Turkey by train
How to travel in Turkey by train: information, connections, blog and travel reports. Help in our forum to buy train tickets.
Buy the train ticket at a railway station. Note: in some countries you have to pay a service fee at the ticket counter. The ticket can be purchased at a station in the country of departure, also sometimes in other countries.
If you want to travel from Turkey to Bulgaria by train, buy your train ticket locally at a train station in Turkey. The best option is to buy it at the Sirkeci station in Istanbul. You will find international ticket counters at the train stations of larger cities. There are no online tickets available.
The only rail connection between the two countries is the line from Istanbul via the Kapikule/Svilengrad border crossing. Currently the night train from Istanbul to Sofia and Bucharest is the only service across the border.
If you want to travel from Turkey to Georgia only by train, you have to make a detour via Russia. Therefore a bus connection from Turkey to Georgia is a much faster option.
One bus line is from Trabzon (Turkey) to Batumi (Georgia). At least four connections daily for about EUR 15. From Istanbul (Turkey) to Batumi (Georgia) at least two connections daily for about EUR 25.
Trabzon (Turkey) is not connected to the railway network of Turkey. Therefore the easiest way is to take a bus directly from Istanbul or Ankara (Turkey) to Batumi (Georgia). Buy your bus ticket for Metro Turizm online.
An other option is to travel by train from Istanbul and Ankara to Kars (Turkey). And from Kars (Turkey) to Batumi (Georgia) by bus.
In Batumi (Georgia) change to a train to continue to Tbilisi (Georgia).
Border crossing is currently: you leave the bus with the luggage before the border, cross the border by foot (easy) and after the border the bus picks you up again.
In future there will be a train connection from Turkey to Georgia. But it is still under construction.
To travel from Turkey to Greece, you have to use a bus. There is no direct train anymore. A train connection could be via Sofia (Bulgaria), but takes a lot more of time than by bus.
There are several direct (overnight) bus connections available from Istanbul (Turkey) to the bigger Greek cities (Athens, Thessaloniki, ...). Have a look at the links.
To book your ticket online, use the following city names to find connections.
Athens = Atina
Thessaloniki = Selanik
Istanbul = Istanbul Avrupa
To travel from Turkey to India, there is no rail connection available. We recommend to book a direct flight via the given booking link. Train tickets in India are available via 12go.asia.
To travel from Turkey to Iran by train you have to use several trains today. Until 2015 a Turkish train ran from Ankara to Tatvan and an Iranian train from Van to Tehran. Since June 2018 the journey is now available again by train.
First travel from Ankara by "Vangölü Ekspresi" to Tatvan. This train leaves twice per week from Ankara (Tuesday and Sunday / dep: 10:55 / arr 12:09). Tickets from Euro 10 on: rail.shop/tcdd
In Tatvan you change to the ferry to Van. The journey time is about four hours. Schedules only available locally.
From Van (Turkey) take the train to Tabriz (Iran) which runs once per week on Tuesday (dep. 21:00 / arr 07:25). The border control is in the middle of the night. Tickets available from Euro 10. Buy them locally or ask on: rail.shop/iran
In Tabriz you continue for example by night train to Tehran. Tickets available on: rail.shop/iran
Currently you have a break of some days in Tatvan. We will inform you here as soon as the connection is optimized.
To travel from Turkey to Romania by train, buy your train ticket locally at a train station in Turkey. The best option is to buy it at the Sirkeci station in Istanbul. You will find international ticket counters at the train stations of larger cities. There are no online tickets available.
The only rail connection between the two countries is the line from Istanbul via the Kapikule/Svilengrad border crossing and Bulgaria. Currently the night train from Istanbul to Bucharest and Sofia is the only service across the border.
To travel from Turkey to Serbia by train, make use of the direct overnight train from Istanbul (Turkey) via Sofia (Bulgaria) to Belgrade (Serbia). Train tickets are available at train stations only.
To travel from Turkey to Ukraine, first travel to Istanbul Haydarpaşa ferry and rail terminal. From there take the ferry to Chornomorsk (Ukraine). The journey time is about 30 hours. Ticket price starts from USD 80. In Chornomorsk which is located 20 kilometres south of Odessa, take a taxi, mini-bus or bus from the port to the railway station of Odessa.
An adventurous rail trip through Turkey.