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Trains in Turkey

Discover Turkey by train – a patchwork of cultures combined with a tradition of hospitality. With your Interrail 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 Interrail 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. Interrail 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 13h 35m Required
Istanbul to Sofia (Bulgaria) Bosphorus Express 21h 10m Required



Not possible through Interrail 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

Interrail Turkey Pass

  • See all there is to see in Turkey by rail.

  • Youth discounts, as well as family and senior discounts.

  • Prices from € 58


View Turkey Passes 

Interrail Global Pass

  • Travel by train as much as you like in up to 33 European countries including Turkey.

  • Discounts available for youth, seniors and families.

  • Prices from € 212


View Global Passes 


Tips and tricks for Turkey

Turkey main train station

Istanbul is the main hub in Turkey for Interrail travellers.

  • Istanbul is the gateway to Europe, but ongoing constructions have decreased the city's accessibility.

  • High-speed trains to Ankara leave from Istanbul Pendik.

  • Historic Haydarpasa station is closed, but worth a visit!


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