Venice-Simplon Orient Express Paris to Istanbul

Holiday Highlights

  • Travel on the famous Venice Simplon Orient Express
  • Enjoy travelling in Edwardian grandeur
  • Savour delicious, culinary delights
  • Be inspired by Agatha Christie and Edwardian travel
  • Magnificent scenery
  • Colourful bazaars of Istanbul
  • Fascinating cruise along the Danube
  • Visit Peles Castle in Romania
  • Indulgent overnight stays in Bucharest and Budapest

Tour Dates:
Annually in August

Each year, in the 3rd week of August, Belmond take the Venice Simplon Orient Express (VSOE) train on a breathtaking adventure across Europe. Travel from Paris to Istanbul, or from Istanbul to Paris, or even a return trip! This exclusive annual adventure sells out quickly, a wait list is available for 2021 already, join now and you’ll be advised in spring 2020 if you have a place.

NB: You have the option of including this special rail journey as part of a Tailored Rail tour. Ffestiniog Travel can make the additional arrangements to allow you to join a VSOE journey at the beginning, during or end of a bespoke itinerary. We will organise rail and flight tickets where necessary and hotel accommodation. Please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information and we will provide quotations on request.


Paris to Istanbul

Day 1 – Paris

Board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express at Paris Gare de l’Est mid-afternoon. After being greeted by your steward you will be taken to your cabin to settle in. Dinner is served in one of the luxurious restaurant cars. Choose to enjoy a nightcap in the Bar Car, with background music provided by the resident pianist, before retiring to your cabin for the night.

Day 2 – Budapest

Enjoy the sublime scenery as the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train travels into Hungary. Continental breakfast is served in your cabin and lunch will be taken in one of the opulent dining cars. On arrival in Budapest, transfer to your hotel for dinner and an overnight stay.

Day 3 – Cruise on the Danube

After breakfast at your hotel, enjoy a private guided tour of the city, with lunch at a local restaurant and a short cruise along the Danube. Rejoin the train late afternoon and perhaps enjoy an aperitif in the Bar Car before dinner as the train travels into Romania.

Day 4 – Bucharest

This morning enjoy breakfast in your cabin. After brunch the train arrives to the mountain town of Sinaia where you disembark to visit the beautiful Peles Castle. Rejoin the train to complete the short journey to Bucharest. On arrival, enjoy an orientation tour as you transfer to your hotel. Dinner this evening will be enjoyed at a private venue in the city.

Day 5 – Bulgaria

This morning, rejoin the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train as it travels south across the Danube and into Bulgaria. During the afternoon, a stop is made to enjoy the view across the Black Sea in Varna. Lunch and dinner are served on board the train, as your journey continues. This final night is spent on board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train.

Day 6 – Istanbul

Early this morning the train enters Turkey and crosses the beautiful Thracian Plain. After breakfast and a special Turkish inspired lunch on board, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express arrives in Istanbul.

Istanbul to Paris

Day 1 – Istanbul

Step aboard the gleaming blue and gold carriages of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express as the train departs for the first part of the journey. Dinner is a sumptuous affair. Take a seat in one of the elegant restaurant cars and savour a culinary tour de force prepared by the skilled on board chefs. Afterwards, perhaps linger in the Bar Car as the pianist plays on the baby grand piano before retiring for the night.

Day 2 – Bucharest

Start the day with a continental breakfast, served in your cabin, as the train winds its way through Bulgaria and Romania. Later return to one of the restaurant cars for a scenic brunch. On arrival in Bucharest enjoy an orientation coach tour of the city on your way to the hotel, where you will stay for one night. Dinner this evening will be in a private venue, with a smart casual dress code.

Day 3 – Peles Castle

This morning rejoin the train for a delicious brunch as your journey continues towards the mountain town of Sinaia. Disembark to visit the beautiful Peles Castle, once the home of the former King Carol. The castle was visited by the very first Orient Express guests in October 1883, at the personal invitation of the King. Return to the train in the late afternoon for a relaxing journey towards Hungary. Enjoy another delectable dinner and night on board.

Day 4 – Budapest

On arrival in Budapest, meet local guides for a short coach ride through the city. Continue your discovery with a river cruise along the Danube, ending after lunch. In the evening you will be escorted to a nearby private venue for a typical Hungarian dinner, with an overnight stay in an elegant city hotel.

Day 5 – Budapest

Rejoin the train in time for lunch, winding through the vineyards and forests of Hungary. Arrive at Balaton Lake, an area of outstanding natural beauty. Disembark for a sunset aperitif, before rejoining the train for a final dinner and night aboard.

Day 6 – Paris

Enjoy your final breakfast in your cabin while the train weaves through Germany and into France. A delicious farewell lunch is served before arriving into Paris Gare de l’Est station.

Selected Hotels

TBC, Bucharest

TBC, Budapest

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • 3 nights on board the Venice Simplon Orient Express
  • Dedicated steward service
  • Welcome glass of champagne
  • Sumptuous four-course dinner each night aboard the train
  • Continental breakfast served in your cabin each morning
  • Delicious three course lunch each day aboard the train
  • Visit to Peles Castle
  • Overnight hotel accommodation in Bucharest plus city tour and private dinner
  • Budapest city tour plus Danube cruise with lunch at a local restaurant
  • Overnight hotel accommodation include private dinner in Budapest
  • Sunset aperitifs at Balaton Lake

Price per person

Quotes available upon request

Booking form

Download your tour booking form here.


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Why Choose Ffestiniog Travel?

  • UK's first rail tour operator to run an overseas escorted rail holiday in 1974
  • Created for people who love rail holidays and exploring the world’s heritage railways
  • Dedicated rail holiday specialist - great destinations, sightseeing and unparalled railway content
  • Train ticket supplier for worldwide rail operators - we can plan and arrange your rail journey to anywhere
  • Knowledge of the world’s rail routes makes us leading specialists in escorted and Tailor Made rail holidays
  • Over 60% of our existing rail tour travellers return to holiday with us year after year
  • Committed to supporting rail travel and heritage railways around the world
  • Our profits support the continued preservation of the famous Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways
  • Small, dedicated rail holiday travel team offering an award winning personal service

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