Cappadocia Vs. Istanbul – Choose Between Istanbul Or Cappadocia

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Post author Mehmet

Written by our local expert Mehmet

Mehmet is digital nomad who was born in Istanbul, Türkiye and now calls the Balkans region his home-office.

Should you visit Istanbul or Cappadocia? This guide shares detailed information about weighing up Caseena vs. Istanbul. We cover the top attractions and the best day trip ideas.

Are you in a rush and want to know how to choose between Istanbul or Cappadocia? Here is what we think you should know:

Istanbul Cappadocia
History, history, history! Jaw-dropping landscapes
Can make it budget-friendly Hot air balloon rides
Incredible cuisine Cave hotels & quiet surrounds

Regarding where to visit in Turkey, you’re spoiled for choice. But two of the most commonly visited places are Istanbul and Cappadocia.

Why? Because they’re both super beautiful and packed with history. But if you’re short on time or you’re trying to save a little money in Turkey, which one should you choose?

It’s a difficult decision because both are wonderful in their own right and have plenty of upsides. So, let’s explore them both in detail so you can make your own decision.

Keep reading below for our in-depth analysis on weighing up Istanbul vs. Cappadocia.

Istanbul Vs. Cappadocia

Most Beautiful Mosques In Turkey - Blue mosque in Istanbul at sunset

Istanbul is a city that you will never explore in its entirety within one visit. Even two or three won’t do it! But it’s a city you should explore to the best of your ability with the time you have. With buildings dating back to around 537, you’ll find more history here than in most countries!

The issue with Istanbul vs. Cappadocia is the size and just how busy it is. Until you’ve seen Istanbul traffic, you’ve never seen traffic, but you can get around that by using public transport.

Istanbul has everything you could possibly ever want to see. There’s history, with buildings such as Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and Dolmabahce Palace. That’s just a mention of what’s on offer.

We should also talk about how beautiful it is – Istanbul sunsets are something else! The blue of the Bosphorus with the sun glittering off is amazing, and when it snows, the city turns into a magical fairytale scene. But, if you want snowy landscapes, then Cappadocia wins in the battle between Cappadocia Vs. Istanbul. 

And then there’s the food. Oh, the food in Istanbul! The best street food can be found in Istanbul, particularly Taksim and Besiktas. And it won’t cost you the earth either!

The other good thing about Istanbul vs. Cappadocia is that you can do it as cheaply or as expensive as you want. If you want to splash the cash, you can certainly do that. There are some costly hotels in Istanbul, and you can literally stay in a sultan’s palace. But if you want to save money, many excellent hostels in Fatih and Taksim won’t cost the earth and will give you a comfortable and safe place to lay your head.

Shopping? Oh, you’re covered! From bazaars to malls, there is everything you could ever want. And we should talk about nightlife because that is where Istanbul seriously stands out.

Nightlife in Istanbul covers everything. From quiet nights chilling and drinking cay to full-on nightclub experiences with views over the Bosphorus and superstar DJs. Those and everything in between, you’ll find it in Istanbul.

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Cappadocia Vs. Istanbul

Food in Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia is one of the most beautiful spots in the world, let alone just in Turkey! People come here from around the world to enjoy the views and ride in a hot air balloon!

However, the things you can do in Cappadocia vs. Istanbul are very different with regards to the things you can do in.  There is no major nightlife or shopping here, but what it lacks in those things, it makes up for in many other ways! It’s naturally beautiful in every way possible.

Of course, there’s no traffic in Cappadocia vs. Istanbul, Which is definitely a plus point after you have seen the traffic in Istanbul. However, don’t think that there’s nothing much to do other than look at the views because there’s plenty more than that.

The landscape is jaw-dropping; you’ll find valleys, churches, mosques, rock chimneys, and underground cities. Many of the hotels are also cave hotels, i.e., they’re carved into the rock face, and you stay inside!

There are many walking opportunities in Cappadocia, and when it snows, it really does look like something out of a dream. Of course, most people choose to visit because they want to have a ride in a hot air balloon at sunrise or sunset. It’s something that’s on many a bucket list, and if you see it for yourself, you’ll understand why.

Nightlife isn’t particularly wonderful in Cappadocia vs. Istanbul, but some entertainment can be found in the hotels. You’ll usually find Turkish-themed nights with belly dancers, traditional music, and local cuisine.

But one thing you should definitely do when you visit Cappadocia is to have a full Turkish breakfast on the terrace of your hotel, overlooking the amazing Goreme National Park.

In terms of costs, Cappadocia is more expensive than Istanbul simply because the hotels are pricey.

Getting there is also a lot harder than going to Istanbul, but you’ll find packages that make everything a little easier. If you want to go in a hot air balloon, you’ll undoubtedly need to pay for the experience, but if it’s on your bucket list, you can probably be forgiven for splashing the cash.

So, Which Is Best, Cappadocia Or Istanbul

Turkey Travel Blog_Cappadocia Vs Istanbul_How To Choose

Now we’ve looked at Istanbul Vs. Cappadocia,  so which is best?

Both Cappadocia and Istanbul are amazing in totally different ways, and if you have the time,  there is no need to choose Cappadocia over Istanbul; we certainly recommend that you go to both. You can find packages that take you from Istanbul to Cappadocia quite easily.

Choose Istanbul If:

If you want the full-on modern-day experience with plenty of history thrown in for good measure, it has to be Istanbul. One day will never be the same as another, and you’ll certainly never be bored. It’s easy to think that the hustle and bustle of the city may be too much, and, in some cases, it may be, but it’s still a total experience for the senses.

Choose Cappadocia If:

However, if you’re more about quiet experiences and the beauty of nature, Cappadocia is the place for you.

So, now that we’ve explained all the ways to decide between Istanbul and Cappadocia, we hope that you have a wonderful vacation in Turkey.

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