by Tom Brosnahan
Travel Info Exchange
Train station at Adnan
Menderes Airport, İzmir.
Interrail passes and Eurodomino rail
passes sold by Rail
Europe are valid in Turkey,
but the TCDD Train Tour Card (see
below) is probably a lot cheaper.
The Balkan Flexipass available
for Greece, Bulgaria, Romania,
Macedonia, Serbia & Montenegro)
is also valid in Turkey.
Train Tour Cards
Turkish State Railways (TCDD)
offers Train Tour Cards (Tren
Tur Kartları) good for 30 days'
unlimited travel on the entire Turkish inter-city
rail network (though not valid within Turkish cities, or on international
High-Speed Train Tour Card
The High-Speed Train Tour Card (YHT
Seyahat Kartı) price varies depending on the departure and arrival cities you choose: Istanbul, Eskişehir and Ankara; Eskişehir and Konya; and Ankara and Konya. For example, for a month of unlimited travel between Ankara, Eskişehir and Konya, the adult card costs TL420. The card is also valid on any other intercity
train in Turkey, but
does not include sleeping car or
couchette car fees.
Express Train Tour
The Express Train Tour Card (Ekspres
Tren Tur Kartı) is valid on all traditional (non-High-Speed) inter-city routes and trains. It costs TL210 for 30 days' travel, but
does not include sleeping car or couchette car fees.
Sleeping Car Train
The Sleeping Car Train Tour Card (Yataklı Tren
Tur Kartı) costs TL550
and is valid both for carriage on
any train, and use of any sort of
sleeping accommodation: sleeping
car (yataklı vagon), couchette (kuşetli),
or couchette with sheets,
blankets and pillow (örtülü kuşet).
Note that you should reserve
car accommodation in advance.
If you take more than 5 one-way
(single) journeys, or 3
round-trip (return) train journeys, you
will probably save money with
a Train Tour Card. (See
However, the trains don't
go everywhere in Turkey
(map); except for the Istanbul-Ankara
route, they're often slower
than the bus; and except for the high-speed trains, the equipment
may be well-used, and in
some cases even dilapidated—though serviceable.
Plan your itinerary, and see if a Train
Tour Card suits you.
How to Buy a Train Tour Card
You may buy your Train Tour Card at a major train station in Turkey. So far as I know, they are not sold online, or at any other places.
Have your passport or official
photo identity card ready
to show when you buy and use your card.
The card's 30-day validity begins on
the first day you use the
card (which may or may not be the day
you buy the card).
You can buy cards at 85 major stations,
—by Tom Brosnahan