If you are looking for a sleeper in a train from Ankara to Kars, you are in trouble.
There’s an extended and up-to-date version of this article at Rail Turkey.
Dogu Express, running between Ankara and Kars, is one of the most popular train in Turkey. Since it’s also the most prefered train by travel tours, it’s not easy to find ticket for this train. Especially the tickets of sleepers are sold out within minutes as soon as the tickets are on sale 30 days prior to travel date. This is also valid for couchette wagon.
If you are desparetely seeking for ticket for Dogu Express, here are some clues:
Be ready with your PC at midnight
Tickets are on sale via internet 30 days prior to travel date. And are sold within minutes by travel companies. Be ready with your computer at midnight 30 days ago, and try to buy the ticket online. Unfortunately, timing is not definite, you may wait for hours in front of the PC:
Use train on return
Most of the travellers prefer using Dogu Express on eastward direction, and return by plane. Do vice versa. You have a slightly bigger chance to find tickets on return from Kars.
Rent a wagon
If you are a group of 20 people, rent a sleeper wagon from TCDD Tasimacilik which is going to be added to the end of train. Find a Turkish speaking friend to call passenger transport department (Tel: +90 312 309 05 15/71811-71821).
Cover Photo: Onur Uysal ©