6 (Altı) Eylül
6th Express) between Bandırma and İzmir,
used to be coordinated with the İDO fast
ferry between Bandırma and Istanbul,
allowing you to travel between
Istanbul and İzmir via
fast ferry and train in
less than eight hours—about
the same travel time as the bus—but
in greater comfort at a fare similar
to that of the bus trip.
However, these schedules are no longer coordinated, making this a longer journey (9 to 13 hours—the bus takes 8 to 9 hours, the plane less than an hour), which is not so convenient.
The ferry voyage across
of Marmara takes 2 hours. When you reach Bandırma,
on the south shore of the Sea
of Marmara, you walk a few steps from the ferry dock to the train station from which you will begin the
(212-mile, 6-hour) train journey through
scenic countryside to İzmir's Alsancak station—but only after a wait of several hours.
An alternative: ride the ferry for the voyage between Istanbul and Bandırma (2 hours), and a Kamil Koç bus between Bandırma and İzmir, a road journey of about 4 hours.
The ferry and train schedules change frequently. As of July 2014, here are the schedules for travel between Istanbul and İzmir in one day:
The schedules above include only the
ferry departures useful for continuing
your journey by train. There
are other train and ferry departures (depending
on time of year), but they do not allow
you to make the complete journey between Istanbul and İzmir on
the same day. (For full ferry schedules,
see my Bandırma
Ferry schedules as
posted on the İDO
website are not always consistent.
Confirm times locally before
you arrive at the station or ferry
The ferry fare varies by purchase date, travel date, and departure time.
Tickets are sold online and at the Yenikapı
Ferry Terminal in Istanbul.
—by Tom Brosnahan