Erzurum, Eastern Turkey

Last Updated on May 3, 2019

Erzurum, 1240 km (771 miles) east of Istanbul and 873 km (542 miles) east of Ankara, is the “capital” of Eastern Turkey, a transportation center, and a good base for explorations of Turkey’s scenically spectacular but less developed east (map).

Erzurum was an important Seljuk Turkish city in the 1100s and 1200s, and has important Seljuk buildings such as the Çifte Minareli Medrese, the Mongol-built Yakutiye Medrese, a very old citadel, and various distinctive Seljuk Turkishtombs.

The museum and bazaar are also interesting and, in winter, the Palandöken ski resort on the city outskirts draws skiers from throughout Turkey to its dry powder.

Use Erzurum as a base for visits to the beautiful Tortum Valley and Georgian churches in the Kaçkar Mountains to the northeast, and to Doğubayazıt. to gaze on Mount Ararat.

If you don’t have enough time to complete my Recommended Itinerary of Eastern Turkey, you may want to fly to Erzurum, rent a car, and see the sights from here.

The Doğu Ekspresi (Eastern Express) train runs daily to and from AnkaraKayseri (Cappadocia), Sivas, Divriği and Erzincan.

The train hauls sleeping cars, but is much slower than the busmuch much slower than a flight, and not as comfortable as sleeping car trains in western Turkey.

Distances & Travel Times

Ankara: 925 km (575 miles) W, 13 hours

Artvin: 215 km (134 miles) N, 4 hours

Diyarbakır: 485 km (301 miles) S, 8 hours

Doğubayazıt: 285 km (177 miles) E, 4.5 hours

Erzincan: 188 km (117 miles) W, 3 hours

Istanbul: 1275 km (792 miles) W, 24 to 30 hours

Kars: 200 km (124 miles) NE, 3.5 hours

Sivas: 485 km (301 miles) W, 7 hours

Tortum: 55 km (34 miles) N, 50 minutes

Trabzon: 325 km (202 miles) NW, 6 hours

Yusufeli: 130 km (81 miles) N, 3 hours

Van: 410 km (255 miles) SE, 6.5 hours

—by Tom Brosnahan




Mount Ararat



Nemrut Dağı

Eastern Turkey

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