Want to travel from Istanbul to Cappadocia – one of the most unique places in Turkey? Find out how to travel to the region by car, bus and plane.
If you’re planning a holiday to Turkey, I’d recommend starting in Istanbul, then travelling to Cappadocia for a few days, and finishing with a little bit of beach time in somewhere like Alanya or Antalya.
For me, Cappadocia is one of the most magical places on the planet. The unique scenery, the history, the beauty! It’s not like anywhere else I’ve been. Over a few days I spent my nights sleeping in a cave hotel (and it was amazing!), went hot air ballooning, ate my bodyweight in delicious Turkish cuisine and soaked up the history on various tours around the region.
Most people visit Cappadocia for a few days, but I think you could spend a week there and still not see everything. It’s just incredible.
It’s also a great destination if you’re on a budget. Accommodation is plentiful and reasonably priced, with nights in beautifully converted caves starting around £20 per night.
So if you’re planning a trip from Istanbul to Cappadocia, here are the best ways to get there.
Istanbul to Cappadocia Map
If you’re planning a trip from Istanbul to Cappadocia, this map should help! I’ve marked on it the main airports, bus terminals and towns so you can plan the route that works for you.
Flying From Istanbul to Cappadocia
Flying from Istanbul to Cappadocia is the simplest option. The flight from Istanbul to Cappadocia’s Kayseri Airport takes 1 hour 20, and when I checked you could book for as little as £12!
Flights from Istanbul to Cappadocia depart from two airports: Istanbul Atatürk Airport and Sabiha Gokcen Airport. As a bit of advice, Istanbul Atatürk Airport is considerably closer to the city centre and much easier to get to, so I’d recommend going from there.
Both Turkish Airlines and Pegasus (low-cost Turkish airline) fly to Kayseri Airport in Cappadocia. I’ve had some of my best flights in the world with Turkish Airlines, so I’d definitely recommend them. Saying that, when I visited Cappadocia, I flew with Pegasus and the flight was very comfortable.
But wait, there’s another airport in Cappadocia! You can also fly from Istanbul to Nevşehir Airport, which is actually a little closer to the main towns. The only thing is there aren’t so many flights, and it’s the difference of about 20 minutes by car!
There are a lot of flights from Istanbul to Cappadocia – I counted over 16 just going to Kayseri in a 24-hour period, so you won’t struggle to find something at a time that suits you.
I’d recommend booking via SkyScanner, a reliable flight booking and comparison platform that I use personally. It’s super simple, comparing prices across all the airlines available. You can search and book here:
Looking for somewhere to stay in the region? Check out: The Best Cave Hotels In Cappadocia
Getting From Kayseri Airport To Cappadocia
Once you reach Kayseri Erkilet Airport, you’ll need to sort transport to get to the region. As a guide, the main town of Goreme (where the majority of hotels are) is just over one hour’s drive from the airport.
You can hire a car at Kayseri Airport for around £20 a day. If you want to do a self-guided trip around the region, then this could be a good option. However, a car isn’t necessary, especially as all the tours that you’re likely to do (hot air balloon, green tour etc.) will collect you from your hotel each day.
Most hotels will arrange transfers from the airport for you, so definitely speak to them in advance of your arrival for peace of mind. You can expect to pay a max of 60 TL (£8.60 / 10 EUR) for Kayseri Airport or 50 TL (£6.90 / 8 EUR) for Nevsehir Airport.
I found quite a few companies online offering shared transport for as cheap as 5/6 EUR per person, so I’d recommend doing your own research before booking, and checking the latest prices and offers. Also, if you’re a big group or family, you may find a private taxi or transfer more economic.
Read More: Top Things To Do In Cappadocia, Turkey
Bus From Istanbul To Cappadocia
A few friends of mine have caught the bus from Istanbul to Cappadocia. The bus journey takes around 10 hours (although sometimes as many as 12). There are night buses, which leave at 11.45pm and get to Goreme at 8.30am, so if you’re good at sleeping on public transport, you could leave Istanbul in the evening and wake up in Cappadocia.
Metro Turizm has nightly buses, and their website works in English which helps if your Turkish is as bad as mine! Istanbul’s main bus terminal is Otogar, which is located to the north west of the city centre (marked on the map above).
The buses take you all the way to Goreme, in the heart of Cappadocia. When I checked, the bus from Istanbul to Cappadocia cost 110 TL (£15 / £17) (approx.).
If you’re struggling with your Istanbul to Cappadocia bus booking, I’m sure your hotel reception will be happy to assist.
Driving From Istanbul To Cappadocia
If you’re on a big road trip around Turkey, and time isn’t a huge factor, then you could drive from Istanbul to Cappadocia by car. Personally I wouldn’t choose to get there this way, as it’s a really long journey (and I’m far too impatient!)
So, let’s look at the numbers…
Istanbul to Cappadocia distance by road: 756km / 470 miles
Istanbul to Cappadocia driving duration: 8 hours+
It’s a pretty epic journey, but it’s doable. It’d make more sense to enjoy it as a road trip, and perhaps stop a night at somewhere along the way e.g. Ankara or somewhere lesser known like Eskişehir which has an fascinating Ottoman history, amazing castle and pretty wooden houses.
Cappadocia Tours From Istanbul
If all of these options are sounding like a hassle, and you just want a few stress-free days in Cappadocia, consider booking a tour. Most include a few meals, a guide to teach you all about the sights, tours of the famous landmarks, and accommodation in a beautiful cave hotel.
Here are a few that look good, but definitely have a shop around and check the small print for all the details on what’s included…
There are tours like this one which transports you from Istanbul to Cappadocia by plane for a 2 day / 1 night trip, with a guided tour and a hot air balloon ride.
Or if you want to stay longer, this Istanbul to Cappadocia tour lasts 3 nights and also includes a hot air balloon flight.
Or if this is a once in a lifetime trip, consider doing it on style on a luxury tour like this one.
I hope this has helped you plan your journey from Istanbul to Cappadocia. Once you reach magical Cappadocia, I’d recommend booking some day trips to see the sights, take a hot air balloon ride and enjoy the mind-blowing views, and enjoy staying in a cave hotel! It’s one of the most incredible places I’ve ever been, so I hope you fall in love with it too!
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