10 experiences that you can live only in trains

7. Pajamas party

What about traveling as 4 friends while sleeping, chatting or playing games. Couchette wagons, which have 6 beds in some countries, exists in most of the overnight trains in Turkey with 4 beds. Kars, Sofia, Van Lake, Konya trains are some of the trains with couchette wagons.

Especially in international trains, couchette wagons are the right address for ones who’d like to meet new people. Of course, it’s possible to regret.

Belgrad İstanbul yolcuları
Belgrad-Istanbul passengers. Photo: Onur Uysal
8. Take your bedroom to train

Would you like to get on train with your partner, get into your room with refrigirator, sink and table, get your pajamas on, lay your bed and fall asleep in a comfortable bed and wake up at the destination you are travelling to? Almost all overnight trains in Turkey has sleepers.

In Istanbul-Bucharest train running on summer, there’s a version with toilet and shower inside.

9. Climbing steepest mountains

Unfortunately, there is no such train in Turkey, but is very common in many countries. Especially on touristic routes. Famous ones are at Switzerland. You’ll travel through the sides of very high mountains. It’s normal to feel fear, but you can be sure that you are using the safest way.

Pilatus train
Pilatus train
10. Discover countries

If you ever use cruise ship, you already have enjoyed discovering many cities without carrying your luggages. There’s also an “overland” version of having a room for sleeping, a restaurant for meals and free time for discovering cities on way: tour trains. Most famous ones are Siberian Express from Moscow to Beijing, Blue Train crossing Africa and Mahajaras Express in India. Note that they are extremely expensive.

Cover Photo: Bestami Köse ©


One comment

  1. Thanks for the article. I have visited Turkey regularly for the past 14 years and always travel on the big comfy friendly Turkish trains as much as I can, and have pretty much covered the network. There have been lots of incredible changes during this time, with new reliable (even in deep snow) YHT trains, some superb new metros (like in Izmir) and lots of new trams.
    Sadly we’ve lost the magical restaurant cars with fresh cooked food and beer, cheerful chef and waiter, or the thrill of taking the ferry to Hayderpasa late at night to catch the Ankara sleeper (for now at least). Like everyone in Istanbul I can’t wait for Hayderpaša to reopen again – and hopefully the sleepers will return as well. Fingers crossed.
    It’s exciting to see that the secret of just how good Turkish sleeper trains are, seems to be out at last, and so it’s lovely to see the overnight trains to the East developing such a following among young people (even if it does make it very difficult to find a ticket).
    My trip in December 16 to Erzurum was just magical and I didn’t want to get off the train. There were just 7 of us in the single sleeper car, now there are 4 or more sleeper coaches all full! That can only be a good thing. So some of the you tube videos people have made are just ace and nicely capture the fun of the journey – phoning ahead for kebabs to be delivered to the train platform along the way for example could only happen in Turkey – just perfect! Maybe TCDD might consider converting the former restaurant coaches to kebab coaches! Now that would be in every British newspaper – as the Brits love their kebabs as much as the Turks!
    One thing I would say is that the Turkish Railway is a far better way to travel than trains here in the UK.
    You have big comfy seats (that line up with the windows – they often don’t here – so you can’t even see out) lots of legroom, simple, flexible and affordable fares, the best sleeper trains anywhere, and excellent high speed trains that run on time no matter what the weather. Here the trains all stop if it is too hot or too cold. Our railway is run like the worst budget airline. So be careful what you wish for!


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