Istanbul to Cappadocia: How to Travel
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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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WAYS TO GET THERE
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
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.
- 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
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.
- 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
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.
- 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
If you are thinking of doing 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 for the fuel cost alone could set you back around USD 85 to USD 125.
- 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.
*Note: The prices mentioned are of December 2022 and are subject to change.
ISTANBUL TO CAPPADOCIA TOURS
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.