Cappadocia Travel Guide (2021)- Where to Eat, Stay, & What to Do

This Cappadocia Travel Guide includes everything you need to know before visiting this central region in Turkey famous for the “fairy chimneys”, unique rock formations, & hot air balloons. This guide includes what to expect, how to get around (best taxi driver # included further below), where to eat, where to stay, and what to do!

Views from the famous Sultan Cave Suites

What to Expect in Cappadocia, Turkey

Local Language: Turkish. As this is a high tourist destination, almost everyone we came across spoke English. Every restaurant as well had at least one token English speaker with the option to view menus in English as well. However, it’s always great to learn a couple of basic phrases such as hello (merhaba) or thank you (teşekkürler).

Currency: As Turkey is not part of the EU, they have their own local currency called the Lira. As of this post being written, approximately 1 Lira = .075 USD. We always moved the decimal over one to get a rough gauge of what the price in USD would be (for example 20 Liras roughly would equal 2.0 USD). Cappadocia was especially affordable with very low prices across the board compared to the US and Istanbul.

Credit Cards & Cash Withdrawals: Almost everywhere we went accepted credit cards which we used for ease of not carrying around significant amounts of cash with us. However, I would recommend having some Liras on hand for cabs/tips or smaller shops that may be cash only. There are countless ATMs around the city which will offer a better exchange rate than the airport. Make sure to notify your banks prior to international travel where you will be so that there are no holds on your account.

Climate: We visited in late November which had sunny days with cooler nights (jacket weather). Walking around was comfortable during the day with long dresses or jackets. However, we definitely wish we could have visited Cappadocia in the summertime to take advantage of sunny, pool weather. Would recommend going during the Spring or Summertime if able.

Religion: Islam is the most popular religion across Turkey. Expect to hear projections of prayers at each of the 5 pray times during the day. You can dress to your normal attire while walking around the town.

How to get to Cappadocia from Istanbul:

Airplane: You can find roundtrip flights from Istanbul to Nevşehir Kapadokya Airport for roughly $50 daily. Turkish Airlines offers a morning and evening flight option during the week and three time options on the weekend (Fri-Sun). The flight time is only 1hr 10 min which is why I really would not recommend any other method of getting to Cappadocia unless you want to do a road trip to see stops along the way.

How to Get Around Cappadocia

Walk: The city of Göreme is incredibly walkable and you can get to everywhere you want within Göreme without cabs/buses. We felt incredibly safe there the entire time, even at nighttime.

Taxi: To explore further out destinations, our hotel connected us with the most incredible cab driver Hüseyin. He ended up driving us around Cappadocia our entire time there at a very affordable cost. I can’t emphasize enough how incredible, flexible, and reliable he was. We trusted him wholeheartedly – enough to leave our suitcases with him while we ate dinner for a later pickup to head to the airport. He was even kind enough to offer to take photos of us at every destination.

Ok enough raving about Hüseyin but you seriously can’t go wrong with him! His Whatsapp # is +90 554 283 30 56 to get in contact (and let him know Katya & Kavya referred him) 🙂

Where to Eat in Cappadocia

Reserved Restaurant & Lounge

Our last and favorite meal we had in Cappadocia. Recommended to us by our taxi driver Hüseyin and it most definitely did not disappoint. I ordered the Chicken Wrap with Dates (Chicken rolls with date palm fruit and eggplant, served with smoked green wheat and tomato sauce) which was sooo delicious and we shared a couple of apps (muhammara, pistachio cheese dip, and halloumi) between the two of us. It is not walkable from Göreme so you will have to take a cab to get here. Stalk the menu here and Instagram here.

Address: Aşağı, Adnan Menderes Cd. no 50 -1, 50240 Uçhisar/Nevşehir Merkez/Nevşehir, Turkey

Millocal

Another restaurant also recommended to us by Hüseyin. This would be a great spot to dine at during daylight as they have an open window concept with amazing views of Cappadocia. Turkish cuisine (very meat heavy) and we loved the service/ambiance! This is a bit further out of Göreme as well so you will need to take a cab. Stalk the full menu here and the Instagram here.

Address: Tekelli Mah. Karlık Sok. No:30 Uçhisar, 50240 Nevşehir, Turkey

Mozaik

We popped in here for an afternoon tea, and loved the aesthetic and service inside. If you are staying in Göreme, this restaurant is very walkable to reach in a central location.

Seten Restaurant

Sadly including this restaurant actually as a spot to AVOID. If you just want great views, then definitely worth checking this spot out. However, the food was incredibly underwhelming and turned out to be our least favorite meal from our entire time in Turkey. The service was great, however the food quality was mediocre.

Additional Restaurants in Cappadocia To Check Out

We were only in Cappadocia for a few days, so we didn’t get to try out all of the spots! However, the following are additional recommendations based on reading reviews and conversations with locals.

Seki

Recommended to us by Hüseyin (local). Located inside Argos in Cappadocia in Uchisar, “Seki boasts a refined cuisine with a wide range of options from cold starters to slow cooked meat dishes, artisanal pasta varieties to vegan options, recipes using local produce to kebabs.” Seki is the most awarded restaurant in Cappadocia, ranked among the “best” by media such as Condé Nast. The restaurant also has stunning views of Uchisar Castle. Stalk the lunch menu here and dinner menu here. Address: Aşağı, argos in Cappadocia, Kayabaş Sk. No: 36, 50240 Uçhisar/Nevşehir Merkez/Nevşehir, Turkey

Cozy, intimate restaurant located inside a cave in Göreme. Make reservations in advance as reviews mention it can fill up fast. Pumpkin offers a fixed menu, however they have vegan and vegetarian options available upon request. 4.7 star reviews on Google out of almost 300 reviews. Address: Isali Mah, Iceridere Sk. No:7-A, Goreme 50180 Turkey

The Grape

Located inside Imperial Cave Suites in Göreme. Breakfast is a fixed menu meant to be split between 2. For dinner they offer a variety of starters such as chicken meatballs & fried cheese balls, along with salads, pastas, burgers, meat focused mains. Stalk the full breakfast menu here and dinner menu here. Address: Gaferli Mahallesi Aydinkiragi Mevkii, No:34, 50180 Nevşehir, Turkey

Where to Stay in Cappadocia

Budget Friendly: Local Cave House Hotel

Budget friendly option and best to visit in summertime to take advantage of the pool. The staff was incredibly friendly, accommodating, and helpful during our stay there. This hotel comes with an included breakfast buffet daily with a variety of options along with hot drinks. Prices start at $41+/night.

Mid Range Charming Cave Hotel

Located in Göreme with more stunning views of the town and hot air balloon. Great mid range option at this 3 star hotel with 4.9 avg review stars on Google and prices starting at ~$88+. Very positive breakfast reviews and supposed to be less crowded on the rooftop to watch the hot air balloons vs Sultan Cave Suites.

Higher End: Sultan Cave Suites

This is a great hotel option if you want access to one of the most famous hot air balloon views pictured below (Note on the site it mentions that the viewpoint is open to guests only). This is a 4 star hotel with prices ranging from ~$117+/night and 4.5 star reviews on Google. Instagram linked here.

Luxury: Museum Hotel

Boutique luxury cave experience located in Uchisar. This hotel has 30 unique rooms & suites (some that come with jacuzzis) with prices starting at $300+/night. All of the rooms are fully decorated with priceless antiques and come with stunning views of Cappadocia. 4 star hotel with 4.6 star avg reviews on Google.

Search Additional Hotels in Cappadocia on the Map

Booking.com

What to Do in Cappadocia

In Göreme

The following are all places to check out within walking distance if your hotel is in the town of Göreme.

Sultan Carpets

Founded in 1989, this store has extensive rooms full of ornate Turkish carpets and lights. For a small fee you can do a photo shoot inside for some really unique shots.

Watch The Hot Air Balloons from a Cave Hotel

One of my biggest disappointments during our time in Cappadocia is that we didn’t get to see the famous hot air balloons going up due to it either being an off day or the weather not meeting the lift off criteria. *Note as well that social media may not always be what it appears to be. (For example, I took a photo for an influencer with a large following and was laughing to later see some photoshopped hot air balloons into the photo I took)!*

You must wake up bright and early at sunrise (check the times before) to get the stunning views, which I checked out below at Sultan Cave Suites. Off season I am sure is much less crowded when taking in the views.

Hike to the Top of Aydin Kiragan Tepesi

This viewpoint was close to our hotel which I climbed up one night for sunset. The hike probably takes 10-15 minutes max and has some really amazing views of Göreme. There are signs as well leading up to it to keep you on path to getting to the top. If unsure, you can always ask the locals, they are super friendly! Address: Unlu Sk. 20A 50180 Nevşehir Merkez Nevşehir Turkey

Driving Distance

There are a variety of tours you can research all about (red, green, and blue tours). However, after our experience with Hüseyin, I would SKIP all of those tours and just have him or another cab driver take you around directly to all of the spots. The cost was actually cheaper than the tours and you could take them all exactly at your own pace. He even recommended a couple of additional stops.

Including below the names of the sites to see along with accompanying photos.

Uchisar Castle

Located in the town of Uchisar and the highest point of Cappadocia. You can pay a small fee to hike to the top if interested. (We did not feel the need to hike up so can’t provide a perspective if worth it or not, but the views from the bottom were great enough in our eyes).

Address: Tekelli, 50240 Uçhisar/Nevşehir Merkez/Nevşehir, Turkey

Kapadokya Seramik

Our driver took us to this Ceramic store, which was a fun stop where they taught us how to make pottery using the wheel (def muchhh harder than it looks). Both Kavya and I took a stab at making our own pieces which made us appreciate their work even more! They even had glow in the dark ceramics pictured below which were so cool to see when they turned the lights off.

Address: Cumhuriyet, Göreme Yolu No:71, 50500 Avanos/Nevşehir, Turkey

Love Valley

One of the most famous landmarks of Cappadocia with the famous rock formations made by mother nature (up to you to interpret the shape) 😅 There are a ton of decorated swings and heart shaped bench photo opp spots along here to capture a pic for the gram. Make sure to also stop by the wish tree to make a wish! You can absorb the views from above or hike down to the bottom if desired.

Address: 50180 Göreme/Nevşehir Merkez/Nevşehir, Turkey

Zelve Open Air Museum

This was one of my favorite spots we explored which was really neat to see where ancient civilizations used to live. You can walk through the bulk of the museum and there are signs marking the purpose of multiple rooms you walk through.

Address: Aydınlı Mahallesi, Yavuz Sk. No:1 D:No:1, 50180 Aktepe/Avanos/Nevşehir, Turkey

Pigeon Valley

Located in Uchisar close to Uchisar Castle with stunning views of the valley. As the name suggests there are a lot of pigeons that will fly across the valley which is quite the sight to see!

Address: Aşağı, Adnan Menderes Cd. No:50, 50240 Uçhisar/Nevşehir Merkez/Nevşehir, Turkey

Fairy Chimneys in Pasabagi Valley

One of the more famous destinations in Cappadocia with the iconic “fairy chimneys”. This area can get incredibly crowded, so you are better off either going in off season or early morning/evening to beat the crowds. There is no cost to enter and you can also hike up a mountain for even better views of the valley and chimneys.

Address: Zelve Yolu, 50500 Çavuşin/Avanos/Nevşehir, Turkey

Derinkuyu Underground City

This is an ancient multiground underground city dating back to 8-7th century BC. Was crazy to imagine an entire civilization living down there (said to accommodate up to ~20k people). The city was used by Christians to hide from Muslim Arab or Mongolian invasions. Note you should NOT come here if claustrophobic as the tunnels can be small, narrow, and short in certain areas. However they have signs throughout the entire tour that help guide you to either entrance or exit!

Address: Bayramlı Mahallesi, Niğde Cd., 50700 Derinkuyu/Nevşehir, Turkey

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I hope you enjoyed this guide to Cappadocia, Turkey! If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment, shoot me a DM, or send over an email (thefitdelish@gmail.com). Have the most amazing trip!

Also be sure to check out some additional posts for your next European getaway:

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hi, I'm Katya -- former D1 tennis player, certified CorePower Yoga Sculpt teacher, & soon to be IIN Certified Health Coach. Welcome to my page where I share all things wellness, real food recipes, and fitness. Thanks for stopping by and be sure to explore all things recipes, travel, yoga sculpt, wellness hacks, & shop all of my faves!

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