Categories: Travel

The Turkish Mesopotamian Express Takes New Routes through Anatolia

The Mesopotamian Express is a luxurious train that takes passengers on a scenic journey through the Anatolia region, stopping at some of its most iconic cities. Covering a distance of 1,051 kilometres in just 24 hours, the sleeper train travels from Ankara to Diyarbakir, passing through Kayseri, Sivas, Malatya, Elazıg, and Bingol along the way. During the journey, passengers can enjoy leisurely breaks in Kayseri and Malatya for three hours each, as well as a four-hour stop in Elazığ. These breaks provide the perfect opportunity for guests to relax, explore the cities’ unique architecture, and savour the local culinary delights. The train operates on a weekly basis and can accommodate a total of 180 passengers. It comprises nine sleeping cars and one dining wagon, where travellers can enjoy delicious Anatolian cuisine.

Anatolian City Stops

Nestled at the base of Mount Erciyes lies Kayseri, the ancient capital of Cappadocia that has been home to multiple civilizations throughout history, starting with the Hittites. Travelers exploring the city will encounter a blend of historical sites, including a medieval castle, old fortifications, and notable Seljuk landmarks like the Döner Kümbet, the Grand Mosque, and the Gevher Nesibe Madrasa, which now hosts the Seljuk Civilization Museum.

Aside from its rich history, visitors to Kayseri can indulge in the city’s renowned street cuisine. One must-try dish is “mantı,” a delectable minced meat dumpling served with a generous dollop of garlic yogurt. This culinary delight is just one of many flavours waiting to be savoured in this vibrant Turkish city.

Malatya –  The Cultural Crossroad

The area has historically served as a bustling hub for trade and cultural interactions between Mesopotamia and Anatolia. Arslantepe Mound is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, showcasing the rich history of the region. Visitors can take a break and explore the city’s historical landmarks, like the Old Malatya Ulu Mosque, as well as wander through the ancient city walls. They can also visit the Coppersmiths’ Bazaar to purchase handmade copper items and enjoy the local apricots at the Şire Market.

Elazig –  The Centre of Faith 

Elazig has long been regarded as a hub of faith, spirituality, art, and wellness due to its strategic position along ancient trade paths. Over the centuries, the city has been embellished with majestic castles, bustling markets, elegant mosques, and serene bathhouses that stand as remnants of its illustrious past. Among the noteworthy landmarks in Elazig are the imposing Harput Castle, the historic Church of the Virgin Mary which dates back to ancient Anatolia, and the grand Harput Mosque. The Mesopotamia Express makes its final stop in this vibrant city, inviting travellers to explore its rich history and vibrant culture.

Diyarbakir’s –  The Heart of Mesopotamian Culture

Diyarbakir boasts a rich history as the home of 33 civilizations, each contributing to the city’s diverse culture. From its unique architectural marvels to its delectable cuisine, traditional arts, and bustling city life, it has something to offer for every visitor. Start your day with a delightful breakfast at the historic Hasan Pasha Inn before exploring iconic sites such as the Diyarbakir Walls and Hevsel Gardens Cultural Landscape Area, designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. Don’t miss out on visiting the Grand Mosque, Prophet Suleyman Mosque, Ickale Archaeology Museum, Zerzevan Castle, and Mithras Temple.

The Egil district is a must-see with its castle, inns, churches, and mosques, along with the picturesque On Gozlu Bridge (Dicle Bridge) and Malabadi Bridge. Immerse yourself in the rich history and vibrant culture of Diyarbakır as you explore these remarkable attractions.

Each two-person cabin is equipped with modern amenities including a refrigerator, lighting, heating, a lavatory, and a storage cabinet. The cost for a two-person sleeping arrangement is  9,000 Turkish Lira for the outbound journey and  8,000 Turkish Lira for the return journey. Tickets can easily be booked using the Turkish State Railways’ convenient app.

Image Credit: GoTurkiye

Tahira

Tahira Khan is our Features Writer & NCTJ-accredited Journalist. She has experience in the Wellness industry and loves travelling. She is a firm believer of authenticity and we at BMM are exactly that. Her expertise lies in travel, wellness & lifestyle. One of Tahira's favourite quotes... 'The most beautiful thing in the world, of course, is the world itself' - (Wallace Stevens)

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