Trains Ankara to Istanbul: Times, Prices and Tickets

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By Train


From $ 11.04
By Train


From $ 11.04
By Train

2 Days

From $ 11.04

Traveling from Ankara to Istanbul by train

Timetables and costs on the Ankara to Istanbul route

The train from Ankara to Istanbul takes roughly 6 h 25 min, and costs $ 11.92. There are 10 connections from Ankara to Istanbul each day. The first departure is at 22:00 and the final train leaves the station at 22:00.

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The route from Ankara to Istanbul

The east-west route from Ankara to Istanbul is serviced by a number of high-speed trains. Slower routes are also possible, but these tend to be crowded and less comfortable. Cutting through the gorgeous Anatolian landscape into Marmara, it’s a scenic and convenient journey with numerous class or seat options.

Trains depart from Ankara Station, the city’s main and most important railway station. Built during the Turkish Republic period, it's a striking Art Deco-inspired station with ample services and amenities. The station itself is centrally located in the tourist and commercial quarter of Ulus. It borders Gençlik Parkı and is serviced by metro, bus, and taxi cabs. The 331-mile journey to Istanbul from Ankara takes in several stops along the way, including:

  • Ankara
  • Polatlı
  • Eskişehir
  • İzmit
  • Istanbul (Söğütlüçeşme Station)

Crossing Anatolia

Heading west from Ankara toward Sincan, you’ll pass the Turkish State Cemetery on your left as you leave the city. You’re quickly out into the Anatolian landscape, where you’ll find open plains and charming mountains in the distance. Snaking south after Sincan, your train heads through fields and groves toward Polatlı. Polatlı is close to the Phrygian city of Gordian, where Alexander the Great famously cut the Gordian Knot. The area features a number of dusty and romantic ruins.

From Polatlı, your train heads directly west to Eskişehir, a lively oasis in the middle of Anatolia. Passing under hills and forests en route, Eskişehir offers a beautiful mix of new and old. In fact, Eskişehir means "old city," so named for its founding by the Phrygians in 1000 BC. Although you'll have to head to the Archeological Museum to see these, you’ll pass many cobbled streets and charming canals as you travel through.

Into the verdant lands of Marmara

Heading north, your train veers toward Osmaneli, a once important midpoint for the Byzantium Empire. Nestled between lush forested mountains, the landscape begins to change as you cross into this region. Renowned for its large stretches of farmland, this area was where the Ottoman Empire was first founded (in Söğüt). Heading north through natural parks, you’ll skirt the forests of Eriklitepe Tabiat Parkı on your way to Kocaeli and İzmit.

İzmit is your gateway to the Istanbul region. Your train mirrors the Gulf of İzmit, offering pretty waterfront views as you travel west beside the Sea of Marmara. Your train follows the coast through to Istanbul, disembarking on the Asian shore at Söğütlüçeşme Station. Some services continue to Haydarpaşa. From here, you can get connections to European Istanbul or other city regions via metro, bus, tram, or taxi.

Discover Istanbul - where East meets West

Istanbul is a fascinating city with 2,500+ years of history present in its streets. In no other city can you find such a perfect blend of contrasts. This is in part thanks to Istanbul’s central place in four separate Empires. From phenomenal cultural attractions and museums to sublime food and markets, there’s always something going on.

Inspired history and architecture

With lasting landmarks from the days of the Greek, Roman, Venetian, and Ottoman Empires, Istanbul's history is its trump card. One of the most beautiful historic sites is Topkapı, built in the 15th century by Mehmet the Conqueror. Its lush and opulent interiors are a feast for the eyes, with practically every corner open for exploring. Just nearby, you'll also find Istanbul's premier historical museum, or rather three of them, the Istanbul Archaeological Museums.

One of Istanbul's most venerable buildings is Aya Sofya in Sultanahmet. First built by the Roman emperor Justinian I as a Christian church, it was converted into a mosque after the fall of Constantinople. Now a museum containing many great historical artifacts, it also contains the historic 6th-century Basilica Cistern. There are ample more historical treats to discover across the city, from the glamorous Dolmabahçe Palace to the ancient Chora Church.

Art and cultural allure

Istanbul boasts a fine number of galleries and cultural hubs like theaters and concert halls. Among the most important include contemporary venues like ARTER to the north, one of the most striking galleries in the country. Istanbul Modern is yet another fine gallery, offering a fantastic journey through the history of modern Turkish art.

If you want to pick up a local souvenir, artwork, craft or garment, there’s only one place to go – the bazaar. The most famous of these is the Grand Bazaar in the chaotic heart of the Old City. Traveling merchants have been selling here since the 15th century, and it remains a lively and thrilling experience. Be prepared to sip many cups of tea and haggle for the best price going.

Amazing culinary traditions

When in Istanbul, eat like a local. By far the most popular treats for tourists here are meze meals. Found in meyhanes, or taverns, you're served large trays of sharing dishes, both hot and cold. Kebabs are also huge, either şiş or döner. You should also look out for deliciously fresh balık restoran, or fish restaurants. Istanbul has a strong street food tradition. Often pushed around as carts, these itinerant eateries offer up tasty misir corn, among other local snacks.

Istanbul boasts a serious culinary heritage and one that's not just stuck in a single tradition. You'll be able to find many divine Turkish classics like simit and midye dolma throughout the city. Yet Turkey is also home to some excellent fusion and world-inspired flavors. Standout restaurants like Nicole, Mikla, and Neolokal are carving the way for contemporary Turkish cuisine.

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Ankara to Istanbul by train

Best price $ 11.04
Journey duration 4 h 58 min
Connections per day 16
First departure 22:00
Last departure 22:00
Distance 218.7 mi
Departure Ankara
Arrival Istanbul
Carriers Tcdd

Ticket price Ankara - Istanbul every day

$ 11.04
$ 16.28
$ 11.04
$ 13.45
In 2 days
$ 11.04
$ 15.01
In 3 days
$ 11.04
$ 16.23
In 4 days
$ 11.04
$ 15.07
In 5 days
$ 11.04
$ 13.65
In 6 days
$ 11.04
$ 15.02

Route Summary by Train

Minimum price
$ 9.59
Maximum price
$ 26.92

Ankara - Istanbul


Best prices for the month

How long is the journey from Ankara to Istanbul by train?

The journey between Ankara and Istanbul runs for about 218.7 mi and usually takes approximately 6 h 25 min. However, this figure is an average and will vary according to a number of factors. Depending on the method of transport that you choose, you might be able to arrive in less time. The shortest time in which you can complete this journey is 3 h 39 min. If you are trying to get from Ankara to Istanbul as quickly as possible, look for express routes or non-stopping services. Direct routes are not always the fastest way to travel. At times, you may even find a quicker route that involves a connection in another city.

What time are the departures from Ankara to Istanbul?

The first daily departure from Ankara to Istanbul leaves at 19:45, while the last journey of the day sets out at 22:00. These are according to the standard schedules for the route between Ankara and Istanbul. However, different providers' timetables can vary from day to day or month to month, so these particular departures may not be available every day. Some providers may change their schedules on public holidays and weekends, or during the summer months. Check your travel dates when making your booking.

Which stations can I use on the Ankara to Istanbul route?

There are different options to choose from when traveling between Ankara and Istanbul. You can start your journey in Ankara at stations such as Ankara Gar. These connect to stations including İstanbul(Bostancı), İstanbul(Pendik), İstanbul(Bakırköy), İstanbul(S.çeşme) and İstanbul(Halkalı) in Istanbul. There may not be a direct connection between all the stations in the two locations. Some providers will only serve a selection of the stations, and you may have to travel from one station to another in the same city after arrival to reach your ultimate destination. Virail will show you both all direct routes and any connecting services which you can take to get from Ankara to Istanbul.

How many journeys from Ankara to Istanbul take place each day?

On average, there are 10 daily departures from Ankara to Istanbul. However, there may be more or less on different days. Providers' timetables can change on certain days of the week or public holidays, and many also vary at particular times of year. Some providers change their schedules during the summer season, for example. At very busy times, there may be up to 50 departures each day. The providers that travel along this route include Tcdd, and each operates according to their own specific schedules. As a traveler, you may prefer a direct journey, or you may not mind making changes and connections. If you have heavy suitcases, a direct journey could be best; otherwise, you might be able to save money and enjoy more flexibility by making a change along the way. Every day, there are an average of 10 departures from Ankara which travel directly to Istanbul. There are 0 journeys with one change or more.


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