Istanbul To Ankara Train Guide
Are you planning a journey from Istanbul to Ankara? This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about this route, including costs, and provide a list of pros and cons to help you decide if taking the train from Ankara to Istanbul is the right choice for you.
About the Train from Istanbul to Ankara
The train journey from Istanbul to Ankara is a direct route covering approximately 532 kilometers. The duration of the trip varies, taking between 4 to 5 hours, depending on the specific service you choose. However, there is also a sleeper train option that takes almost 8 hours and departs late at night. There are approximately 15 daily services connecting these two cities.
- Train Types: This train service is operated by TCDD, the entity responsible for Turkey's rail network. There are two main types of trains for this route: YHT (Yüksek Hızlı Treni), which are high-speed trains, and Ankara Express, a sleeper train.
- Departure and Arrival: Most departures leave from Istanbul Söğütlüçeşme, located in the city center, or Pendik, just on the outskirts. The journey concludes at Ankara Gar, conveniently situated in the heart of Ankara. Along the way, most trains make stops at Sincan, Polatlı, Eskişehir, Bozüyük, Arifiye, İzmit, and Gebze.
- Boarding Process: To ensure a smooth journey, it's crucial to arrive at the train station approximately 20-30 minutes before departure to allow time for luggage and ticket checks before boarding.
Istanbul to Ankara Train Ticket Options
The cost of your train ticket depends on the class you select, which can be either standard or business. As of the time of writing, a one-way standard ticket costs around 250 Turkish Lira (TL).
- Booking Methods: You have the option to purchase your tickets through the TCDD website or buy them in person at the train station. It's important to note that train tickets tend to sell out quickly, so it's advisable to book as far in advance as possible.
- Flexible Tickets: Flexible tickets are also available, allowing you to change your travel date up to three times, offering flexibility if you're uncertain about your travel plans.
- Departure Times: Here are some of the departure times for trains from Istanbul to Ankara:
- 6:10 AM
- 7:19 AM
- 8:40 AM
- 9:49 AM
- 10:55 AM
- 11:55 AM
- 12:55 PM
- 1:55 PM
- 3:25 PM
- 4:25 PM
- 5:45 PM
- 7:10 PM
- 11:13 PM (Sleeper train, which takes almost 8 hours to reach Ankara)
How to Get to the Train Stations
- Söğütlüçeşme: Located on the Asian side of Istanbul, if you're already on the Asian side, you can reach this station by taxi or bus easily. However, if you're on the European side, you'll need to cross the Bosphorus. You can do this by taking the Marmaray Metro service, a taxi, or even a ferry followed by a taxi to Söğütlüçeşme.
- Pendik: To reach Pendik, you can either take the Metro and Marmaray or use a taxi. The journey takes around half an hour by road, depending on traffic. Keep in mind that Pendik is also on the Asian side. The Metro is a convenient option, as you can take it to Yenikapi, accessible from any Metro line, and then transfer to the Marmaray service, which will take you directly to Pendik station.
- Arrival in Ankara: Once you arrive at Ankara Gar, you'll find yourself in the heart of the city, making it easy to explore the capital.
Ankara to Istanbul Train vs. Plane: Pros and Cons
If you're weighing the pros and cons of taking a train versus a plane from Ankara to Istanbul, here's a breakdown to help you make an informed choice:
Pros of Taking a Flight:
- Time Saved: A direct flight between Istanbul and Ankara takes approximately 1 hour and 5 minutes. You can depart from either Istanbul Airport on the European side or Sabiha Gokcen Airport on the Asian side.
- Booking Deals: Both Pegasus and Turkish Airlines offer reasonably priced flights. Flight prices can vary, so booking early may secure a more affordable option.
Cons of Taking a Flight:
- Airport Hassles: Navigating to and from the airport can be time-consuming and challenging.
- Lack of Scenery: While a plane is faster, you'll miss out on the incredible scenery that the train journey offers.
- Last-Minute Costs: Flight prices can increase significantly, especially for last-minute bookings, potentially making a train a more cost-effective option.
- Security Procedures: You'll need to go through check-in and airport security, which can be time-consuming.
Ultimately, the choice between taking a train or a plane depends on your personal preferences and priorities. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, so consider your schedule, budget, and the experience you desire when making your decision. Safe travels!
Q1: How long does the train journey from Istanbul to Ankara take?
A1: The duration of the train journey from Istanbul to Ankara varies depending on the specific service. Most high-speed trains take between 4 to 5 hours, while the sleeper train option takes almost 8 hours and departs late at night.
Q2: What types of trains are available for the Istanbul to Ankara route?
A2: There are two main types of trains for this route: high-speed trains (YHT or Yüksek Hızlı Treni) and the Ankara Express, which is a sleeper train.
Q3: Where do the trains depart from in Istanbul and arrive in Ankara?
A3: Most trains depart from Istanbul Söğütlüçeşme, located in the city center, or Pendik, on the outskirts of Istanbul. The journey concludes at Ankara Gar, conveniently situated in the heart of Ankara.
Q4: How can I purchase train tickets for the Istanbul to Ankara journey?
A4: You can purchase train tickets through the TCDD website or buy them in person at the train station. It's advisable to book tickets in advance, as they tend to sell out quickly.
Q5: What are the ticket price options for the Istanbul to Ankara train?
A5: The ticket price depends on the class you choose, either standard or business. As of the time of writing, a one-way standard ticket costs around 250 Turkish Lira (TL).
Q6: Are flexible tickets available for the Istanbul to Ankara train journey?
A6: Yes, flexible tickets are available, allowing you to change your travel date up to three times, providing flexibility for uncertain travel plans.
Q7: What are the advantages of taking a train from Istanbul to Ankara over a flight?
A7: Some advantages of taking a train include the opportunity to enjoy scenic views during the journey, avoiding airport hassles, and the potential for more cost-effective travel compared to last-minute flights.
Q8: How do I get to the train stations in Istanbul, particularly if I'm on the European side?
A8: If you're on the European side of Istanbul, you can take the Marmaray Metro service to reach the train stations on the Asian side. Alternatively, taxis and ferries are available options for crossing the Bosphorus.
Q9: What is the arrival point in Ankara, and is it centrally located?
A9: The train arrives at Ankara Gar, which is conveniently located in the heart of Ankara, making it easy for travelers to explore the capital city.
Q10: How does the train option compare to taking a domestic flight between Istanbul and Ankara?
A10: The choice between taking a train or a plane depends on individual preferences and priorities. Trains offer scenic views and can be cost-effective, while planes are faster but involve airport hassles. Consider your schedule and budget when making your decision.