How to Get To Cappadocia From Istanbul

Getting to Cappadocia from Istanbul

So you have seen the beautiful pictures of Cappadocia and intend to travel there. Look no further as you can find the best ways to get to Cappadocia from Istanbul right here. Cappadocia is indeed a beautiful and well-preserved location in Turkey that warrants a visit once in your lifetime. From valleys to cave houses, the beauty of this land across all 4 seasons has attracted thousands of visitors every month. A guide mentioned to me that the Kaymakli Underground City handles about a whopping 5000 visitors every month during the peak seasons! You will not regret making the journey out of Istanbul to see this beautiful city in all its glory. I will be sharing a few ways you can consider for your journey to Cappadocia from Istanbul, namely by bus, car and plane.

Hot Air Balloons above Cappadocia
Hot Air Balloons above Cappadocia

Before we begin, Cappadocia is a region in Turkey that contains the unique landscape and sculptures. The different modes of transport mentioned will bring you to different destinations/towns in Cappadocia. For the uninitiated, the main towns in Cappadocia you need to know are Nevsehir, Kayseri and Goreme. For my trip, I booked a hotel in Goreme and hence chose the transport route of the bus to reach my destination. My first advice is to look for the accommodations to your liking in each town before looking at the mode of transport. I would recommend staying in the small town of Goreme (in my opinion) as I feel it is in the heart of Cappadocia with food and accommodations in cave hotels readily available.

Cappadocia from Istanbul by Bus

Snapshot taken on the Metro Turizm Bus towards Cappadocia from Istanbul
Snapshot taken on the Metro Turizm Bus towards Cappadocia from Istanbul

First and foremost, the option of the bus was my chosen route and I will use my experience to guide you through. I would say it is not for everyone, especially the picky. Do take it only if you find it okay to sleep on an overnight bus. The bus journey will take about 10 to 11 hours, and the timings are usually late at night. The destinations are mainly Nevsehir and most importantly, Goreme, where the bus station is relatively central. This means that you can fall asleep on the bus in Istanbul and wake up in the morning at Cappadocia. This is the most direct and cheapest option and I have written my full review here. The company that I used was Metro Turizm and the experience was not at all bad, nothing that I found out of place compared to Flixbus in Europe.

Cappadocia from Istanbul by Plane

Secondly, this option is the fastest route, although you might need to factor in taking transport to the airport and the usual waiting time. There are 2 airports servicing Cappadocia, namely the nearer Nevsehir Airport (NAV) and the further Kayseri Airport (ASR). From the airport, you can arrange either an airport shuttle or a taxi to your hotel in Cappadocia. Turkish Airlines and Pegasus Air do offer plenty of routes at various times from Istanbul to Cappadocia. Doing a quick check on Skyscanner during my time in Turkey, the prices do seem reasonable at around the range of $50 to $100 SGD for a round trip if you book in advance. Try the Skyscanner function below to get the cheapest flight deals below!

Cappadocia from Istanbul by Car

Thirdly, this would be my least favourite way of travel. The drive would take about 8 to 9 hours and would be extremely taxing on the travellers. However, having the car allows you to make planned stops in Ankara and other major cities before visiting Cappadocia. The route that the bus drivers take would be your best bet in terms of saving time: Istanbul to Ankara on the E-80 expressway, Ankara to Aksaray on the E-90 and finally the D300 to Nevsehir. I strongly advise against driving to Cappadocia but instead, rent a car in Cappadocia to drive around. Check out my self-drive itinerary here in Cappadocia.

Turkish Eyes hanging on a tree in Pigeon Valley, Cappadocia
Turkish Eyes hanging on a tree in Pigeon Valley, Cappadocia

Finally, I hope this helps you to understand how getting to Cappadocia from Istanbul works. I was clueless as to what was going on when I was in Istanbul and this would help the first-time visitors to have a better understanding. Feel free to see other articles on how I spent my time in Cappadocia and Istanbul. Cheers and safe travels!

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