In recent years, the Tourist Eastern Express – Turistik Doğu Ekspresi, has become extremely popular in Turkey. Due to the high occupancy of the train, the Turkish train company, TCDD, has decided to run a second train under the name Turistik Doğu Ekspresi. Due to the Covid-19 situation, the train was suspended from March 28, 2020. Fortunately, the first tourist train from Ankara to Kars is expected to start on December 15, 2021. We also know the prices list for 2022 and what kind of attractions the train offers. Definitely a great opportunity to plan an unforgettable train journey to the east of Turkey, you may want to add this item to your bucket list for 2022.
Eastern Express vs. Tourist Eastern Express
You may wonder what the difference is between a regular train and a tourist train. The first is the type of carriages. On a tourist train, you can only book a double compartment with folding beds. On the other hand, in regular trains, there are mostly seats or only one carriage with couchettes for four people. Tourist Eastern Express will run on the Ankara-Kars route, twice a week. Trains will depart from Ankara on Wednesday and Friday, and from Kars on Friday and Sunday.
The second most important reason is simply the tourist train puts more on tourists and sightseeing. Traveling by this train you will be able to see much more. There will be longer stops in places such as Erzincan for 2 hours and 20 minutes, 3 hours in İliç, and 3 hours in Erzurum. Eastern Express Main Railway stops, on the other hand, last only a few minutes.
A train ticket currently for Tourist Eastern Express costs 650 TL per person. Compared to the regular Eastern Expres, which costs 68 TL per person, it may seem like a lot. However, we have to take into account that the regular one will not provide us with the same experience as the tourist version, which is much more comfortable and more suitable for exploring Turkish culture, nature or food from restaurant carriage.
Passengers leaving Ankara and heading towards Kars will not only taste different flavors but also have the opportunity to see historical and cultural values. The entire journey takes about 30 hours and the train covers 1310 km in that time. This can be a unique opportunity to experience an unforgettable journey to the east of Turkey. World-renowned travel writers have selected the Ankara-Kars route as one of the 4th best train routes in the world.
Tourist Eastern Express is one of the best attractions we can find in Turkey. Especially worth considering this means of transport, if you plan to visit the eastern part of Turkey. Kars is also a great base for visiting other places such as the beautiful Lake Van area. If you go in winter you should think about visiting Sarıkamış, where you can try skiing. It is one of the best places where you can try skiing from a peak that measures 2634 meters above sea level. These are just some of the options there are endless possibilities and it is all up to you what you choose.