7 Best Things to Do in Cappadocia, Turkey + Planning Tips

Cappadocia, “the land of beautiful horses”. When I visited Cappadocia, one of the most popular destinations in the best Turkey tours, I had already done my homework, so I knew I was going to a beautiful region with so much to offer. This just increased my curiosity about this gorgeous area and finding out what are the best things to do in Cappadocia.

Scientists believe the entire city is a result of volcanic eruptions that happened millions of years ago. The human habitat of this remarkable lunar landscape that attracts thousands of tourists from across the world dates back to the 4th century. But alongside admiring the stunning landscape, what are the top places to visit in Cappadocia? Here are some of our suggestions.

red valley hike things to do in Cappadocia
The view in our Red Valley hike

Fantastic things to do in Cappadocia

Hike the Red and Rose Valleys, what to do in Cappadocia for some adventure

After days in Cappadocia, we thought we had gotten used to natural beauty. But our Rose Valley and Red Valley hike revealed a never-ending surprise. Our adventure was probably the most satisfying for the eye and the most awe-inspiring, albeit pretty challenging.

One of the must-see Cappadocia attractions, the Red and Rose valleys take their name from the red/rose/ochre shades that vary depending on several factors such as the season, the weather, the time and the light. When we hiked the Red and Rose valleys it was May, pretty hot but the light was fantastic. The blue sky and shining sun allowed us to enjoy fantastic views.

TIP: The best way to enjoy the hike is to book a tour with a local. Click here to check a full-day tour through Cappadocia’s main highlights.

Goreme open-air museum, Uchisar Castle, and the Pigeon Valley

Wherever you turn your gaze in Cappadocia you are confronted with overwhelming natural beauty. We stayed in Göreme for the night, in the lovely Star Cave Hotel, and we started exploring the region from Göreme open-air museum, Uçhisar for its castle and a breathtaking view of Pigeon Valley.

One of the first places to visit in Cappadocia, Göreme open-air museum is a large monastic complex where the churches carved out of the rock display beautiful frescoes.

After Göreme museum, head to Uçhisar to visit its castle and to enjoy a beautiful view of these rock formations and the Pigeon Valley.

TIP: Book a guided tour to the Goreme museum and other historic sites in Cappadocia to learn more about them.

Visit the Ihlara Valley, Selime Monastery and Cappadocia underground city

If you are still wondering what to do in Cappadocia, don’t miss the Ihlara Valley. We took a guided tour and we were very happy about it. By ourselves, I don’t think we would have been able to see all the historic sites.

During the whole day, we trekked in the Ihlara Valley, visited some of the most beautiful churches and monasteries, including Selime, and some of the best underground cities in Cappadocia such as Derinkuyu.

TIP: Book a full-day trekking tour to the Ihlara Valley and discover the ancient monasteries, villages and the famous Derinkuyu Underground City.

Making Gozleme traditional style in Cappadocia, Turkey

Towards the end of our tour along the Ilhara Valley, my friends and I started feeling hungry and, although we were approaching lunchtime and restaurant, when we stopped for a short break we couldn’t resist the temptation of sampling some traditional food. We were happy to find local women making the traditional Gozleme filled with fresh cheese and veggies.

READ MORE: Check out our post about making and enjoying Gozleme in Cappadocia

Booking a Cappadocia hot air balloon ride

One of the best things to do in Cappadocia is fly with hot air balloons. It’s an excellent experience I couldn’t enjoy due to the bad weather.

There are many tour companies providing daily rides and flights throughout Cappadocia. More balloon flights are made in Cappadocia than probably anywhere else.
Click here to see the prices and availability for Hot Air Balloon tours in Cappadocia

Turkish nights and Whirling Dervishes

One of the things to do in Cappadocia is experience their eye-catching and spiritual dance. The last night we spent in Cappadocia was devoted to partying, namely to appreciate Turkish spirituality and dances, from the Sufi whirling dervishes inspired by Islam’s mystic and poet Rumi, to the inevitable belly dancer.

whirling dervishes things to see in cappadocia
A show with whirling dervishes is one of the things to see in Cappadocia

Even though we were exhausted after our excursion to the Red Valley and Rose Valley, I didn’t really want to leave Turkey this time too without seeing the famous whirling dervishes.
Click here for more information on prices and availability for night tours and traditional shows in Cappadocia.

turkish nights cappadocia attractions

Below is a photo sequence of another traditional Turkish dance in a show, definitely one of the things to see in Cappadocia. The dancer was excellent, she kept turning around for what felt like half an hour, her dress changing shape and finally colors. We were all enchanted.

turkish dance cappadocia attractions
Things to do in Cappadocia, turkish dance
Things to do in Cappadocia, turkish dance

Book a Cappadocia hiking tour

With such a huge natural landscape being the main attraction, booking a hiking tour is definitely what to do in Cappadocia for nature and adventure lovers. There are several trekking and hiking tours that you can book and with a local guide you will reach that alone you probably won’t find and you will also have the chance to explore more places such as underground cities and cave churches.

Book a full-day Cappadocia tour

What is Cappadocia best known for?

What makes Cappadocia famous and a top tourist destination in Turkey certainly are its unique and “fairy-looking” rock formations that offer breathtaking views. Apart from hiking through Cappadocia’s fairy chimneys, one of the best experiences to enjoy the scenery is to book a hot air balloon and admire the natural landscape from above, better if at sunrise.

How many days is enough for Cappadocia?

While two days are enough to visit the main landmarks in Cappadocia, if you can stretch your trip a little further, I suggest staying in this beautiful Turkish region for at least 3 days. Even though most famous for its rock formations, Cappadocia has so much more to see and do that skipping the historical and cultural highlights would really be a pity and wouldn’t do justice to the area.

In three days, you will have the time to visit ancient churches carved out of the rocks, and underground cities, hike through the many valleys, visit traditional villages, book your hot air balloon ride, and also enjoy a traditional night show.

Is 1 day enough for Cappadocia?

One day in Cappadocia is not enough to fully enjoy this charming region of central Turkey. Rich in history and culture, you need at least 2 or 3 days to visit important places and learn more about the place.

Is Cappadocia Turkey worth visiting?

Cappadocia is very much worth visiting and a must for your Turkey trip. From its ancient churches, its Greek past, UNESCO-enlisted Goreme National Park, beautiful landscapes, and delicious foods, you really don’t want to miss Cappadocia!

Which month is best for Cappadocia?

In my opinion, the best season to visit Cappadocia is spring, so between April through June. The winter can get cold and rainy with potential snowfalls, and the summer can become very hot. Keep in mind that Cappadocia is in a desert area so you will also find much difference between day and night temperatures. July, for example, can have fresh nights but during the day it can be pretty hot and many of the highlights are actually in the open air.

What months do balloons fly in Cappadocia?

Hot air balloon companies in Cappadocia are operative all year so also in winter. However, tours can get canceled depending on weather conditions. This is why the best seasons to book your hot balloon ride in Cappadocia are spring and summer through the beginning of fall.

Is Cappadocia, Turkey, cheap?

Turkey in general is not a very expensive travel destination and Cappadocia remains in the average cost range. However, being such a popular tourist spot, in Cappadocia, you might find slightly more expensive accommodation and restaurant prices if compared with less famous regions.

Where to stay in Goreme, best Cappadocia hotels

Like every other region in Turkey, Cappadocia features all sorts of accommodations. The most famous ones are the fascinating cave suites that give you the chance to stay in buildings carved out of their rock formations. If you are thinking about staying in this region of Turkey, here is a list of the top Cappadocia Cave Suites.

Cappadocia Cave Suites
Located in the central Goreme offers deluxe cave rooms and suites, WiFi, breakfast, private bathrooms and Jacuzzi. The property organizes hot air balloon rides, Turkish nights, Whirling dervish shows and a few other tours. It’s top-rated for its services, location, and view.
Click here to see the latest prices for Cappadocia Cave Suites

Aren Cave Hotel
This Cave Hotel is located in Goreme Center run by people who like what they do. The rooms are equipped with WiFi, AC, kettle, soundproofing, TV, etc. Banks, a local bus terminal, cafe, and restaurants are within walking distance of the Cave Hotel. They also offer free shuttle service from Goreme Bust station to the property. This property is rated exceptional for staff, location, rooms, and breakfast.
Click here to see the latest prices for Aren Cave Hotel

Amber Cave Suites
This beautiful cave hotel is rated top for the panoramic views of Goreme, the heart of Cappadocia. Amber Cave Suites offer everything you need for a suite, from free shuttle services, WiFi, breakfast to 24/7 front desk. It’s rated exceptional on booking both for helpful staff, cleanness, location, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Click here to see the current prices and more details about Amber Cave Suites

Aydinli Cave Hotel
This is a traditional Cave hotel located on a hillside that offers one of the best views over Goreme, WiFi, breakfast, and everything else you need in the Cave hotel. The owner arranges day tours and other tours
Click here to see the current prices and more details about Aydinli Cave Hotel


best things to do in cappadocia
about me: Angela Corrias
About the author

I'm Angela Corrias, an Italian journalist, photographer, and travel writer located in the heart of Italy's capital. Welcome to my website, your comprehensive source for your travels and expert guidance for crafting your dream travel experience.

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