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How to Get to Cappadocia from Istanbul

Updated: Jun 5

Visiting Cappadocia is an exciting adventure that offers a unique blend of natural beauty, history, and culture. Whether you're drawn by the surreal landscapes, the ancient cave dwellings, or the famous hot air balloon rides, getting there is the first step of your journey... But don't you know how to plan this journey? Let me help you... Let's take a closer look, and explore the various ways to travel from Istanbul to this enchanting region.

Hot Air Balloon flying over Cappadocia
Sunrise Balloons in Cappadocia

Different Ways of Transportation

There are several ways of transportations to Cappadocia. Depending on your wishes, your choice of travelling and time schedule you can choose one of the options below.

1) Flying

Flying is the fastest and most convenient way to travel from Istanbul to Cappadocia. There are several airlines offering the flights to Cappadocia, ensuring you can reach your destination quickly and comfortably.

  • Flight Duration: The flight takes approximately 1.5 hours.

  • Costs: Prices range from $40 to $80, depending on the season and availability.

2) Taking the Bus

If you prefer a more scenic route and don't mind the longer travel time, taking a bus might be the way to go. You might take a night bus to arrive Cappadocia in the morning.

  • Duration and Comfort: The journey takes around 10-12 hours. Buses are typically comfortable with amenities like Wi-Fi and reclining seats.

  • Costs: Tickets cost between $20 and $40.

3) Traveling by Train

If you like travelling by trains, this option is for you. However, there is no direct train from Istanbul to Cappadocia, you can take a train from Istanbul to Ankara and then transfer to a bus to Goreme.

  • Routes Available: Istanbul to Ankara, then Ankara to Nevsehir (to city center or directly to Goreme).

  • Duration and Scenic Value: The train ride to Ankara is about 4-5 hours, followed by a 4-5 hour bus or train ride to Cappadocia.

  • Costs: The combined cost is around $30 to $40.

4) Driving

For those who love road trips, driving from Istanbul to Cappadocia can be an unforgettable experience. During your ride, you can step by different cities to enjoy the local sightseeing.

  • Road Trip Experience: The drive is approximately 750 kilometers and takes about 8-10 hours.

  • Car Rental Options: Numerous car rental services are available in Istanbul.

  • Costs and Time: Rental costs vary, but expect to pay around $200 to $300 per day, plus fuel.

Flying to Cappadocia

Airports in Istanbul

Istanbul has two main airports: Istanbul Airport (IST) and Sabiha Gökçen Airport (SAW). Both offer flights to Cappadocia.

Airports in Cappadocia

Cappadocia is served by two airports: Kayseri Erkilet Airport (ASR) and Nevşehir Kapadokya Airport (NAV). Both are within easy reach of the main tourist areas.

Booking Flights

To get the best deals, book your flights well in advance and consider flying mid-week when prices are often lower.

Taking the Bus to Cappadocia

Bus Stations in Istanbul

Major bus terminals in Istanbul include Esenler Otogar and Harem Otogar. They offer multiple daily departures to Cappadocia. But we recommend night rides to arrive in Cappadocia in the morning time.

Bus Stations in Cappadocia

Buses arrive at stations in Nevşehir and Göreme, providing easy access to local attractions.

Comfort and Amenities

Modern buses in Turkey are well-equipped with Wi-Fi, comfortable seats, and sometimes even personal entertainment screens.

Traveling by Train to Cappadocia

Train Stations in Istanbul

Istanbul's main train stations are Sirkeci and Haydarpaşa, though most long-distance trains to Ankara depart from Sirkeci.

Train Connections to Cappadocia

After arriving in Ankara, you can catch a bus or another train to Kayseri or Nevşehir.

Scenic Routes

The train journey offers picturesque views of the Turkish countryside, making it a pleasant part of your travel experience.

Driving from Istanbul to Cappadocia

Major Highways and Routes

The most direct route is via the E80 highway, connecting Istanbul to Ankara and then onto the D300 to Nevşehir.

Road Trip Tips

Start early to avoid traffic, take breaks to enjoy the scenery, and be prepared for toll roads.

Interesting Stops Along the Way

Consider stopping in Ankara, Turkey's capital, or the historic town of Konya for a break and a bit of sightseeing.

Best Time to Travel

Weather Considerations

Spring (April to June) and fall (September to November) offer mild weather, making these the best times to visit.

Tourist Seasons

Peak tourist seasons are during the spring and fall, while winter is less crowded but colder.

Budgeting Your Trip

Average Costs for Each Mode of Transportation

  • Flying: $40-$80

  • Bus: $20-$40

  • Train and Bus Combo: $30-$40

  • Driving: $200-$300 per day plus fuel

Additional Expenses to Consider

Don't forget to budget for accommodation, food, entrance fees to attractions, and souvenirs.

Travel Tips

Safety Tips

Stay aware of your surroundings, keep your belongings secure, and have copies of important documents.

Language and Cultural Tips

Learn a few basic Turkish phrases, respect local customs, and be polite and friendly. Turks love small talks so be ready to have small talks and accept treat from locals. :)

What to Do in Cappadocia

Hot Air Balloon Rides

Experience breathtaking views of the unique landscape from a hot air balloon is a must in Cappadocia.

Exploring the Rock Formations

Visit the fairy chimneys, cave houses, and rock-cut churches.

Visiting Historical Sites

Don't miss the Göreme Open-Air Museum, Uçhisar Castle, and the underground cities of Derinkuyu and Kaymakli.

Accommodation in Cappadocia

Types of Accommodation

Options range from budget hostels to luxury cave hotels.

Best Areas to Stay

Göreme, Ürgüp, and Uçhisar are popular areas with a range of accommodations.

Food and Dining in Cappadocia

Must-Try Dishes

Try traditional Turkish dishes like kebabs, mezes, and baklava.

Popular Restaurants

Some top spots include Seten Restaurant, Dibek, and Topdeck Cave Restaurant.

Local Customs and Etiquette

Important Cultural Norms

Dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites, and remove your shoes when entering someone's home.

As a conclusion, which way you choose to travel to Cappadocia, you will have a special experience in this country. Do not forget to make your plans accordingly to your budget and your duration of visit. Travel a lot while you can!


  1. What is the quickest way to travel from Istanbul to Cappadocia? Flying is the quickest option, with flights taking approximately 1.5 hours.

  2. Are there direct trains from Istanbul to Cappadocia? Unfortunately no, you need to take a train to Ankara and then transfer to a bus.

  3. How much does a bus ticket from Istanbul to Cappadocia cost? Bus tickets range from $20 to $40.

  4. What is the best time of year to visit Cappadocia? Spring (April to June) and fall (September to November) offer the best weather.

  5. Can I rent a car in Istanbul and drive to Cappadocia? Yes, car rentals are available in Istanbul, and the drive takes about 8-10 hours.

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