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Turkey by Train

Discover Turkey by train – a patchwork of cultures combined with a tradition of hospitality. With your Eurail pass you can explore the diversity of Istanbul, experience one of the many action-packed outdoor adventures in Cappadocia or relax on the pristine beaches of Antalya. Turkey is a box of goodies for any travel enthusiast. TCDD (Turkish Republic State Railways) operates passenger trains all over the country. The train is a comfortable way to travel between cities like Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir.

 

Train types in Turkey

The train network in Turkey is run by TCDD (Turkish Republic State Railways). Their trains cover a large part of the country, and connect all the major cities. Turkish train times aren't always easy to find online. Your best bet is to check the Turkish version of the TCDD timetable.

Map with main train connections in Turkey

Domestic Trains

Regional trains (Bölgesel)

  • Various routes throughout Turkey

 

Main line train (Anahat)

  • Faster connections between major cities

Bikes are sometimes allowed on trains. Please check at the station if a special ticket is required.

Turkey has daily international trains from Istanbul to Bulgaria and Romania, offering a comfortable connection to the rest of the Eurail network.

 

International Trains

Bosphorus Express

  • Istanbul Halkali – Plovdiv – Sofia
    • Runs daily all year round
    • Comfortable modern Turkish couchette and sleeping cars
    • Reservations are mandatory
  • Istanbul Halkali – Veliko Tarnovo – Ruse – Bucharest
    • Runs daily only during summer season (June 21st till October 9th)
    • Comfortable modern Turkish couchette and sleeping cars
    • Reservations are mandatory

The train from Istanbul to Bucharest and Sofia starts at Istanbul Halkali station. The best way to get here is by metro/Marmaray train. It runs from the Eastern side, underneath the Bosphorus strait, to the Western side of the city and terminates at Halkali. Eurail Passes are not valid on Marmaray trains.

High-speed train YHT (Yüksek Hızlı)

  • A growing network of high speed lines
  • Modern train that travels up to 250 km/h
  • The following lines are currently operational
    • Istanbul – Eskişehir – Ankara
    • Istanbul – Eskişehir – Konya – Karaman
    • Ankara – Konya – Karaman
    • Ankara – Sivas

 

YHT trains currently serve five stations in the Istanbul metro area: Halkalı, Bakırköy, Söğütlüçeşme, Bostancı, and Pendik. Bakırköy and Söğütlüçeşme are closest to the city centre and well connected by metro and suburban (Marmaray) trains

Night Trains

Turkey has an extensive network of night trains, stretching out to all corners of the country. Trains consist of modern airconditioned carriages with comfortable pullman seats, sleepers and couchettes. Make sure to arrange your reservations in advance, trains generally sell out.

 

  • Ankara Ekspresi
    • Istanbul – Eskişehir - Ankara
    • Good alternative when High Speed Trains (YHT) sell out
  • Daily Doğu Ekspresi*
    • Ankara – Kayseri – Sivas – Erzincan – Erzurum – Kars
    • Highly scenic route along the Eufrates river
  • Daily Vangölü
    • Ankara – Kayseri – Sivas – Malatya – Elazig – Tatvan
    • Take a ferry to Van across the enormous lake Van
    • Twice a week 
  • Güney Kurtalan
    • Ankara – Kayseri – Sivas – Malatya – Diyarbakir – Batman – Kurtalan
    • 5 times a week 
  • Blue night train (Mavi Tren)
    • Ankara – Izmir
    • Konya – Izmir
    • Daily

 

*Next to the Doğu Ekspresi, there is another train called the ‘Turistik Doğu Ekspresi’. This train is not valid for passholders

 

Popular connections

Here are the average travel times between the bigger cities in Turkey. Reservations are recommended for all of these train journeys.

 

Route Travel time
Istanbul to Ankara (YHT) 4h 30m
Ankara to Izmir (Night train) 12h 35m
Istanbul to Izmir* 9h
Istanbul to Konya (YHT) 4h 45m
Ankara to Kars (Dogu Express) 26h 30m
Ankara to Van (Vangölü Express) 26h 45m
Ankara to Konya (YHT) 1h 45m
Ankara to Sivas (YHT) 2h 30m

 

*You'll need to take a ferry from Istanbul to Bandirma (across the Sea of Marmara). From there, the train will take you to Izmir in 6 hours.

Route Which train? Travel time Reservations
Istanbul to Bucharest (Romania) Bosphorus Express 19h 45m Required
Istanbul to Sofia (Bulgaria) Bosphorus Express 12h 45m Required

 

Reservations

Not possible through Eurail reservation self-service system

 

Locally at the train station

 

Good to know

High speed (YHT) and night trains require reservations that can only be booked at railway stations in Turkey. They generally sell out, so make sure to make a reservation a few days in advance.

 

Get your Pass for Turkey

Turkey Pass

 

Spend your whole vacation exploring Turkey by rail.

 

Standard prices from $ 64

Global Pass

 

Be free to visit Turkey along with the other 32 Eurail countries.


Standard prices from $ 233

 

Tips and tricks for Turkey

Cross Turkey's biggest lake

 

With a Eurail pass valid in Turkey, you can take a ferry crossing for €2 on the following route (no reservation necessary):

  • Tatvan – Van (Tuesdays and Fridays only)


See all Pass benefits for Turkey

Quick facts

  • Capital: Ankara

  • Population: 75.6 million

  • Language: Turkish

  • Currency: Turkish Lira (TRY)

  • Dialing code: +90

 

Go the last mile

avis-car-rental-girl-looking-out-of-car-window

Found yourself at the end of the line, but not at your destination? When public transportation ends, it's time to take matters into your own hands: rent a car for the last miles!

 

Eurailers get up to a 15% discount on all Avis retail prices. 

 

You can find more information in the Terms & Conditions

 

Get inspired

 

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    1 week in Turkey Spend 1 week in Turkey with a Eurail Pass! Within 7 days you can visit fascinating places like Istanbul, Pamukkale, Ephesus, Besiktas and Cappadocia.