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Venice Simplon-Orient-Express - Paris - Budapest - Bucharest - Istanbul

5.0 stars(1 reviews)

Join an exclusive list of travelers in traveling one of the most iconic routes in the world - a route so special it features just one departure each year - from Paris to Istanbul aboard the iconic Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.

You are viewing the 2023 itinerary. Select your departure year
6 days From $23,063 per person
Travel on your own following a well-planned itinerary

2023 Tour code: BM-PBIE-23

About the tour

The elegance of the Golden Age is yours to behold once more as you join the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express in traveling from Paris to Istanbul. This trip is one for the ages, highlighting the timeless luxury the train has been known for since it initially took to the tracks in 1883. The second coming of the journey brings just as much splendor and all the original destinations to life once more, introducing you to the best of Western and Central Europe and giving you a taste of the Middle East.

The memorable expedition begins in Paris, where travelers join the train for an overnight route to Budapest, Hungary. Get a taste of this cultural epicenter while taking a riverboat cruise on the Danube, enjoying a private dinner at the Museum of Fine Arts, and touring the Hungarian Parliament Building. As you rejoin the train, notice the changes in the landscape as you pass through Hungary and into Romania, pausing the journey to visit Peleș Castle before the train arrives in Bucharest. An exquisite dinner experience complemented by music offers a lovely introduction to Romania's capital city. The final days aboard the train whisk you through Bulgaria, offering a glimpse of the sparkling Black Sea, and Turkey in pursuit of Istanbul. A fantastic course linked by one of the world's most impressive luxury trains makes this journey on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express one you will remember for years to come.

This itinerary is also available from Istanbul to Paris, based on your travel preference.


What’s included


Day 1 - Paris/Board the Venice Simplon-Orient Express

A route rife with intrigue and brimming with the allures of Western and Central Europe, the fabled course of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express comes to life once more as you board the prestigious train at Paris Gare de l' Est this afternoon. A steward greets you as you step aboard, escorting you to your cabin. A world of polished marquetry, luxurious upholstery, soft lighting, and elegant decor unfurls as you make your way through the train. Each detail shows a commitment to artistry and hints at the luxury to come during your journey. 

Enjoy afternoon tea and soak in the changing views as the train begins its trek. As the sun sets, dress in your finest and join the rest of the guests for a gourmet dinner. Begin with an aperitif in the Bar Car "3674," then transfer to one of the gorgeous dining cars to taste the chef's seasonal specialties. The menu is composed using artisan ingredients procured along the route and features thoughtful pairings of exceptional wines. The evening continues in the bar, where the resident pianist's tunes set the tone for a wonderful evening of stimulating conversation and outstanding cocktails as the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express weaves through France and Germany. Overnight train.

Day 2 - Aboard the Train/Budapest

Wake this morning surrounded by sublime scenery as the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express continues its route through Austria and into Hungary. Relax in the comfort of your cabin, wrapped in sumptuous linens, while nibbling on a continental breakfast composed of French pastries, fresh juice, hot coffee, and more. Lunch is served in the dining car before the train pulls into the station in beautiful Budapest. 

This capital city is rich in history and has an incredible positioning alongside the Danube River. You are welcomed to the city by local guides, who await at the train station and act as your escorts, taking you by coach to the banks of the Danube. Look upon the city's bridges and centuries of ornate architecture as you cruise the legendary waters aboard a riverboat. The evening continues as you are transferred to your hotel to check in and change into smart, elegant evening wear for an exceptional private dinner at the Museum of Fine Arts. Overnight Budapest.

Day 3 - Budapest to Romania

Breakfast is served at your hotel ahead of this morning's private guided tour of the Hungarian Parliament Building. This riverside gem was inaugurated on the country's 1000th anniversary in 1896, with construction completed in 1906. Inspired by London's Houses of Parliament, the building sits as the largest in Hungary and the tallest in the city. From its gold decorations to its lavish grand stairway, ornate ceilings, and carved statues, there is much to discover as you explore its impressive interiors. 

Rejoin the train at Budapest's station later this morning, and settle in with incredible views of the city and hills fading into the breathtaking countryside. Enjoy lunch in the dining room and time to marvel at the enchanting scenery as the train presses on toward Romania. This evening, join the train's other passengers in Bar Car "3674" for cocktails and conversation ahead of another inspired dinner. Overnight train. 

Day 4 - Peleș Castle/Bucharest

With the scent of coffee and French pastries in the air, wake this morning wrapped in the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express's undeniable luxury. Look out your cabin's window as you dine to see forests and mountains as the train climbs toward Sinaia. Your journey pauses here to allow you to follow in the footsteps of the very first Orient Express passengers while visiting Peleș Castle. A coach takes you from the station and into the Carpathian Mountains, where this Neo-Renaissance fortress, built by Romania's King Carol, shines amongst the trees. The king personally invited the first passengers to his residence in October 1883, and you, too, are invited to explore its gorgeous grounds and interior. 

Reboard the train following your visit, and savor a delicious brunch as the train nears Bucharest, called the "Little Paris of the East." Escorts guide you to your hotel, where you have time to settle in and enjoy your new surroundings before tonight's dinner at a private venue. Musical entertainment accompanies the cuisine to immerse you in Romania's culture. Overnight Bucharest.

Day 5 - Travel Through Bulgaria on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Pretty rural scenery and views of the mighty Danube River guide the way for the last leg of your journey toward Istanbul. Rejoin the train this morning in anticipation of these panoramas and all the beautiful things that lie between on the southerly route. Take lunch alongside new-found friends in the dining cars, and this afternoon, enjoy a chance to alight in the seaside resort town of Varna, Bulgaria. This destination has an idyllic location alongside the Bulgarian Black Sea and is the perfect place to enjoy an aperitif with the sand under your toes. Back aboard, get ready for your final dinner aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Toast to a timeless journey filled with adventure in the Bar Car, and savor course upon course of delectable cuisine as the train makes its way across the Thracian Plain. Venture back to Bar Car "3674" for an evening of conviviality, cocktails, and fantastic ambiance, as the pianist plays well into the night. Overnight train.

Day 6 - Arrive in Istanbul

The train enters Turkey early this morning, putting the final miles of this incredible trip within reach. Watch as the panoramas continue to transform as you relax in your cabin with a divine French breakfast. After a brief customs pause at the border town of Kapikule, make your way to the dining car for a final lunch filled with Turkish flavors and ingredients. Istanbul nears on the horizon, marking the end of your time on the elegant Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Reminisce on the joys of this memorable expedition as you join a complimentary shared transfer from the station to your hotel in Instanbul's city center, where your tour concludes.

Additional information

Please note

Prices are in USD, based on an exchange rate as of 9/2/2022, and can vary based on the exchange rate at the time of booking. Single rooms may be available. Please contact a rail specialist for details.

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


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5.0 stars5.0 / 5 · 1 review

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Charles B, Roswell, GA

5 stars

Submitted 25 Oct 2017

Everything was well planned and great attention was paid to the smallest of details. Vacations by Rail did an excellent job in communicating with us and took care of all the details.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express - Paris - Budapest - Bucharest - Istanbul

Join an exclusive list of travelers in traveling one of the most iconic routes in the world - a route so special it features just one departure each year - from Paris to Istanbul aboard the iconic Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.


Vaugnel Fletcher
Dimitri Zgonis
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