Best Ways from Istanbul to Cappadocia in 2023
Istanbul to Cappadocia
When it comes to going from Istanbul to Cappadocia, there are numerous options. Your choice will be influenced by the amount of time you have set aside for your trip and the type of travel you like.
Every level of comfort is covered, from a quick, fully arranged tour to taking public transportation or doing a self-drive road trip. Find out how to get from Istanbul to Cappadocia in the most efficient way possible.
1.Flying from Istanbul to Cappadocia
Flying direct from Istanbul to Cappadocia is a popular alternative for short-haul travelers.
Turkish Airlines and Pegasus Airlines fly to and from Cappadocia's two airports on a daily and nightly basis. The flight is 80 minutes long.
Turkish Airlines has the most flight options to Cappadocia. Six flights depart daily from Istanbul International Airport or Sabiha Gökçen Airport for Kayseri Airport, while at least one flight departs daily from Istanbul International Airport for Nevşehir Kapadokya Airport.
All Pegasus Airlines flights to Cappadocia leave Sabiha Gökçen and land at Kayseri Airport.
Although the differences between Cappadocia's two airports are likely to be less important than the most convenient departure time for you, it's worth knowing about them.
Kayseri Erkilet Airport is located in Kayseri, around 80 kilometers east of the Cappadocia villages that are the core of the tourism sector. The much smaller Nevşehir Kapadokya Airport is located about 40 kilometers northwest of the settlements, just north of Gülşehir.
Pre-arranged airport shuttle services provide door-to-door transportation from both airports to the Cappadocia villages' hotels. Travel time from Kayseri Airport can take up to two hours, depending on the number of passengers booked on the shuttle to exit the airport and the hamlet you're staying in. Shuttle bus services from Nevşehir Airport rarely take more than 30 minutes door to door.
These privately maintained airport shuttles require advanced reservations. In most cases, your hotel will arrange for these transfers.
2.By Bus From Istanbul to Cappadocia
Several bus companies provide direct service from Istanbul's main Esenler Otogar (bus station) to Nevşehir Otogar on the outskirts of Nevşehir city, around 18 kilometers west of the Cappadocia villages (depending on which hamlet you stay in).
Nevşehir Seyahat, Kamil Koç, and Metro are the primary businesses that operate on this route. It takes between 11 and 12 hours to travel.
The majority of departure options depart in the evening and drop you off at the Nevşehir bus station the next morning. However, there are a few day-bus routes that are ideal for those who appreciate taking in the surroundings.
Because there is minimal variation in ticket prices amongst the companies that operate on this route, your selection on which service to use will be based primarily on departure time.
All of the buses include plush airline-style seating with individual entertainment systems and phone charging ports, as well as an on-board conductor service that provides complementary hot and cold beverages and snacks.
From Nevşehir Otogar, there are direct minibus connections to the Cappadocian tourism centers of Göreme, Ürgüp, and Avanos (bus station).
3.Purchase a Tour from Istanbul to Cappadocia
Those with limited time in Turkey can consider taking a pre-arranged Cappadocia side-trip tour from Istanbul.
This is a hassle-free option in which all transportation, transfers, activities, and lodging are handled for you, so you can relax and enjoy your trip to Cappadocia.
It's important to note that the shortest Cappadocia side-trip itineraries from Istanbul are two days long, not one. With so many tourist attractions scattered out around the region, a snapshot journey will take at least 48 hours.
You can also participate in the region's famous hot-air ballooning activity, which takes place before dawn, while your overnight stay on location.
Cappadocia excursions from Istanbul usually do not include this in the price, but they can organize it for you as an optional extra.
The popular 2-Day Cappadocia Tour from Istanbul includes two guided tours of some of the region's most important sights, overnight lodging in a cave hotel, return flights from Istanbul and airport transfers, and some lunches.
It's worth noting that booking a Cappadocia tour through an Istanbul travel agency is more expensive than booking one through a local Cappadocia travel agency.
4.By Bus & Train From Istanbul to Cappadocia
If you have a little more time on your hands, the high-speed train line between Istanbul, Ankara, and Konya allows you to include stops at two of central Anatolia's most important cities on your journey to Cappadocia.
You could visit both cities along the road or choose one as an overnight stop if you travel at a leisurely pace.
The important Museum of Anatolian Civilizations and the Antkabir, Atatürk's mausoleum, are both located in Ankara, Turkey's capital (the founder of the modern republic of Turkey).
Konya is home to the whirling dervishes and the Mevlana Museum, one of Turkey's most important pilgrimage destinations, and is full of restored Seljuk-era mosques and monuments.
There are three direct trips from Istanbul to Konya, each taking four hours and 15 minutes.
If you want to visit both cities, you may take a high-speed train from Ankara to Konya seven times a day, which takes just under two hours.
Because seats do sell out, train tickets should be ordered in advance.
Bus services to Nevşehir Otogar, the region's primary transport center, are available from both Ankara Otogar (bus station) and Konya Otogar.
5.By Car From Istanbul to Cappadocia
When you rent a car to travel across the Anatolian countryside from Istanbul to Cappadocia, you'll have the opportunity to stop at some of the region's most important historical sites along the way.
Although you could travel to most of these locations by public transportation, the journey would be far more difficult and time-consuming.
The preserved Ottoman village of Safranbolu (410 kilometers east of Istanbul), the Phrygian ruins of Gordion (468 kilometers southeast of Istanbul or 272 kilometers south of Safranbolu), and the Hittite ruins of Hattuşa, which sit in the village of Boazkale, are three of the best stops if traveling by car on this route (307 kilometers southeast from Safranbolu or 305 kilometers east from Gordion).
Both Safranbolu and Boazkale have places to stay for the night on the trip. There are many of other tourist attractions and historic sites in the surrounding areas of both of these cities, so plan on taking a few days to complete your journey.
Driving in Turkey is quite simple, thanks to well-maintained motorways and clear signs for towns, tourist attractions, and historic sites. However, because gas is expensive in Turkey, self-driving journeys will always be more expensive than conventional modes of transportation.