How To Get From Istanbul To Cappadocia (& Cappadocia To Istanbul)

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How To Get From Istanbul To Cappadocia (& Cappadocia To Istanbul)

Turkey is packed with tourist hotspots, but two of the most iconic have to be the historic city of Istanbul and the central natural beauty of Cappadocia.

The problem is Turkey is quite a large country, so most people are put off traveling around to various spots which seem far away from one another. The good news? Turkey’s public transport 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 Sofia, 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 Turkey is the ideal spot!

Best Places To Stay In Cappadocia, Turkey
Hot air balloon flying over Cappadocia Turkey

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 balloons 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, homes dating back to the Bronze Age carved into the rocks, and many churches, as this part of Turkey was a refuge to some of the earliest Christians.

Whether you go on a ride in a hot air balloon or keep your feet on the ground, Cappadocia is a must-visit. The surrounding area is packed with stunning nature, and there are many walking trails you can take, too, ideal both in summer and winter. Below, we’ll tell you how to get from Istanbul to Cappadocia.

Turkey Travel Blog_How To Get From Istanbul To Cappadocia

How Far Is 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, there are several ways you can cover the Istanbul to Cappadocia distance, 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 

How to get from Istanbul To Cappadocia To Istanbul Map

Traveling From Istanbul To Cappadocia By Plane – Cappadocia Flights From Istanbul 

The fastest way to get from Istanbul to Cappadocia is to fly, and although it’s not the cheapest way to travel from Istanbul to Cappadocia (bus wins in this category), it’s still incredibly budget friendly! 

Istanbul has two main airports: Sabiha Gokcen and the new Istanbul Airport. Both offer flights from Istanbul to Cappadocia. One is on the Asian side, and one on the European side, so make sure you choose your airport carefully.

You can fly from Istanbul to either 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 there are to Kayseri.

  • Car Rental
    • Often as cheap as $20/day, this is a great option if you want to explore the region at your own pace
  • Hotel Transport
    • Many hotels will arrange airport transport for you, so definitely check.
    • Costs vary but expect about 50 TL (8 EUR) for Nevsehir Airport.
  • Shared Transport/Taxi Services
    • Shared transport companies can be as cheap as 5/6 EUR per person, so check around online
    • Taxis are a great option if you have a large family

Flying To Kayseri

Both Turkish Airlines and Pegasus (a low-cost Turkish airline) fly to Kayseri Airport, and the flight time is approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes.

  • Shuttle & Bus
    • Take the shuttle from Kayseri Airport to the center of Kayseri: 15 minutes in duration; the shuttle runs every 3 hours
    • Then, take the bus to Goreme: 1 hour 20 minutes in duration; buses run every 4 hours
  • Car Rental
    • Often as cheap as $20/day, this is a great option if you want to explore the region at your own pace
  • Hotel Transport
    • Many hotels will arrange airport transport for you, so definitely check.
    • Costs vary but expect about 60 TL (10 EUR) for Kayseri Airport 
  • Shared Transport/Taxi Services
    • Shared transport companies can be as cheap as 5/6 EUR per person, so check around online
    • Taxis are a great option if you have a large family

You might wonder why people would bother flying to Kayseri if Nevsehir is quicker, but flights to Kayseri tend to be a little cheaper.

Airlines That Fly From Istanbul To Cappadocia Turkey

Turkish Airlines and Pegasus fly to Cappadocia from Istanbul, and you’ll find a range of fares. You can check online or head to the airport and book your ticket at the office on the day or a few days beforehand if you want to be sure of a seat.

Traveling From Istanbul To Cappadocia By Bus

Turkey Travel Blog_Where to Stay in Cappadocia_Artemis Cave Suites
Photo Credit: Artemis Cave Suites

Turkey 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 can check bus tickets online, but you will find offices for all major bus companies at the bus stations in Istanbul (Istanbul’s main bus terminal is Otogar), and you’ll find 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 the service line you choose. There are buses every 4 hours.

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 in relative comfort.

Night Bus Istanbul To Cappadocia

For those who can sleep through the night, there are overnight transport options as well. Buses leave at approximately 11:45 pm and arrived in Goreme at 8:30 am. 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 an extremely budget friendly option, but remember that it’s a long ride, between 10 to 12 hours.


How Far Is Cappadocia From Istanbul By Car

Albania Rent A Car Tips - Driving in Albania

Another option is to hire a car and drive. This is a great option if you are on a road trip through Turkey, 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 wonderful sights along the way.

  • Ankara To Cappadocia: Approx 3 hours 15 minutes (331 km)
  • Istanbul To Cappadocia: Approx 7 hours 30 minutes (760 km)

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 out of 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.

Traveling From Istanbul To Cappadocia By Train

How To Get From Istanbul To Cappadocia - Balloons

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 a much more convenient and straightforward.

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 are back. Often these tours also 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 think about going from Cappadocia to Greece and continuing your Balkans travel experience across the border. Details are coming soon on how. 

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