Experience Eastern Anatolia on Rails: The Eastern Express
Taking the Eastern Express, enjoying some intriguing novel, listening to music, and resting in the wagon-lit while going to Kars in Eastern Anatolia region of Türkiye with stunning landscapes is one of the most popular vacation ideas, especially in winter. It is an experience in itself rather than being merely a means of transportation! So much so that finding tickets might be difficult at times! Observe the changing geography step by step, and taste this wonderful feeling as you pass through the canyons and villages. We will guide you to one of the most extraordinary journeys in Türkiye to experience the Eastern Anatolia on rails!
Ankara-Kırıkkale-Kayseri-Sivas-Erzincan-Erzurum-Kars is the route of the Eastern Express. In a 24-hour journey on the Eastern Express, a total of 1933 kilometers are covered. When you leave Ankara, the huge expanses of the steppe will greet you. As Kayseri and Sivas roads are traversed at night, you will arrive at Erzincan in the morning, passing by streams and mountain slopes, and will be able to take wonderful shots while watching the twisting wagons.
2. Length and duration
Do not compare the Eastern Express train's speed to that of high-speed trains! After all, this is a nostalgic train, and it moves slowly. It takes you on a gentle tour of the area. The Eastern Express travels at an average speed of 80 km/h. One trip travel time between Ankara and Kars is around 24 hours.
3. Stops (Kırıkkale, Kayseri, Sivas, Erzincan, Erzurum)
Every day at 17.55 a.m., the Eastern Express, regarded as one of the world's most beautiful railway lines, departs from Ankara train station. It takes around 24 hours to reach Kars after passing through Kırıkkale, Kayseri, Sivas, Erzincan, and Erzurum. As you approach Kars , you'll see landscapes blanketed in white snow.
4. Wagon types
Covered bunk, pullman or a wagon-lit? If you've never traveled by train before or are on a lengthy train journey for the first time, don’t worry! You have some great options to choose from depending on your taste of comfort. A sleeper car adds to the experience of the countryside and the train travel, especially in the winter, although it is not always available. It can accommodate two people on a bed and four people on a bunk-bed. Seat wagons are known as Pullmans. On either side, there are two chairs that are next to each other. Keep also in mind that train seats are often broader and more comfortable than those seen on buses and airplanes.
5. Best times for travel (Winter spectacles, Sarıkamış Ski Resort)
There’s a strong belief that Eastern Express is more popular in winter thanks to the opening of the Sarıkamış Ski Resort, one of the two special spots in the world with crystal snow! What could be a better way to spend a winter break than taking the Eastern Express to Kars and skiing in Sarkamış? Winter activities in Kars begin with the freezing of Lake Çıldır, festivals are held, and the famed golden carp of Lake Çıldır is hunted. It is time to board the Eastern Express from Ankara and take in the breathtaking scenery. As another option, the end of April and the beginning of May are ideal times to go to Kars with the Eastern Express to experience the emergence of a lush nature flowing from beneath the snow. Seeing the most precious remains of history, the ancient city of Ani, and witnessing this wonderful landscape among the bright flowers on the lush plains of Kars, which is known for its diversity of flowers, will be a memorable experience!