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Train from Sofia to Krakow

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I will be visiting Bulgaria in September and from there I want to take a train to Krakow, Poland. Are there any potential problems that I should be aware of? How many hours is the trip? Or should I fly?

Thanks much for your help.






trip? Is this a good idea? Or would it be better to fly?

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    Fodors

    Dear Mr Weise,

    No special problems.

    The reference library of a city near you may have the Thomas Cook European Timetable. Table 60 (summer) shows your trains. The most direct is the
    Grivitza Express, Sofia 2000, Budapest Keleti 2017, then the Cracovia Express, with restaurabnt car, Budapest Keleti 2105, Krakow Glowny 0752. Total trip 36 hours. You need to buy in Sofia packed breakfast and lunch for your time in Romania, as the train has no catering beyond supplies of beer and artificial coffee from the sleeper conductor. You can't buy in Sofia your berth in the Crakovia Express, so you should carry enough German marks to buy it from the conductor in Budapest.

    You have more to see if you take sleepers for three nights, and stop off for a day at two places on the way. For example Sofia 2000, Brasov 0945 to 2033, Budapest 0947 to 2105, Krakow 0752. In that case you'd drop bags at left luggage, and buy in each station your ticket for that evening's sleeper.

    Trains in these countries have baggage thieves and pickpockets. The consuls of four countries comment on safety:
    from Australia on http://www.dfat.gov.au/consular/advice
    from Britain on http://193.114.50.10/travel
    from Canada on http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/menu-e.asp, under "Travel Reports"
    from the USA on http://travel.state.gov, under "travel warnings"
    Some experienced American travellers find the American site over-cautious. It is therefor useful to check all four sites.

    On sleepers by night (and by day if you leave your compartment empty) you need to lock and chain your compartment door (not just lock it: the conductor will show you how to use the chain). You'll find that the conductor locks all the coach doors except one that leads to the platform, which he or she guards.

    I have on disc a note on night train travel in the Balkans, and am copying it with the e-mail version of this message.

    Please write if I can help further.

    Ben Haines, London



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