How to Get to Cappadocia from Istanbul

If you are on vacation in Istanbul, one of the best getaways is to visit the Cappadocia area, but what transportation alternatives are there? Today I will explain them all to you!

Katherine Betances

Katherine Betances

7 min read

How to Get to Cappadocia from Istanbul

Cappadocia, Istanbul | ©an-dree-uh tan

When talking about a visit to Cappadocia it is very important to clarify that it is not a city per se, but rather a region within the limits of Istanbul. This area is famous for its strange and peculiar geological formations millions of years old. The provinces that, in part, make up Cappadocia include Aksaray, Niğde, Kayseri and Nevşehir.

Visiting Cappadocia is one of the best things to do in Istanbul if you have the time and budget for it. If you want to know how to go, for how many days and how much it can cost below all the information in approximate values.

The best option

Cappadocia 2-Day Trip from Istanbul with Hot Air Balloon Ride

The most complete option to discover Cappadocia

Explore Cappadocia on a 2-day tour with expert guide, sunrise hot air balloon ride and visit to landmarks such as Uchisar Castle and Derinkuyu Underground City.

Duration: 2 days

Embark on a fascinating 2-day experience from Istanbul to discover the best of Cappadocia. Accompanied by an expert guide, you will learn about the rich local history and culture while exploring stunning sites in small groups to ensure the best experience.

On the first day, you will visit sites such as Uchisar Castle, Pasabag or Valley of the Monks, the UNESCO World Heritage Goreme Open Air Museum, the Underground City of Derinkuyu and the Pigeon Valley. Each site offers unique landscapes and a rich history.

At dawn on the second day, enjoy a hot air balloon ride to admire the panoramic views of Cappadocia. Afterwards, a typical breakfast and visit to Ortahisar complete this unforgettable experience.

Recommended if... you wish to explore the highlights of Cappadocia in a short period of time, without missing anything of this fascinating region.

The best way to get to Cappadocia: an organized tour from Istanbul.

Visiting Cappadocia| ©cattan2011
Visiting Cappadocia| ©cattan2011

Visiting the Cappadocia region on a guided tour is the best alternative since the guided tour will take you through the most interesting regions and the most attractive tourist spots. All this saving the many details of planning that a large scale adventure implies.

This is one of the best excursions to do from Istanbul, which is why you will find numerous high quality local companies offering this service to travelers. Your task will be to debug to research options that will accommodate your travel itinerary and budget.


Due to the great distance between Cappadocia and Istanbul, the companies operating this type of excursion present multi-day options. Tours range from two to eight days depending on the itinerary and the areas you plan to visit.

You will find companies that offer a complete multi-day tour that includes visits to the Cappadocia region, the Greco-Roman city of Ephesus, Pamukkale, the Gallipoli peninsula and more. Other companies offer 2-day tours to visit Cappadocia.

Useful information about Cappadocia

  • Price: About 600 euros for a 2-day tour including entrance fees, meals, flights and guide.
  • Recommended if... You are looking for a hassle-free option and have enough time in Istanbul to spend a few days in this beautiful region.

Book your tour to Cappadocia from Istanbul

The fastest option: Take a plane from Istanbul to Cappadocia

Plane Departing from Istanbul| ©Oliver Holzbauer
Plane Departing from Istanbul| ©Oliver Holzbauer

When planning a short trip to Istanbul, you need a quick, and preferably not too expensive way to get to the Cappadocia area. To all friends who present such a scenario I recommend the alternative of a direct flight between the two. The only real disadvantage of this option is that it does not allow us to enjoy the scenery of Istanbul.


If you decide to take a plane to the Cappadocia region it is important to keep in mind the two main airports to which the vast majority of flights departing from Istanbul Airport (IST) will arrive.

  • Kayseri Erkilet Airport (ASR) is located in the city of Kayseri, approximately 80 kilometers from the tourist area of Cappadocia. The best means of transportation between the two points is the Kayseri Airport bus service.
  • Nevşehir Kapadokya Airport (NAV) is a small airport located north of the city of Gülşehir 40 kilometers from the most touristic area. The best means of transportation between the two points is a cab.

Finally, if you are looking to save much more time take into account Istanbul airport transfer services; instead of transferring by public transport.

Useful information about Istanbul

  • Price: Estimate an approximate value between 40€ and 90€.
  • Travel time: Between 3 to 5 hours
  • Recommended if... you are only in Turkey for a few days and you are looking for a fast and efficient transfer.

Book your tour to Cappadocia from Istanbul

An economical option: Take the train route Istanbul - Cappadocia

Taking a Train from Istanbul| ©*SHERWOOD*
Taking a Train from Istanbul| ©*SHERWOOD*

When you have an unstructured and flexible itinerary the high speed train in Istanbul is the best alternative to move between cities. Although Cappadocia is a destination a bit far from Istanbul you will be able to accommodate the route to get the most out of your trip, getting to know various points of interest without spending too much.


There is a high-speed train line between Istanbul, Ankara and Konya; if you have five days or more to visit Istanbul you can dedicate the first days to the city and the rest to the more distant areas taking advantage of the high-speed train service and making stops in all these destinations.

  • Istanbul - Ankara. The journey takes about 4.5 hours and you will find trains every day.

If you stop in the Turkish capital, dedicate part of the itinerary to visit unmissable tourist destinations such as the Museum of Civilizations, the mausoleum of Ataturk, founding father of modern Turkey.

  • Istanbul-Konya. The journey between the two destinations takes about 4 hours and 15 minutes. From Ankara to Konya the trip takes less than two hours.

Do you like architecture, if you stop in the city of Konya it is full of beautiful mosques and monuments of the Seljuk era. Don't miss the Mevlana Museum.

Useful information about Konya

  • Price: About 5€ on the high-speed train.
  • Travel time: It is a long journey of about 13 to 15 hours on the routes alone.
  • Recommended if... You have a little more time to spend and want to plan a route through Turkey that includes several destinations.

Book your tour to Cappadocia from Istanbul

The most flexible option: Travel by car from Istanbul to Cappadocia

Private transfer| ©Mark Cruz
Private transfer| ©Mark Cruz

An exceptional alternative if you have an adventurous spirit, as well as the desire and time to plan a trip down to the last detail. If you decide for this option, here are some useful tips to take into account.

  • Driving in Turkey is not complex at all, the main streets are very well paved and the most popular tourist attractions and historical sites are well signposted so it is easy to find them.
  • The language is something you should consider, the official language of the country is Turkish, English is fairly standardized but you will only find Spanish speakers in areas of high tourist mobility.
  • Book in advance the stays especially in the areas of greater demand and the times of greater affluence. This will allow you to get better prices.


The main advantage of renting a car in Istanbul will always be the possibility of being able to set up the route as you wish. For example, you can prepare to drive through the Anatolian countryside from Istanbul to Cappadocia and, on the way, explore the following points of interest: the Ottoman village of Safranbolu, the Phrygian ruins of Gordion and the Hittite ruins of Hattusa.

Companies: Listed below are some of the companies whose offices are located in the downtown area of Istanbul.

Useful information

  • Price: The economic rate to rent a simple car in Istanbul is around 10€ per day; the price increases depending on the type of vehicle. As an additional expense you should consider the cost of fuel andtolls if any.
  • Travel time: The trip from Istanbul to the Cappadocia area is approximately 735 kilometers long; without completing stops it will take you about 9 hours to travel between the two destinations.
  • Recommended if... You have the facilities and knowledge required to prepare a road trip in a foreign country. It seems to me an extraordinary alternative if you have family or friends in Istanbul who can join the adventure or if you have traveled to Turkey before and know how to handle yourself properly.

Book your Cappadocia tour from Istanbul

The least convenient option: Traveling by bus from Istanbul to Cappadocia.

Bus from Istanbul to Cappadocia| ©Laura A
Bus from Istanbul to Cappadocia| ©Laura A

Although it's not an option I recommend due to the long journey combined with the uncomfortable means of transport, it's good to know that you can travel by train from Istanbul to Cappadocia.


Due to the distance, the companies that operate routes between the two do not contemplate direct routes but rather interconnected routes where some passengers dismount and others take their place. This has its advantages and disadvantages since, although the trip is longer, you yourself can take advantage of 1/2 day sightseeing at some of the destinations. The traditional route from Istanbul to Goreme in the Cappadocia area includes stops in the city of Ankara and the city of Nevşehir.

Useful information

  • Price: Depending on the company you choose you should book between 15 € and 20 € for each trip; if you do not contemplate stops between cities the price may be slightly increased.
  • Duration of the trip: It is a fairly long direct journey with only short stops scheduled by the operating company takes about 12 hours route.
  • Recommended yes... There is no scenario in which I really recommend this alternative, the travel budget is hardly different from the high speed train journey and it offers almost none of the amenities.

Book your excursion to Cappadocia from Istanbul