You may be able to buy your Turkish
train ticket just before travel, but
it's wise to reserve your place(s)
at least a day or two in advance if
times, it's essential
to reserve in advance in order to secure
the seat or compartment on the train
Please note: train
seat and sleeping-car berth reservations
may be made no more than 30
days in advance, and tickets
must be issued and paid for at the
time of reservation. In other
words, you can't reserve your seat
or sleeping compartment more than two
weeks in advance, and you must pay
in full when
you reserve your seat(s) or bed(s)
on the train.
cars, I'd recommend reserving
at least several days in advance if
possible. If you can reserve a week
or two in advance, do it,
just to be sure.
Make a Reservation—or Not
Making a reservation or purchasing a ticket on the Turkish State Railways website using the EYBS computerized reservation system is a bit chancy, but may work if you're lucky.
The following guidance refers only to the Turkish-language version of the website, though the Reservation and Ticket Purchase functions have an English-language section that is mostly in English.
1. On the TCDD website homepage, I could not get the ticket and train information form (Nereden/Nereye) to work at all (August 2015). So click on Yolcu at the left end of the navigation bar near the top of the page and select Bilet Satış Noktaları/EYBİS.
2. This takes you to the main page of EYBİS, Turkish State Railways's electronic reservations and ticketing system. If the page is not in English, click on the British-flag button in the upper right-hand corner of the page.
3. Select the Ticket tab, click the Sales or Reservation button, and the Single (One-way) or Return (Round-trip) button, then fill in the From and To fields.
Start typing the name of your From city and you should see a drop-down list of cities and towns with railway stations. Select your Departure city and station from the list, and do the same for your To city.
If this doesn't work correctly, you may see an alert message glide into the upper right-hand corner reading Biniş İstasyonu Seçiniz (in Turkish only). Helpfully, this cryptic message appears written twice, as though repeating it would help a non-Turkish speaker to understand. Translated, it is "Select a Departure Station." Try again.
4. So let's say you write Ankara in the From field and Izmir in the To field. You'll get an alert message (İniş İstasyonu Seçiniz, "Select an arrival station") in Turkish because you spelled Izmir with an undotted uppercase 'I', not a dotted uppercase 'İ', which you probably don't have on your computer keyboard. Try spelling it izmir (all lowercase) and...hey! It works! A drop-down gives you the correct input" İzmir (Alsancak), which you select.
5. Click in the Departure Date field, and a calendar will drop down...in Turkish. Do you know the Turkish Days of the Week and Months of the Year? If not, you can learn them here.
Select the Number of Passenger, then click Continue.
6. Choose a date, click Continue and if you're unlucky an alert will glide into the upper right-hand corner reading İsteğinize Uygun Sefer Bulunmamaktadır, or "No Train Suitable to Your Request Has Been Found."
7. If you've done everything correctly so far, and there are trains between the cities you've input, the Journey Selection page should appear with a list of trains. Some of the train information is in Turkish only, including the Wagon Type. The main types of cars/wagons are Pulman (normal seats) and Yataklı (Sleeping Car). Select the one you want.
The Price (fare) given is only for basic transport. If you want a sleeping compartment, you won't know the price until much later in the process...but you must make the choice of seat or sleeping compartment now, without knowing the price....
8. Click Select then Continue, and a diagram of the actual railroad coach appears. Now you get to choose your seat or couchette or sleeping bed/berth. Crucial information is in Turkish. For sleeping cars, Üst is Upper, Alt is Lower.
When you click on a choice, a tiny window labeled Select Gender will appear. Turkish tradition dictates that unaccompanied females not be seated next to un-acquainted males, so the computer will try to sort this out for you.
As for Tariff, TAM means "Full Fare," which is probably what you'll be paying, although the drop-down list offers also 65 Yaş %50, a 50% discount for those aged 65 and over; GENÇ (Youth); and YAŞLI (Senior aged 60 to 64, 20% discount). You probably don't qualify for the other fares.
9. After you select your Gender and Tariff, an alert will appear in the upper-right-hand corner reading something like 1. yolcu için İZMİR MAVİ TRENİ treninde koltuk seçimi yapılmıştır. Got it? In short it means "Youve finished seat selection for the 1st passenger."
Farther down on the page you'll finally see the total price of your ticket. If you don't like it, you must go back to get any other option.
You're supposed to fill in your name, and your Turkish Republic Citizen Number. Got one? Probably not, neither do I. Leave it blank. Fill in your mobile phone number and/or email address (you must enter at least one of these), then click Continue to reach the Payment page.
10. Fill in the credit card information for payment. Note the UYE REF NO. at the bottom of the page in red, followed by the sentence "You can track your tickets payment with this number." Make a note of the number so that you can identify the payment when it appears on your credit card statement. Then click Make a Payment, and hope it works.
The Easier Way to Buy a Ticket
You can buy train tickets at many train stations from a ticket agent or a Trenmatik ticket machine; at an authorized Turkish post
office (PTT), from Özkaymak and Kamil Koç bus ticket offices; or from
Contact my friends at Efendi Travel in Istanbul who will be happy to make the train reservation for you, and for any other travel services you may need. More...
It's a good idea to also use
these full-service travel agencies
for your other travel arrangements in
Turkey: hotels, tours, cruises, car
rentals, guides, etc.
The prices you pay to an agency may
be somewhat higher than the published
fares to compensate the agency for
its work in making your reservations
and issuing your tickets. (Selling
train tickets is not really a profitable
Pick Up Your Ticket Where You Bought It!
Note that you must pick up your
tickets from the office through which
you bought them. Unfortunately,
you cannot make a reservation through
an agency and then pick up your ticket(s)
at the train station (at least not
Finally, travel agencies are
not authorized to write international
train tickets (for travel
from Turkey to other countries).
International tickets must be written
by Turkish State Railways. However, an
agency may agree to pay for and
pick up your ticket in exchange for
if you are ordering other travel
from the agency at the same time).
The service fee is necessary because
the agency must actually send a staff
member to the railroad station to
buy your tickets in your place.