Are you looking for the best things to do in Cappadocia for an upcoming holiday? Or maybe you just want some inspiration for future travel plans? Cappadocia, also known as ‘land of the beautiful horses’, is a magical place that you should visit at least once in your life! And while it’s one of the number 1 honeymoon destinations, it’s also an amazing place to get in some quality time with your friends, or like I did with your mom :).
In this article I will give you the lay down of the best things to do in Cappadocia and what you can expect from your time here!
Top 11 Best Things To Do in Cappadocia
1. Watch the sunrise from one of the many terraces in Göreme
I can tell you that one of the best and most spectacular things to do in Cappadocia is to wake up early. Roll out of bed and make your way to one of the terraces in Göreme. It is important to mention that these terraces are part of individual hotels. It is not allowed to access them if you are not staying there.
A lot of people don’t know this and drive to Göreme in the early morning in hope of seeing the balloons during sunrise. This will not be possible unless you are staying at one of the hotels!
The balloons should fly every morning, however it does depend on the amount of wind. They usually don’t know this from before. Sometimes the balloons also rise a little after sunrise so it’s definitely worth it to stick around for a while.
Cappadocia is a desert landscape, which results in very cold mornings. Make sure to pack warm clothes with you so you don’t freeze your but off while you’re out there waiting for the balloons!
I stayed at Mithra Cave Hotel and absolutely loved my stay here! They have several platforms from where you can watch the sunrise and they also have the cutest little puppies! For my full review on this hotel click here.
2. Indulge in the local cuisine
If I had to name one of my favourite cuisines, Turkish food is right there in my top 5. The Turkish cuisine is a fusion of Central Asian, Middle Eastern, Eastern European, Armenian and Balkan cuisines.
And I am not just talking about their Turkish delight. I would love for you to try some of my favourite dishes: stuffed dolmas, eggplant and definitely try a meze! This is a selection of appetisers that can be shared with the entire table!
If you’re staying in Göreme I can recommend you the restaurant Dibek, a local restaurant where you should indulge in their pottery kebap!
3. Watch the sunset at Rose Valley
This is one of the best and most beautiful things to do in Cappadocia! Watching the sunset over Rose Valley is absolutely magical and an activity that you can not miss. If you don’t have a rental car the easiest way to go there is by taxi. This is a very popular sunset spot so please, don’t expect to be there alone for a second :p. There will be a mix of tourists and locals, playing music, drinking, all waiting fir the sun to set over the valley!
We did not have a rental car during our stay and simply agreed on a pick up time with our taxi driver! It all went very smooth and we were back at our hotel in no time.
4. Pay a visit to Pigeon Valley
A 10 minute drive away from Göreme you’ll find one of Cappadocia’s most famous valleys. Almost every tour around Cappadocia makes a stop here so you pretty much can’t miss it. At the top is the famous Göreme Panorama, a moon-like landscape spreads out underneath your feet and all you can do is be in awe of mother natures work here. These typical shapes that you find around entire Cappadocia are the result of hundreds of years of erosion. You’ll also encounter the famous Evil Eye tree here so make sure you don’t miss it!
5. Go on a hot air balloon ride
If you’re planning a trip to Cappadocia, one of the best and most fun things to do is to go on a hot air balloon ride! But be ready to wake up bright and early to get picked up at 4 am in the morning!
What I didn’t really like is that everyone is first brought to a local diner where “breakfast” is served. Don’t expect anything fancy, just some white none toasted bread and slices of ham and cheese next to it. Way too little for everyone who is there anyway…
Afterwards you will be divided into different groups and you’ll be taken to your balloon. Our balloon didn’t make it up in the air until after sunrise and while it was still a magical experience it also left me feeling a little bit disappointed.
The average price of a balloon ride is around €150. Just make sure that before booking you read a lot of online reviews!
6. Pay a visit to Selime Monastery
The Selime Monastery is the biggest rock-cut monastery of Cappadocia with a cathedral sized church! It was carved by the monks in the 13th century and apart from the church also has monk quarters, a large kitchen, and stables for animals. The walls were once decorated with frescoes of which very little remains but it’s still a wonderful site to see today and to explore!
I loved visiting this place! It was part of the Green tour that we took. What I loved most about it is that it wasn’t featured yet on every Instagram photo :p.
7. Go for a horse ride in the Rose Valley during sunset
This was one of my favourite things to do in Cappadocia! I had never been on a horse before, that’s if you don’t include the ponies at the local carnival when I was a kid :p. But the horses were very well trained and our guide also provided us with instructions during the entire ride.
It took around 1,5 hour to reach the summit from where we admired the sunset. Afterwards you return back to the ranch through a different path and say goodbye to your handsome steed for the evening!
I booked my tour with Museum Ranch Cappadocia and 100% recommend these guys!
8. Stroll through Göreme Open Air Museum
Try to avoid this one on a weekend cause the place will be swarmed with people. It’s Cappadocia’s most famous attraction and there are over 10 cave churches that you can visit here!
9. Get lost in the maze of rugs
Galeri Ikham is one of the most impressive carpet shops I have ever seen in my entire life! Take a good look around cause I am a hundred percent convinced you’ll find your perfect souvenir here. I found two gorgeous pillow covers and I am pretty sure that if my budget would have allowed me I would have gone home with way more!
10. Visit Pasabag Valley
If you want to spot the best fairy chimneys then this is the place to be. But the same advise goes here, try to visit on a weekday and not on the weekend. I think that’s why a lot of the magic was lost to me when i was there and don’t even get me started on taking photos cause that was absolute insanity! I would love to return to Cappadocia one day and visit these places a second time!
11. Watch the sunset over Göreme
On your last evening in Turkey take a moment to realx! If you’ve done all of the things listed above I am sure you’ll be tired by now :). And as luck will have it you can enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets right from the comfort of your hotel!
Nestle down on one of the terraces, grab yourself a drink and enjoy the colourful spectacle!
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