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Famed for its vibrant markets, outstanding architecture, and fascinating history, Istanbul has long welcomed travelers from around the world. Stand in awe at the Hagia Sophia, haggle a bargain at the Grand Bazaar, or hang out along the gorgeous Bosphorus Strait. Travel from Istanbul to Cappadocia, an ancient and gorgeous region where hot air balloons float and dance. By combining these two iconic Turkish sites, you can truly have the Turkish holiday of a lifetime.

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There are over 563 kilometers separating Istanbul and Cappadocia, the best and quickest way is to fly directly from Istanbul to Nevsehir. If you are on a budget or want to take the scenic route, there are other options such as bus, train and car.

Istanbul to Cappadocia by flight

See a plane fly over Istanbul in Turkey.
Booking a flight is the quickest way to travel to Cappadocia from Istanbul.

Flying takes around 1 hour and 25 minutes and can cost anywhere from *USD 80 to USD 280 depending on the time of year. It is by far the fastest method and if you are in Turkey for a short time.

  • Distance covered: 992 kilometers
  • Duration:1 hour and 25 minutes

Pro tips:

  • Turkish Airlines operate at least one Istanbul to Cappadocia flight a day; sometimes up to three a day, so there are plenty of options.
  • There are three airports in Istanbul, with the newer Istanbul Ataturk Airport being the main international airport, located on the European side of the city.
  • You can also choose to fly to Cappadocia from either Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen (SAW) or Izmir Adnan Menderes (ADB) airports, depending on what side of Istanbul you happen to be in.
  • The best time to book your flight is approximately six weeks before traveling for optimal pricing and route choice.
  • Booking and flying during mid-week can often bring flight prices down. Generally, it is well worth being flexible with your dates when traveling in Turkey.

Istanbul to Cappadocia by bus

Istanbul to Cappadocia on a bus is a cheaper option.
Taking a bus to Cappadocia means you will save some budget for the rest of the tour.

If you are looking to save some money, Istanbul to Cappadocia by bus only costs between USD 22 and USD 30. The downside is that it does take 12 and a half hours. The route is fairly scenic, which passes through Ankara and the beautiful city of Bolu. It also has the added benefit of keeping your carbon footprint small. Check out our bus tours in Turkey for more information.

  • Distance covered: 700 kilometers
  • Duration:12 hours and 30 minutes

Pro tips:

  • MetroTurizm runs the Istanbul to Cappadocia bus route and there is a bus every four hours.
  • Buses leave from the ​​Istanbul Otogar bus station, located 14 kilometers away from Sultanahmet Square.
  • You can book tickets either at the bus station or make an online booking on the MetroTurizm website. If you are struggling to make a booking, your hotel reception desk should be able to help you.
  • Try to get an overnight bus. This way you will sleep through most of the 12-and-a-half-hour journey, and it is one less night that you have to pay for accommodation.

Istanbul to Cappadocia by train

Istanbul to Cappadocia on a train is the scenic option.
Enjoy the scenery when you travel from Istanbul on a train.

There is no direct train service between Istanbul and Cappadocia. However, you can get a train that covers the majority of the distance between the two places and then board a bus up to Cappadocia. It is the cheapest way to travel, which will cost you USD 10- USD 20, but it could take around 10 hours.

  • Distance covered: 700 kilometers
  • Duration:10 hours

Pro tips:

  • The train only goes as far as Konya, and then you need to get a bus. The high-speed, Yuksek Hizli Tren (YHT), runs four times a day from the Pendik Station in Pendik, Istanbul.
  • You can combine train travel with buses for a cost-effective method, or with regional flights for speed purposes, by getting the Metro M4 line from Ayrilik Cesmesi to Sabiha Gokcen Airport.
  • There are sleeping bunks available on Turkish trains, but these have to be booked in advance.

Istanbul to Cappadocia by car

Book a van for a road trip in Turkey.
Take a road trip from Istanbul to Cappadocia.

If you are thinking of making a Turkish road trip, going from Istanbul to Cappadocia by car is going to take around 8 and a half hours. The price of car rental may vary, but the fuel cost alone could set you back around USD 85 to USD 125.

  • Distance covered: 700 kilometers
  • Duration: 8 hours and 30 minutes

Pro tips:

  • The roads all around Turkey are pretty great. But just be aware when you are in Istanbul and Cappadocia, there are a fair bit of narrow and cobbled old streets.
  • Travel either in the spring or autumn. Summer is too hot to be in a car for 8 and a half hours, and there is snow in Turkey in winter.
  • Stop off in the capital, Ankara, or the beautiful Ottoman city of Eskisehir on the way. This way you can combine even more Turkish cities, culture and history into your trip.
  Time Cost Why choose this?
Flight 1 hour and 25 minutes USD 80 to USD 280 The fastest method
Bus 12 hours and 30 minutes Between USD 22 and USD 30 A very scenic route
Train 10 hours USD 10 to USD 20 Budget-friendly
Car 8 hours and 30 minutes USD 85 to USD 125 Gives flexibility

*Note: The prices mentioned are of December 2022 and are subject to change.


Book Istanbul to Cappadocia tours and see hot air balloons in the sky.
Traveling to Istanbul and Cappadocia is the best way to experience Turkey.

If you want more of an organized trip around these two wonderful places, consider an Istanbul to Cappadocia tour. Whether you want to check out Cappadocia for the day or build a full multi-day itinerary between the two places, there are plenty of choices including guided tours, private tours, adventure tours, and more.

  • On a 5-day tour, explore both Istanbul and Cappadoccia’s main sights such as the ancient relics of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires with speedy transfers and domestic flights included.
  • Spend three days wandering the red rose chimneys and staying in the unique and gorgeous cave hotels of Cappadocia.
  • Fly from Istanbul to Cappadocia and explore the Goreme Open Air Museum, the fairy chimneys of Pasabag and Uchisar Castle—all in one day.

If you want to explore this ancient and beautiful country, beginning with Istanbul and Cappadocia is a great way to get a feel for the culture and history of Turkey. We have a whole host of tours all across the country and customizable Turkish tours created with your requirements in mind by our travel experts.

Published by Tim Green, updated on August 18, 2023
Plan a trip to TurkeyWe offer different tour types. You can also chat with a local travel specialist if you want a customized tour to Turkey.
  • Kadir Ismail Kuscu
    Kadir Ismail KuscuTravel Expert in Turkey
  • Ozgur Ates
    Ozgur AtesTravel Expert in Turkey
  • Furkan Gokcel
    Furkan GokcelTravel Expert in Turkey
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