Advice on route: Barcelona (or Paris) - Ankara July 2024

  • 5 April 2024
  • 2 replies


I am planning a trip from Barcelona/Paris to Almaty by train and bus this summer 2024, in order to get to my exchange university in Kazakhstan. I have never used an interrail pass, but I thought it would be a great way to plan the European part of the trip, from Barcelona to Ankara (Turkey). Looking at the railway network I thought I could go through Zagreb-Belgrad-Sofia, either through northern Italy (departing from Barcelona) or southern  Germany (departing from Paris), but I am not sure if this could eventually work out. I was wondering whether someone had already done this trip (Paris-Ankara or Barcelona-Ankara) and is used to taking night trains with interrail, etc. I don't really understand the seat/bed reservation system, which type of trains are the passes valid for, and what prices to expect in early July. If anyone could share information on these I'd be super grateful.

Thank you in advance :)




Best answer by Gordon_Matheus 6 April 2024, 15:54

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Userlevel 7
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The only way entirely by train is via Romania.

Also see:

Userlevel 2

Mind that july is both Olympics in paris and Football Euros in Germany, so everything will be extra crowded. As Rian said, the only way to reach Istanbul by rail is to go through Romania.

You could do Barcelona Lyon, cross Switzerland and reach Vienna from where you have night trains to Bucharest where you take the night train to Istanbul.

Almost all trains are valid with the pass, notable exceptions are Iryo, Avlo and Ouigo trains (both in France and Spain), FrecciaRossa trains in France, and Flixtrain in Germany.

For the night trains reservations are mandatory, where you make them depends on the train itself. Most of them can be booked on, adding the interrail discount and clicking One-Way tickets, NOT Seat only.

I’d advise to sketch a route, decide which you want to take, and read this : for where to reserve them.

If you have more specific questions, please feel free to ask