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Istanbul to Ankara by train

Turkish delight: your journey from Istanbul to Ankara

Enjoy a Turkish adventure when you catch the train between the country's two most important cities. There are 20 departures from Istanbul a day, with the first leaving at and the last at . This journey, which will take approximately 5 h 32 min, costs $ 11.90 on average.

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What to expect from your train

There are a few different options when you're taking the train from Istanbul to Ankara. If you're in a hurry, look for the YHT, the high-speed service. These modern, comfortable trains have both Business and Economy sections; you'll get more legroom and a premium seat if you choose to upgrade. Onboard, you'll find both a cafe/bar and a restaurant area, where drinks, snacks, and meals are served.

For travelers on a budget, there are also conventional trains running the same route. These may not be as plush as the YHT, but they're still as modern and pleasant as anything you'll find in Western Europe, with comfortable seats and air conditioning. There may or may not be a restaurant car onboard; if there is, you can expect only cold food and drinks. There are always options for food and drink at the stations in Istanbul and Ankara.

Arriving in Ankara

Ankara Gari, the central rail station, is a local landmark that can be found in the historic Ulus neighborhood. Before you continue with your journey, you might want to stop and take a look around. The Art Deco design is worth a closer look, and the grand fountain out front provides a warm welcome to Ankara.

This is a bustling station with both local and intercity trains. There's also a metro stop, which will allow you to continue your journey around the city. A number of buses stop here, too. If you'd rather avoid public transport, then just head out the main entrance, and you'll find cabs waiting.

The best views of Ankara

Many visitors to Turkey don't go beyond Istanbul - but if you neglect the country's capital, you're missing a treat. It's true that Ankara is far smaller than Istanbul, with a population of 5 million to its rival's 15 million. Despite this, it's a city steeped in history, with an intriguing blend of ancient and modern culture to explore.

To get a good look at the city, head up to Kalesi or Ankara Castle. This impressive defensive building has no less than 42 towers. Climb up its massive walls to see the city sprawling below you. The castle stands on a hill, and it's quite a walk to get up there. Avoid it during the heat of the day, when the trek will become all but impossible.

Around the grounds of the castle, you'll find a street market. This is just one of many to explore in Ankara. Remember, haggling is welcome here, so don't feel you have to pay the first price offered to you! With a bit of negotiation, you can pick up some real bargains.

A very different building that offers equally spectacular views is Atakule, the 410-ft observation tower built in 1989. It stands in Çankaya and offers clear vistas across the city. There's even a rotating restaurant inside, a popular choice for romantic dinners.

Delve into Ankara's history

The Republic of Turkey is still a young country, but people have lived in Ankara for thousands of years; it was conquered by Alexander the Great and was later incorporated into the Roman Empire. It became the capital of Turkey following the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Although it is now thoroughly modern, it has a rich history which can be explored in some of these museums and historic sites:

  • Anıtkabir This is the mausoleum of Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey. This enormous complex houses a fascinating museum about Turkey's road to independence, as well as stunning monuments, peaceful gardens, and frequent military parades. Pick up an audio guide from the visitors' center to ensure you don't miss anything.
  • Museum of Anatolian Civilizations Go way back in time at this museum, which collects artifacts from the Hittites, who lived here prior to the Greek conquest.
  • Haci Bayram Mosque This mosque dates back to the 15th century. Beautiful Arabic calligraphy decorates its walls, along with intricate engravings.
  • Roman baths The Roman baths of Ankara are now in ruins, but they still contain a number of archeological treasures to delight visitors. Statues, inscriptions, and other interesting details can all be enjoyed and admired here.

Visiting mosques in Ankara

There are many beautiful mosques to visit around Ankara. While these offer an amazing look at Turkish culture and history, be aware that they are religious buildings with specific norms. Follow these rules to show respect, and you will be made welcome as a visitor:

  • Do not enter mosques during prayer time. The call to prayer, which can be heard across the city, will advise you when this is coming up. Don't go on Fridays, which is the main day of worship.
  • Dress appropriately. Both men and women should cover up with loose-fitting clothing. Sleeves are a must. Women should also cover their heads. Take off your shoes before entering.
  • Some mosques have separate entrances for men and women. These will always be clearly marked. While inside, refrain from hugging, shaking hands with, or touching anyone of the opposite sex.
  • Enter the mosque with your right foot first, and leave with the left foot first. Take care when sitting: you should not sit with your feet in the direction of Mecca, which is usually clearly marked.

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Istanbul to Ankara by train

Best price $ 9.99
Journey duration 5 h 32 min
Connections per day 20
First departure 11:10
Last departure 02:21
Distance 218.7 mi

Ticket price Istanbul - Ankara every day

 
Today
$ 8.74
$ 22.88
Tomorrow
$ 8.68
$ 21.69
In 2 days
$ 8.74
$ 19
In 3 days
$ 8.92
$ 17.93
In 4 days
$ 8.74
$ 17.93
In 5 days
$ 8.74
$ 16.83
In 6 days
$ 8.74
$ 21.14

Route Summary by Train

Connections
20
Carriers
1
Minimum price
$ 9.99
Maximum price
$ 12.85

Istanbul - Ankara

Monthly
Cheapest

Best prices for the month

Cheapest tickets for

By Bus

$ 8.74

Date
Thursday, November 4th 2021
Beydağı Turizm-logo
İSTANBUL (Esenler) - ANKARA
4:00pm - 11:59pm
Beydağı Turizm
7h 59min
CO2: 11.26kg
Cheapest
By Flight

$ 16.30

Date
Thursday, November 4th 2021
Pegasus Airlines-logo
Sabiha Gökçen - Esenboğa
8:05am - 9:10am
Pegasus Airlines
1h 5min
CO2: 70.74kg
Tcdd-logo
Tcdd
Duration: 7 h 33 min
İstanbul(S.çeşme) - Ankara Gar
01:52 - 09:25
$ 11.57
Tcdd-logo
Tcdd
Duration: 7 h 23 min
İstanbul(Bostancı) - Ankara Gar
02:02 - 09:25
$ 11.57
Tcdd-logo
Tcdd
Duration: 7 h 4 min
İstanbul (Pendik) - Ankara Gar
02:21 - 09:25
$ 11.57
Tcdd-logo
Tcdd
Duration: 4 h 26 min
İstanbul(S.çeşme) - Ankara Gar
09:00 - 13:26
$ 12.67
Tcdd-logo
Tcdd
Duration: 3 h 55 min
İstanbul (Pendik) - Ankara Gar
09:31 - 13:26
$ 12.67
Tcdd-logo
Tcdd
Duration: 4 h 40 min
İstanbul(S.çeşme) - Ankara Gar
10:25 - 15:05
$ 12.67
Tcdd-logo
Tcdd
Duration: 4 h 28 min
İstanbul(Bostancı) - Ankara Gar
10:37 - 15:05
$ 12.67

How much time will it take to go from Istanbul to Ankara by train?

The journey between Istanbul and Ankara by train usually takes 5 h 32 min to cover a distance of 218.7 mi. The shortest journey from Istanbul to Ankara will take you 3 h 55 min. Remember, as always, that this time does not include any delays that might occur due to weather conditions, construction, or unexpected diversions and disruptions. If arriving in Ankara quickly is a priority for you, look for express or non-stop services. You may also find that a connecting route reaches your destination faster than some direct journeys. Virail will allow you to explore all your options and come to a decision that suits your needs.

When do departures from Istanbul to Ankara leave?

If you prefer to travel early, you will usually find the first departure from Istanbul to Ankara leaving at 11:10. Although things may change depending on the day, in general the last daily departure leaves at 02:21.If you have some flexibility over the day on which you travel, you might find more options available to you. For example, some providers may only run early morning routes on weekdays, when people are traveling to work. You will often find fewer options available on weekends or public holidays.

Which stations are used when traveling from Istanbul to Ankara?

In Istanbul, departure stations include İstanbul(Bostancı), İstanbul(S.çeşme), İstanbul (Pendik), İstanbul(Bakırköy) and İstanbul(Halkalı). When you arrive in Ankara, you may be able to disembark at stations such as Ankara Gar. Remember though that the exact stations served on each route can vary. Different providers may depart from and arrive at different stations. Furthermore, if you travel on an express service, the number of stations may be limited, and the exact stations served on a particular route may vary at different times of day or day of the week. Check in advance to ensure that you are departing from and arriving at a station that is convenient for your journey.

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

The route from Istanbul to Ankara is served by providers including Tcdd. From this list of transport providers, there are up to 28 departures each day. However, this exact number will vary. On average, journeys depart from Istanbul 20 times per day. This number includes all the transport providers that serve the route. When traveling from Istanbul to Ankara, you may choose to use an indirect route, involving connections. If you prefer not to do this, you will find an average of 20 direct journeys each day. However, indirect routes open up more possibilities for flexible travelers. On average, there are 0 journeys with one change or more each day. These numbers are all averages. They can slightly vary depending on the day of the week, the season of the year, local festivals, and other factors.

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