The Mesopotamia Express: Türkiye’s Newest and Popular Touristic Train Route

Would you like to explore the stunning beauty of Türkiye by train? Furthermore, these journeys are ideal for the spring months when nature awakens and transforms every corner of Türkiye into breathtaking scenery. The Mesopotamia Express is one of Türkiye’s newest tourist train lines, allowing tourists to have memorable experiences. 

The Mesopotamian Express, which begins in Ankara, Türkiye’s capital, and ends in Diyarbakır, the heart of the south-east, provides a one-of-a-kind travel experience of 1,051 kilometres, allowing passengers to explore Anatolia's iconic cities as well as fascinating scenery along the way, as well as long-haul rides at specific points. 

The Mesopotamian Express travels 1,051 kilometres from Ankara, Türkiye’s capital, to Diyarbakır, the heart of the south-east providing a one-of-a-kind travel experience to its passengers. The Mesopotamian Express’ passengers can explore Anatolia's iconic cities and fascinating scenery along the way, with long-haul rides at specific points. The journey from Ankara to Diyarbakir takes 24 hours in total, passing 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 train has a total capacity of 180 passengers, a 9-bed and one-dining waggon. It includes a refrigerator, lighting and heating, a lavatory, and a storage cabinet for those travelling in the compartments.

A unique route on Anatolian cultural routes

Kayseri, located in the foothills of Mount Erciyes and one of the route's rest sites, has seen several civilisations since the Hittites. In addition to the mediaeval 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. Furthermore, the city's famed cuisine, particularly “mantı”, provides a one-of-a-kind local experience.

Malatya, another stop of the express, is a crossroads of trade and cultural exchange between Mesopotamia and Anatolia today, as it was in history. Arslantepe Mound, registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List, proves the city's historical heritage. 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, the next stop of the route, has been a centre of faith, culture and health for centuries with its location on the trade routes. The castles, bazaars, mosques, and baths adorn this ancient city, the homeland of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, are 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.

Diyarbakır, the Ancient City of Mesopotamia

Mesopotamia Express takes visitors to Diyarbakır, the heart of Mesopotamian culture, after an exciting journey filled with unique experiences. Diyarbakır, where the formation and development of the most important steps in the history of civilisation are traced with the common culture of 33 civilisations on its territory, is waiting to be discovered with its endless diversity, from architecture to cuisine, from traditional arts to original city life. After having breakfast at the historical Hasan Pasha Inn in the city, you should 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. In the city, you can also see the Eğil district, which stands out with its castle, inns, churches and mosques, and the On Gözlü Bridge (Dicle Bridge/Ten-Eyed Bridge) and Malabadi Bridge. Try stuffed ribs and burma kadayıf dessert before leaving Diyarbakır. You should also listen to Dengbêj, epic narrators who can be considered modern-day Homers.