25 Fun Things to Do in Cappadocia, Turkey | 2024 (with Photos)

Nataša Obradovic

Nataša Obradovic - Travel Writer

Published: July 13, 2023

Hey there! I'm Natasha, and I'm excited to share with you my top picks of the most delightful activities to do in Cappadocia, Turkey. Discover the captivating landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture that make this destination truly unforgettable.

Fun & Unique Things to Do in Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia, located in central Turkey, is a region famous for its unique geological formations and ancient history.

The area is known for its fairy chimneys and cave dwellings that have fascinated travelers for centuries. Cappadocia is an excellent destination for adventure, with plenty of exciting activities and sites to explore.

From hot air balloon rides over the stunning landscapes to hiking through the valleys, there are plenty of fun and unique things to do in Cappadocia.

In this article, we'll highlight 25 of the best things to do in Cappadocia.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Hot Air Balloon Ride

Top Choice Hotel

Sultan Cave Suites.

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Seten Anatolian Cuisine

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

Indigo Night Club

Best Time to Visit

Spring and autumn provide ideal weather for visiting Goreme, Turkey.

Average Temperature

Mild spring, hot summer, cold winter in Göreme.

Transportation Options

Buses, taxis, rental cars, and hot air balloons.

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

In Goreme, Turkey, I recommend immersing yourself in the historical marvels of the city by exploring the enchanting underground cities and admiring the breathtaking fairy chimneys dotting the landscape.

Indulge in the local cuisine by savoring the traditional Turkish dishes at charming local restaurants, allowing your taste buds to experience the authentic flavors of Goreme.

What You'll Need to Bring

Passport, comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen, hat, camera, adapter for electrical outlets, a travel guide or map, a reusable water bottle, and some local currency.

A sense of adventure, open mind, willingness to try new foods, basic knowledge of local customs and etiquette, and a respectful attitude towards the local culture and people.

What Not to Miss

  1. Goreme Open Air Museum
  2. Hot Air Balloon Ride
  3. Uchisar Castle
  4. Rose Valley
  5. Pasabag (Monks Valley)
  6. Underground City of Derinkuyu
  7. Love Valley
  8. Zelve Open Air Museum
  9. Avanos Pottery Workshop
  10. Sunset Point

What to Avoid

  1. Overpriced souvenir shops
  2. Crowded tourist hotspots
  3. Unlicensed tour guides
  4. Street vendors selling fake goods
  5. Touts trying to scam tourists
  6. Poorly maintained hiking trails
  7. High tourist seasons with heavy crowds
  8. Bargaining too much at local markets
  9. Ignoring local customs and traditions
  10. Poorly reviewed restaurants or eateries.

1. See Cappadocia From Above

Cappadocia From Above

A hot air balloon tour in Cappadocia is one of the most iconic and unforgettable things to do in Cappadocia, Turkey.

The region's unique geological formations, including its fairy chimneys and rock formations, make it an ideal location for hot air ballooning, and thousands of visitors flock to Cappadocia every year to take part in this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

A hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia typically takes place at sunrise, when the weather conditions are optimal for a safe and enjoyable flight.

Passengers are treated to stunning panoramic views of the landscape, as the balloon drifts over the fairy chimneys, valleys, and ancient sites of the region.

2. Visit the Zelve Open Air Museum

Zelve Open Air Museum

The Zelve Open Air Museum is an ancient village that has been carved into soft volcanic rock. It consists of a network of cave houses, churches, and tunnels that date back to the 9th and 13th centuries.

Visitors can explore the fascinating remains of the village, which have been preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can see the old bakeries, wine cellars, and both churches and mosques., with stunning frescoes and paintings.

The Zelve Open Air Museum is located in a valley surrounded by rock formations that have been shaped by wind and rain over thousands of years.

3. Visit the Göreme Open Air Museum

Göreme Open Air Museum

The Göreme Open Air Museum is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a fascinating destination for anyone interested in history, art, and culture.

Located in the heart of Göreme National Park (or Goreme National Park), the open-air museum features a collection of cave churches, chapels, and monasteries that date back to the 10th and 11th centuries.

One of the highlights here is the Dark Church, which is located in a small cave and features some of the best-preserved frescoes in the region.

Göreme Open Air Museum is located within walking distance of the town center. You'll have to climb a steep road to get there, but as it's one of the best things to do in Cappadocia, it is worth the effort.

4. Explore the Rock Formations of Love Valley

Rock Formations of Love Valley

Love Valley is one of the most popular destinations in Cappadocia, known for its incredible rock formations that resemble phallic shapes.

Located in the heart of the region, Love Valley is a natural wonder that offers a glimpse into the fascinating geological history of Cappadocia.

The rock formations in Love Valley were created by the erosion of volcanic ash and tuff over millions of years.

The soft rock was gradually eroded by wind and rain, leaving behind the unique shapes that are now a popular tourist attraction.

5. Spend a Few Hours at the Rose Valley

Rose Valley

Rose Valley gets its name from the pink and red hues of the rock formations that are particularly vibrant during sunrise and sunset.

The valley is known for its stunning hiking trails that wind through the rock formations and offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

One of the highlights of Rose Valley is the ancient rock churches from the early Christian period that are scattered throughout the valley.

A famous church in Rose Valley is the Chapel of St. John the Baptist, which is located at the end of one of the hiking trails.

6. Explore Derinkuyu Underground City

Derinkuyu Underground City

The Derinkuyu Underground City is a series of interconnected tunnels and rooms that were carved into the soft volcanic rock over 2000 years ago.

The city is believed to have been built by the Phrygians, an ancient Anatolian people, and was later used by early Christians as a place of refuge from persecution.

Derinkuyu Underground City reaches over 200 feet below ground. Visitors can explore the labyrinthine tunnels and rooms, as well as the system of defense mechanisms that were built into its design.

The city features several doors that could only be opened from the inside, as well as traps and narrow passages that could be used to trap and confuse intruders.

7. Visit the Town of Uchisar and Uchisar Castle

Uchisar Castle

Uchisar is a quaint town located in the heart of Cappadocia, Turkey, and is a popular destination for tourists who want to experience the unique culture and history of the region.

One of the main attractions of Uchisar is its towering castle, which is carved into a natural rock formation. This rocky outcrop is an impressive sight.

The Uchisar Castle is the highest point in Cappadocia and was used as a watchtower during ancient times to spot enemies from afar. At the base of the castle, you will find a cafe and a wine cellar.

Nowadays, the castle serves as a popular tourist destination, with many visitors hiking to the top to enjoy the views.

8. Take a Trip to Devrent Valley

Devrent Valley

Devrent Valley, also known as "Imagination Valley," offers visitors a surreal and otherworldly experience.

It is famous for its peculiar rock formations that have been shaped by the forces of nature into fantastical shapes that resemble everything from the Virgin Mary to a pair of seals.

Visitors to Devrent Valley can walk through the valley, marveling at the fascinating rock formations and letting their imaginations run wild.

One of the highlights of Devrent Valley is Camel Rock, a rock formation that resembles a camel kneeling down.

9. Visit the Gulsehir Open Air Museum

 Gulsehir Open Air Museum

Gulsehir is a small town in the Cappadocia region known as the "Rose City" due to the pink hue of the surrounding rocks.

While it may not be as well-known as some of the other towns in the region, Gulsehir offers visitors a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty that make it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Cappadocia.

One of the top things to do in Gulsehir is to explore the town's historic sites.

Gulsehir has a number of interesting rock-cut churches and frescoes that date back to the Byzantine period, including the Gulsehir Open Air Museum.

10. Stay in a Cave Hotel

Cave Hotel

Staying in a local cave hotel is an unforgettable experience and one of the most fun things to do in Cappadocia.

The region is famous for its natural rock formations, and many of them have been converted into luxurious hotels, offering guests a truly unique experience of Cappadocian culture.

Cave hotels in Cappadocia are built into natural rock formations which makes the cave rooms feel cool, even during the hot summer months.

A cave hotel is usually decorated with traditional Turkish furnishings, and many have stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Cave houses offer traditional breakfasts and dinners, providing guests with an opportunity to sample the local cuisine.

11. Marvel at Lake Tuz

Lake Tuz

Lake Tuz, located in the heart of Cappadocia, is a salt lake, also known as the Tuz Golu.

Its high salinity levels make it impossible for any living organisms to survive, creating a unique ecosystem where only a few microorganisms can thrive.

The lake's water is crystal clear and reflects the sky, creating an otherworldly atmosphere. Tuz salt lake is also a popular spot for birdwatching, as it attracts a variety of bird species, including flamingos and pelicans.

Visitors can also witness the traditional salt harvesting methods and even buy some of the high-quality salt as a souvenir.

12. Check Out Zemi Valley

Zemi Valley

Zemi Valley is one of the most beautiful and tranquil places to visit in Cappadocia.

The valley is home to incredible hiking paths that offer amazing views of the surrounding landscape, including towering rock formations, ancient cave dwellings, and lush greenery.

Zemi Valley has many hidden caves and underground tunnels, which were once used by ancient civilizations as homes and places of worship, and many of them are now open to visitors.

Exploring these caves and the valley floor is a great way to learn more about the rich history and culture of Cappadocia.

13. Take a Hike Through Pigeon Valley

 Pigeon Valley

Pigeon Valley gets its name from the thousands of pigeon houses carved into volcanic rock formations, which locals once used to collect pigeon droppings from the valley floor for use as fertilizer.

The Pigeon Valley Trail is a popular hiking trail that winds its way through the valley, offering visitors breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

The trail is well-marked and relatively easy. Visitors can see ancient churches, historic rock formations, and stunning views of the fairy chimneys that are characteristic of the Cappadocia region.

14. See the Abandoned Cave City of Cavusin

Abandoned Cave City of Cavusin

The abandoned cave city of Cavusin is a fascinating destination in Cappadocia.

Located near the town of Avanos, Cavusin was once a thriving community that was inhabited by Christians during the Byzantine period.

Visitors can explore the network of tunnels and rooms, which are interconnected by narrow passages and staircases.

Cavusin is also home to a number of historic churches and other buildings, including the Church of St. John the Baptist and the Church of St. Paul.

15. Visit the Ancient Roman City of Sobessos

Şanlıurfa Archaeological Museum

Sobessos was a thriving city during the Roman period and an important center of commerce and culture in the region.

It was rediscovered in 2002, and since then, ongoing archaeological excavations have revealed a wealth of information about the city's history and daily life.

Visitors can explore the ruins of the city, including its bathhouses, theaters, and other public buildings.

Additionally, many Sobessos artifacts are displayed at the Şanlıurfa Archaeological Museum. These mosaics are some of the best-preserved examples in the region, and their intricate designs and vibrant colors are truly a sight to behold.

16. Wander Around Sword Valley at Golden Hour

Sword Valley at Golden Hour

Sword Valley, or Kılıçlar Vadisi in Turkish, is a hidden gem located in the Cappadocia region of Turkey.

The valley is known for its unique rock formations that resemble swords, hence the name. Sword Valley is the smallest valley in Cappadocia and is famous for having the longest tunnel. This dead-end tunnel goes 300 meters into a cliff.

One of the main attractions is hiking through the valley and exploring its unique landscape. The most compelling view is the one it offers during the golden hour, just before sunset.

17. Experience Local Life in Ihlara Valley

Ihlara Valley

Ihlara Valley is a natural wonder known for its stunning scenery, including towering rock formations, verdant vegetation, and a winding river that flows through the heart of the valley.

Visitors to Ihlara Valley can explore hiking trails and historic churches, as well as a number of small villages and communities.

These villages offer a glimpse into traditional rural life in Central Turkey and are home to a number of small restaurants and cafes where visitors can sample local cuisine and relax after a day of hiking through Ihlara Valley.

18. Watch the Sunset at Sunset Point

Sunset at Sunset Point

Sunset Point is a popular destination in the town of Goreme. It is located at the start of the Red and Rose Valley hike**.**

The viewpoint is easily accessible and offers visitors a chance to see the fairy chimneys and rock formations of the region in a new light.

At sunset, the colors of the sky and the landscape blend together to create a mesmerizing spectacle, making for some truly memorable photo opportunities.

Sunset Point is also a great place to relax and unwind after a day of exploring the region's many attractions.

19. Learn How to Make Traditional Turkish Dishes

Cappadocia Traditional Turkish Dish Cooking Class

One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the local culture when you visit Cappadocia is by taking a cooking class.

You'll be introduced to traditional cooking methods and techniques, and learn about the ingredients that are used in Turkish cuisine.

The traditional dishes of Cappadocia are a must-try for any foodie. Some of the most popular dishes include Testi Kebabı, a slow-cooked lamb stew, and manti, small dumplings filled with meat and served with garlic yogurt sauce.

Other specialties include Gözleme, a savory pastry, and, of course, the classic kebab.

20. Take a Tour of the Local Wineries

Local Wineries

Cappadocia has a thriving wine industry that has been around for centuries. Taking a tour of the local wineries when you visit Cappadocia is an excellent way to explore the region's cultural heritage and learn about the wine-making process.

Wine cellars here have been producing wine for over 2,000 years, and the wine-making process has remained largely unchanged.

The region's volcanic soil and dry climate also contribute to the unique flavor profile of the wines. The winery owners are passionate about their craft and love to share their knowledge.

You'll learn about the grape-growing and harvesting process, as well as the wine-making techniques used in the region.

21. Take a Sunset ATV Tour

Sunset ATV Tour

An ATV tour through the rocky terrain of Cappadocia is an adventure that is sure to get your adrenaline pumping.

Experienced local guides will take you through narrow paths, steep hills, and valleys to enjoy the scenery. It's one of the best things to do in Cappadocia and an experience you'll never forget.

You can choose to explore the fairy chimneys and valleys or venture out to lesser-known areas.

During a sunset ATV tour, you'll get to see these landscapes bathed in golden light, creating an awe-inspiring sight that will stay with you forever after visiting Cappadocia.

Hot tip: You can also mountain bike, horse ride, or scooter through the valleys to admire the amazing rock formations.

22. Roam Through the Streets of Kaymakli Underground City

Kaymakli Underground City

Kaymakli Underground City is an ancient city located in the central region of Cappadocia.

It dates back to around 2000 BC and is one of the largest and, along with Derinkuyu Underground City, is one of the ****well-preserved underground cities in the region.

The city is believed to have been used by early Christians as a hiding place from Roman persecution. The city has eight levels, with the first four open to the public.

Visitors can explore the different rooms that were used by the people who lived there. The underground city also has several religious sites, including a church that is still in use today.

23. Explore Red Valley

Red Valley

Red Valley is famous for its unique rock formations, towering cliffs, and stunning red and orange hues that are created by the volcanic ash and sediment that cover the landscape.

Red Valley is perfect for hiking, with its winding trails and stunning vistas that will take your breath away.

Visitors can walk through Red Valley and admire the towering rock formations, gorges, and ancient cave dwellings and churches that were carved out of the rock by early Christian communities.

They are a testament to the rich cultural heritage of Cappadocia and provide a glimpse into the lives of the people who lived in the region centuries ago.

24. Stay at a Restored Silk Road Inn

Silk Road Inn

Cappadocia has a rich history as a trade hub on the ancient Silk Road. As caravans of traders traveled through the region, they required places to rest, which led to the development of caravanserais.

These ancient buildings served as inns, providing shelter, food, and water for travelers and their animals. Many of the caravanserais were constructed in the 13th century and feature thick stone walls, arched entryways, and central courtyards.

These ancient buildings provide a fascinating glimpse into the past and offer a unique opportunity to stay in 13th-century hotels on the Silk Road.

25. See the Sunrise from the Sultan Cave Suites Rooftop

Sunrise from the Sultan Cave Suites Rooftop

The Sultan Cave Suites is a hotel located in the heart of Cappadocia, Turkey.

One of the main draws of this hotel is the opportunity to watch the sunrise from its rooftop terrace, which offers a spectacular view of the surrounding landscape.

Watching the sunrise from the Sultan Cave Suites rooftop is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that draws visitors from all over the world.

Guests can relax on traditional pillows and carpets while taking in the lovely sight of hot-air balloons floating gracefully above the Cappadocia landscape.

FAQs About Things to Do in Cappadocia, Turkey

Let's explore some frequently asked questions related to things to do in Cappadocia, Turkey.

How many days is enough for Cappadocia?

To fully experience the region, it is recommended to spend at least three to four days in Cappadocia. This allows enough time to explore the unique geological formations, visit ancient sites, and try local cuisine.

Visitors who are interested in a hot air balloon flight should plan to stay for a minimum of two days to allow for weather-related cancellations.

What is there to do in Cappadocia Besides balloons?

While hot air balloons are such a popular activity in Cappadocia, there are plenty of other things to do in the region as well.

Some places to explore are Uchisar Castle, Goreme National Park, Underground City Derinkuyu, Rose and Red Valleys, White Valley, Pasabag Valley, Dark church, and many cave dwellings in the ancient cities.

Finally, visitors can book a cave room in a local cave hotel, go on a Green Tour, enjoy traditional Turkish cuisine, and visit local markets.

What is Cappadocia famous for?

Cappadocia is popular for the opportunity to take a hot air balloon flight over amazing places, such as the Red Valley, Love Valley, and Rose Valley.

It's also known for the Göreme Historical National Park, Zelve Open Air Museum, and Goreme Open Air Museum.

Cappadocia is also known for its underground cities, which were carved out of volcanic rock by early Christians.

Is Cappadocia worth the hype?

Yes, Cappadocia is definitely worth the hype. Cappadocia is known for its unique geological formations and stunning hot air balloon rides.

The landscape is unlike anywhere else in the world, and there are plenty of things to do in Cappadocia that make it a truly unforgettable experience.

What are the valleys in Cappadocia?

Cappadocia is famous for its geological formations, including valleys that have been shaped by thousands of years of erosion.

Some well-known valleys in the area are Rose Valley, Red Valley, Love Valley, Pigeon Valley, and Ihlara Valley.

Love Valley features distinct phallic-shaped rock formations. Rose Valley is famous for its rose-colored hues, and Red Valley has rock-cut churches to explore.

Summing up: Fun Things to Do in Cappadocia, Turkey

An enchanting blend of contemporary and old-world charm, Cappadocia offers an incredible range of experiences for visitors.

From exploring open-air museums and hiking through the stunning valleys to taking a hot air balloon flight and sampling the local cuisine, there is something for everyone in this stunning region of Turkey.

With our list of ideas about fun things to do in Cappadocia, you are sure to have an incredible vacation.

So pack your bags and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime in Cappadocia.