Questions from travelers

We’d like to help you for your questions about train travel.

Please keep in mind that we are not a call center working for TCDD Tasimacilik or any other operator, and we cannot help you for ticketing or reservation problems.

You can write your question at the bottom of this page, in “questions/comments” box.

752 replies »

  1. Is it possible to take a roundtrip trip by train from Izmir to Konya In June?

    • Konya Mavi is a overnight train between Konya and Izmir. Train will most probably start by June, but not clear yet. Most of the trains are not running due to covid for now.

  2. Please if anyone can help it’s very important , i forgot my bag in the yellow locker from few years and I’m trying to contact anyone works there just to make sure if there is a special service or department for lost bags , please if anyone can help just contact me

    • Intercity trains except HSTs are suspended due to covid. No train transport between Istanbul and Adana for now.

  3. Hi. I’d like to travel from Istanbul to Kars with a bicycle. Is it possible to take it on the train?

    Maciej from Poland

    • Bicycles are allowed only in trains with separate luggage wagon or hanging equipment. You need to check when buying ticket. However, main line trains are still sıspended due to covid.

    • Thank you. How can I find out if there are any buses going from Sofia (Bulgaria) to Istanbul? Is there any websites for buses similar to this website?

    • Optima Express Villach – Edirne is starting from June 26th (from Villach).

    • Thank you. I keep checking back but was hoping someone might know something that hasn’t been posted yet. Was originally planning on taking it on a trip over last September which didn’t happen and was hoping that perhaps it would be running by this September.

  4. Hello, are the trains from Izmir to Konya working now? I cannot find them on TCDD.

    • Yes, she can. Only children upto 12 years old should be accompanied. If you/she informs staff, I’m sure they’ll keep eyes on her. Note that Sofia Express is suspended due to Covid-19.

  5. Can a 13 year old girl travel alone on the train from istanbul to sofia?

    • Thank you Onur for the Dogu Express above. Is the Vangolu Express running also from 1. August?
      B.t.w.: Which line is more scenic for tourists – Dogu or Vangolu Express?

    • hi
      is the Dogu express running october 2021.? or the Dogu Tourist Express, either of these.?

      i either are not…which Tourist trains are running in turkey.?

      thanks kevin

  6. Please what’s the baggage limit per person for economy and business class on YHT train’s?

  7. I wish to go from Istanbul to Svilengrad by train, is this train running now?

    and is it possible to take a bicycle with me.

    thank you

    • Unfortunately international trains are not running for now. There is a regional train from Istanbul to Kapikule. But you have to cross the border by yourself. And you cannot do it by rail, you have to choose the road gate which is next to rail gate. Standard bicycles are not allowed to regional trains.

  8. Hello,
    My husband is flying to Istambul next week and he’s going to travel from Istambul to Ankara by train. Is it possible to buy a train ticket online without HES number? He’ll get it later, 72 hours before his trip to Turkey so he’ll have it before boarding the train. I’ve also read that one needs a proof of vaccination or PCR test in order to travel on intercity trains – is EU certificate accepted?

  9. Hi all,

    Has the Ankara-Teheran train reopened or is it still closed due to Covid?


  10. Is the train from Kars to Kaysperi running? I want to travel November 27. Thx

    • Yes, Dogu Express is running. Note that Dogu Express has not sleepers any more, only std coaches with seats and couchettes with 4 beds.

  11. Hello. We are hoping to travel from Sofia to Istanbul in January 2021 by night train. Is this train in operation now? Thank you.

    • Thank you. Can the tickets be purchased on line? Is there an office at Istanbul airport to purchase the train tickets?

  12. Hello,

    Is the Sofia express or the Bosphorus Express running right now? Or are they still closed due to Covid. I am looking to travel in January 2022.


  13. hello,
    is the touristic dogu express available for around late december? and if so, are there any terms and conditions for international travellers?

    • It is currently not running and it’s not clear if it will run in December. There is no special condition for international travellers.

  14. Currently a number of services are cancelled out of Izmir to Bandirma and one to Balikesir, also the Samsun- Sivas new service is still not running as TCDD blame covid, why is this, services on most eastbound trains such as Ankara to Kars Tatvan, Malatya, Kurtalan are all running why is certain trains are being blamed on covid as non runners, all seems rather strange certain services running, others not

  15. Merhaba..
    is there a train from basmane to selcuk between 10am to ? and how to book it ?

  16. Is the regular Dogu Express running mid- to late December? I’ve been looking for tickets starting the 12th, and it keeps saying there are no trips planned. If it’s suspended, when will service resume? Thank you

    • Thank you for your reply. I’ve been trying to find tickets, but on the website and on the app, it is not showing any available trips after the 11th of December, which should be within the 30-day window from now. I’m not sure how else to find tickets (this is from Ankara to Kars by the way). Thank you

  17. Hello, would appreciate your help. Train from Istanbul to Ankara where do i check for train ticket? Is there any train from Ankara to Safranbolu? Thank you and regards.

  18. Hello,
    Is the train from Adana to Kayseri running in december? And can we take our bicycle in the train?

  19. Is the train running from Ankara to Diyarbakir (Guney Express) as of November 2021 ?

  20. Hi,

    If I am a foreign traveller, am I required to show a negative PCR test to travel via HSR from Istanbul to Ankara if I am not vaccinated?


    • If you are not vaccinated or caugth illness in the past, you need to show max 48 hrs negative PCR test in trains. Same for all passengers including Turkish citizens.

  21. How can I book a sleeper reservation only for Guney Ekspres? I will have an interrail pass.

  22. As you can only book one month in advance for mainline trains, and as far as I am aware, if you want to get a reduction from the sleeper fare using your interrail pass, you must buy the ticket from a station ticket booth.

    As the sleeper berths frequently get sold out long before the journey, I would assume you would have difficulty getting a berth from the booth a few days before the journey, and as you would only save the seat price of less than 5€, you would be better just to buy the sleeper berth online one month before and forget about using the interrail pass.

    • Perfect consulting, very good. One way using pass might be last minute cancellations, generally done in last 24 hrs, most probably by tour companies.

  23. what is requirements to travel touristic dogu express? pcr test result or vaccine certficate? thank you

  24. Hi!
    I am in Gebze and want to travel by train to Kars. Where di I buy my train ticket, or can I pay once I board the train to Ankara? I noticed at the Gebze Train Station site tgat there is no place to get a rail card, there is no waiting room, nor ATM, so, where do you buy the tickets?
    Thank you.

    • You should buy your tickets in advance at yo will likely find the train full if you get on without a ticket and the inspector would put you off the train at the next station.

    • Hi. No direct train from Gebze to Kars. In any case, you need to buy before getting on board. Either via internet, or via ticket office. Rail card only works for travellers using same train many times in a month. It seems it’s not what you need. Rail pass for usage of several trains in certain period is not on sale anymore.

    • There’s an app, but it is a pain in the ass to get thru and at the end, after more than an hour trying to buy the damn ticket, it would not accept any of my credit cards. A real pain in the ass.
      Makes you wonder, nobody speaks English, and everything online is in turk, and with major restrictions.

  25. Hello,

    Do I need a PCR test to take the train from Ankara to Istanbul?

  26. Hello are tourists trying to go to Konya from Ankara
    We don’t have hes code, can we still book and ride HST?? How much is the charge/fee for extra baggage? Because we are two persons and have two big bags and two mideum bags each. thank you

  27. Hello, I have three questions:

    – is it possible to find out (e.g. somewhere at the TCDD website), when exactly certain railway stations are open, in order to buy a ticket there?
    – can tickets for TCDD trains be bought at each station, even if it’s for a journey from another town? (within the 30 days before the travel)
    – is it possible for foreigners to register at the TCDD online ticketing website? It seems that you need to enter a passport number, which is rejected. How does a Turkish passport number look like? (how many symbols, in which order?).

    • Hi Holger. Here are the answers:
      – No there’s not such a page at TCDDT’s website (note that TCDD stands for infrastructure and TCDDT -TCDD Tasimacilik- stands for operator). The stations are always open if the train is about to arrive, depart or call. Some of the stations are open 7/24. We put 7/24 sign for those at Rail Turkey station pages.
      – It depends. HST and main line tickets can be bough from all tickets offices. Regional tickets can be bought only at stations on route. You can check each train you want to use and see the sales channels at its page at Rail Turkey.
      -It’s surprising that pass no is rejected. I tried with a stupid char+number and could continue. Not forget to check “not Turkish citizen” so that systems asks pass number rather than Turkish citizen id.

  28. I am trying to book Turistic Dogu express. I can find the day and time on the website booking but cannot select the Turistic Dogu ticket (cells are gray), only Dogu Expressi is available. I have tried different days when it runs but the same result.

  29. Hello Sir….Im very confused! And probably worse because I last visited Turkiye in 1988….!
    Travelling by train and inter-city coach ….is this HES pass still law? It seems a nightmare…I cant understand website…
    Also, railpasses in Turkiye….is there a local pass (gezgin paketi??) otherwise inter-rail turkiye, balkan flexipass?? I guess I could just buy ordinary tickets…
    Regards Martin

  30. Dear Onur
    Thankyou for super-fast reply…..Can I ask (I come in August) , is there discussion at the moment to end this HES code stuff? Im very surprised at this… seems like something from 1984 movie or the old USSR…Do you need a new code for every journey you make in Turkiye?

    • Hes code is taken one time, to prevent usage of mass transport in case of Covid. Technically, to keep any info about a person classified other than allowed/not allowed info. I like the logic behind.

  31. Hi there

    If the HES code is still required in August, when I want to book a sleeper train well ahead of our September visit to Turkey, I will still be at home in Europe. So I will not be able to apply for an HES via SMS (I have no Turkish mobile phone number!). To apply via the internet, one needs to be able to sign in digitally (I cannot do that either, it seems).

    How therefore can I apply for an HES and make my advance booking? If I went to a Turkish online travel agency, presumably I’d have the same problem: no HES, no reservation.

    Any ideas to resolve this, please?

    Also, how likely is it that the sleeper will run reasonably on time? Izmir – Eskisehir is timetabled to arrive at 05.33. Could we make it in time to leave on the 07.26 to Istanbul? Or should we be thinking of a later departure from Eskisehir? Thanks in advance!

    • I guess Hayat Eve Sigar application of Mnsry of Health will help. I guess 2 hrs is quite reasonable for next train and you’ll be able to change ticket if train delays. However, I strongly advise you to spend some time in Eskisehir.

    • Thanks Onur. I’ll try the app.

      On our way out from Istanbul we are planning to stay overnight between trains, so I’m pleased to hear you recommend it 🙂

    • You’re welcome. Read a few recommendations at Eskisehir HST Station page of Rail Turkey. I like that city.

  32. Hi Onur

    For the benefit of other non Turkish visitors, the HES app won’t work either – it won’t download to foreign mobiles, even using a VPN to look like you are in Turkey.

    BUT the Istanbul International Airport website offers a HES application form, only needing info that a foreign visitor should easily be able to supply – and the HES code is then sent to your email address. Hopefully that should fix it! Keeping my fingers well crossed 🙂

    • Oh. Good to know it, for informing others. Glad to hear that light is seen in tunnel. Many thanks. Hope you’ll not face any other obstacle. Fingers crossed 🤞

    • I got my HES OK just now via the airport site – and I have managed to buy a trial rail ticket online – rapidly refunded since I don’t need it yet. Hurrah! Hope this helps other people as well 🙂

    • Hi Onur
      Thanks for the welcome update re HES being ended. One less thing to have to remember as part of the planning! Thanks again for all your help. J.

  33. Good day and thank you very much for your help to so many people! May I ask your opinion on when the night train from Istanbul to Sofia might start again?

    • It could be that ıf you ask the system for an Istanbul to Kayseri train, it won’t work as the TCDD system will not show connections.
      Look for train from Istanbul to Ankara then Ankara to Kayseri and then choose trains that connect.

  34. From Istanbul I would like to travel to Ankara on 16.3 and back on 18.3. I will be able to buy tickets in Istanbul until 13.3…Will they be available?


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