Here is your comprehensive guide on how to get from Istanbul to Cappadocia. Bus travel, plane, train, and car rides, we’ve got all the info you need to have you hot air ballooning in no time.
Plus I have also detailed how to get from Cappadocia to Istanbul.
The problem is that Türkiye is quite a large country, so most people are put off traveling to various spots that seem far away from one another. The good news? Turkey’s public transportation network is extremely high quality, meaning you can explore as much as possible, provided you do your research.
A weekend trip from Istanbul to Cappadocia is entirely possible, but you might still wonder how to get to Cappadocia from Istanbul. There are several different routes you can take.
Of course, you need to take your time exploring Istanbul before you leave this iconic and downright beautiful city.
There are perhaps more historical landmarks here than many other cities can boast in the world, from the beautiful Blue Mosque to Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Dolmabahce Palace, Grand Bazaar, Bosphorus Bridge, Basilica Cistern, and the modern world of Taksim, to much, much more, this is a city which is going to take a lot more than one visit to say you’ve done it.’
However, Istanbul is a bustling place, so perhaps you want peace and quiet at the end of your break or in the middle.
In that case, Cappadocia, Türkiye is the ideal spot!
Cappadocia is located in the central portion of the city, and it has semi-arid land. You’ve undoubtedly seen pictures of Cappadocia in the past, with those iconic hot air balloon rides hovering over the “fairy chimneys,” the colossal rock formations formed over hundreds of years.
Cappadocia is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so you can expect some serious drama and beauty. Cappadocia is located in Goreme National Park, but Monks Valley is also home to some of these iconic rock formations. You’ll also find cave hotels, houses dating back to the Bronze Age carved into the rocks, and many churches, as this part of Türkiye was a refuge to some of the earliest Christians.
Cappadocia is a must-visit whether you go on a hot air balloon ride or keep your feet on the ground. The surrounding area is packed with stunning nature, and you can take many walking trails, too, ideal both in summer and winter. Below, we’ll tell you how to get from Istanbul to Cappadocia.
Skip Ahead To My Advice Here!
Distance To Cappadocia From Istanbul
Despite all those fantastic reasons to visit and explore Cappadocia, it is not exactly close to Istanbul. The distance from Istanbul to Cappadocia is 456 miles or 734 km by road, which is significant.
However, you can cover the Istanbul to Cappadocia distance in several ways, from flying to bus rides and even by train. Check out how to go to Cappadocia from Istanbul and the Istanbul to Cappadocia travel time below.
Istanbul To Cappadocia Map – How To Get To Cappadocia From Istanbul
Traveling From Istanbul To Cappadocia By Plane – Cappadocia Flights From Istanbul
The fastest way to get from Istanbul to the Cappadocia region is to fly. Although it’s not the cheapest way to travel from Istanbul to Cappadocia (the bus wins in this category), it’s still incredibly budget-friendly!
Istanbul has two main airports: Sabiha Gokcen and the new Istanbul International Airport. Both offer domestic flights from Istanbul to Cappadocia. One is on the Asian side, and one is on the European side, so choose your airport carefully.
You can fly from Istanbul to Nevsehir or Kayseri and connect to Cappadocia. These are the two closest airports.
Flying To Nevsehir
If you choose to fly to Nevsehir, your flight will take around 1 hour and 20 minutes, and you can then jump in a taxi or hire a car and get to Goreme National Park (Cappadocia) in just under 45 minutes, depending upon traffic.
There are not as many flight options to Nevsehir as to Kayseri.
Flying To Kayseri
Both Turkish Airlines and Pegasus Airlines (a low-cost Turkish airline) fly to Kayseri Airport, and the flight time is approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes.
You might wonder why people would bother flying to Kayseri if Nevsehir is quicker, but flights to Kayseri are cheaper.
Airlines That Fly From Istanbul To Cappadocia Turkey
Turkish Airlines, Aztec Airways, and Pegasus Airways (low-cost airlines) fly to Cappadocia from Istanbul, and you’ll find a range of fares. You can check plane tickets online or head to the airport and book your ticket at the office on the day or a few days beforehand to ensure a seat.
Turkish Airlines is the only one that will fly out of Istanbul Airport on the European side of Istanbul. The other two operate out of Sabiha Gokcen.
Brands We Use And Trust
Traveling From Istanbul To Cappadocia By Bus
Türkiye is a vast country, but it has high-quality, long-distance bus companies that connect major towns and cities – one reason why the cheapest way to get to Cappadocia from Istanbul is via bus. Kamil Koc, Pamukkale, and Metro are the main bus lines.
You will find offices for all major bus companies at the bus stations in Istanbul (Istanbul’s main bus terminal is Otogar) and ticket offices for the companies in and around the city.
Suppose you book your ticket from a ticket office within the city, e.g., Besiktas, Taksim, Kadikoy, or elsewhere. In that case, you will have a free service shuttle that will take you to the central bus station in Alibeykoy on the European side. From there, you will connect to your main bus and reach Cappadocia from Istanbul in around 9 hours and 15 minutes, although it’s sometimes longer, depending on your chosen service line.
Buying Bus Tickets
There are buses every 4 hours. However, we recommend buying tickets at least one day in advance as they fill up quickly. You can buy your tickets online or in person at any bus station. If you don’t want to track down a bus station to buy a ticket, tour agencies in the historic center can help, too.
What To Expect On The Istanbul To Cappadocia Bus
These buses are very comfortable, and you book your seat ahead of time, meaning you can choose where you sit. There is onboard WiFi and toilets. You’ll stop several times along the journey, and there is a refreshment service on board, with tea, coffee, soft drinks, and biscuits. This option is a super-affordable and convenient way to cover the Istanbul-Cappadocia distance comfortably.
Night Bus Istanbul To Cappadocia
There are also overnight transport options for those who can sleep through the night. Buses leave at approximately 11:45 p.m. and arrive in Goreme at 8:30 a.m. It’s a great way to get there without wasting a travel day! Metro Turizm has nightly buses, and you can make your booking online.
This is a highly budget-friendly option, but remember it’s a long ride, between 10 to 12 hours.
Traveling From Istanbul To Cappadocia By Car
Another option is to hire a car and drive. This is an excellent option for a road trip through Türkiye, as it’s a long journey. The road to Cappadocia from Istanbul takes you through the capital city of Ankara, so you may even like to stop for a few hours (or a few days!) and check out another city. To Cappadocia from Istanbul by car, you’ll undoubtedly see some rather beautiful sights along the way.
The journey by car to Cappadocia took us 8 hours and 30 minutes, but this depends on traffic, which can become a little heavy getting out of Istanbul and around Ankara. There are many car hire offices in Istanbul, with big-name companies operating outside the main airports.
Turkey’s main highways are very modern and safe. However, anywhere you’re not used to driving, take care and read up on road rules ahead of time to give you prior information.
Cities To Visit Along The Way
If traveling by car, you have the flexibility to add in a few stops along the way. Some great options on the Istanbul to Cappadocia route include:
- Yalova – Yalova is a beautiful city located just outside of Istanbul. It is known for its hot springs, which are said to have therapeutic properties.
- Bursa – 2 hours into your journey, you will come to the university town of Bursa. Bursa was the first major capital of the Ottoman Empire and is known for the landscape in and around the city, which is surprisingly green and lush, overlooked by the huge Uludag mountain range.
- Iznik – Iznik is an ancient city known for its stunning ceramic tiles, which were used to decorate the walls and ceilings of the churches. It is also home to the Green Mosque – one of the most famous in the country.
- Eskişehir – Eskişehir is known for its lively nightlife, many parks and gardens, and universities. There are also several fascinating museums in the city, including the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, which houses artifacts from throughout Turkey’s history.
- Ankara – Türkiye’s capital city will show you a slightly different way of life, as it’s far more traditional in this part of the country compared to the westernized beach resorts on the south coast or the tourist feel of Istanbul.
Traveling From Istanbul To Cappadocia By Train
A fourth option to get from Istanbul to Cappadocia is to go by train. Although this is possible, there currently is no direct Istanbul Cappadocia train, nor is there a Cappadocia Istanbul train. However, if you are set on taking the train in Turkey, here are your options:
These are feasible options to cover the distance from Istanbul to Cappadocia, but they are probably not worth the effort and hassle if we’re completely honest.
The three other ways to visit Cappadocia from Istanbul we described above are much more convenient and straightforward.
Move This Adventure To Your Inbox & Get An Instant Freebie
No spam. Unsubscribe at any time.
Cappadocia Tours From Istanbul
If all of the options for covering such a long distance feel a little overwhelming, you can also make your life easier by booking a tour to Cappadocia from Istanbul, which includes transport there and back. These tours often include accommodation, meals, and guided tours of the famous landmarks once there.
Now that you know how to travel from Istanbul to Cappadocia, we hope that you enjoy your Cappadocia trip.
You can also consider going from Cappadocia to Greece and continuing your Balkans travel experience across the border. Details are coming soon on how.