Here is your guide on how to enjoy Cappadocia with kids. We’ve got things to do & what to avoid on a family vacation in Cappadocia, Türkiye.
Cappadocia is on many a Turkish bucket list, and you might be concerned that it’s the perfect place for children. Well, we’ve got some news for you – it’s ideal for kids!
The only slight downside is that it requires a fair bit of travel since it’s not close to any major city. That’s the only issue that could signal tiredness and tantrums for little ones. But if you can keep your kids occupied and happy during the journey, you’re good to go.
The best way to do that is to fly from Istanbul to Nevsehir Airport on a domestic flight, which takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes. From there, you can get the bus to Cappadocia, which takes just over an hour. You could also arrange a private transfer if you want more space.
The fact that Cappadocia is all outdoors means that it’s the ideal spot for little ones to run, play, and explore. The only difference is that it’s a very old and natural spot!
You can also get them to enjoy the idea of visiting by telling them you will stay in a cave hotel – yes, just like the Flintstones! They’ll sleep well at night with all those outdoor activities.
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Best Things To Do With Kids In Cappadocia
Many people think the only things to do in Cappadocia are hot air balloon rides and photography. Well, while they’re on the list, it’s much longer than that!
Visit The Goreme Open Air Museum
This is the highlight of the entire area, and it’s no wonder it’s UNESCO-listed! This is where you can wander around and look at churches cut out of rocks that date back to Byzantine times. Of course, you’ll learn something, as are your kids, but they also get to wander around, play, and explore to their heart’s content.
Check Out Zelve Open Air Museum
While Goreme might be the highlight, the Zelve Valley is no less of an excellent choice, and it’s another great place for kids to explore and learn about the past. Here, you can see how people used to live in times gone by and learn about all the traditions that went along with it. There are many caves here, which children can explore, and plenty of spots to read the signs and learn about the area.
Connect With Nature In Ihlara Valley
There are countless hiking trails in Ihlara Valley, which sits in a canyon that is a true delight to the eyes. The river that runs through the area is safe for paddling and splashing while also being ideal for cooling down.
The path always runs through the forest, and you get to check out rock churches along the way. The hiking path is also suitable for all ages and abilities, and there’s a café en route.
Hiking In Rose Valley
Another hiking spot ideal for children is Rose Valley. The views from here are amazing, and you’ll get to walk past the famous fairy chimneys that make the Cappadocia landscape so special.
This hiking area is also slightly less visited than Ihlara, so you’ll be able to explore with a bit more space of your own.
Check Out The Stunning View From Uchisar Castle
The view over the entire area is simply stunning from Uchisar Castle, the highest point you can reach without going on a hot air balloon trip. You can take many photos while the kids climb and explore the area, feeling like they’re in charge of the whole place! I swear that this will be one of the most popular things you enjoy.
Visit Pasabag- Fairy Chimneys
Known locally as Pasabag, this is where you get to see the famous rock formations of Cappadocia. The valley is relatively small, so you’ll only need an hour or two at most, and it’s very close to Zelve Open Air Museum, so it’s a natural extension if you want to combine the two.
It’s okay for children to climb the rock formations, which makes it an exploration area for little ones on your family adventure!
Cappadocia is home to several underground cities, and you can take a tour through some of them and learn about the past while also loving the fact that you’re underground in the cool! Kids will love being underground, and they can explore the mazes that take you through different parts of the cities, including wineries, farming areas, kitchens, and old houses.
Some parts of the underground cities are pretty compact, but they’re ideally sized for children! Take a tour of Derinkuyu or Kaymakli to get the most out of your time.
Food, Glorious Food!
Even if you have a picky eater, you’ll find plenty to enjoy during mealtimes, and it’s an excellent opportunity to encourage your children to try different things. Food from this region of Turkey is delicious and very filling. Testi kebab, which is a stew simmered in a clay pot and then cracked in front of you, is pretty special!
Making time for a full Turkish breakfast overlooking the Cappadocia landscape would be best. Kahvalti, as it’s locally known, is a huge meal full of countless small plates, so children will love trying new things and asking what they are.
Take To The Skies With Hot Air Balloons
This is only possible for children over the age of 6 years, but if your children are over that age, you could all go in a hot air balloon and have a genuinely fantastic experience. Many people visit Cappadocia for this, and it’s something you’ll all remember for the rest of your lives.
The only possible downside here is that if you’re visiting during winter, hot air ballooning can sometimes be canceled at the last minute due to the weather, and excited children might be bitterly disappointed.
Of course, if your children aren’t old enough to go in a hot air balloon, you can still watch them take off and float in the skies. It’s equally as beautiful, and your kids will love spotting the brightly colored balloons, taking to the skies, and landing again.
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Delicious Turkish Dishes That Are Kid-Approved
Turkey is a land of delicious cuisine, with plenty of kid-friendly dishes to enjoy. From succulent kebabs to refreshing salads, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Here are some of our favorite Turkish dishes the whole family will love:
- Kebabs are a staple of Turkish cuisine and a favorite amongst kids. They can be made with chicken, lamb, or beef and are often served with rice or bread
- Falafel is another popular dish that’s perfect for kids. These fried balls of chickpeas are usually served with tahini sauce and can be eaten as a snack or main meal
- Pide is a type of Turkish flatbread that’s often filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables. It makes for a tasty and filling meal that the whole family can enjoy
- Börek is a pastry dish made with thin layers of dough filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables. It’s perfect for sharing and makes a delicious snack or light meal
- Dolma is a type of stuffed vegetable dish that’s popular in Turkey. It’s usually made with peppers, tomatoes, or zucchini and can be filled with meat, rice, or a combination of both
- Köfte are a type of spiced meatballs that are often served as part of meze platters. They’re great for kids because they can be eaten as a snack or as part of a meal
- Ayran is a refreshing yogurt drink made with water and salt that makes for the perfect summer beverage. Kids love it, and it’s also good for them too!
Where To Stay In Cappadocia With Children – Family-Friendly Hotels In Cappadocia
I suggest that you stay in a family suite in Cappadocia as they offer spacious and comfortable accommodations, ideal for families traveling with children. These suites often feature unique cave-style rooms and modern amenities, providing a blend of historical charm and contemporary comfort. Many are great value in the off-season when compared to peak season.
Your family can enjoy the convenience of well-appointed family suites while exploring the stunning landscapes and attractions of Cappadocia, making your stay a memorable family experience.
Sultan Cave Suites
Located in Göreme, Sultan Cave Suites is a popular choice for families visiting Cappadocia. They offer spacious family suites with unique cave-style rooms. The hotel features a restaurant, a terrace with stunning views, and helpful staff who can assist with organizing activities for families..
Cappadocia Estates Hotel
Cappadocia Estates Hotel is situated in the heart of Ürgüp and offers well-appointed family suites. The hotel provides modern amenities and services, including a restaurant, hot air balloon rides, and easy access to attractions in the region..
Located in Uchisar, the Museum Hotel is a luxury option with family suites that offer a blend of historical charm and modern comfort. Families can enjoy a unique experience, as the hotel is built around a historical cave site and offers panoramic views of the Cappadocian landscape..
Please remember to verify the availability of family suites and any specific family-friendly amenities or services directly with the hotels before making your reservation. Additionally, consider reading recent reviews from other travelers to ensure the accommodations meet your family’s needs and expectations.
Two-Day Cappadocia Itinerary With Kids
Day 1: Exploring Cappadocia’s Unique Landscapes
Start your day with a hot air balloon ride over the surreal Cappadocian landscape. Many balloon companies offer family-friendly flights with lower altitudes and longer durations suitable for children. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience to see the fairy chimneys and rock formations from above.
Enjoy a hearty breakfast at your hotel or a local café.
Visit the Göreme Open-Air Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage site with well-preserved rock-cut churches and monasteries. Kids will love exploring the ancient cave churches.
Have lunch at a restaurant in Göreme or Ürgüp, where you can sample delicious Turkish cuisine, including kebabs and pide (Turkish pizza).
Explore the Zelve Open Air Museum, which features cave dwellings and rock-cut churches. It’s a fantastic place for kids to climb and explore the caves.
Head back to your hotel to relax and freshen up.
Have dinner at a local restaurant or your hotel.
Day 2: Cultural Exploration and Adventure
Visit Uchisar Castle, the highest point in Cappadocia. Kids will enjoy climbing to the top and taking in the panoramic views.
Enjoy another delicious breakfast.
Explore Kaymaklı or Derinkuyu underground city, which are fascinating for both adults and kids. These ancient subterranean cities were used as hiding places during times of danger.
Stop for lunch at a local restaurant.
Visit a pottery workshop in Avanos, where the family can watch artisans create pottery and even try their hand at pottery painting.
Take a leisurely stroll in the charming town of Avanos, known for its pottery shops and riverside setting.
Return to your hotel or explore one of the numerous restaurants for dinner.
This two-day itinerary offers a mix of adventure, culture, and exploration that should be enjoyable for both kids and adults. Remember to adapt the schedule and activities to your family’s interests and energy levels, and don’t forget to check the operating hours and availability of attractions and tours in advance.
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Safety Considerations For Families In Cappadocia
Turkey is a country with many different cultures and customs, which can be confusing for families traveling with young children. Here are some things to keep in mind to stay safe while enjoying your family trip:
- When out and about, keep a close eye on your children at all times. Cappadocia is a wide place, and it can be easy for little ones to get lost while hiking and exploring
- As in any new place, be aware of your surroundings and trust your gut if something doesn’t feel right.
- While Turkey is generally a safe place, there are always risks when traveling to any new country. Be sure to have travel insurance in case of any medical emergencies
Cappadocia With Kids? It’s A Yes!
Overall, there is more than enough to keep little ones occupied at Cappadocia, and you will probably find that they never want to leave!
Running around and exploring an ancient landscape, they’ll undoubtedly tire themselves out at the end of every day and will use their imagination as they go. Checking out such a natural and historic area will imprint itself into their memories, and this is something you’ll all love to do together as a family.
So, it’s a yes from us!