Cappadocia is a very charming city in Turkey with many secluded, romantic and beautiful places. You can do many adventurous activities like staying in the cave houses, attending festivals, exploring rock and valley sites, hot air ballon ride, visiting museums and many more.
Why should anyone visit the city?
The city is blessed with many natural wonders. Unique rock formations and hidden caves are some of them. Cappadocia is visited for the natural wonders and the other thing that brings tourist crowds is, the ride of a hot air balloon.
How does one get to the destination (airport, ferry or others)?
Plane travel is the best and quickest way to reach Cappadocia. The Kayseri Erkilet airport is only an hour away from the city. However, the nearest one is Nevsehir Kapadokya Airport that is 40 minutes away from the city.
Trains from almost every city of Turkey are available for Cappadocia. You can reach the Kayseri first and then get the bus to Cappadocia.
Is the city safe? What areas are not safe?
Cappadocia is very safe as the other major cities of Turkey. However, general travel precautions apply. You have to take care of your belongings in crowded places. This is the city of hidden treasures so almost every place is secure for tourists. Solo female travelers should follow the common safety rules and dress conservatively to avoid getting unwanted attention.
What’s the weather like?
- March to May is the spring season with warmer to moderately cold temperatures. Very less or no precipitation during the entire season makes it a very busy tourist season.
- June to August is the summer season with a high and comfortable temperature. It rains for almost 1 to 5 days each month during the entire season. Tourist crowds remain filling the city and rates of accommodation and travel remain high.
- September to November is a pleasant time with wind and humidity. Tourism and prices remain very low. Rains or snow remains normal for almost 2 to 3 days.
- December to February is the winter season with cold and chilly weather. Rains and snow remain very low. Tourism is also less along with accommodation and travel prices.
What languages are spoken in the area? Is English spoken?
The official language of Cappadocia is the Cappadocian Greek. Ancient Cappadocian is also spoken in many areas. Locals in the tourist areas or associated with the tourism industry speak the English language otherwise normally it is not spoken that much in other parts of the city.
What’s the local currency?
Is US Dollar widely accepted?
The official currency of Cappadocia is the Turkish Lira. You can exchange it at many places like banks, hotels, money exchange agencies and airport. However, you might get an unfair rate at some places so you have to check for the exchange charges. You can directly use the US Dollar and Euros at many market places some of them have the prices mentioned in different currencies. They offer excellent exchange rates or sometimes do not even charge extra.
What are the best areas or districts to stay in the city?
- Goreme is the main tourist area with the easiest access to the nightlife, hot air balloons and restaurants.
- Uchisar is the highest point of the city. It is near Goreme whereas attracts lesser crowds. You can see the amazing views of the surroundings and can enjoy the serenity of the area.
- Cavusin is the home of adventure. There are many hiking trails, hot air balloons and popular lunch sites. It is a very calm and beautiful place to stay.
- Ortahisar is the best place to enjoy the ancient castle, cobbled stone streets and modern hotels. Some of the high-end hotels are located in this area.
What’re your top 3 hotels (budget, moderate, luxury) and why?
- Hostel terra vista is the best place to stay for the budget travelers and backpackers. It offers free WI-Fi, complimentary breakfast, a golf playing area and many basic facilities.
- Hotel Cappadocia stone palace is the economical accommodation located near the Turkish baths and hot air balloons site. You can enjoy the panoramic views from the rooftop terrace of the hotel.
- Museum Hotel – luxury cave Hotel Cappadocia is the luxury accommodation in the city. This is made by the restoration of the ruins, ancient houses and caves. You will get mesmerized by the antique furnishing, interior and the exterior of the hotel.
How does one get around the city? Taxi, Uber, similar apps, ATVs?
You can use public transportation at a very reasonable fare. Buses are available for almost every corner of the city and the nearby towns. This is a bit time taking because buses are slow and you have to wait for the next one.
Rent a Car
Car rentals are recommended by most of the regular travelers of the city. It provides more freedom and flexibility of time whereas keeping in mind that gasoline is expensive. If you are a solo tourist than using scooter is also a good option.
It is a very expensive option to get around. Uber service is not available in the city.
Can you highlight the Top 5 MUST see sightseeing?
- There are 36 different types of rock formations that are believed to be inhabited by almost 10,000 people each. The largest one is the Kaymakli underground city that has eight floors. Four areas of the cave are open for public. The rock formations are masterpieces of engineering and architecture containing winery, ventilation shafts, bedrooms, storage, church, stables and many other important parts built by hand tools and no electricity.
- Goreme Open Air Museum is an amazing historical place that is listed in the UNESCO world heritage site. It was the house for monks during the Byzantine monastic settlement and later became a pilgrimage site in the 17th Museum has some rock-cut churches and murals from 900-1200 AD. They are very well preserved.
- Pasabag Monks Valley is famous for the fairy chimneys and fantastic natural structures. They came into being by the result of erosion that took place millions of years ago. It is said that this area was inhabited by the fairies and later monks started living here during the 4th and 5th
- Devrent Valley is also known as the imaginary valley because it has unique hills that resemble different types of animals. There are no fancy attractions, historical places, castles, or anything else. It has rock pillars that are naturally shaped like snake, dolphin, camel, penguin, and seals.
- Hot air Balloon ride is one of the most important things to do in Cappadocia. You can get on the balloon and see the most dramatic landscape from the above. Never miss going on one of the rooftop restaurants to see the more picturesque view containing hundreds of balloons in the air.
What’s the best place to take a photo?
Goreme is the tourist area where you can sit at any rooftop restaurant and click some of the most amazing photos of the hot air balloons in the background.
What about the top 3 restaurants?
Cappadocia is heaven for foodies. Many places are offering delicious local and international cuisines. Some of the best restaurants are:
- Elai Cappadocia – Mediterranean, Turkish and European food
- Seten – Turkish restaurant
- Lil’a – Turkish restaurant
What about the top 3 breakfast places?
You will get a huge menu of delicious cuisines to add in your morning meal. There are different types of coffee, tea, kahva and other beverages available to have with breakfast. Some of the best places are:
- Café Safak
- Sakli Konak Restaurant
- Can Can café restaurant
What’s the one thing you MUST eat in the city?
Kebab is the most famous thing that belongs to Turkey. The special type of pottery kebab are made in Cappadocia. It is lamb or beef , garlic, tomatoes, spices and chillies thrown into a clay pot and then sealed with dough. They are cooked in the steam and after three hours served to eat.
What about food markets?
You will find plenty of food everywhere in Turkey. There are some food markets that you can visit to try a variety of foods in one place or buy some fresh ingredients to cook by yourself. Some of the markets have other products as well
- Goreme Wednesday market
- Urgup Saturday market
- Avanos Friday market
- Nevsehir Sunday and Monday markets
Where should one go at night? Any bar/nightlife areas or districts you recommend?
- Goreme is the most touristy area. There are many clubs and bars in this area to enjoy drinks and parties.
- Nevsehir should also be considered to have a fun evening.
Any rooftop bars or restaurants that you recommend?
Some of the best rooftop places of Cappadocia with amazing panoramic views are:
- Terrace of Mithra cave hotel
- Seten Anatolian cuisine and Sultan caves suites
- Haruna restaurant at Carus Cappadocia Hotel
- Lil’a at Musuem Hotel
Can you recommend the best shopping areas? Best shopping mall?
- Kayseri is the commercial hub to find some of the best products to buy.
- Goreme also has many ceramic, carpets and traditional Turkish handicrafts places.
Do you recommend any tours outside the city? Islands? Boat Tours?
- Valleys tour of Cappadocia
- Fairy chimneys tour
- Visit Salt lake
Are Casinos allowed? Blackjack tables? If so, what’s the best Casino in town?
Casinos are illegal in Cappadocia whereas international luxury hotels offer gambling services in different parts of Turkey. State lottery and horse race betting are allowed.
Any last advice for people visiting the city?
- Do not make a stop at Cappadocia for several hours or just one day. Make it at least three days.
- Women should dress conservatively.
- Spend a night at an underground cave hotel.