Last Updated on
Traveling Cappadocia is a very large region of valleys, villages and towns. The reason a Cappadocia trip is popular for most tourists to Turkey is because of the rock formations. As Cappadocia top attractions these UNESCO World Heritage rocks are unusually shaped and it makes you wonder if aliens didn’t do a bit of the carving!
Table of Contents: 10 Best Things to Do in Cappadocia | Turkey
10 Best Things to Do in Cappadocia, Turkey
Goreme is a perfect base for lodging and to start a sightseeing adventure. Although this small town is 10-12 hours from Istanbul, it is mere walking distances from many Cappadocia top attractions such as the Open Air museum, Love valley, Red Valley and you can book a hot air balloon ride here.
2. Cave Hotels
Cave hotels are popular in Cappadocia due to it’s cave dwelling history. Goreme is a cozy and safe town, sprinkled with cave hotels. A cave can run anywhere from 50 Euro to well over 100 Euro.
Kelebek Hotel (read my review) had cave rooms/partial cave rooms, rooms include your own modest Turkish bath (and regular shower), an amazing Turkish breakfast buffet and was only 8 minutes from the Goreme bus station. Location was on a hill overlooking Goreme. Rate: $50+ range
Cappadocia Cave Suites 8 minutes from the Open Air Museum, this palace-like hotel is a complex of cave dwellings made of materials sourced from local formations. You can stay in a cave room or fairy chimney room. Rate: $50+ range.
There are hostel caves as well. Check out some cave hotels here.
3. Open Air Museum
At the Open Air Museum, you’ll find cave inhabitants were also monks and nuns. A lot of monasteries were hidden in caves. Step inside and you’ll occasionally find aging ceiling frescoes. Note: No photography inside many of these caves. Admission: Yes.
Tip: Take a Red tour to explore Goreme, visit the Open Air Museum and the Fairy Chimneys
4. Red / Rose Valley
All the rocks in the alleys are made of volcanic ash, so it can crumble very easily. The erosion gives it its shape. Also you have many minerals which creates the colors in different parts of the terrain.
5. Hot Air Balloon Ride
Hot Air Balloon Rides in Cappadocia are a bucket list activity and a MUST! If you had to splurge on anything, I’d suggest this. Of all the places that offer hot air balloon rides, Cappadocia is the place to do it as the land is one spectacle, while the 50+ balloons in the air offer another.
Tip: A good tour can cost anywhere from $75 to $150 per 3 hours and the quality of coverage and diversity is what the price can determine. Book your ride here. Want a balloon ride and a two hour guided tour? Check this out.
Read my Guide to Hot Air Ballooning .
6. Fairy Chimneys at Love Valley
Fairy Chimneys have pointed tops that are supposed to look like chimneys and a 15 minute walk outside Goreme, you’ll find them thriving in Love Valley. I think you’ll understand why locals have named it such.
7. Uchisar Castle
Places like Uchisar Castle are manmade, which is the phenomenal thing. The castle is a giant rock which looks like Swiss cheese and you can walk around and explore the caves . Uchisar Castle is about a 45 minute walk from Goreme or you can catch the local bus, which will take you 6-8 minutes. Admission: None. Book a stay in Uchisar.
8. Pigeon caves
These caves weren’t only made to house people. Some were made to house pigeons. Pigeon poop was often harvested for farming fertilizer.
9. Derinkuyu Underground City
Cappadocia has a few underground cities but Derinkuyu Underground City is the largest.
There’s seven subterranean levels to this city and it was a refuge for Christians who were escaping persecution from Romans. An entire city lived and raised livestock in these caves and walked these tunnels. Tip: Take a Green Tour to visit Ilhara Valley and Derinkyu Underground City.
Note: This is a tour stop, but you can also reach here by local bus from Goreme. It’s said to take approximately 45 minutes. Admission: Yes.
Every where you look there’s a photo waiting to be taken. You can spend rolls and rolls of film here. Every where The more you walk and hike and discover places the more you see. There are a handful of cave monasteries to see and a lovely hike around the mountain. Hiking level is basic to moderate.
Note: This is one of the stops on the Blue Tour, which I took. While this was beautiful, I still might advise trying the Green Tour instead. This and Derinkuyu were the only sites on the tour that I thought were worthwhile.
Where to stay in Cappadocia
There are many breathtaking places to stay in Cappadocia. I stayed in Goreme (the most popular) a small and safe main town of Cappadocia. It’s a preferred town due to its walking proximity to Love Valley, Red Valley and the Open Air Museum. It’s a ten minute bus ride to Uchisar Castle located in Uchisar, another town tourists will stay at.
Cappadocia is known for its cave hotels. Long ago, the residents used to live in caves in this region and while most families have moved to apartments, cave hotels are a fun attraction for tourists.
Kelebek Hotel(read my review) had cave rooms/partial cave rooms, rooms include your own modest Turkish bath (and regular shower) and was only 8 minutes from the Goreme bus station. Location was on a hill overlooking Goreme.
Cappadocia Cave Suites You’ve seen its rooftop on instagram. 8 minutes from the Open Air Museum, this palace-like hotel is a complex of cave dwellings made of materials sourced from local formations. You can stay in a cave room or fairy chimney room.
Is Cappadocia safe for solo travelers?
Overall, I didn’t encounter anything there by way of scams or criminal intention. Goreme is a popular tourist town to stay in, where people know people. Locals have told me it’s pretty safe for female solo travelers and I felt safe, even at night. However, there are always exceptions to the rule so one should always practice street smarts.
What are your things to do in Cappadocia?
Turkey for Solo Travelers (video playlist)
Best Travel Insurance for Turkey
American travelers often pay a premium on travel insurance. World Nomads offers economic solutions for travelers who seek security and peace of mind. It covers 150 countries.