Where to stay in Cappadocia, Turkey? Our ultimate 2024 guide

sunrise in cappadocia air balloon

So, you’ve got Cappadocia, Turkey, on your travel radar, and you’re probably itching to experience the enchanting thrill of a hot air balloon ride over this unique and otherworldly landscape.

But there are some nagging questions, of course: Where to stay in Cappadocia when you’re not floating above the whimsical valleys? How to choose the best hotel in Cappadocia and still stay within your budget? Is a visit for one night and a couple of days enough to experience all that this place has to offer? And, of course, let’s not forget about the most critical question: Where to stay in Cappadocia for the ultimate views of hot air balloons?

Article contents

  1. Where to stay in Cappadocia for hot air balloon rides? Quick tips for those in a hurry
  2. Choosing where to stay in Cappadocia — Göreme or Ürgüp?
  3. Best cave hotels in Cappadocia
  4. Best non-cave hotels in Cappadocia
  5. My tips and itinerary for traveling to Cappadocia, Turkey
    How long to stay in Cappadocia?
    How to get around Cappadocia? Renting a car in Turkey
  6. Final thoughts

Trust me, you’re not sitting with your travel anxieties alone: I asked myself all of the aforementioned questions (and even more) as I was planning my Cappadocia pilgrimage. The thing that makes a trip here even more unique (and thus, harder to plan) is that people often don’t visit Cappadocia on its own; they typically try to combine it with a vacation in other areas of Turkey. This can result in time and budget constraints, making it crucial to plan your trip perfectly to ensure you can enjoy all the experiences that Cappadocia has to offer.

To provide you with a much-needed reassurance and assistance (especially if it’s your first time visiting Cappadocia), I’ve decided to share my own experience of traveling to this fascinating location and give you the information you need to make the most of your trip. Let’s dive into the things you need to know before visiting Cappadocia!

Where to stay in Cappadocia for hot air balloon rides? Quick tips for those in a hurry

Goreme Cappadocia

I get it, there are situations when you need to choose a spot and book a hotel stat, because your flight to Cappadocia is tomorrow and you have no idea where you’ll be sleeping for the foreseeable future (if your itinerary is also looking quite sparse, you’re in luck: I’ve rounded up the best things to do in Cappadocia and organized the list by location).

To cater to those in a hurry, here are all the things you need to know to decide on where to stay in Cappadocia (if you have ample time before your trip, a detailed analysis will follow suit):

+ What is the best place to stay in Cappadocia if it’s your first time traveling here?

Göreme, the tourist center of Cappadocia, is the perfect option because it has everything that people come to this region for.

+ What about accommodation? What is the best budget-friendly cave hotel in Cappadocia?

When choosing a cave hotel, it’s essential to look for one that is warm, dry, and offers a good view of hot air balloons, but it’s important to note that such hotels tend to be on a more expensive side.

In my quest to make the most out of the trip (since I was on a pretty strict budget), I chose to stay at the Grand Elite Cave Suites. It’s not the most expensive hotel, which is a huge plus, but it’s true that there are many other options with better panoramic views of Cappadocia. Still, I believe that the view from the roof terrace of your hotel is not so important because you can easily visit another hotel and enjoy the sights of the valley, fairy chimney landscape, and hot air balloons floating above from that place.

+ What if you’re traveling with family? What is the best non-cave hotel in Cappadocia?

When it comes to a family getaway, a cave hotel might not be the most suitable choice. Some find them a bit stuffy, with the occasional drip from the walls and ceiling, and there’s even a risk of claustrophobia episodes for people prone to experiencing them. Here’s where an alternative shines through — the renowned four-star hotel, Carus Cappadocia, a highly praised and all-around well-reviewed establishment. Unlike cave accommodations, it offers spacious comfort. The average nightly rate for a couple is around $200, but you’ll be treated to remarkable viewpoints and top-notch service.

+ Where to stay in Cappadocia for hot air balloons?

The answer here stays the same: The main flight center is in Göreme, so it will make your life easier to stay closer to all the action. However, if you’re thinking of renting a car in Cappadocia, you can also look into the area’s other towns, listed below.

+ What do you need to know about hot air balloon rides in Cappadocia?

Firstly, they operate all year round, so don’t hesitate to choose the winter season. However, keep in mind that the weather can sometimes turn unfavorable, leading to canceled flights (keep reading till the end for more tips on hot air balloon rides in Cappadocia).

It’s also a good idea to book the hot air balloon experience online, while also ensuring you check the weather conditions. The flights are not in any way cheap, ranging from $200 to $500, depending on the time of year and the specific company.

Personally, I flew in January, during the off-season, so it was not so expensive — about $175 per person.

cappadocia balloon viewpoint

+ Is one day enough for Cappadocia?

When it comes to the ideal duration for a stay in Cappadocia, I wouldn’t recommend staying for an extended period, but one day might not be sufficient to fully experience all the attractions and activities in the region.

Personally, I disregarded my own advice during one of my latest trips here, and, instead of looking for where to stay in Cappadocia on a budget, decided to rather save the money on the number of days in the hotel. It was a somewhat risky venture, considering it was January, and the weather could be quite capricious. Since I only had one full day to spare, there was a significant risk of the hot air balloons getting canceled. But fortunately, everything worked out. If you’re not a fan of taking such a risk, make sure to save at least two (or rather three) days for exploring Cappadocia.

+ What are some other things to do in Cappadocia?

From full-day guided tours focused on the crème de la crème of destinations in Cappadocia, to more specific tours centered around fairy chimneys and caves or underground cities and natural destinations, every traveler will find the way to learn more about the area that best suits them. There’s also no shortage of fun activities in Cappadocia for adventurers at heart: From adrenaline-inducing ATV sunset tours to exciting horse rides through the enchanting landscapes, — if you’re terrified of heights and have to bypass the world-famous hot air balloon ride, you will still be entertained to the max here.

Choosing where to stay in Cappadocia — Göreme or Ürgüp?


Now that the quick tips are out of the way, I can finally get into a more detailed breakdown of where to stay in Cappadocia, Turkey. If you’ve done a tiny bit of research, you know that one’s bound to run into a few pressing questions: Where to stay in Сappadocia, charming Göreme or cozy Ürgüp? Or maybe there are other interesting options?

As I mentioned earlier, Cappadocia is often a destination that you visit with a limited time at your disposal. Chances are, you won’t have the opportunity to see all the places, switch hotels multiple times, and change your route if needed. Therefore, your choice of location will significantly influence the overall quality of your trip.

However, you must know that Cappadocia isn’t an overwhelmingly vast tourist area. If you’re a rare breed that allotted ample time for this Cappadocia trip, then you can explore several towns at once. Let’s look into them now.

Göreme — best place to stay in Cappadocia for first-timers

Goreme at night

Nestled in the heart of Cappadocia, Göreme is the best area to base your adventure around, offering a surreal landscape that is simply mesmerizing. It also has plenty of 5-star hotels, cave houses and the most popular tourist attractions.

What are some of the most notable attractions in Göreme? The list is long, but I’ve narrowed it down to a few places:

  • Göreme Open-Air Museum

Goreme Open-Air Museum

While neighboring towns have their own charm, the proximity to the Göreme Open-Air Museum (a UNESCO World Heritage site, no less) makes Göreme the ultimate destination for tourists from all over the world. This is no ordinary museum with exhibits behind glass either: It’s a living, breathing cave city waiting to be explored. You can wander through its winding tunnels, climb ancient mountains, and marvel at partially faded frescoes that tell stories of a bygone era. I wholeheartedly recommend a visit to this remarkable place. It’s also pretty easy to reach: I took a taxi, but there’s also a bus that runs from Göreme to the museum. Entry pass costs 480 lira ($17).

  • Pigeon Valley (Güvercinlik Vadisi)

Pigeon Valley viewpoint Cappadocia

Pigeon Valley is famous for its unique pigeon houses carved into the rock formations. They say that pigeons once played a big part in the lives of locals: They were kept for their guano (i.e. bird poop), which is a valuable fertilizer. In the heyday of Christianity, monks collected pigeon eggs and used them to make beautiful frescoes. The valley is characterized by its distinctive ebbs and flows and the hiking trails that provide panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. Parking here is free, as is access to the observation deck.

To truly experience the region, I recommend visiting the Pigeon Valley just after flying in a hot air balloon (after all, the rides are mostly done early in the morning, so you will have a whole day to fill with activities). From the observation deck, make your way down to the lowlands and embark on the popular Pigeon Valley Hike from Uçhisar to Göreme. This sequence will ensure you’re left with a lasting “wow” effect as you take in the stunning landscapes.

  • Red Valley

Cappadocia landscape Red Valley

Red Valley is known for its striking red-hued rock formations, which are most vibrant at sunset. The valley is also home to ancient cave churches. Situated in the vicinity of Göreme, Red Valley is easily accessible from the city center. It’s really an interesting option for hiking.

Plan your visit in the late afternoon to witness the rocks’ stunning color transformation. Don’t forget your camera for breathtaking pictures. It’s important to note that the geological features of the various valleys in the region share some similarities. So, if you choose to visit a place like the Red Valley, you might find that it covers the essence of several other sites, such as the Love Valley, Three Beauties, or Rose Valley. You can think of it as an all-in-one package.

goreme national park hot air balloons

The fun doesn’t stop here: After you’ve paid a visit to all of these exciting locations, there are still so many activities you can do if you decide to stay in Göreme:

  • A pretty self-explanatory hot air balloon ride: After all, isn’t it what you came to Cappadocia for? Witness the magical sunrise over Cappadocia’s otherworldly landscape: Trust me, it’s a must-do experience that offers breathtaking views.
  • Hiking — there are numerous hiking trails around Göreme. Rose Valley and Love Valley are popular options, offering beautiful landscapes and opportunities for exploration.
  • ATV tours — experience the area in an exciting way by renting an ATV or joining an ATV tour to explore the rugged terrain.
  • Views of Göreme panorama — head to Sunset Point or any of the other panoramic viewpoints in Göreme to witness stunning sunsets and capture some memorable photos.
  • Shopping — Göreme has numerous shops selling souvenirs, textiles, carpets, and pottery. It’s a great place to pick up unique, handmade items.
  • Cultural shows — some restaurants and venues in Göreme host cultural shows, that usually involve traditional Turkish music and dance performances.
  • Horse riding tours in the mountains — accompanied by a guide, you’ll embark on an enthralling journey into the mountains, granting you the opportunity to witness a plethora of extraordinary landscapes up close and forge a special connection with horses. This is quite a therapeutic leisure activity, which is suitable even for those who have never ridden a horse before. Personally, I had a blast!

Taking all things into account, Göreme offers the most comprehensive experience of being in Cappadocia. It’s a lively city with a striking beauty and the convenience of a nearby UNESCO site. My personal choice was Göreme, and I’ve never had any regrets about it.

The fun doesn’t stop here: After you’ve paid a visit to all of these exciting locations, there are still so many activities you can do if you decide to stay in Göreme:

  • Grand Elite Cave Suites — the best budget option to immerse yourself in local life (Off-season rate: $60/Peak season rate: $80)
  • 4* Carus Cappadocia — the most luxurious non-cave hotel in the city (Off-season rate: $180/Peak season rate: $260)

Ürgüp — best place to stay in Cappadocia for culture

Ugrup Cappadocia Fairy chimney

Interestingly, Göreme hasn’t always been the primary tourist hub of Cappadocia. In the past, the spotlight shone on Ugrup, and it’s not without reason. This area boasts an abundant volcanic history, adorned with numerous historical structures, intriguing fairy chimneys, and a myriad of breathtaking landscapes that once drew travelers in droves. While Göreme now offers a wider range of activities, Ürgüp’s unique charm continues to hold its own allure.

Ürgüp’s unique places that will be at your disposal once you stay here:

  • Gomeda Valley, also known as Devil’s Creek

The valley is tucked away just a few kilometers to the south of Ürgüp, near the charming town of Mustafapaşa. While it may linger in the shadows of its more famous counterparts due to the scarcity of fairy chimneys, Gomeda Valley boasts its own unique treasures. Here, you’ll find several ancient churches, a cave repurposed as a rainwater reservoir, shelters, and pigeon enclosures that strikingly resemble apartments from the outside. Gomeda is a realm of mystery, a less-traveled gem waiting to be explored and discovered.

  • Underground city of Mazi
Underground city Cappadocia Underground city Cappadocia 2

The Underground City of Mazi, a remarkable historical edifice, was serendipitously unearthed by a shepherd in 1995. Situated 20 kilometers away from Ürgüp, this subterranean wonder resides in the eponymous Village of Mazi, at the southernmost point of the settlement. Over the centuries, the underground city served as a haven for various civilizations (including the ones that existed during Phrygian, Lydian, Byzantine, and Roman eras), providing shelter during times of conflict and turmoil.

  • Mustafapaşa City

Situated just 6 kilometers away from the heart of Ürgüp, Mustafapaşa City stands as a southern jewel in Cappadocia, known for its unspoiled and natural charm. This area, adorned with hundreds of stone mansions, offers a welcoming and authentic atmosphere, both in terms of its people and its pristine surroundings.

Within the heart of Mustafapaşa, there is a multitude of noteworthy sites to explore. These include the Medrese of Mehmet Şakir Paşa (an Islamic educational institute), Konstantin – Eleni Church, Monastery of St. Nicholas, Museum of Art and History of Cappadocia, and many more. Mustafapaşa City is a sanctuary for those seeking a genuine Cappadocian experience.

Food in Cappadocia

There is also a wide variety of things to do in Ürgüp:

  • Culinary exploration — Ürgüp mirrors a rich tapestry of Turkish cuisine. Don’t hesitate to sample local dishes at restaurants, taste traditional sweets like baklava, and savor a cup of Turkish tea or coffee at a cozy café.
  • Wine tasting — explore the town’s wineries to discover the flavors of Cappadocian wines. Indulge in wine tastings and learn about the winemaking process while surrounded by the region’s captivating landscapes.
  • Artisanal souvenirs — browse local shops and markets for unique mementos of your trip. You’ll find handcrafted treasures such as clay figurines, intricately designed blankets, and dishes adorned with distinctive symbols. These items make for excellent keepsakes and gifts.
  • Hot air balloon rides — while the main launch site for hot air balloons is in Göreme, Ürgüp is conveniently close.
  • Turkish baths (Hammam) — treat yourself to a relaxing Turkish bath experience in one of Ürgüp’s traditional hammams. It’s the perfect way to unwind and rejuvenate after a day of exploring.

Ürgüp is perfect for the travelers who wish to immerse themselves in the culture of this region, explore its traditions, and savor a more relaxed pace of life. I would recommend this place for a return visit or for experienced tourists seeking a deeper cultural experience.

Where to stay in Ürgüp:

  • Pegas Cave Suites — one of the best cave hotels here (Off-season rate: $70/Peak season rate: $80)
  • Kadievi — a great option for a castle-like experience (Off-season rate: $60/Peak season rate: $80)

Now, it’s time to address the elephant in the room: Should you keep other cities apart from Göreme and Ürgüp on your radar of places to stay in, considering that tourists can find everything they desire in these two Cappadocian destinations? My answer is yes, particularly for return visits. Therefore, let’s explore two more exciting options: One located right in the heart of Cappadocia, and the other on its outskirts.

Uçhisar — best place to stay in Cappadocia for views

Uсhisar castle viewpoint

While Göreme is nestled within the depths of a tuff basin, Uçhisar boldly presides over the expansive landscape. It serves as a distinctive landmark within Göreme National Park. As you ascend from a gorge and cast your gaze, two commanding Uçhisar rocks immediately captivate your view: One, grand and robust, accompanied by a slightly lower, narrower counterpart. These distinctive rock formations make Uçhisar a defining presence in the Cappadocian landscape.

The locations for sightseeing in Uçhisar are nearly identical to those in Göreme, and they’re even closer! However, there are two prominent places that (at least in my mind) are exclusively Uçhisar-ian:

  • Uçhisar Castle

It’s hard to miss Uçhisar, thanks to its most striking feature, the Uçhisar Castle, visible all the way from Göreme. It appears as if it’s perched on square houses, neatly assembled like pieces of a grand architectural puzzle. The castle is the highest point in Cappadocia (!). Climb to the top, and you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the entire region. Explore the caves and tunnels within the castle, which were once used for shelter and defense.

  • Uçhisar viewpoint

On your journey from Uçhisar to Göreme, make sure not to overlook the lookout point near Göreme Panorama cafe, where you’ll spot unique solitary rock formations that resemble the silhouettes of nuns. These natural wonders are a sight to behold.

What to do in Uçhisar?

  • Hiking through the aforementioned Pigeon Valley, as it’s located just outside of Uçhisar.
  • Photography — Uçhisar offers fantastic opportunities for photography with its unique rock formations, grandiose castle, and surrounding landscapes. Early morning and late afternoon light are ideal for capturing the enchanting scenery.

Where to stay in Uçhisar:

  • 4* Argos in Cappadocia — one of the most expensive options in the city, but it is well worth the cost (Off-season rate: $500/Peak season rate: $450)
  • Cevizli Konak — a small cozy hotel located at a short distance from the castle (Off-season rate: $80/Peak season rate: $150)

Side note: The reason for the higher prices of these hotels in Cappadocia is their prime location. They are either situated right on the historical site or in very close proximity to it.

In my personal opinion, staying in Göreme and taking a taxi to the local attractions may be more cost-effective, but some travelers opt for the unique experience of staying next to an ancient fortress (granted they have the financial means to do so). It’s a matter of personal preference and budget.

Çavuşin — best place to stay in Cappadocia for quiet solitude

Cavusin Cappadocia

Çavuşin offers a serene retreat, where men gather in tea houses next to the mosque, and women don traditional Turkish village attire. Upon your arrival, the imposing castle and the historic church will undoubtedly capture your attention. Take your time to wander through the village and its surroundings, perhaps even visit a pottery workshop where you can explore the art of working with red clay and ceramics.

Apart from relaxing all your senses at some luxe retreat, there are two most interesting things to do in Çavuşin:

  • Visiting the Çavuşin Church — a remarkable rock-carved church adorned with intricate frescoes. This religious site showcases the art and culture of the area and is a unique attraction not found in every Cappadocian city.
  • Pottery workshops — the town is known for its pottery traditions, and you can participate in pottery workshops to learn about this ancient craft. Creating your pottery piece is a unique experience that sets Çavuşin apart as a place to engage in traditional artistry.
  • Hiking — you can also hike in the valleys nearby but it is the same (albeit still Insta-worthy) landscapes which you can find everywhere in Cappadocia.

While it may not be as popular among tourists nowadays, Çavuşin offers a different kind of charm. There are fewer attractions compared to other bustling areas. However, for those seeking a relaxed getaway or having a second visit, this city definitely holds its own unique appeal.

Where to stay in Çavuşin:

  • Katapa Special Cave — a stunning cave hotel located near the ancient church (Off-season rate: $80/Peak season rate: $120)
  • Cappadocia Fairy Tale Suites — the best option for a family stay in this region (Off-season rate: $70/Peak season rate: $130)

Best cave hotels in Cappadocia

cave hotel in Cappadocia cave hotel in Cappadocia 2

I hope that you’re hyped up enough to learn more about the best cave hotels in Cappadocia. After all, it’s such a unique style of accommodation: You can imagine yourself a monk in some yesteryear (props for the eventual spiritual enlightenment), but with boogie perks like a hot tub, air conditioning, and Netflix.

  • Are cave hotels worth it? Apart from the novelty of the idea itself, there are a few cons to the whole experience: The space may be too confined while the air is heavy and humid, and the water in the bathroom takes a long time to evaporate.

For example, I liked my cave hotel — the feeling was completely unexpected, with a special atmosphere and complete immersion in the location. But at times, even I, as an adult, did not feel very comfortable.

It seems to me that it’s quite possible to enjoy it for a couple of days. However, you should calculate your tolerance levels in advance.

inside cave hotels in Cappadocia

Without further ado, here are a few of the best cave hotels in Cappadocia, Turkey:

  • 3* Aza Cave Cappadocia — many claim that this is the best cave hotel in Cappadocia with a hot air balloon view, and I get it entirely! Unique rock formations, combined with excellent service, make this place the top choice. Just take a look at the photos, and you’ll see for yourself — simply being here is an enlightening cultural experience! Furthermore, if you visit this place in winter, you can save a significant chunk of your budget. (Off-season rate: $165/Peak season rate: $500)
  • Helen Cave Suites — this hotel is reminiscent of something from a Disney fairytale. There are countless flowers and intricate decor here; it’s pleasantly warm, cozy, and comfortable. If your children aren’t afraid of enclosed spaces, this could be the best choice of a cave hotel. (Off-season rate: $150/Peak season rate: $240)
  • Grand Elite Cave* — the most Instagrammable budget-friendly hotel in Сappadocia. Cave rooms here exude a fantastic atmosphere, and an outdoor pool welcomes guests with an aura perfect for complete relaxation. More importantly, there is excellent infrastructure, allowing you to easily access all the places of interest and gain insights into the local way of life.
    *My personal choice! (Off-season rate: $60/Peak summer rate: $80)
  • Pegas Cave Suites — this hotel in Ürgüp is situated right in the center of all the attractions. Moreover, guest reviews are filled with stories about the hotel staff being super kind and readily available to assist. The hotel can serve as an excellent starting point for a thorough exploration of the historic heart of Cappadocia. (Off-season rate: $70/Peak season rate: $80)
  • Narcissos Cave Hotel — even though this hotel is situated away from the main tourist attractions, it is still an attraction in itself! The views from its balconies are simply fantastic, and the prices will pleasantly surprise you. (Off-season rate: $25/Peak season rate: $40)
  • 4* Argos in Cappadocia — a gem of a 4-star cave hotel in Cappadocia, Turkey. The price tag is justified by its excellent location near a UNESCO site. The legendary Uçhisar Castle is just a stone’s throw away, not to mention the excellent service. (Off-season rate: $500/Peak season rate: $450)
  • Katapa Special Cave — there’s limited choice of places to stay in Çavuşin, but this hotel provides quite comfortable accommodations, friendly staff, and an authentic experience in a genuinely extraordinary town in Cappadocia. (Off-season rate: $70/Peak season rate: $120)

Best non-cave hotels in Cappadocia

Hotel in Turkey

Where to stay when visiting Cappadocia if you are looking for the perfect option to dwell with family? Many travelers are pretty apprehensive about the whole “cave hotel” shebang, and with good reason: They are not for everybody! So, if you, like a flower, need as much sunlight as possible (and feel uncomfortable in enclosed spaces, such as caves), I urge you to to consider staying in a “normal” hotel in Cappadocia, sans the whole cave shtick.

Here is a list of suitable options that you should consider for your next trip to Cappadocia:

  • 4* Carus Cappadocia — a hotel that embodies elegance and relaxation with its spacious, sophisticated rooms and an indulgent spa. Here you can find both cave-inspired and open and spacious suites, depending on the level of luxury you want to surround yourself with. The high price is entirely justified by the luxury of this hotel. (Off-season rate: $180/Peak season rate: $260)
  • 3* Grand Cappadocia Hotel — this grandiose hotel is literally just one kilometer away from Göreme Open Air Museum (the road is straight and convenient), so the location is undoubtedly the best out of the entire bunch. There are also spacious rooms and polite and attentive stuff. (Off-season rate: $80/Peak season rate: $125)
  • Cevizli Konak — a delightful boutique hotel in Cappadocia that offers a cozy, family-like ambiance. Its main features include traditionally adorned rooms, a peaceful garden, and a welcoming terrace with sweeping views of Cappadocia. It stands out for its intimate atmosphere, making guests feel like a part of the family. (Off-season rate: $80/Peak season rate: $150)
  • Cappadocia Fairy Tale Suites — the hotel that transports you into the world of whimsy with its uniquely themed rooms, each designed to tell a story. The dwelling stands out for its creativity, offering guests an enchanting stay filled with imagination and wonder. (Off-season rate: $70/Peak season rate: $130
  • Kadievi — a great hotel that offers you rooms with fireplaces and fascinating surroundings of old Ürgüp. Cozy, comfortable, accessible, — a perfect combo for a fantastic stay, in my humble opinion. Guests here are treated to luxurious amenities, beautiful courtyard gardens, and personalized service, setting the hotel apart as a blend of traditional and contemporary luxury. (Off-season rate: $60/Pick season rate: $80)

My tips and itinerary for traveling to Cappadocia, Turkey

Breakfast in Cave Hotel in Cappadocia

Now that you’ve (hopefully) set your eyes on the area to stay in Cappadocia during your upcoming trip, it’s time to lift the veil on the activity that draws hordes of tourists to Cappadocia every year: Hot air balloon rides. Here are the things you need to know to make sure that your experience of flying over Cappadocia is an unforgettable one (in a good way, of course):

  • The best time of day to take a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia is during sunrise or early morning. Be prepared for potentially chilly conditions: The launch site can be quite cold and windy, and there may be some waiting involved, so make sure to dress warm.
  • Hot air balloon rides are popular in Cappadocia and tend to fill up quickly, especially during peak tourist season. It’s advisable to book your flight well in advance, either through a tour operator or online.
  • Do not bring super expensive gear on the flight, or take precautions so as not to lose your valuables. My wireless headphones are for sure being used by a family of well-meaning pigeons right now (maybe they’ve discovered a few Top 100 Hits since the time my headphones slid off and fell into the magical Cappadocian abyss). The opportunity to see almost the entirety of Cappadocia, with clusters of unique rock formations and breathtaking landscapes, does make it all worth it though!
  • The question of where to stay when visiting Cappadocia seems to lose its meaning if you decide to get a hot air balloon ride (not really, but let’s pretend the sentiment to be true): Most of the times, you will fly over Göreme Open-Air Museum, which means you will see everything from up there. This option on GetYourGuide seems to be one of the best ones to get the ultimate experience of a hot air balloon ride.
  • Note that different websites provide slightly different experiences: Here on Viator, for instance, you’ll find more services included (hotel transfer and post-flight celebration being the most notable ones).
  • During my flight, I felt somewhat uncomfortable due to the large number of people in the basket with me. If you, like me, prefer more space and less elbowing action, consider looking into private flights, even though they come with an even higher price tag.

How long to stay in Cappadocia?

Our hotel in Cappadocia with hot air balloon view

Is 3 days enough for Cappadocia? If you’re on a tight schedule or simply want a taste of Cappadocia’s unique atmosphere, a short stay of two or three days can be sufficient. During this time, you can enjoy a hot air balloon ride, visit Göreme Open-Air Museum, explore the towns of Göreme and Uçhisar, and take a guided tour of the underground cities.

There’s also a significant level of flexibility here in case the weather takes a turn for the worse. The reality is that hot air balloons can only fly when the wind is not too strong, and the weather is favorable. In 3 days, you are likely to find at least one day with suitable weather conditions.

  • As I mentioned earlier, one and a half days and one night were sufficient for me. Right after arriving from the airport, I captured beautiful photographs from the terrace of a neighboring hotel (hot tip!), then I checked into my room and had a restful night’s sleep. The following morning, I enjoyed a hot air balloon flight (got pretty lucky with the weather), and the rest of the day allowed me to explore most of the wonders that Cappadocia has to offer.

However, I wouldn’t recommend staying for more than three or four days. Why? You might find yourself getting bored.

How to get around Cappadocia? Renting a car in Turkey

Getting around Cappadocia is relatively easy, and renting a car can be a convenient option. Here’s a short guide on how to get around Cappadocia and rent a car in Turkey (for a more detailed breakdown, make sure to consult with our article here):

  • To rent a car in Turkey, you typically need to be at least 21 years old (age requirements may vary by company) and have a valid driver’s license. An international driver’s license is recommended but not always required.
  • Start by choosing a reputable car rental agency. Most major international rental companies operate in Turkey, and there are also local rental companies available in Cappadocia. You can book your rental car online in advance or visit a local rental agency in Cappadocia. I can confidently recommend online services as they work very effectively in Turkey. For instance, services like Localrent are a great option. The prices are good, and cars can be rented in almost any city.
  • The roads in Cappadocia are generally in good condition, but some rural areas may have narrower or unpaved roads. Pay attention to road signs and be prepared for occasional rough terrain, especially if you plan to explore destinations set off the beaten path.
  • Familiarize yourself with Turkish traffic rules, which may differ from those in your home country. For example, here, they drive on the right side of the road.
  • GPS or a mobile navigation app can be invaluable for finding your way around Cappadocia. Most rental cars offer GPS devices for an additional fee. Ease your mind by downloading a GoogleMaps map to use offline, as reception can be spotty in rural areas of Cappadocia.
  • Many hotels in Cappadocia offer free parking for their guests. When parking in towns or near tourist attractions, you may find designated parking lots or street parking. Be sure to follow parking regulations to avoid fines.

Final thoughts

caves in Cappadocia hot air balloon Cappadocia

Cappadocia is a unique destination for a colorful and Instagram-worthy stay. It offers the opportunity to soar in a hot air balloon and experience a stay in a cave hotel, much like pilgrims and monks did in the past (the cave part, not the flying part. Unless?).

However, it’s essential to remember that Cappadocia is a somewhat arid region with limited attractions. Therefore, it’s crucial to carefully plan the duration of your stay and your itinerary to make the most out of your vacation without feeling bored.

Arid or not, I’ve come to the conclusion that Cappadocia is still rich with a wide range of accommodation choices: I hope that I’ve managed to at least scratch the surface of this measurable topic. If you have any further questions on where to stay in Cappadocia (as well as your own tried-and-tested Cappadocia hotel recommendations, which I would greatly appreciate), make sure to leave them in the comments below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top