Transasia Express is not running since 2019 due to Covid. Please send us an e-mail to get in to our contact list so we can update you whenever the journey re-starts.
This 65-hour train journey links Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul, with the capital of Iran, Tehran. Istanbul Tehran Train journey covers about 2,900 kilometers or 1,800 miles. Istanbul Transasia Express includes several trips: A high-speed train trip from Istanbul to Ankara, overnight train from Ankara to Tatvan, ferry from Tatvan to Van and another overnight train from Van to Tehran.
All trains are extremely comfortable and ready to offer you nice rest proper sleep with their convertible beds. Moreover, all bedding will be given to you by welcoming and kind staff. Istanbul Tehran Train leaves at 06:00 every Wednesday and you will reach Tehran at 23:20 on Friday. Please, find the detailed schedule and names of stops at the bottom of the page.
The Istanbul Transasia Express is a unique train journey that you can experience this kind of trip only in Turkey and Iran. Picturesque landscapes, hospitable locals, new acquaintances, and bright memories are waiting for you during this trip. You will be surrounded by untouched nature, high mountains, forests, lakes, and rivers.
Istanbul – Tehran is one of the longest route that is currently available across Turkey and Iran. To join the Transasia Express that starts in Ankara, you will get on the train which speeds up to 250 km/h or 160 miles/h in Istanbul. You will be able to explore the diverse landscapes starting from desolate areas to pine forests, villages, and towns on your route from Istanbul to Tehran.
This amazing trip includes a high speed train ride from Istanbul to Ankara, a Turkish train from Ankara to Tatvan, a ferry ride from Tatvan to Van, and finally an Iranian train from Van to Tehran. Only one journey and 4 different rides are waiting for you with the Istanbul Transasia Express. Two countries, two capitals, kind people, astonishing views and unforgettable memories awaits you.
During your long trip, you will observe genuine East Anatolia, the longest river in Turkey – Kızılırmak, the Firat Bridge, which is built on Keban Dam, Van lake and salt lake Urmia. Three train trips and one ferry journey are included in the price.
The ferry that will take you from Tatvan to Van is capable to ship 350 passengers and 40 wagons and is the biggest one in Turkey. Your ride will last 3,5 hours with it. While you are on the board, you will definitely be amazed by the epic surroundings of the lake. Van lake is famous for a small island called Akdamar where an old Armenian church is located, and if weather permits, you will enjoy this view as well.
The Transasia Express is a wonderful opportunity to experience the hospitality of Turkish and Iranian people during your journey. You will not only meet locals but also you will meet with travelers from various countries, as the Istanbul Transasia Express route is used by them.
Istanbul Tehran Train Trip is perfect for all seasons, as in Turkey and Iran you will not experience severe weather conditions.
Istanbul Transasia Express is a unique train journey that is available only in Turkey and Iran. Despite the fact that the Transasia Express route starts in Ankara, we are connecting it to Istanbul with a high speed train. As Istanbul is a big city, there are many railway stations. After your booking, we will get in contact with you at our earliest convenience to find out which station is preferable for you take your Istanbul Ankara high speed train ride.
All in all, the distance you will cover within this journey is 2.900 kilometers / 1800 miles. It is quite an enormous distance but at the same rewarding as you will come back with a totally different mindset and impressions about the Turkish and Iranian cultures.
It should be mentioned that you will travel on comfortably fitted trains and a ferry. The Turkish train to Van from Ankara has 4-bed couchettes and air-conditioners. On the train, passengers are given all required bedding, including towels, pillows, sheets, etc. The Van-Tabriz-Tehran train is alike the Turkish train where seats are converted into beds at the night time.
Bear in mind, that you will have to share your compartment with other travelers, but on the other hand, it is a great chance for you to meet locals and other travelers. However, if you would like more privacy and not to get seperated with your friends at the sleeping time, you will have to buy all four seats in the compartment. Remember, there is gender segregation in Transasia Express.
There are dining cars in the trains that form the Transaisia Express route. Therefore, there is no dining car on a high-speed train from Istanbul to Ankara. In the dining cars, you can have tasty traditional Turkish and Iranian food. You can also find some international food in the dining cars or you can bring your own food to the train before boarding. Finding specific food such as vegetarian or vegan may be difficult during your stay on the train, so we would recommend you buy whatever you like beforehand.
You will not be able to use your credit or debit cards in Iran. That is why you will be in need of having cash with you before crossing the border with Iran. You will have a last-minute option of exchanging Liras to Iranian Rials on the Lake Van ferry. However, what we highly advise you is that you go to exchange bureaus or banks in Istanbul or Ankara as the exchange rate is likely to be worthier than on the ferry.
Furthermore, you should think about downloading an offline map and having mobile data on your phone as there is no WIFI on the trains and the ferry. You may also find it difficult to find WIFI spots in Iran.
There is gender segregation at the sleeping time in Transasia Express. You can avoid it by booking for 4 people and you can have a private compartment for yourself.
Istanbul Ankara train departs at approximately 6:00 a.m. – 6:30 a.m. depending on a station where you would like to start your ride. As it was mentioned before, we will contact you to ask what station works best for you to finish your booking. If you cannot choose, we will recommend you the station closest to your accommodation or a place of staying. A high-speed Istanbul – Ankara train covers 533 kilometers in nearly 4 hours. The seats on a train are comfortable enough for you to enjoy your trip. At last, a train arrives in Ankara at 11:00 a.m. which gives you an opportunity to have some time and prepare for the Transasia Express journey. Ankara Railway Station is pretty close to most of the popular touristic sights of Ankara and you can cover most of them while waiting for Transasia Express which departs at 14:25.
The Ankara – Tatvan train leaves at 14:25. We recommend you come on the Ankara Railway Station half an hour before the departure time, so you could catch your train and start your trip with the Transasia Express. The staff will help to make your trip more comfortable and enjoyable. All bedding for your night sleep will be given to you right away you enter the train. The trains have clean shared toilets at the end of the wagons. After departing from Ankara, the train passes Kayseri, Sivas, Malatya, Elazığ, and Muş. You will see scenic views of Turkish villages and towns while you are having a ride on the Transasia Express. Also, you can catch a hair-raising dawn over Keban Dam. Finally, the train arrives in Tatvan Ferry Port on Thursday at 14:26. Here when a new amazing part of your trip gets started.
You will forget about your tiredness and everything else when time comes to find your seat on a ferry which will take you from the one coast of the lake to another. The new one of a kind ferry will take you from Tatvan to Van across the biggest lake in Turkey – Van lake. The ride lasts 3,5 hours, so you can have a snack or a cup of coffee in onboard cafeterias and observe beautiful sceneries or chat with other travelers. Besides, it is a reminder for you that the Tatvan- Van ferry is the last place where you can exchange Turkish Liras, Euros or US dollars to Iranian Rials. Later on, after mooring, the Iranian train will be waiting to take you to the final destination – Tehran.
The train is the same as the Turkish one. At the back of the wagons there are shared restrooms, and each compartment is fitted for 4 people. There is also a dining car on the train that offers conventional or international meals. If you are familiar with Turkish cuisine, you will find Iranian one very similar. There is much overlap between them. 2 hours later after your setting off, you will arrive at the Iranian border at about 23:19. It is time for guards to check your passport and visa. After that, you can easily go back to your compartment and continue sleeping. At night, the train passes the cities Razi, Salmas, and Tabriz.
The last one is famous for its biggest lake in Iran, salt lake called Urmia. Finally, after 65 hours of train journey, you will reach the destination – Tehran – the capital of Iran. Friday at 23:20 you should be ready to say bye to your new friends and get new experience during your stay in Tehran.