Covering nearly 3000 kilometers for 3 days sounds unreal but everything is possible with the Transasia Express and our agency that is here to help travelers from all over the world. There is no direct train that connects the Iranian capital, Tehran, and the largest Turkish city, Istanbul. That is why we offer you to join the Transasia Express which finishes its route in Ankara where you can take a high-speed train directly to Istanbul.
The Transasia Express route is a collaboration of Turkish and Iranian railways that started in 2001 and after a short break restored in 2019. It provides the best service and quality trip for passengers. People travel on comfortable trains that have converted beds in compartments and shared restrooms at the end of each wagon. The journey starts at 22:05 every Wednesday and finishes on Saturday afternoon.
This route consists of 3 train rides: Tehran – Tatvan, Van- Ankara, and Ankara – Istanbul, and one ferry ride on Lake Van. It should be mentioned that the Transasia Express route is one of a kind because it lies through the biggest lake of Turkey called Van. All in all, the Transasia Express offers even more: a variety of vivid emotions, unforgettable memories, new acquaintances and of course hundreds of beautiful pictures. You are extremely welcome on board!
If it is your first time traveling to Iran and Turkey, you are going to be surprised how much these two have in common as well how much they are different. But for sure you are going to be overwhelmed by their cultures, hospitable locals, and delicious cuisines. Tehran – Istanbul is one of the longest routes which are currently available in both countries, Iran and Turkey. Even though these two cities are connected by plane, it does not mean that you will get as much as possible from such a trip. Travelers choose a train as a means of transport due to its comfort, safety, and serenity. The Transasia Express offers its travelers these 3 reasons why to chose us. You will meet new friends, likely to share a compartment with locals, learn new cultures, get a new experience and more.
First, you will get on the Transasia Express train in Tehran. The train departs every Wednesday at 22:05. Here you will have plenty of time to reach the railway station and find your train. At your disposal, there are compartments suitable for 4 people with all the necessary bedding provided. Also, there are clean shared restrooms at the end of each wagon. Furthermore, there is a dining car where you can enjoy a tasty breakfast in the morning or a light salad for dinner.
On the Iranian train, only rials are accepted that is why you should leave some cash before getting on board. On your way, you will be passing Urmia lake, a large salt lake in Iran, located near Tabriz. It takes less than 20 hours to reach the border of Iran and Turkey. For this reason, the train makes a stop in Kapıköy because passengers are to pass passport control and get a stamp.
The following ride on the ferry from Van to Tatvan depends on how much time passport control will take. However, according to the schedule, the ferry will be waiting for you and depart at 21:15 and overnight take you to the other coast of Van lake – Tatvan. The brand new ferry is capable to ship 350 passengers and 40 wagons and is the biggest one in Turkey. Here you will meet dawn over the most beautiful and largest lake named Van. On the board, you can take a cup of hot tea or coffee, chat with other travelers, or simply have a piece of serenity for yourself.
Later on, the staff of the Tatvan-Ankara train will welcome you. Also, you will be provided with the bedding you need to have a comfortable rest and sleep in a 4-couchette compartment. There is a dining car where you can pay with Turkish liras, as well as cards might be accepted. Your ride to Ankara will last nearly 24 hours. Finally, you will be able either to spend a few hours in Ankara or to get on a first high-speed train which goes directly to Istanbul. Our agency will contact you to learn about your preferences and details of your journey.
Transasia Express route from Tehran to Istanbul is one of the longest and covers nearly 2.900 kilometers. If it is your first trip to Iran, you should be aware of some limitations for tourists, and here we imply the Internet connection. We recommend that you have mobile data as it is difficult to find WIFI spots in Iran and on the Transasia Express route. Moreover, bear in mind that you should have some cash in Iranian currency as your credit or debit cards cannot be accepted there. The opposite situation is in Turkey, here you can easily pay with paper or plastic.
During your trip, you will be traveling in a 4-bed couchette compartment with an air-conditioner. In case you intend to have more privacy, you are supposed to book all seats for yourself. However, you are allowed to bring your food on boards, and it is perfect for those who have diet restrictions or want to save some money.
Turkey is more open to tourists regarding visa issues. A lot of nationalities can stay on the Turkish territory for 60 or 90 days within 6 months (180 days), however, we highly advise that you check and solve all visa questions before your trip.
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.
A highly comfortable train takes you from the Iranian capital to a coastal city Van. Travel with other tourists and locals in a compartment suitable for four people and make new connections. Overnight with clean bedsheets and serenity outside you will reach your first destination.
Get on a one of a kind ferry which links two cities Van and Tatvan and crosses the lake with the same name, Van, the largest one in Turkey. Drink a cup of tea or coffee and listen to deep waters.
The longest ride within this journey is Tatvan – Ankara ride which takes nearly 1 day onboard. It is enough time to observe wonderful landscapes of Anatolia, make new friends and get used to a new language and culture. Ankara is the last stop of the Transasia Express route which ends at 07:43 on Saturday morning.
Depending on your journey plans, you can either have a walk around the Turkish capital or take the first available high-speed train to Istanbul. The ride lasts less than 4 hours, and the train makes a few stops in different districts in Istanbul. Have a closer look at them below. If you don’t know which one to choose, our agency will be happy to give you a piece of advice.