Cappadocia is one of the coolest destinations I have ever been to. I totally get why it is quickly becoming an Instagram hot spot. However, it has a lot more than pretty photo spots (which I will share with you of course!). There is so much history and architecture to be discovered, and great food to be tried, you are honestly in for a treat. Here is the ultimate guide to Cappadocia.

To start I will say that the streets of Cappadocia aren’t particularly suitcase friendly, so if you can opt for a backpack, I suggest you do 😛

Where to stay in Cappadocia

Göreme is the place to stay in Cappadocia. It’s where the majority of the hotels and restaurants are and where most tours will leave from. It is around a 1 hour drive from Kayseri airport (ASR).

I recommend doing some research to find a hotel that has a balcony. Watching the balloons rise over the city from one of the hotel rooftops is an incredible experience.

Best places to visit in Cappadocia
We stayed at both Kookaburra Pension and Koza Cave Hotel and both were great.

Kookaburra Pension

Kookaburra Pension is a third of the price of Koza and personally I preferred the rooms here. The hotel is located in a great location and has a small balcony overlooking the city.

They also have a partnership with the hotel next door so you can jump onto their balcony too. Kookaburra is great value for money! Breakfast is included in the hotel price and is served on their rooftop terrace with fantastic views.

Ultimate Guide to Cappadocia
View from Kookaburra Pension balcony

You can see what the Kookaburra Pension balcony looks like here on my Instagram.

Koza Cave Hotel

The balcony at Koza Cave is the highest in Göreme, so you have the best views from up there. It has also been decorated very nicely so it’s great for pictures.

Koza Cave hotel Cappadocia

This also means that it has become an IG hot spot so if you want to get the shot, you’ll have to wake up early morning to claim your spot!

Heads up, I got onto the balcony at 5am for a 6.10am sunrise and I wasn’t the first one up there.

Please note, if you want to get the shot with the balloons at sunrise, you’ll need to stay at the hotel.

In the mornings, the balcony is exclusive to guests.

TIP! If you don’t want to pay the price to stay at Koza Cave Hotel, you can choose to go up there at sunset for a drink.

The bar at Koza is open to the public in the evening. Expect to pay European prices for a cocktail! It’s still way cheaper than paying for a room though, right? 🙂

To see what the bar at Koza Cave looks like in the evening, see my IG post here.

Ultimate guide to Cappadocia

How to get to Göreme from Kayseri airport

There are a number of ways to get to Göreme from Kayseri airport. If you arrive during the day, you have the best option which is to jump on a shared transfer. They cost roughly €10 per person and take around 65 minutes to get you to Goreme.

You need to pre-book this, and can do so with a number of companies. Here is an option: Shuttle Direct.

If you arrive after hours (23.30-05.30), you can opt to pre-book a private transfer or jump in a taxi outside. We booked a transfer in advance via which cost €60 for 2 people.

It was a 3am pickup and we were 2 girls travelling alone, so we felt the safest doing this. The journey takes around 55-60 minutes.

Another option is to book via Welcome Pickups. Compare prices to find the best for you.

Grabbing a taxi from outside the airport would have probably worked out cheaper, as long as we didn’t get scammed. Always ask them to put the meter on!

Getting around in Cappadocia

I personally recommend hiring a car. We hired a car from Göreme Rent a Car and it cost €90 for 3 days. It was fully insured, and we paid in cash in euros. It was well worth the money.

Hiring a car in Cappadocia

We wanted to shoot at sunrise and sunset across various locations in Cappadocia.

The car gave us a lot of freedom.

Their contact details are as follows:
Göreme Rent a Car
WhatsApp / Phone number: +90 535 214 80 12
Office location:

We contacted them via WhatsApp and asked them to meet us in the centre with the car. We paid the guy in cash and he brought the documents for us to sign.

He was extremely friendly and helpful. I definitely recommend using them!

What is it like driving in Cappadocia?

Most of the roads are small, single roads and so it’s a very chill place to drive. Some times you will need to go off-road, onto the dirt, but it’s totally fine. For example, when you head to love valley, part of the journey is across the dirt.

What is it like driving in Cappadocia?

One thing to note is that you do need to be a bit ballsie in terms of pulling out from a junction or crossing within Göreme.

It seems to be a ‘whoever has the guts to go, wins’ kinda situation. Just take it slow and read the room!

I would also avoid driving up to your hotel, or in the old town of Göreme as the streets are very narrow, and usually have 2-way traffic that doesn’t actually fit.

I highly recommend parking here in this free carpark and walking from there. The street is called Karsi Bucak CD. Anywhere on here is free.

Hiring a car enabled us to do many things that would have cost us a lot of time otherwise. Being independent and able to do things on your own terms is great.

TIP! Most parking in Göreme is paid, however we never figured out WHO to pay. We couldn’t find any machines, or see any people about. If you find a paid one closer to your hotel, it’s only around 15 TL per hour (0.85cents). It’s cheap, it’s just how to pay that’s confusing.

If hiring a car is really not an option…

There are many tour guides offering packages to some of the top places to visit in the area. You can opt on to one of these and be driven around! Simply Google which places you’d like to visit and see if you can find a company offering just that.

You could choose to hire a private driver for the day here.

Another option is to hire a private photographer. You may have seen the insta-famous photos of women in beautiful, long dresses surrounded by balloons? This is most likely the work of a pro.

Ultimate guide to Cappadocia

Ultimate Guide to Cappadocia

The photographers offer various packages, and most include transportation. You will be driven around to the best spots, while having your photo taken. Photo shoots usually cost around €400 for a few hours. Message around on IG and see what you can find!

A very popular photographer in Cappadocia is called Murat. Here is his IG. I’d search for a few more and compare prices / packages to get the best one 🙂

Best places to visit in Cappadocia

Included in this ultimate guide to Cappadocia, is a list of great places to visit in the area. If you plan on visiting more than one museum, you should consider buying the museum pass.

The Cappadocia museum pass is valid for three days and you can visit any museum under the ministry of culture & tourism. For more information, or to buy the pass, click here.

Love Valley

One of my favourite places in Cappadocia was love valley. From here you have an incredible view over the unique rock formations. This is a great spot to watch the sunrise! The light comes up into the valley as the hot air balloons float around in the distance.

If the wind is on your side, you may also get to see some balloons landing here!

How love valley came to get its name is rather entertaining. There are peculiar (to say the least) shaped rocks in the valley that replicate a male human body part. The name Love Valley came from the idea that without this part of the body, there could be no love. It’s an ancient thought, don’t sue me.

love valley goreme cappadocia

Entrance fee (after 7am): 10 TL (0.56c) per car

TIP! If you come here to shoot sunrise at 6am, there is no-one on the ticket booth, so you can enter for free!

If you come here to shoot sunrise at 6am, there is no-one on the ticket booth, so you can enter for free!

We hired dresses from Cappadocia Dream Dresses on Instagram and they were amazing. Each dress is so bulky that if you had to travel with one of those, you’d probably need an extra 5kg in your suitcase lol.

It you have dreamed about wearing a beaaaautiful long dress while visiting Cappadocia, give Meryem a shout and tell her I sent you! You may get a small discount 😀

Göreme Open Air Museum

One of the coolest things to visit in Cappadocia is the Göreme open air museum.

Here you can see how the people built many houses and churches within the rocks and used them to keep warm in the winter, and escape any attacks during the wars.

At the Göreme open air museum, you can wander around many of the rooms and see the inside of these places.

It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.

Entry fee: 150 TL (€8.50) per person
Opening time: 08.00-19.00 in the summer. During the winter it closes at 17.00

If you would like to book onto a guided tour, you can do so here.

Ultimate Guide to Cappadocia

Özkonak underground city

This underground city was carved out in 400 BC. It was only discovered in 1972 when a local farmer was curious about where he excess water was disappearing to! He found this giant underground city that could host around 60,000 people up to 3 months 😮

Originally there were 10 floors, up to 40 m below ground. 4 of the floors are open to the public for visiting.

Entry fee: 50 TL (€2.80) per person
Opening times: 08.00-19.00

Red Rose Valley

Red Rose Valley is a 10 minute drive away from Göreme. It is the best place in Cappadocia to watch the sunset! The rocks have a beautiful orange colour to them (I think they were once red, hence the name). When the sun hits during golden hour, the whole place lights up a beautiful colour!

red rose valley goreme cappadocia. Best sunset spots in Cappadocia

At the valley you can find a handful of bars to sit in and admire the sunset. If you don’t want to spend money, you can wander around and sit on the rocks and take it in from there. You can also walk down into the rocks if you fancy exploring!

Red Valley is known to have one of the most beautiful hikes in Cappadocia.

Entrance fee: 15 TL per car (€0.84).

Kamp Etkinik (on Google maps)

An epic place to watch the balloons rise from! Please note that the lift-off locations do vary depending on the weather. You can check whether the balloons will fly here.

They usually update this information around 2pm on the previous day. If the balloons are cancelled, you can see this on the afternoon the day before. This is a really handy website!

The name of the exact location isn’t present on the map, and sometimes when you type it in it doesn’t show up either! I have linked the location here so you can find it.

If that doesn’t work, here is a second option called ‘balloon take off’ which is right next to Kamp Etkinik.

Ultimate Guide to Cappadocia. Kamp Etkinik Goreme Cappadocia

Once you arrive you’ll see many other cars, and the balloons getting ready for take off. This is a fantastic place to get up close to the balloons. I didn’t realise how big they were until we got here!

Dalton Brothers Horse Ranch

One of the iconic things to do in Cappadocia is head to Dalton Brothers Ranch and snap some photos while walking between the running horses. Note: You can ONLY do this with a professional photographer. Unless, like us, you are professional photographers yourself and in which case you may be able to get yourself permission.

Ultimate Guide to Cappadocia

This service is not visible on their website as they can only offer so many sessions each day to protect the well-being of the horses.

I believe they only do this during the mornings.

You will need to message them on IG, or tell your photographer that you want to shoot here and they’ll add it to your package.

If you don’t have photography experience and want this shot, I HIGHLY recommend hiring a pro.

The horses run past you a total of 3 times and it happens very quickly. You need the skill to pull this off.

You can also choose to go on a horseback ride through the cool rock formations. There are some extremely affordable options starting from €25 for a 1 hour ride!

Ultimate Guide to Cappadocia

Uçhisar & Uçhisar Castle

The town of Uçhisar is definitely worth a visit. There is a bus that leaves Goremem bus station every half an hour (Göreme Otobüs Terminali) to Uchisar Village. It costs 3 Turkish Lira, (prices vary depending on the season) and it takes around 10 minutes.

You can also drive here and park in one of the parking spots.
We paid 10TL (€0.56).

Uchicar village and castle

Uçhisar town has many souvenir shops and local cafes where you can try some Turkish dishes.

We went to Ciko’nun Yeri cafe as it had incredible views over the unique rock formations.

We ordered a meat gozleme, and a chocolate one, with a fresh orange juice each.

It was all delicious and SO cheap. We paid a total of €7.20 for everything.

Note, the menu is in Turkish so you will need to use the Google translate camera to understand the menu.

A true local experience am I right?

Uçhicar Castle

The castle was once used as a defense system to defeat enemies and is now known as one of the most prestigious viewpoints in the world. It is located in the highest point of Cappadocia, which makes it very easy to spot when you are driving around.

You can walk around the ruins, and through the passage ways and tunnels that connect many of the rooms. You can also visit the pigeon rooms that are still used today. Farmers collect their poo and use it as a fertilizer!

Uçhicar village and Castle cappadocia

Entrance fee to the castle: 30 TL (€1.60) per person
Opening times: 07.30-20.00

Paşabağı Valley

Cappadocia is scattered with hundreds of fairy chimneys and cool rock formations, however nowhere can compete with Pasabag Valley.

This location has the highest concentration of chimneys which allows you to truly take in the incredible landscapes!

Ultimate Guide to Cappadocia - visiting Pasabagi

These outstanding formations were originally formed when volcanic eruptions spurred ash across the entire region.

The ash then became hard and eventually was covered by a layer of basalt. 

After years of wind erosions, what is left standing now are these tall thin rock formations.

What is really cool is that you can climb in and out of all these rooms, and see what it is like on the inside.

To get a photo like this you’ll have to go towards the end of the day and be patient. I recommend avoiding the morning as most professional photographers tend to turn up here with their clients, fighting for the same spot.

The only people we had to wait to move were innocent, sight-seeing tourists 😛

Entrance Fee
Entrance fee: 30TL per person (€1.70).
You can also access the Zelve Open Air Museum with the same ticket.

Hot Air Balloon ride

You can’t go to Cappadocia and not at least consider jumping on a hot air balloon! This is a once in a lifetime experience and if you are going to do it anywhere, it should be here!

hot air balloons cappadocia

Cappadocia is famous for its balloon rides, as it is the BEST place to fly year round due to its perfect balloon-flying conditions.

We flew with Kapadokya Balloons Flight Centre and they were amazing.

It is said that only the most experienced pilots can take you low enough to glide through the valleys and rock formations.

That’s exactly what we did.

In fact, I had to equalise my ears multiple times as he guided us up and down of the city!

What a cool experience.

Riding in a hot air balloon isn’t cheap. You are looking at around €200+ per person. I guess that’s why it’s called a once in a lifetime experience 🙂

A Carpet Shop

You may have seen that visiting a Turkish carpet shop has become a popular activity among tourists.

Sultan carpet shop cappadocia

This is mostly due to the fact that you can get some incredible photos there.

Some of the locals have taken full advantage of the hype, and it’s now possible to rent out part of the shop for a photoshoot!

This is awesome as it means there will be no one in your way.

We hired Sultan Carpets for 30 minutes, and it cost €10 each per person with your own camera equipment (iPhone is fine).

It was a great location to work at and we loved the content we created here. You can book a spot by messaging them on their IG account.

If you would like them to organise a photographer for you, it comes at an extra cost.

Pottery Demonstration

Besides from the carpets, Türkiye is also famous for its pottery. We visited a pottery shop in Avanos, called Avanos Pottery. We got to see how they are made from scratch, and also watch the masters hand-paint their pieces.

If you would like to come with a real, authentic piece of pottery from Türkiye, this is a great place to get one.

It has been within the same family for 7 generations!

Ultimate Guide to Cappadocia

What to Eat in Cappadocia (well, Türkiye)

If you like bread, you are in for a treat. Every single item of food that involved bread in Türkiye was incredible. I’m not joking, wraps, pitas, pides, gozlemes, you name it. The consistency of soft insides and crunchy outsides had me in love!

Here are a list of foods that you should try while in Türkiye.

Pottery Kebab

Ultimate Guide to Cappadocia. Foods to try in Cappadocia - pottery kebab
Outside of pottery kebab

A dish that is unique to Türkiye, and something that you must try while you are there.

The beef is cooked inside a pottery dish, which is then set on fire and cracked open at your table.

I have never experienced something like this before.

The meat is cooked in its juices for a long time, so it is extremely tender!

You can also opt for a chicken, or vegetarian version.

TIP! This dish is very meat heavy. It was very delicious but I was disappointed with the lack of vegetables in it.

It only comes with a handful of green peppers and tomato.

If you order the traditional beef pottery kebab, I highly recommend ordering a veggie dish to accompany it.


One of my favourite things to eat while in Turkiye was Gozleme. Something so simple, yet extremely delicious.

Ultimate Guide to Cappadocia

I swear I could have eaten this every day lol. Suprisingly, it was harder to find than I thought. Not that many restaurants offered it!

Gözleme is a Turkish flatbread consisting of flour, water, yeast, olive oil, and sometimes yogurt.

It can be filled with many different things, such as cheese, meat, veggies, and even chocolate!

It has a soft inside and a subtle crunch on the outside.

Both the savoury and sweet options are delicious!

My favourites are the meat ones, and the chocolate ones!

“Cappadocia Chips”

We were all expecting chips (french fries) when our local tour guide ordered these for us to try.

Ultimate Guide to Cappadocia. Cappadocia chips!

We were all surprised to see a bowl of warm, home-made crisps come out.

They were topped with a huge dollop of yogurt, and LOTS of chilli sauce and flakes.

These were reaaaaally hot. Most of us ate around the outside and avoided the flakes as much as possible.

Hence the name, Cappadocia chips are unique to the area so if you want to try them, make sure you do it here.

If you can’t handle the spice, I recommend asking for the chili on the side!


Ultimate Guide to Cappadocia - pide

Pide is boat-shaped Turkish flatbread that’s baked in a brick or stone oven. 

It usually comes with meat based toppings, most traditionally beef.

The most common options are minced meat, or cubed meat.

The cubed one is a little more tasty, but both are delicious.

You can of course order a vegetarian version of pide too.

There are many places to order Pide, it is a Turkish favourite. You will see many locals indulging in this tasty treat.

It is also common to order a pide with a baked egg on top. I didn’t try this one though.


One of the things Türkiye is famous for is its meze platters.

Turkish Meze

Meze refers to appetizers, usually a mix of cold and sometimes hot starters.

In Türkiye, expect to receive a mix of veggie based starters, especially eggplant ones.

Meze can include olives, fried vegetables, dips, hummus, drizzled feta cheese, fish and seafood, or cured and seasoned meat, etc.

It is very traditional in Turkiye to order meze as a starter. Some restaurants even bring them to you without you asking for it.

Typically, they will bring you the cold ones first, then the hot, then your main meal. At the end of your dining experience, it is also common to order a cup of tea.


Foods to try in Cappadocia - Simik

A type of Turkish bread – similar to a pretzel in Germany, but way less salty.

You’ll find simit sold from many street food carts everywhere in the city of Istanbul. I don’t recall seeing any of these stands in Cappadocia.

Maybe I just missed them?

Look at for something like this and you’ll find yourself a simit!

It is a type of bagel-like Turkish bread usually coated with sesame seeds. 

It can also be covered with flax, or poppy seeds, so look out for which one you’d prefer to try.


Another traditional Turkish dish is Lahmacun, which is a type of flat bread, topped with meat, or veggies.

Lahmacum - turkish flat bread

It is essentially a thin, cheese-less pizza and is delicious.


Börek refers to stuffed pastries and they can be filled with both savory and sweet options. The most common ones to try are the potato or meat boreks.

You can also try Katmer which is a type of sweet börek made with crispy phyllo dough, pistachios, melted butter, and clotted cream.

Sigara börek are these thin crispy rolls and usually come with cheese inside.

Sigara Borek - Ultimate Guide to Cappadocia

Lamb dishes

One of the most common types of meat found across Turkiye is lamb. They have a wide selection of lamb dishes to try!


Dürüm means “roll” and refers to Turkish wraps usually filled with doner meat. I tried a falafal dürüm with tahini sauce and it was beautiful.

Turkish Icecream

This is more for the experience! Have you seen those videos of people trying to take their icecream from the icecream man and he keeps magically pulling it away? Many people seem to be able to do this in Türkiye! It’s good fun, you should try it.

Where to eat in Cappadocia

I noticed that the restaurants in Cappadocia are a lot pricier than other locations around Turkiye. It is probably because it is a big tourist attraction. We ate at a few restaurants in the area, which were all delicious.

Dibek restaurant, Göreme

This is one of the most popular restaurants in Göreme, well known for its pottery kebab and selection of meze.

Dibek restaurant Cappadocia. Ultimate Guide to Cappadocia

If you wish to eat in this restaurant you MUST make a reservation in advance.

It is booked up every night so the probability of you being able to walk in off the street and get a table is very slim.

Most dishes come with a complimentary selection of small meze.

This is great to accompany the meat-heavy pottery kebab!

Dibek restaurant offers low-tables, so you will spend the evening sitting on the ground with your shoes off. It’s a cool experience!

Prices are a little high in comparison to other places, but I think it’s quite common across Cappadocia! Once you head to Istanbul you’ll find things are cheaper.

Ultimate Guide to Cappadocia

Bull Brothers, Göreme

We went to bull brothers and also had a pottery kebab. The quality of meat here was actually better than Dibek! We didn’t get ANY vegetables in this dish though, not even the green peppers. Make sure you order some sides.

The owner of this restaurant is very welcoming.

Ciko’nun Yeri, Uçhichar

As mentioned previously, Ciko’nun Yeri cafe is delicious, cheap and has great views. I definitely recommend a stop here.

Cappadocia Steak House, Uçhichar

A delicious restaurant with breathtaking views over Uçhichar. It is a on the pricier end of restaurants in the area. Here you won’t find traditional pastry or bread like dishes, rather fine meat, burgers and lamb.

Kelebek Special Cave Hotel, Göreme

Kelebek Special Cave Hotel Goreme

A beautiful restaurant up on the cliffs of Göreme.

The wait staff here are extremely friendly and there are some incredible views from the terrace.

Especially at night time when the city is lit up.

We opted for some pasta dishes after eating a lottt of meat over the previous few days.

It was really good quality and I’d definitely go back!

It was only a 5 minute walk from Koza Cave hotel so it was very convenient for us to visit. If you are staying down the hill, you will need to make the effort to walk up to this restaurant! 😛

Seten Restaurant, Göreme

We didn’t manage to get into this restaurant as it was fully booked. I think that speaks for itself. It has a very high rating on Google which is what spiked our interest. If you plan to go here, book in advance!

Koza Cave Hotel, Göreme

Koza cave hotel at sunset

I recommend heading to the rooftop bar at Koza Cave Hotel for a drink at sunset. If you haven’t booked to stay here, you should at least go and experience it for an hour.

With the highest balcony in Goreme, you really do have 360 views over the city.

We had a fresh lemonade at sunset and it was delicious.

We stayed until the city lights behind us lit up, so that we could take in the night-time atmosphere too while we were here.

It is a magical place to sit and have a drink. I definitely recommend.

P.S. Make sure you book in advance! If you wish to be up on the terrace, make sure you state that in your booking. There is a lower level to the bar which doesn’t have the same vibe.

To end this ultimate guide to Cappadocia, which hopefully you found very helpful, I have answered a handful of other questions that I received from you guys on my Instagram.

Other Questions I have Received 👇
Ultimate guide to Cappadocia

Q – How many days should I spend in Cappadocia

I would plan to have at least 4 mornings here. One of the main reasons for visiting Cappadocia is seeing the balloons fly over the city at sunrise. It is truly magical.

Although the balloons do fly very often, it is possible that they will be cancelled due to unexpected weather conditions.

Ellie and I got lucky, and saw the balloons all 4 mornings that we were there. However, when we came back with the group of women that we were hosting, we only got to see the balloons once. Luckily for us it was the day we had booked a balloon ride!

Q – What is the best way to get to Cappadocia?

The fatest way here is flying. Kayseri Airport (ASR) is the closest airport. It is around a 1 hour drive away from the city. There aren’t many countries that offer flights directly to Kayseri, so you will most likely need to take a connection.

I flew from the UK to Amsterdam, then from Amsterdam to Kayseri. See if you can find something similar.

The other option is to fly into Istanbul and take a domestic flight. Domestic flights in Turkiye seem to be really cheap. We paid €50 for our flight to Istanbul from Kayseri, including our luggage!

Q – Is it safe to travel to Cappadocia?

I felt extremely safe while in Cappadocia! I also wore a few dresses that were above knee length while we were there and I felt completely comfortable. The people are beyond kind and welcoming, and everyone is there trying to help you.

The only thing you need to look out for are the taxi drivers trying to scam you. Read up on the average cost of things, or see what others have paid, so you have some idea before you get in the car.

Contact me!

As ever, I love to hear your feedback. If you have found this Ultimate Guide to Cappadocia useful, please let me know!

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You can leave a comment below or send me a message on Instagram.

Knowing that I am helping at least one of you makes the hours I spend writing these for you worth it.

Thank you 🙂

Ultimate guide to Cappadocia