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Getting from Istanbul to Cappadocia (and return)

Cappadocia, located in the Central Anatolia region of Turkey, is best known for its moon-like landscape, underground cities, houses carved in the rock and churches in the caves. There are seven cities in Cappadocia; Nevsehir is the capital of the region.

Quick summary

Flying is the quickest and cheapest way to get from Istanbul to Cappadocia. Fly from Istanbul Sabiha (SAW) to Kayseri as the rates are really low. You can also choose to travel by train to Kayseri. Once in Kayseri, take a bus to Goreme or other cities in the area.

Flights from Istanbul to Cappadocia

There are two airports which you can use to fly from Istanbul to Cappadocia:

  • Kayseri Erkilet Airport (ASR) in Kayseri
  • Nevsehir Kapadokya Airport (NAV)

From Istanbul Ataturk Airport (IST) there are non-stop flights to Kayseri operated by Turkish Airlines. The flight time is 1h 25 min and the one way ticket is €231 per person. From Istanbul Sabiha (SAW) you can fly on the low-cost carrier Pegasus to Kayseri and the one way ticket is only €28 per person (same flight time).

Flights from Istanbul Ataturk (IST) to Nevsehir start on €231 per person, one way, and a run by Turkish Airlines. The flight time is 1h 15 min. Unfortunately there are no flights from Istanbul Sabiha (SAW) to Nevsehir.

>>read more about Cheap Flights to Istanbul

Buses from Istanbul to Cappadocia

Most bus companies offer connections from Istanbul to both Nevsehir and Göreme. The travel time is 12 hours. The one way adult ticket is TL 50 (about US$33).

>>read more about Bus travel in Turkey

Trains from Istanbul to Cappadocia

Taking the sleeper train from Istanbul to Ankara, Konya or Kayseri and then a short bus ride to Goreme is a very good option. You can sleep during the night and then have breakfast in the morning, before continuing by bus. Alternatively, you can rent a car from Ankara, Konya or Kayseri. Kayseri is the closest to Goreme (just 70 km).

The ticket from Istanbul to Kayseri is TL 50 (about US$33) per person, one way, sleeper. It’s slightly more expensive to travel to Konya (TL 78 , about US$52 per person, one way, sleeper).

>>read more about Train travel in Turkey

Driving from Istanbul to Cappadocia

This is a long drive – 741 km / 9 h 40 min – and it only makes sense if you share the cost of car rental and fuel. Don’t forget to account for the road toll as well. Should you choose to drive to Cappadocia from Istanbul, do plan some stops along the way or switch drivers.

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