Hi! I have a similar problem to another poster. I'm traveling from Alexandroupolis to Istanbul. I have been told the busses are faster! One bus for example goes from Edirne to Istanbul in half the time it takes the train! One problem I can see is, the drop off point in Istanbul is more convenient at the train station than the bus station, way out of town. The negative is the train leaves at noon and doesn't get into Istanbul until 8 PM. Does anyone have more recent information or has anyone actually done this?
While passing the border you may lose some time depending on the number of vehicles. I don't think you will have big problems for reaching city center once you arrive in Bus Terminal (called Otogar in Turkish). Some companies provide shuttle buses to some central locations and there is also metro station in Otogar which can take you to city center. Enjoy your stay in Istanbul :)
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