If you are planning a trip to Cappadocia, then you are in the right place. We are award-winning travel bloggers from Turkey and we have compiled a great Cappadocia travel guide for you.
Cappadocia ranked 5th on the Times’ list of “25 New Wonders of the World”
Cappadocia ranked 5th on the Times’ list of “25 New Wonders of the World,” and it has been on UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage list since 1985. While fairy chimneys are something that you can see in other places in the world, they are more densely concentrated in Cappadocia making it a one-of-a-kind landscape. It feels like out of Alice In Wonderland.
It is a unique place that infuses history, nature, legend, and culture to create something entirely different. We think that words aren’t enough to describe this place, so you’ll have to experience it for yourself by following Cappadocia travel guide. 🙂
There are a lot of places to see in Cappadocia. Pretty much every inch of it has some sort of historical and/or natural importance. However, we suggest focusing more on activities unique to Cappadocia like hot-air ballooning over the fairy chimneys or full moon hiking trips than places to see. It will allow you to live a memorable experience while covering the highlights of Cappadocia. To learn about these amazing bucket list items click here 21 Things To Do In Cappadocia That You Must Not Miss
– When To Go & How Long To Stay – You can read our Cappadocia Travel Guide to learn about the best time to go, how many days you should set aside for your trip, and other travel advice.
– Where To Stay – You can read our Cappadocia Travel Guide to learn about the best time to go, how many days you should set aside for your trip, and other travel advice.
AREAS OF CAPPADOCIA
Plan Your Trip To Cappadocia
Our Hotel & Villa Picks From Cappadocia
Cappadocia is unique in the way, with its cave hotels and historial buildings accomodation alone can be a unique experience in itself. Here you can sleep inside thousands of years of history. We strongly recommend you don’t miss out on this very rare opportunity.
Argos in Cappadocia $$$
Located in Uchisar, Argos is a world class boutique hotel where you can to immerse yourself in the historical charm of Cappadocia. A 1500 year old monastry & many ancient carvings are incorporated into the hotel. It is situated on a hill top over looking the splendid Güvercin Valley, which is filled with ancient sites and fairy chimneys. You can lap in its pool while hot air balloons float pleasantly above your head. You can choose to stay in cave like rooms or modern day rooms according to your liking. All rooms are equipped for a luxurious stay but if you really want to raise your game, you should consider renting the suites either with a panoramic jacuzzi terrace or with en-suite pool. Click here to check rates and availability.
Museum Hotel $$$
Another beautiful boutique hotel from Uchisar is Museum Hotel. As the name suggest, with its antiques and nostalgic design it evokes the feeling of staying in a museum. Offers great views. Can be a luxurious choice for honeymooners. Click here to check rates and availability.
Dere Suites Kapadokya $$
Located in Urgup Dere Suites offers a tasteful stay in stone houses. And the nice panaroma and the hotel’s wine cellar are the cherries on top. Click here to check rates and availability.
Millstone Cave Suites $$
Set in one of the traditional stone houses of the region Millstone Cave Suites is cozy small hotel. Open buffet breakfast is included in the price. Click here to check rates and availability.
Romantic Stone Room $$
A romantic room in a house carved into stone in Urgup with private bathroom. Has a patio with a small garden. Click here to check rates and availability.
Room at a Cave Hotel $$
A stone carved bedroom for 2 in Avanos. The building as a nice terrace with panaromic views. Breakfast included. Click here to check rates and availability.
– Click here to see all options available in Goreme
– Click here to see all options available in Uchisar
– Click here to see all options available in Avanos
– Click here to see all options available in Urgup
– Click here to see all options available in Ortahisar
– Click here to see all options available in Nevsehir City Center
PLACES TO SEE IN CAPPADOCIA
You can view the map by zooming in.
Chez Galip Çeç Pottery Studio
Avanos Hair Museum
Zelve Open Air Museum
Çavuşin Old Mosque
Church Of St. John The Baptist
Göreme Open Air Museum
Three Beauties (Üç Güzeller)
Özkonak Underground City
Mazı Underground City
Kaymaklı Underground City
Derinkuyu Underground City
Tatlarin Underground City
The main places to see in Cappadocia are clustered into six main areas: Avanos, Çavuşin, Ürgüp, Göreme, Uçhisar, and Ortahisar. You can see how we marked them in the map above.
1. PLACES TO SEE IN AVANOS
Avanos is a province of Nevsehir, and the evolution of its name tells the story of this area. The name Avanos was originally “Venassa-Nanassa” during the Assyrian period, then changed to “Zu-Vinessa” during the Hittite era, which then evolved into “Enez – Evenez – Uvenez” during the Seljuk times, and to Vanote during the Byzantine rule. It was changed to Avanos during the Ottoman times, which came from Evranos Bey, which was a commander for the Seljuk Turks. While you’re in Cappadocia, you’ll see a lot of paintings named “Venassa” or “Evranos,” which are known to be the old names of Avanos.” And a note: it might seem that the places like Avanos on the map are far from each other, but don’t let that discourage you while planning your trip. Avanos is only 15 minutes away from Ürgüp.
Devrent Valley is also known as Hayal Vadisi in Turkish, which means Dream Valley. All the valleys in Cappadocia have their own distinguishing characteristics, and this valley is known for its fairy chimneys that resemble animals. The most prominent resembles a camel, which you can see in the picture. Whoever is in charge put fencing around the area to protect it from tourists.
Villagers bring real camels to this area. You can pay to get your picture taken. Devrent Valley is located 10-15 minutes from Avanos, so you’ll need to either use your own car if you have one or take a taxi to get there. Just keep in mind that no public transport goes all the way out to Devrent Valley, unfortunately. Click here for the location. Number 1 on the map.
Avanos Hair Museum
You’ve never been to a museum like this before. We know this, because it was even ranked by the Guinness Book of World Records as being one of the world’s most bizarre museums. This makes it an absolutely must place to see in Cappadocia. The Avanos Hair Museum is actually part of Chez Galip‘s pottery studio located in the pottery market.
The story of the Hair Museum, which includes more than 16,000 locks of hair from women, is quite romantic. Mr. Galip had asked his girlfriend – who was leaving to go back to her country – to leave something to remember her by. So she cut off a lock of her hair and stuck it on the wall. As visitors came to see Galip’s shop, he would tell them the story behind the lock of fair, and the female customers were so moved that they started leaving their own locks of love and affixed them to the walls. Mr. Galip holds a drawing twice in one year, so when people leave their hair, they also leave their contact information. If their name is drawn, then they get an all-expenses-paid trip to Cappadocia for a week.
You’re not allowed to take photos in the museum. The reason for this is that a couple of people entered the museum on the pretense of taking photos, but really went in to take pictures. Instead, they got contact information and started harassing those people. The people who were contacted then opened a lawsuit against Mr. Galip, so he banned taking photos in the area. The museum is open for seven days a week from 8 am to 5 pm. Click here for the location. Number 2 on the map.
Zelve Open-Air Museum
At the Zelve Open-Air Museum, you’ll be able to see two communities that have different beliefs show tolerance and understanding toward each other as there was a church and mosque built right next to each other. Zelve is also a great place to see in Cappadocia as it has the loveliest fairy chimneys in the region. You can go for a hike here or visit one of the different safari programs. Click here for the location. Number 3 on the map.
Underground Ceramic Museum – Güray Museum
Another impressive place to see in Cappadocia is the Güray Museum, which is the first and only underground ceramic museum in the world. Here, you’ll be able to see the works of famous ceramic artists, as well as small artifacts from the region. The museum also showcases ceramic and pottery work from the Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks, and Ottomans. There’s also an area where you can watch artists at work making pottery. Click here for the location. Number 4 on the map.
The Özkonak Underground City is also in Avanos. We’ll describe it in detail in the following section.
2. PLACES TO SEE IN ÇAVUŞIN
Çavuşin Old Mosque
Çavuşin is a settlement located between Avanos and Göreme, and it’s only two kilometers away from the latter. The Old Mosque is one of the oldest places in Cappadocia and is a village mosque that dates back to the Seljuk era. The mosque was closed down in 1958 after the village was evacuated due to a landslide. It was restored in 2011 and reopened. Click here for the location. Number 5 on the map.
Paşabağ (Valley of the Monks)
Paşabağ is one of the best places to see in Cappadocia for people who enjoy seeing sites that are tied to local legends. In one of the fairy chimneys, there was a chapel built called St. Simeon Church. Simeon had lived as a hermit near Aleppo during the 5th century. People heard that he could perform miracles, so they came to him. But he was uncomfortable with all the attention, so he decided to live on top of a column, and he only would go down occasionally to get food and drink. Click here for the location. Number 6 on the map.
One of the most ideal places for nature walks is the Güllüdere Valley, which is located between Çavuşin and Göreme. Here you’ll be able to find rock carvings, wineries, and churches. If you want to go trekking through this valley, then it’ll last around 1 hour (4 kilometers). Click here for the location. Number 7 on the map.
Without a doubt, the most beautiful place to see in Cappadocia to watch the sunset is at Kızılcukur Valley. But there’s more – the most beautiful churches in this whole region at in this valley. If you go on a jeep or ATV safari, then you won’t have to pay an entrance fee to get into Kızılçukur. If you want to go by yourself, then you’ll have to pay to get in. If you want to walk through the valley, but you don’t want to go by yourself, then you can get in touch with a guide. If you’re not going in by ATV, jeep, motorcycle, or on horseback, then you’ll only be able to go to the observation deck. Click here for the location. Number 8 on the map.
This is an old church that has a destroyed antechamber, and it’s said that the most iconic painting is displayed here. It’s a bit tricky for children and the elderly to enter since it’s in ruins. Click here for the location. Number 9 on the map.
Church of St. John the Baptist
Behind the entrance carved into the rock is a three-nave basilica dedicated to John the Baptist. The basilica’s frescoes were destroyed due to erosion. During the time of the Byzantines, sacred relics that had belonged to Saint Hieron were hidden here. You can’t take any pictures inside the church as to not damage the frescos. Click here for the location. Number 10 on the map.
3. PLACES TO SEE IN GÖREME
Göreme is a town connected to the central district of Nevşehir, and it offers some of the best places to see in Cappadocia. Göreme is old – monastery life here dates back to the 4th century and can be traced to the 15th century. This is also the place that comes to your mind when you think of Cappadocia as it has the most hotels and restaurants made of rock. Göreme itself is also a good location as it overlooks the area where the hot-air balloons take off in the early hours of the morning. This is a great place to stay both due to its beautiful geography but also for its central location in Cappadocia.
The Valley of Love has the best panorama view of any valley in Cappadocia – it’s also place where people go to propose. You won’t be able to cut through the valley to get there, so you’ll have to use alternative roads. You can probably see this if you take a safari of a valley close by, but if you want to come yourself, then we have the following directions for you: Once you’re on the Aşk Vadisi (Love Valley) Göreme – Uçhisar road, you’ll turn at Bağlıtepe and head toward Özler Art Center. After that, you’ll turn right at the intersection and continue toward Bağlıdere. Park the car when the road gets really bad as you’ll just have to walk from there. The valley is about 4.5-5 kilometers, so it takes about 1 hour on average. Click here for the location of the entrance to the valley. Number 11 on the map.
Göreme Open-Air Museum
The Goreme Open-Air Museum is one of the most important places to see in Cappadocia. It’s is a monastery complex that consists of churches, cemeteries, chapels, dining halls, and a wine cellar. You can easily see this in two hours.
Places to See in Göreme Open-Air Museum
Places open to visitors are: Monastery for Girls and Boys, Saint Basil Chapel, Elmalı Church, Saint Barbara Chruch, Chapel of Saint Catherine, Snake Church (Yılanlı Kilise), Dark Church (Karanlık Kilise), Church of the Sandels (Çarıklı Church), and Buckle Church (Tokalı Church).In addition to this, there are 18 other churches and 11 dining halls that are closed because they are in danger of collapsing.
Göreme Open-Air Museum Entry Fee and Times
You can visit every day of the week between 8 am – 5 pm. You can also use your museum card if you wish. You’ll have to pay an extra money to get into the Dark Church, and you won’t be able to use your museum card here. The point of this is to minimize the number of visitors as to avoid further damage to the frescoes. Click here for the location. Number 12 on the map.
4. PLACES TO GO IN UÇHISAR
Uçhisar is a town connected to the central district of Nevşehir, and it’s only a few kilometers away from Göreme.
Uçhisar Castle is the highest fairy chimney, and you’ll be able to see everything in Göreme Valley and its fairy chimneys from inside the castle. You can come here to watch the sun rise or set, which is highly recommended. In terms of watching the sunset, this is in our top three spots in all of Cappadocia. However, you won’t be able to use your museum card to get in. Click here for the location. Number 13 on the map.
“Güvercin” means pigeon in Turkish, and the name comes from the pigeons that live in the rocks that were carved by people. Outdoor activities in this valley include trekking, cycling, running, and yoga. The only way to get into the valley is by walking, compared to other valleys in the area. Click herefor the location. Number 14 on the map.
5. PLACES TO SEE IN ÜRGÜP
Ürgüp is another great place to see in Cappadocia as it was one of the first places that put Nevşehir on the map in terms of its historical and natural beauty. The highest peak of this place is known as Temenni Hill, which is where you can see everything in Ürgüp as well as the Mount Erciyes. At the entrance of the hill, there is a tomb on the right. It’s called Wish Hill because people make wishes at this tomb and tie cloth in hopes that their wish will come true. There is also a tomb that is said to belong to Alâeddin Keykubat III. Click here for the location.
The Tahsin Ağa Public Library was located in the middle of the hill before it was moved to the center of the district. But you can still find a few things here. Make sure to take a look at the books and to drink a tea before going back down. Mustafa Güzelgöz, who was originally from Ürgüp, was awarded by US President Kennedy for having the first mobile library service. He was elected librarian of the year in Amsterdam in 1969. Click here for the location. Click here for the location. Number 15 on the map.
Mazi Underground City is also part of Ürgüp, but we’ll explain it in the section on underground cities below.
If you have a lot of time and want to see what a traditional house looked like in Cappadocia, then you can stop by Asmalı Konak. This place is famous among Turks as there was a show that was filmed here, which makes it an entertaining place to see in Cappadocia for Turks. But if you ask us, this place doesn’t have much to offer as most of the rooms are locked, and you’ll only be able to see two rooms. Also, the building, which was constructed 200 years ago in Greek architecture, is not in good shape. Click here for the location. Number 16 on the map.
Even though the Gomeda Valley might not be a popular place to see in Cappadocia compared to other destinations on this list, it still has its own unique features it brings to the table. The Gomeda Valley is famous for its pigeonholes that resemble a multi-story apartment building. During the Roman Empire, Gomeda had 600 houses, two churches, two cemeteries, and an underground city. To get here, you can enter through the Cumhuriyet Square in Mustafapaşa, which is part of Ürgüp. Mustafapaşa is also a lovely place in itself in case you’re curious. Another way to get to the Gomeda Valley is through Ayvali Village. Click here for the location of the entrance from Mustafapaşa. Number 17 on the map.
Three Beauties (Üç Güzeller)
The Three Beauties are three fairy chimneys that have become a symbol of the region, making it an essential place to see in Cappadocia. They are set as the backdrop for many tourists taking pictures here. There is even a legend surrounding the Three Beauties: Once upon a time, the king of Cappadocia had a daughter who fell in love with a shepherd in the area. The king did not want his daughter to marry the shepherd, but she did anyway. She had a child with the shepherd, but the king refused to forgive her. He then sent troops to kill the family. The princess pleaded with Allah to save them, and he turned all three of them into stone. It’s believed that the one on the right is the shepherd, the one in the middle is the child, and the princess is on the left. You can see the Three Beauties from many different angles, but you’ll have to go up towards Ürgüp from Kızılçukur Valley to be able to see it. You can take pictures from an observation deck on the road. Click here for the location. Number 18 on the map.
Ortahisar Castle is the largest fairy chimney in all of Cappadocia. The Hittites first started forming this fairy chimney to use as protection, and it was later used as a fortification for the Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks, and Ottomans. From the castle, you’ll be able to have a bird’s eye view of Ürgüp, Avanos, and Göreme. You can’t use your museum card to get in. Click here for the location. Number 19 on the map.
Other Places to See in Cappadocia – Underground Cities
1. Özkonak Underground City
An eagle statue that was found here points to the Hittites being the first to use this place as an underground city. This city was different from other underground cities you’ll see in Cappadocia. The unique features offered by Özkanak make it an essential place to see in Cappadocia. Unlike Kaymaklı and Derinkuyu, Özkonak had long holes that enabled communication between different floors. Another difference is that there were holes on top of where someone would enter so that they could pour hot oil in case an enemy came in. Another interesting difference between Özkonak and other cities is that elsewhere the stone doors were made outside and then installed. But at Özkonak, the doors were made inside. You can use your museum card. Click here for the location. Number 20 on the map.
2. Mazı Underground City
The underground city was once known as Mataza, and it was found that there are four different entrances to this city. On the roof of the city, there are graves. If you tell someone who works there that you want to see the graves, then they’ll be able to show you where they are. You can use your museum card. If you ask the staff working there, then they’ll also give you a free guided tour. Click here for the location. Number 21 on the map.
3. Kaymaklı Underground City
The Kaymaklı Underground City has eight stories, but only four of them are open to visitors. You can also get in for free with a museum card. You can read the post from With Middle Earth Travel for a guide of the underground city. Click here for the location. Number 22 on the map.
4. Derinkuyu Underground City
Derinkuyu Underground City is massive. It has eight floors, and it has a missionary school, a confessional, and a christening pool. The sheer size of it makes it another great place to see in Cappadocia. Under Derinkuyu, there were another 400-500 underground cities with more than 600 doors found. Some of these doors are still being used today as store things. You can get in for free with a museum card. There are guides here, but they’re not local guides. Click here for the location. Number 23 on the map.
5. Tatlarin Underground City
The Tatlarin Underground City has two floors where you can roam around. The only difference from the other underground caves is that they have toilets. Entry is free. Click here for the location. Number 24 on the map.