From Paris to Golden Horn Sirkeci: The Orient Express Experience

A few weeks ago, inspired by the book “The Orient Express train” by Rob Waring, I decided to relive the Orient Express experience. To spoil myself, I ended the exhausting train ride with a few relaxing days at the Golden Horn hotel. While the train ride was tough, the Golden Horn hotel was AMAZING!

Orient Express- Luxurious Trip From Paris To Istanbul

Just 150 years ago, the world was completely different from today. Most people didn’t leave their hometown because transportation was uncomfortable and expensive, and the journey could have been dangerous. That all changed in 1883 when the International Company of Wagons-Lits created the Orient Express train line from Paris to Istanbul.

The Orient Express differentiate itself by being a luxury trip. The rich and wealthy people of Paris went to stay in incredible hotels in Istanbul (similar to the Golden Horn). They wanted a smooth, fancy ride and that’s what the Orient Express offered. The Orient Express was a synonym for luxury.

And so I decided to do it myself. Since the original circuit stopped serving since June 8, 2007. I had to book different trains that all together imitating the Orient Express itinerary.

I started with a train to Munich than to Budapest, Bucharest and finally to Istanbul. It wasn’t easy. The ride was hard, I missed my train once, lost a bag in Munich and the weather wasn’t as good as I hoped so. It was silly of me to think that the regular train will provide the same experience as the luxury Orient Express.

But when I arrived to Istanbul everything started to be much better.

Golden Horn Hotel- A Modern Orient Express Experience

Luckily for me, after receiving warm recommendations about the Golden Horn Hotel, I booked 3 nights in this hotel and finally received my REAL Orient Express Experience.

The Golden Horn hotel is situated in the historic Sultanahmet neighborhood. It is close to all the attractions in Istanbul: the Basilica Cistern, the iconic Blue Mosque, Grand Bazar and the Sophia.


When I entered the hotel, I felt like the Sultan himself. The decoration style must be inspired from a sultan’s Palace. Elegantly decorated with hardwood floors and warm golden tones, the fine details wherever you look show that much thought have been given to the interior design.

After the warm welcoming, the friendly staff showed me my room that had a spectacular view of the historical Istanbul. I especially enjoyed the beautiful sunset.

golden horn breakfast

Breakfast on the rooftop was incredible. It was the first time I had Turkish tea, and accompanied with the fabulous view of the city at the terrace. I sat there by myself when suddenly a man sat in the chair near me. He presented himself as Kilic Yasik, the owner of Golden Horn Hotels.

It was definitely a pleasant surprise to have some company for breakfast. Kilic told me all about the adventures he had, running his many hotels, gave me great tips about what to visit in Istanbul and invited me for a Turkish coffee on the house when I come back! What a great breakfast partner!
Thank you Kilic Yasik and Golden Horn for giving me the real Orient Express Experience! and

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