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New Train Launching In Turkiye Will Connect To Lesser Known Cultural Cities

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Istanbul has sky-rocketed in popularity to the point of overtaking Paris as the most visited city in the world.

However, it's not just Istanbul where travelers are heading.

Turkiye's beautiful coastline is luring travelers far and wide from the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea with islands rivaling Greece.

Train en route from Ankara

Turkiye is one of the most fascinating countries to visit, with cultural and historical sites often caught in Istanbul's shadow and the appeal of seemingly endless beaches, like the up-and-coming resort town of Bodrum.

The Mesopotamia Express is set to change that by giving travelers the opportunity to connect to lesser known cultural cities that are well worth a visit.

With new flights and new trains, Turkiye is an exciting place to be this year.

All Aboard' This Spring

Train station in Ankara, Turkiye

Travelers in Turkiye will soon be able to hit the rails and see some awesome places often overlooked. While Istanbul is commonly mistaken as Turkiye's capital, it's actually Ankara.

This will be the starting point of your trip as the Mesopotamia Express will take you through the country’s inner, eastern, and southeastern Anatolian regions.

Ankara is easy to reach from Istanbul by a separate train line or cheap flights that take just an hour.

Travelers can go ahead and begin planning their trip as more details are pouring in just before the launch date of April 19, with the first return ticket from Diyarbakır on April 21.

Where This New Train Takes You

Yeni Mosque in Malatya

They say “the world is your oyster”, meaning you don't have to follow the crowd and you can explore however you choose.

While popular destinations like Istanbul can be a great experience, sometimes taking the road (or rail) less traveled leaves you with the most unforgettable memories.

That's the goal of the masterminds behind the curtain of this new train route, where travelers will surely fall in love with Turkiye's historical hidden gems.

Departing from Ankara, passengers will be taken on a beautiful 653-mile journey through stunning landscapes, making three stops in places you have likely never heard of before: Kayseri, Malatya, and Elazığ.

Hunat Hatun Mosque Complex of Kayseri, Turkiye

Your first stops of Kayseri and Malatya will allow travelers 3 hours to sightsee with the first being the capital of bucket-list worthy Cappadocia and home to Seljuk-era sites and the country's oldest mosque Hunat Hatun dating back to 1238, which still operates a hamam.

Malatya is just as fascinating and rich in history and perfect for grabbing a fresh snack for the rest of your journey as it's known as the ‘land of apricots'.

Beyond juicy snacks, this region is home to the UNESCO-protected Arslantepe Mound, along with temples, palaces, statues, and murals dating back to 3000 BC.

Harput Castle in Turkiye

Lastly is Elazığ, where travelers can indulge in delicious local cuisine as the top foodie destination on this new route.

While food may be the main draw, travelers would be remiss to skip the stunning Harput Castle and vibrant street markets.

Tourists will have an extra hour to explore all the sites compared to the other 2 stops, with 4 hours total before hopping aboard again.

Pricing And Expectations Aboard The Mesopotamia Express

Woman on sleeper train passing through mountains

Many travelers agree with the common saying, “it's not the destination, it's the journey”. Since this isn't a lightning-fast bullet train, those expectations are the best perspective for this type of trip.

That being said, the Mesopotamia Express wants their guests to be as comfortable as possible and has outfitted their cars with seats that convert into beds to ensure a good night's sleep for overnight trips.

The train has 180 seats and offers 9 sleeping cars with an additional carriage for dining. Each sleeper cabin allows 2 passengers to rest comfortably.

Additionally, overnighters can expect access to a refrigerator, sink, closet, and ample heating as the train does reach an altitude of nearly 2.5 miles passing through snow-covered mountains.

Ticket prices start at $275 going outbound and $247 coming back.

3 Turkish teas on train

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