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All Aboard Türkiye’s Newest Tourist Train Route: Mesopotamia Express

All Aboard Türkiye’s Newest Tourist Train Route: Mesopotamia Express

Anatolia awaits! Passing desert landscapes and snowy peaks, the Mesopotamian Express takes passengers across the Anatolia region with long breaks at its iconic cities. Travelling 1,051 kilometres over 24 hours from Ankara to Diyarbakır, the sleeper train passes through Kayseri, Sivas, Malatya, Elazığ, and Bingöl. The route includes three-hour breaks in Kayseri and Malatya, and a four-hour stop in Elazığ, giving guests time to rest and explore the cities’ unique architecture and delightful local tastes.

The weekly train has a total capacity of 180 passengers, nine sleeping cars, and one dining wagon offering Anatolian cuisiane. The two-person cabins include a refrigerator, lighting and heating, a lavatory, and a storage cabinet. Two-person sleeping arrangements cost TL 9,000 (approximately £222.76*) for the outbound journey and TL 8,000 (approximately £198.01*) for the return journey. Tickets can be booked via the Turkish State Railways’ app.

Anatolian city stops

The historic capital of Cappadocia, Kayseri is located in the foothills of Mount Erciyes and has seen several civilisations since the Hittites. In addition to the medieval castle and fortifications in the city centre, visitors can see various Seljuk landmarks, including the Döner Kümbet, the Grand Mosque, and the Gevher Nesibe Madrasa, which houses the Seljuk Civilization Museum. They can also savour the city’s famed street foods, such as “mantı” – a minced meat dumpling topped with garlic yogurt.

Malatya has always been at the crossroads of trade and cultural exchange between Mesopotamia and Anatolia. Arslantepe Mound is registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List. During the break, passengers can see the historical buildings of the city, such as the Old Malatya Ulu Mosque, as well as the city walls can buy handmade copper items at the Coppersmiths’ Bazaar and taste local apricots at the Şire Market.


Elazığ has been a centre of faith, culture, and health for centuries for its location on the trade routes. The castles, bazaars, mosques, and baths adorn this ancient city like silent witnesses of glorious times. The city’s must-see attractions include Harput Castle, the Church of the Virgin Mary, one of Anatolia’s oldest sites of worship, and the historical Harput Grand Mosque.

Mesopotamia Express’ final destination, Diyarbakır is the heart of Mesopotamian culture. Diyarbakır has seen the formation and development of 33 civilisations. This has resulted in its endless diversity, from architecture to cuisine, from traditional arts to original city life. After having breakfast at the historic Hasan Pasha Inn in the city, visitors can visit the Diyarbakır Walls and Hevsel Gardens Cultural Landscape Area, which is on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List. Other city attractions are the Grand Mosque, Prophet Süleyman Mosque, İçkale Archaeology Museum, Zerzevan Castle, and Mithras Temple. The Eğil district stands out with its castle, inns, churches, and mosques, and the On Gözlü Bridge (Dicle Bridge) and Malabadi Bridge. Visitors should also sample the city’s stuffed ribs and burma kadayıf dessert.