Getting From Istanbul to Cappadocia: 4 Ways
Turkey is a wonderfully diverse and captivating country. In Turkey, you can be quite suddenly transported from the glistening wonder of the Bosphorous to spellbinding ancient ruins and wondrous marvels of natural beauty within a single hour. Getting from Istanbul to Cappadocia is often one of the first adventures any traveller to Turkey considers, tempted as they understandably are by those stunning and famous shots of flying balloons and otherworldly, almost alien landscapes.
Cappadocia is a place like no other in the world, with real-life underground villages and magical, ethereal rock formations, as well as history and culture all of its own, separate from what you’ll find in other parts of Turkey. It’s a place to get comfortable and excitedly lost in, and one you’ll never ever forget. Thankfully, getting to Cappadocia from Istanbul is a very easy and worthwhile journey to make. But with a few convenient ways to travel there, each with their own pros and cons to consider, what’s actually the best way to get from Istanbul to Cappadocia?
Here is a run-down of all the different ways to get from Istanbul to Cappadocia, so that you can make an informed decision when you head out on the road to this magical place for yourself.
Istanbul to Cappadocia by Bus
Travelling by bus is by far the cheapest way to go between Istanbul to Cappadocia. Of course, it’s worth remembering that Turkey is already a relatively cheap country so travelling by train isn’t going to break the bank but you still want to save as much money as possible. And, for that, taking the bus is the way to go. And just because it’s cheap, that doesn’t mean it’s an uncomfortable way to get around at all! So, if time is on your side, then the bus is highly recommended.
Another advantage of taking the bus is its speed. Taking the bus is a more slow, rugged, methodical way of getting from the urban sprawl to the rural calm. There’s something detoxing about taking a slower, cheaper bus journey. Something carefree about enjoying the ride, the changing and captivating landscape, and the fact that it’s the cheapest way of getting from A to B.
For how to actually get the bus from Istanbul to Cappadocia, you can take the night bus (around 10-12 hours) which, if you can sleep on the bus, is ideal since you’ll get to the heart of Cappadocia in the morning and you’ll be relatively nice and fresh from your sleep.
The easiest way to book and organise this is to ask your hotel to reserve you a seat on the night bus, or to head to the more established bus companies’ websites to book your own bus ticket. For example, Metro Turizm (a great choice since their website works perfectly well in English) and Nevşehir Seyahat. The night bus will cost you between €15 and €20 and they run nightly from around 22.45. Taking the bus is very much a hassle-free and affordable option if you can’t face flying. Enjoy the slow ride, get some shut-eye, and arrive in a whole other world come morning!
Istanbul to Cappadocia by Car
Driving to Cappadocia is very possible, and would be an amazing opportunity if you’re already driving through Turkey on a road trip and want to make some stops on the way. In fact, anyone doing a road trip across Turkey owes it to themselves to stop in Cappadocia. However, it’s a long journey to take if you’re only planning on getting from Istanbul to Cappadocia and it will take you around eight hours of straight driving.
Of course, you’ll see some incredible views along the way and driving is always an adventure (particularly as you’ll be driving a portion of the historic and magical Silk Road on your way to Cappadocia).
The total distance is around 800km/490 miles but could easily be broken up by visiting Turkey’s capital city of Ankara or some of the smaller towns along your route. If you have plenty of time to spare, are travelling as a group to share on fuel costs, and love the freedom of the open road then I can wholeheartedly recommend driving. Car rental in Turkey is relatively cheap at less than €10 per day.
*Whether you’re driving or taking another mode of transport (but especially driving!) always have travel insurance in case something goes wrong. Getting in trouble in a foreign country can be a pain and very expensive so always make sure you’re covered. I recommend World Nomads or SafetyWing. World Nomads have more extensive plans which would be ideal for your trip to Turkey.
Istanbul to Cappadocia by Flight
Flying is by far the easiest and quickest way of getting from Istanbul to Cappadocia. Tickets are cheap, especially if you book them in advance. In fact, they’re often cheaper than taking the bus! Domestic flights in Turkey are good quality (especially Turkish Airlines) and very well organised so the journey will take just over an hour. For their cheap cost and quickness, internal flights in Turkey simply can’t be beaten.
Flights depart all day and you can fly from either Atatürk Airport or Sabiha Gokcen Airport but I’d recommend the former as it’s more convenient to get to. Once you reach Kayseri Erkilet Airport in Cappadocia, you’ll need to hire a pickup from your hotel or even hire a car to take you to the main geological area which will take about an hour. If your goal is to get to Cappadocia quickly and easily, while still saving on costs, taking a quick internal flight is certainly the way to do it.
Istanbul to Cappadocia by Train
Turkey’s high-speed rail network is excellent and the trains are incredibly comfortable so this is definitely a top choice for getting from Istanbul to Cappadocia. The journey takes around four and a half hours and you can still enjoy the amazing mountain scenery as you go past.
The easiest way to book tickets is actually at the train station but you can check the timetables before you go on the main railway website. The only problem is that there are no direct trains to Cappadocia, you’ll have to travel to Konya Station and then take a bus from there. The train isn’t the fastest or the cheapest option (it’ll cost around €25) so people generally opt for flying or the bus.
Alternatively, you can take a 2-day tour like this one!
There are lots of options on how to get from Istanbul to Cappadocia. If you have any questions then make sure you leave them below!
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