Turkey by Train

Trains - Tickets - Routes

A Travel Guide For Train Travel In Turkey.

Here you will find information for Turkey about trains, routes, tours, connections, where to buy train tickets, and more.

Useful Information

Population: 80.82 million

Currency: Turkish Lira

Language: Turkish

Capital: Istanbul

Country Code: +90

Time Zone: Eastern European Time (EET)

Train Companies

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

Turkey rail map

Copyright: RAILWAYHERO

Train Tickets

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

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

Rail Passes

Interrail / Eurail Pass

Do you want to travel throughout Europe flexibly and comfortably? Then the Interrail Pass is perfect for you. With the Interrail Pass, you can visit 40,000 destinations in 33 countries in Europe. You can travel for up to 3 months by train.

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.

TrAIN tYPES

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

Routes

Frequently Travelled Routes In Turkey

National

 
From > To
Duration Changes Transport
Istanbul to Ankara 5:29 Direct Train
Istanbul to Denizli 10:36 1 Train
Istanbul to Göreme 16:00 2 Train & Bus
Istanbul to Izmir 12:58 1 Train
Izmir to Antalya 6:19 Direct Bus

International

 
From > To
Duration (h)
Changes Transport
Istanbul to Sofia, Bulgaria 8:51 1 Night Train
Istanbul to Thessaloniki, Greece 9:30 Direct Bus
Istanbul to Bucharest, Romania 18:20 Direct Night Train
Edirne to Villach, Austria 32:00 Direct Car Train
Istanbul to Tehran, Iran 61:00 1 Train, Trans-Asia Express
Izmir to Athens, Greece 13:49 1 Train & Ferry

Turkey travel routes

The Mystical Orient Express

The Mystical Orient Express

Turkish Delight

Turkish Delight

Main Train Stations

  • Istanbul Sirkeci
  • Istanbul Pendik
  • Eskişehir Alpu Railway Station
  • Adana Railway Station
  • Ankara Railway Station
  • Izmir Çatal Railway Station
  • Gaziantep İslahiye Railway Station

Good to know

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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Guidebooks For Turkey

Travel with a guidebook ease your journey to find best sights and things to do. Buy it on Amazon.

Travel Insurance

We highly recommend not to travel without insurance. Don’t fret! World Nomads offers many different travel insurance coverage plans to suit your trip best. > BUY HERE

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