Trains and Railways in Istanbul
Route maps and booking information for the national rail service, regional trains and the urban train network: to help you find your way around Istanbul...
Trains in Turkey are run by Turkish Republic State Railways (Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Devlet Demiryollar? - TCDD). Railway tickets are relatively inexpensive. Railway routes are limited in eastern regions due to geographical constraints.
- TCDD customer service, Tel: 444 82 33
- Passenger information Istanbul, Tel: 0216 348 80 20
- For a map of the Turkish rail network: Click here
Types of Train Services
- Fast trains (Yeni H?zl? Tren)
- Main routes (Ana Hat Tren)
- Regional trains (bölgesel tren)
- Suburban trains (banliyö tren)
- International trains
- For information on the different types of trains and services: Click here
- Ankara-Istanbul-Ankara: Capital Express (Ba?kent Ekspresi), Republic Express (Cumhuriyet Ekspresi), Conquer Express (Fatih Ekspresi), Bosphorus Express (Bo?aziçi Ekspresi), Anatolia Express (Anadolu Ekspresi), Ankara Express (Ankara Ekspresi)
- Ankara-Izmir-Ankara: 9 September Express (9 Eylül Ekspresi), Izmir Blue Train (Izmir Mavi Tren), Karesi Express (Karesi Ekspresi), Aegean Express (Ege Ekspresi)
- Istanbul-Kars-Istanbul: East Express (Do?u Ekspresi), Erzurum Express (Erzurum Ekspresi)
- Istanbul-Band?rma-Izmir-Band?rma-Istanbul: 6 September Express (6 Eylül Ekspresi)
- Istanbul-Gaziantep-Istanbul: Toros Express (Toros Ekspresi), Middle Anatolia Blue Train (Orta Anadolu Mavi Tren), Meram Express (Meram Ekspresi)
- Istanbul-Denizli-Istanbul: Pamukkale Express (Pamukkale Ekspresi)
- Istanbul-Kurtalan/Tatvan-Istanbul: Lake Van Express (Van Gölü Ekspresi), South Express (Güney Ekspresi), 4 September Blue Train (4 Eylül Mavi Tren)
- For more information about these train routes: Click here (in Turkish)
International train routes
European travel: There are a number of trains from Istanbul to European destinations, including Belgrade, Bucharest, Budapest, Chisinau (Moldova), Plovdiv, Sofia and Thessaloniki.
There are also trains to the Middle East:
- Iran: Trains run from Istanbul to Tehran once a week
- Syria: Trains run from Istanbul to Gaziantep once a week and there is a connecting train from Gaziantep (in south-east Turkey)
Additional connecting lines are added for special occasions such as festivals and public holidays.
- For information on trains to Middle-Eastern countries: Click here
Train tickets can be bought from a number of outlets:
- Main railway stations (from TCDD cashiers): Click here
- TCDD ticket sales agencies: Click here
- Some post offices; for a list of these: Click here (PDF)
Children under the age of seven travel free, provided they do not occupy a separate seat. Disabled passengers are entitled to reduced fares.
Suburban Trains in Istanbul
Several suburban train lines operate within Istanbul, although not many stations are situated close to tourist areas. Main suburban lines include the Sirkeci-Halkal? line on the European side, which runs beside the Sea of Marmara; and the Gebze-Haydarpa?a line on the Asian side.
The main train stations are:
- Haydarpa?a Station
Tel: 0216 336 44 70
- Sirkeci Station
Tel: 0212 527 00 50
AKBIL travel pass
In order to travel on suburban trains, an AKBIL travel pass is required. This electronic transit pass can be used on all public transport in Istanbul including the tram, metro, buses, ferries, boats and seabuses. The pass can be purchased from public transport ticket offices and main bus stations. A deposit must be paid for the token and a number of units are paid for in advance. It is possible to top the card up at any of the orange machines located at train stations and on buses
The pass is in the form of a metal token. To use the pass, place the token in front of the machine; the fare is then deducted from the number of units loaded on the card.
The Akbil travel pass is currently being replaced by the new Istanbulkart, an electronic transit pass. The card can be purchased from train and bus stations as well as from newspaper kiosks. An initial fee is paid for the card, and then a fare credit is loaded onto it. It is possible to top up the credit at bus and train stops and at ferry piers.
To use the card, swipe it in front of a machine; the fare is then deducted from the number of units loaded on the card.
Travelling with Pets
Birds, cats, dogs, poultry and rabbits can be transported in train compartments; however, a suitable pet carrier and the pet's vaccination certificate are needed. Cats and dogs are subject to an extra fee.
Istanbul's underground system has two lines running from Taksim to IV Levent, and Taksim to Yenikapi. The metro system is run by Istanbul Ulasim. There are currently 13 stops, including one at Atatürk Airport; however, works are underway to develop the metro system further.
The metro runs from approximately 06:00 until midnight. Istanbulkart and Akbil travel passes are both valid on the network. It is also possible to buy a journey token on entrance to the metro from one of the machines.
- For further information on the metro: Click here (in Turkish)