Sirkeci Train Station
Address: Ankara Caddesi Hocapaşa Mahallesi, Sirkeci Fatih
Phone: (0212) 520 6575
Working Hours: Every day
Once the last stop on the Orient Express, the grand Sirkeci Train Station (Sirkeci Garı) was and is a rail hub between Istanbul and Europe. Located just inland of the confluence of the Golden Horn and the mighty Bosphorus, the station is itself a kind of coming together - of different peoples, geographies as well as architectural styles.
Its designers elaborated on Istanbul’s “neither East nor West” truism by incorporating both Oriental and European elements. Its banded brick exterior and wide stone portal are characteristically Seljuk, while the soaring clock towers evoke an Austrian or Parisian aesthetic. Construction was completed in 1890.
More than a century after it served its first passenger, the station is still the departure point for European destinations, such as Greece and Romania. Travelers can dine at the Oriental Express Restaurant before departure or visit the Istanbul Railway Museum to reflect on the rich history of the now weathered building. Neglect and time have rendered the terminal in need of restoration, but the site still has the romantic, Orientalist itch.