A Rail Expedition Through Southeast Europe

Explore the cosmopolitan capital of Belgrade on a city tour. See the medieval fortress of Kalemegdan and the Royal Palace.

Step 1: Belgrade to Podgorica and Bar in Montenegro via one of Europe’s most spectacular railways. Train times, photos & how to buy tickets.

This section is operated by a local operator, with EuroCity trains every hour or so, taking 3h17.


There are several ways to get from Bucharest to Belgrade, with flights, bus or train being the main options. Rome2Rio, a door-to-door travel information and booking engine, gives you all the latest schedules and route maps for your journey, as well as offering online bookings for selected operators, making the whole process easy and straightforward.

The fastest way to get from Bucharest to Belgrade is by flight, with a direct flight taking around 1 h 5 min. If you’re planning to take this route, be sure to book ahead as prices tend to rise the closer to departure. The most popular airlines operating this route are Air Serbia and Tarom.

If you’re looking for a more cost-effective option, the bus offers a comfortable and convenient way to travel from Belgrade to Bucharest. With a variety of different seat classes available, there’s something to suit every budget. It’s also worth bearing in mind that bus trips are typically less busy at off-peak times, such as during the week and in the evening.

Whether you want to take the bus for comfort or convenience, there are multiple providers servicing this route, with many of them providing buses with Wi-Fi and power outlets. Depending on your preferences and travel dates, you can use Rome2Rio’s Bus Search Tool to find the best bus deal for your trip from Belgrade to Bucharest.

On average, there is one daily departure on this route, offered by FlixBus. However, this may vary depending on the day of the week and at certain times of year.

If you’re travelling with a group of friends, it’s often cheaper to buy a ticket in advance so that you can sit together. Also consider joining a carpool service so that you can split the cost of your ticket and make journeys with other travellers if needed.

A separate portion of the Danube Express runs from Bucharest Gara de Nord to Veliko Tarnovo. This is a direct route from June to October, but at other times you’ll need to change trains in Giurgiu & Ruse, or Gorna Orjahovitsa. This train is a lovely scenic ride crossing from Romania into Bulgaria over Europe’s longest steel bridge, then meandering through the valleys of Bulgaria.


While there are plenty of hotels in Belgrade, the best hotel to stay at depends on your budget and preferences. For luxury accommodations, consider the historic and luxurious Square Nine Hotel. This hotel in Belgrade’s Vracar neighborhood offers a fusion of old-world charm with modern amenities. Its elegant rooms include free WiFi, flat-screen TVs and iPod docks. Suites also feature separate seating areas. The hotel also has a restaurant, bar and free private parking.

Another great option is the Boutique Hotel Metropol Palace in Belgrade’s Palilula district. Its rooms have modern amenities including minibars, free WiFi and flat-screen TVs. Family rooms are available to accommodate up to four guests. The hotel’s onsite restaurant serves local and international dishes, and the bar has live music at mealtimes.

Guests of the hotel can enjoy a range of spa and wellness services, including an onsite sauna and massage parlor. They can also take a dip in the 18-meter pool or relax on the river terrace. The hotel also offers free parking and an onsite fitness center.

If you want to stay active while seeing the city’s sights, I Bike Belgrade organizes guided cycling tours of the capital’s central neighborhoods. The tour includes a bike, helmet and guide and you can choose from various routes.

Both cities are popular in winter and have plenty of activities to offer visitors. The weather is colder in Bucharest, but it’s still sunny and mild in Belgrade. The city is home to several museums and has a vibrant nightlife scene.

The quickest way to travel from Bucharest to Belgrade is by flight, which takes about 1 hr and 5 min. Several airlines service this route, and you can find flights from many different cities in Romania and Europe. The most common departure airport is Bucharest Henri Coanda International, and the arrival airport is Belgrade Nikola Tesla. To make the most of your trip, book a flight that arrives at a time when you’re ready to start exploring. You can find great deals on flights from Bucharest to Belgrade by using momondo’s search tool. This tool compares prices from multiple travel sites to help you find the best deal. It also shows you the total price of your trip, including taxes and other fees. This makes planning your vacation easier than ever before.


You can fly from Bucharest to Belgrade, with direct services operating daily. Book flights with Air Serbia to save time and money, or connect with other destinations on a multi-destination flight ticket like Sofia, Budapest or Varna.

The daytime train from Belgrade to Podgorica & Bar in Montenegro is one of the most scenic rail routes in Europe. It uses a new electric fleet & is quite comfortable, although there is no sleeper option. See the Belgrade-Bar Railway page for train times, fares, photos & more.

From June to October the line is direct from Bucharest Gara de Nord to Veliko Tarnovo, but if travelling at other times you need to change trains in Ruse & Gorna Orjahovitsa. The train crosses the Danube between Giurgiu & Ruse on Europe’s longest steel bridge, then meanders through Bulgaria with beautiful scenery.

A highlight is Ada Ciganlija, a river island turned into a popular recreational zone, sometimes known as More Beograda (Belgrade’s Sea). The island offers a wide variety of sports and entertainment facilities, including beach bars, watersports, restaurants, museums & even a small lake.

You can also visit Kalemgdan Park, a picturesque city centre attraction set within the walls of a Roman fortress. It’s home to a number of historic monuments, plus an interesting museum dedicated to pioneering inventor Nikola Tesla, who invented AC current. Other attractions include Skadarlija, a vintage street thronged with restaurants, cafes & musicians, and Kalemgdan Zoo.

Alternatively, the night train from Belgrade to Zagreb is a good value option. The modern Croatian sleeping-cars have 10 compartments that can be used as 1, 2 or 3 berths, with washbasins in each. See the Zagreb-Zurich Sleeper page for departure dates, fares & more details. Rome2Rio makes it easy to compare these options & book tickets online. You can also use our handy trip planner to help you create a custom travel itinerary. Hundreds of travelers trust us to find the best train, bus & flight connections to and from Bucharest. Why not join them? Our smart search engine instantly compares more than 1,000 travel companies & prices to find you the best deal on your journey.


The Balkans are a wonderful region to explore by rail. From Saxon cities to fortified castles, you’ll find plenty to see and do. Plus, it’s a relatively inexpensive part of Europe to travel in. Just keep in mind that the transport system can be a little more basic, especially in smaller countries like Romania and Bulgaria. Buses, for example, don’t always offer digital ticketing and fares can be more expensive than they would be in a larger country with better transportation infrastructure. If you’re planning to visit the Balkans, be sure to ask your tour operator and hostels for their top tips on transport options and bookings.

While a train trip can be more time-consuming than a flight, it offers a much more enjoyable and authentic experience. And, if you’re willing to splurge a little, you can even get comfortable and luxurious sleeper cabins or couchettes. Plus, it’s a great way to meet locals and soak up the culture along the way.

If you’re a budget-conscious traveler, consider getting a Eurail Global Pass for your journey to the Balkans. Similar to the Amtrak and JR Pass in the US, this pass will give you access to many European rail routes at a discounted rate. Plus, it will save you a lot of stress by having everything planned for you in advance.

A good itinerary for your trip to the Balkans includes stops in Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Montenegro. From Bucharest, take the morning train (1.5 hrs) to Sinai for an easy visit to Peles Castle. Next, make your way to Brasov (2 hours by train) to explore its medieval walls, towers and craft guild gates. Finally, spend a full day exploring the fortified city of Sighisoara (4 hours by train).

In summer, the direct Ister train runs from Bucharest Gara de Nord to Ploesti Vest and Brasov; at other times, you’ll have to change trains at Ruse or Gorna Orjahovitsa. This is a beautiful scenic ride, crossing the Danube via Europe’s longest steel bridge between Giurgiu and Ruse and meandering through the mountains of Romania and Bulgaria.

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