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Turkey by Train

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A Travel Guide For Train Travel In Turkey.

Here you will find information for how to travel Turkey by train. All info about trains, where to buy train tickets in Turkey and Turkey itinerarys.

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Useful Information

Population: 80.82 million

Currency: Turkish Lira

Language: Turkish

Capital: Istanbul

Country Code: +90

Time Zone: Eastern European Time (EET)

Train Companies in Turkey

The trains are operated by Turkish Republic State Railways (TCDD).

Rail Map Turkey

The rail system in Turkey is relatively well developed and covers almost the entire country. On this Turkey railroad map you will see all train lines in Turkey.

Turkey Rail Map

Copyright: RAILWAYHERO

Train Tickets Turkey

Where can I buy train tickets for Turkey?

1. Train Station: You can buy your turkish railway tickets and reservations at the counter of any train station in turkey.

2. Online: Buy your train tickets for Turkey online on the Turkish Republic State Railways (TCDD) official website.

How to buy train tickets for turkey online? Click here and get to the online ticket booking. Switch the language to english. Now you can type in the cities where you like to go. Choose your connection and the coach type. Behind the type it will show you a number how many seats are available. A new window will open where you can choose your seat and you have to type in your Name, date of birth and passport number. Finish the booking process by paying with credit card. You will recieve your tickets via e-mail.

Note that you cannot book transfer connections. You must book all routes separately. For example if you want to go to from Istanbul to Izmir you must book a train ticket to Eskişehir and another train ticket from Eskişehir to Izmir.

There is also a app where you can book your turkey train tickets.
E-Bilet (Appel Store)
TCDD Taşımacılık Eybis (Google Play Store)

Buy your train tickets for Turkey online on the Turkish Republic State Railways (TCDD) official homepage.

OMIO-logo-250

Buy your train tickets online at OMIO and compare trains, buses & flights.

Rail Passes Turkey

You can travel to Turkey with a train pass. There are three rail passes available in Turkey. A train pass makes train travel in Turkey more convinient and flexible.

Interrail / Eurail Turkey Pass

With the Interrail / Eurail Turkey Pass you can travel in turkey on 3, 4, 5, 6 or 8 days by train. Choose as many trains on your travel day as you want and visit the beautiful country. The Interrail / Eurail Turkey Pass starts from 54€.

Interrail / Eurail Pass Global Pass

Travel to Turkey with an Interrail / Eurail Global Pass. With the Global Pass you can travel flexible by train through more than 33 countries un Europe.

Balkan Flexi Pass

With the Balkan Flexi Pass, you can travel by train through 8 countries in Eastern Europe. This pass allows you to travel by train in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Romania.

TRains in Turkey

Dogu Express

Night Train Sofia to Istanbul

Night Train Sofia to Istanbul

The major rail network in Turkey is composed of the following trains:

Regional Trains

Commuter / Banliyö are commuter trains between Istanbul and Ankara.

  • 1st and 2nd Class offered

Regional / Bölgesel are trains operating within their individual regions in the west

  • 1st and 2nd Class offered
  • On some services, power sockets are located at your seat and a bistro car is available

Mainline / Anahat are Intercity trains offering quick connections between main Turkish cities

  • 1st Class: Rows of three seats (2+1)
  • 2nd Class: Rows of four seats (2+2)
  • Trains are equipped with air conditioning and most trains are equipped with a dining car offering a range of food and drinks.

Yuksek Hizli Tren (YHT) quickly connects Ankara, Istanbul, and Konya

  • 1st Class (Business): Rows of three seats (2+1)
  • 2nd Class (Economy): Rows of four seats (2+2)
  • Trains are equipped with air conditioning and most trains are equipped with a dining car offering a range of food and drinks.
  • Discounts available for those 26 and under, as well as 60 and over.

There are several night trains connecting Turkey and Austria, Romania and Bulgaria.

Ankara Express

  • Routes:
    • Ankara – Istanbul
    • Ankara – Izmir
    • Ankara – Adana
  • Reservations required
  • Sleeping Carriage (yatakli wagon)
    • Private 1 & 2 bed compartments
    • Air-conditioned and inclusive of a washbasin and bed linens.
    • Bathrooms are located in the coach carriage
  • Couchette Carriage (kuşet)
    • Shared 4 bed compartment
    • Air-conditioned and inclusive of bed linens.
    • Toilets are located in the coach carriage
  • Sitting Carriage:
    • 1st Class reclining seats
    • Toilets are located in the coach carriage
  • Bistro car available with snacks, cold meals, and beverages

Izmir Mavi Tren

Routes: Eskisehir – Izmir  (or pair with day train Istanbul to Eskisehir, to reach Izmir from Istanbul overnight)

  • Reservations required
  • Sleeping Carriage (yatakli wagon)
    • Private 1 & 2 bed compartments
    • Air-conditioned and inclusive of a washbasin and bed linens.
    • Toilets are located in the coach carriage
  • Sitting Carriage:
    • 1st Class reclining seats
    • Toilets are located in the coach carriage
  • Most services have a bistro car available with snacks, cold meals, and beverages

Bosphorus Express

Routes: stanbul* – Dimitrovgrad, Bulgaria** – Russe, Bulgaria –  Bucharest, Romania

  • Reservations required
  • Sleeping Accommodations: May vary by carriage as the train is made up of a mismatch of Bulgarian, Romanian, and Turkish trains.
    • Shared 4 or 6-bed couchette (kuşet) or
    • 1 and 2-bed private sleeper compartment
    • Air-conditioned and inclusive of bed linens.
    • Bathrooms are located in the coach carriage
  • Tickets can only be bought at the train station or through a travel agency

* Departs from Halkali, which is on the outskirts of the city; however shuttles run frequently between Halkali and Sirkeci, the main station in Istanbul.

** Switch to Balkan Express to continue to Sofia, Bulgaria: Dimitrovgrad, Bulgaria – Plovdiv, Bulgaria – Sofia, Bulgaria

Optima Express

Routes: Edirne, Turkey – Serbia – Croatia – Slovenia – Villach, Austria

  • 2nd Class only, compartments of 6 seats which can be converted to 6 beds at night
  • Toilets and a washbasin are located at the end of the car
  • Most services have a dining car
  • Vehicle transport is possible
  • The train runs from April to November and offers 2 – 6 trips per month, depending on the month.

Trans Anatolia Express
Trans Asia Express
Eastern Express
Van Lake Express
Taurus Express
Karabuk-Zonguldak Train
Danube Express Golden Eagle
Venice Simplon-Orient Express

Turkey Itinerary

Get inspired by our own designed train itinerarys for Turkey.

The Mystical Orient Express

The Mystical Orient Express

Turkish Delight

Turkish Delight

Train Connections in Turkey

National

 
From > To
Duration Changes Transport
Price 
Istanbul to Ankara 3:56 Direct Train From 10 €
Istanbul to Cappadocia (Göreme) 13:15 2 Train & Bus From 19 €
Istanbul to Izmir 12:27 1 Train From 13 €
Ankara to Kars 26:32 Direct Train From 8 €
Izmir to Pamukkale 6:19 Direct Train, Minibus From 5 €

Istanbul to Ankara by train

How to travel from Istanbul to Ankara by train?
There are several daily direct train connections from Istanbuls train stations to Ankara. The fastest way is to take the train from Pendik train station on the asian side of Istanbul. The journey takes between 3:45 and 4:02 hours. But you can also take a train from the other train stations like Istanbul Halkali or İstanbul Söğütlüçeşme. There is also a daily night train leaving Istanbul Pendik at 11:51pm and arrives in Ankara at 06:54 in the morning.

Istanbul to Cappadocia (Göreme)

How to travel from Istanbul to Cappadocia by train?
Take the train from any Istanbul train statin to Ankara and change to a train to Kayseri.  The train journey will take around 12 hours and the tickets cost  15 €.  From Kayseri you can take a bus to Göreme (Cappadocia). Flixbus offers daily busses from 4 €. The bus takes around 1:15h.

 

Istanbul to Izmir by train

How to travel from Istanbul to Izmir by train?
Take the train from Istanbul Söğütlüçeşme train statin to Eskişehir. In Eskişehir you can take the night train to Izmir.  The night train from Ankara will stop in Eskişehir and leaves at 11:16 in the night. You can choose between a seat or a berth. A seat will cost you 13 € and a berth will cost 31 €.

Railwayhero Tip: Book the night train in advance. If there is no berth available you can try to book the train from Ankara and get on the train in Eskisehir. It will cost only 2 € extra.

Ankara to Kars by train

How to travel from Ankara to Kars by train?
The train that runs from Ankara to Kars is called “Doğu Ekspresi” (Eastern Express). The train’s route runs from Ankara, the capital of Turkey, via Erzurum to Kars. The Dogu Express leaves Ankara daily at 5.55 pm and arrives in Kars on the next day at 8.27 pm. The train has sleeping cars and seating cars, which provide comfort to passengers during the long journey. There is also a dining car, which offers meals and drinks. The tickets cost 212 Türkiche Lira (8 €) only. The price is the same for a seat and a berth.

Izmir to Pamukkale by train

How to travel from Izmir to Pamukkale by train?
Take the train from Izmir Basame train station to Denizli. In Denizli you have to change to a Minibus to Pamukkale. The bus station in Denizli is almost opposite of the train station. Cross the big street and walk left until you see the bus terminal. Ask for the minibu to Pamukkale. The bus will start when all seats are sold. It cost 20 Turkish Lira (less than 1€).

International train connections from Turkey

 
From > To
Duration Changes Transport
Price 
Istanbul to Bucharest, Romania 5:29 Direct Train From 55 €
Istanbul to Sofia, Bulgaria 16:00 Direct Train From 30 €
Edirne to Villach, Austria 32 Direct Train From 207 €

Istanbul to Bucharest by train

How to travel from Istanbul to Bucharest by train?
There is a daily night train connection between Istanbul and Bucharest during summer season. The train will start at Istanbul Halkali train station at 8.00 pm and will arrive in Bucharest, Romania on the next day at 5.08 pm. The journey takes 21 hours. You can see the timetable and book tickets online on the website of the Romanian rail company CFR. The tickets starts from 55 €. You can also buy tickets at the train station in Istanbul if it has an international ticket sales counter.

Here you can find out more information by clicking on the link: Night train from Bucharest to Istanbul

 

Istanbul to Sofia by train

How to travel from Istanbul to Sofia by train?
Every day a night train departs from Istanbul Halkali to Sofia the capital of Bulgaria. The train start at 8.00 pm and arrives in Sofia in the morning at 9.20 am. The ticket cost 19 € for a 4-berth compartment and additional 10 € for the reservation. You cannot buy tickets online. You have to go to Istanbul Halkali or Istanbul Sirkeci train station.

Here you can find out more information by clicking on the link: Night train from Sofia to Istanbul

 

Edirne to Villach by train

How to travel from Edirne to Villach by train?
You can travel by train from Turkey to Austria by taking the Optima Express. The Optima Express is a car train that runs from Edirne, Turkey to Villach, Austria. You can take your car with you or book a seat only. The train operates between June and November. The tickets starts at 207 € for a berth one way. Buy tickets online at Optima Tours in advance. The journey lasts over 37 hours.

Here you can find out more information by clicking on the link: Optima Express

 

Main Train Stations in Turkey

  • Istanbul Kalkali
  • Istanbul Sirkeci
  • Istanbul Söğütlüçeşme
  • Istanbul Pendik
  • Eskişehir TCDD  Tren Garıon
  • Izmir Basmane Gari
  • Adana Railway Station
  • Ankara Railway Station
  • Gaziantep İslahiye Railway Station
  • Kayseri TCDD Train Station
  • Denizli Railway Station
  • Afyon A Çetinkaya
  • Konya TCDD Gari
  • Kars Railway Station
  • Erzurum Train Station
  • Edirne TCDD Train Staion

Turkey Travelogues

Turkey train travelogue

Turkey train travelogue

Travel Guide for Turkey

Istanbul

Discover Istanbul by train. The vibrant metropolis on the Bosphorus. Visit the magnificent Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and the Topkapi Palace to experience our rich history. Stroll the Spice Bazaar and Istiklal Caddesi to enjoy the lively hustle and bustle. Don’t miss a boat ride on the Bosphorus to admire our breathtaking skyline. Istanbul is a fascinating blend of tradition and modernity. Come and discover the beauty of our city!

izmir turkey

Izmir

Izmir, a charming city on the Turkish Aegean Sea. Stroll along the famous promenade Kordon and enjoy the view of the sparkling sea. Visit the ancient city of Ephesus and marvel at its well-preserved ruins. Explore the historical district of Konak and marvel at the clock tower and the magnificent agora. Don’t forget to visit the bazaar of Kemeraltı and taste the delicious Turkish cuisine. Izmir is a true treasure of history, culture and culinary delights.

Antalya

Antalya! A fascinating mix of sun, beach and historical charm awaits you here. Immerse yourself in history and explore the well-preserved old town of Kaleiçi with its narrow streets and the magnificent Hadrian’s Gate. Visit the impressive ancient ruins of Perge and Side. Relax at the beautiful beaches like Konyaaltı and Lara. Don’t miss the breathtaking Düden waterfall. Antalya will inspire you with its beauty and diversity!

Cappadocia

Cappadocia is a magical place full of natural wonders. Explore the unique landscape with its bizarre rock formations and famous fairy chimneys. Take a balloon ride and enjoy the breathtaking view over the valley. Visit the underground cities of Derinkuyu and Kaymaklı to discover the mysterious past. Don’t miss the sunset in Göreme, where the rock formations shine in warm colors. Cappadocia is a place you will never forget.

Pamukkale

Pamukkale awaits you with extraordinary beauty. Explore the impressive limestone terraces filled with thermal water that look like flowing cotton clouds. Take a refreshing dip in the hot springs and be pampered by the healing waters. Also visit the ancient city of Hierapolis with its well-preserved ruins and impressive theater. Pamukkale is an absolute must-see that will inspire you with its unique nature and history.

Bodrum

Bodrum, located on Turkey’s Aegean Sea, is a true paradise. Explore the impressive Bodrum Castle and enjoy the view over the city and the sea. Experience the vibrant nightlife in Bar Street and the Marina. Discover the ancient theater of Halicarnassus and stroll through the charming old town. Don’t miss the beautiful beaches like Gümüşlük and Bitez. Bodrum will enchant you with its diversity and beauty!

Best Time To Travel To Turkey

Turkey is a year-round destination so we recommend traveling here any time of year. The country is quite large and has different climates throughout due to its location on the Aegean and the Black Sea, proximity to the Mediterranean, and plenty of mountains.

Summers can be mild and dry to hot and humid depending on where you’re headed and winters can be mild and cool to cold and snowy. Check out Istanbul any time of year but if you want to see the hot air balloons in Cappadocia than its best to visit in shoulder seasons or the beginning or end of high season. The crowds are thinner and it’s not too hot.

 

  • High Season: May to September
  • Low Season: November to March

 

Accommodation In Turkey

Booking

The best place to find cheap hotels for is to book by www.booking.com. There you will find a large selection of cheap hotels, hostels, and apartments. > BOOK HERE

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Hostelworld

If you are looking for a low budget accommodation, then go on www.hostelworld.com. They have the best choice of cheap hostels for backpackers and low budget travelers. > BOOK HERE

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