Istanbul daily except Monday and Saturday to Kapıkule border crossing and the northeastern Bulgarian towns of Kotel, Omurtag, Targoviste, Sumen, Razgrad, Isperih, Dulovo, and Silistre. Return trips depart Bulgaria daily except Monday and Thursday. Morava also runs buses from Istanbul to Kosovo, and Tirana, Albania.
Tel +90 (212) 658 0657, -8, -9; Fax 658 0960.

Nisikli Turizm

Buses to the eastern Bulgarian towns of Aytos, Burgas, Dulova, Isperih, Razgrad, Silistra, Sumen, Tervel and Dobriç.
Tel +90 (212) 658 0469, -0470
Fax +90 (212) 658 3965

Özlem Tur

Buses to Burgas, Dobriç, Razgrad and Varna, also to Romania (Braila, Constanta, Galati and Tulcea).
Tel +90 (212) 658 0522, -0524

Öz Varol Turizm

Three buses daily to Sofia via Haskovo and Plovdiv, departing Istanbul at 10:00 am, 6 and 9 pm (18:00 and 21:00), and each evening to Kırcalı
Tel +90 (212) 658 3436, -0179
Fax +90 (212) 658 1836
Agents: Fara Tour, Sofia, Tel +359 (2) 316087 or 315763; Plovdiv, Tel +359 (32) 638065
Materik Tour, Sofia, Tel +359 (2) 831 2107 or 315763; Plovdiv +359 (32) 638065

Vardar Turizm

Istanbul: Tel +90 (212) 658 3350, 658 2034; Fax 658 3062; Vardar has an office near Beyazıt Square: Dibekli Cami Sokak No. 10; and also offices at the Emniyet Garajı near Aksaray Square.
Buses from Istanbul to Macedonia via Gostivar, Kumanovo, Skoplje (Üsküp) and Tetovo daily at 18:00 (6 pm).

Buses from Istanbul to Kosovo (Kosova: Prizren and Pristina) twice weekly, and from Istanbul to Germany on Tuesday at 17:00 (5 pm).
Prizren: Dardania Tours, Tel: 00381 29 22 358 -00381 29 44 968
Ipek: Tel: 00381 39 43 2326

Some of these buses also depart from the Eminyet Garajı at the southern end of Abdullah Çavuş Sokak just southwest of Aksaray Square in Old Istanbul (map).

Train Istanbul – Bulgaria – Europe

What about taking the train instead? I don’t recommend it. The train equipment is old and in poor conditionMore…

If you decide on the train, the Istanbul-Sofia Expressdeparts nightly for Sofia, Bulgaria and Bucharest, Romania. More…

You may want to read this personal report of a less-than-satisfactory bus journey from Bucharest to Istanbul. More…

—Tom Brosnahan

Emniyet Garajı Bus Terminal

Main Bus Terminal (Esenler)

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