This is the updated travel guide from Istanbul to Cappadocia and from Cappadocia to Istanbul by bus and other modes of transportation. This travel guide includes bus schedules and corresponding fares.
If you’re planning a trip to the mesmerizing region of Cappadocia, which is highly recommended, chances are you’ll be starting your journey from Istanbul.
However, it’s important to note that Turkiye is a vast country, and Cappadocia is not exactly in close proximity to Istanbul. The distance between Istanbul and Cappadocia spans approximately 735 kilometers, resulting in a lengthy 9-hour drive between the two destinations.
Fortunately, there are several transportation options available for making the journey from Istanbul to Cappadocia. I’ll outline each method in this post, providing details on travel time, convenience, and cost. Considering these factors, you can determine the best approach for reaching Cappadocia from Istanbul that aligns with your preferences and priorities.
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From Istanbul to Cappadocia by Plane
If you’re on a short trip and want a convenient option, flying directly from Istanbul to Cappadocia is popular. Turkish Airlines and Pegasus Airlines offer regular flights throughout the day and night, with a flight time of about 80 minutes.
Turkish Airlines provides more flight options, with six daily services from Istanbul International Airport or Sabiha Gökçen Airport to Kayseri Airport, and at least one daily service to Nevşehir Kapadokya Airport from Istanbul International Airport. Pegasus Airlines operates flights from Sabiha Gökçen Airport to Kayseri Airport.
Cappadocia has two airports, each with its own characteristics. Kayseri Erkilet Airport is located in Kayseri, around 80 kilometers east of the main villages in Cappadocia. Nevşehir Kapadokya Airport is a smaller airport north of Gülşehir, approximately 40 kilometers northwest of the villages.
To ensure a smooth transfer to your accommodation in the Cappadocia villages, it’s recommended to pre-book an airport shuttle service. These services can be arranged through your hotel and provide door-to-door transport. The journey from Kayseri Airport can take up to two hours, depending on the waiting time and your specific village. From Nevşehir Airport, the shuttle bus services usually take no more than 30 minutes.
Remember to make your reservation in advance for the privately run airport shuttles, which are typically organized by your hotel for added convenience.
From Istanbul to Cappadocia by Bus
For budget-conscious travelers, taking a night bus from Istanbul to Cappadocia is often the most affordable option, costing around USD29. However, it’s important to note that the journey is quite long, typically lasting between 11 and 13 hours, covering a distance of 730 km (454 miles).
Despite the long travel time, the night bus offers the advantage of taking you directly from Istanbul to Cappadocia without any transfers. If you are able to sleep comfortably on buses, this could be the preferred mode of transportation for you.
Several bus companies operate overnight services on this route, including Metro Turizm and Nevşehir Seyahat, providing options and flexibility for travelers.
From Istanbul to Cappadocia by Tour
If you’re short on time during your Turkiye trip, consider a prearranged Cappadocia side-trip tour from Istanbul. These tours provide a convenient and hassle-free experience with all transport, transfers, activities, and accommodation taken care of.
Keep in mind that the shortest tours typically last two days, allowing for a glimpse of Cappadocia’s attractions. You’ll also have the chance to participate in the popular hot-air ballooning activity at dawn. While hot air ballooning is usually an optional extra, the tour companies can arrange it for you.
Options like the 2 Days, 1 Night Cappadocia Tour offer return flights, airport transfers, guided tours, a cave-hotel stay, and meals. Alternatively, the 2 Days Cappadocia Tour from Istanbul provides a similar private tour experience. Note that these snapshot-style tours can feel a bit rushed, but if you prefer a more comprehensive experience, consider booking through a local Cappadocia travel agency for more flexibility. They can include additional attractions like Ilhara Valley. Keep in mind that arranging a tour through an Istanbul travel agency may be more expensive than booking directly with a local agency.
From Istanbul to Cappadocia by Train & Bus
Istanbul is conveniently connected to Ankara and Konya by high-speed trains, with a stop in Eskişehir. From Ankara or Konya, you have the option to travel to Cappadocia by bus or a rental car for a distance of 232 km (144 miles), which typically takes around 4 hours.
Istanbul to Cappadocia Bus Schedule
- First trip: 8:30 pm
- Last trip: 10:50 pm
- Trip interval: 20 minutes to an hour
- Check the latest bus schedule or book online
Cappadocia to Istanbul Bus Schedule
- First trip: 6:14 am
- Last trip: 9:38 pm
- Trip interval: 30 minutes to an hour
- Check the latest bus schedule or book online
While we strive to provide up-to-date information on our blog, it’s important to note that schedules for the Istanbul to Cappadocia route may occasionally change without prior notice. To ensure the most accurate and current schedule, we recommend clicking here to access the latest information and booking platform for this route. This will enable you to check the updated schedule and conveniently book your ticket for a smooth and hassle-free journey.
From Istanbul to Cappadocia by Car
If you’re seeking the freedom to explore historical sites while traveling from Istanbul to Cappadocia, renting a car is a great option. Public transportation can be more complicated and time-consuming. Three notable stops along the route are the preserved Ottoman village of Safranbolu, the Phrygian ruins of Gordion, and the Hittite ruins of Hattuşa. From Hattuşa, it’s a further drive to the village of Göreme in Cappadocia. Both Safranbolu and Boğazkale offer overnight accommodations, and there are plenty of attractions in their surroundings. Driving in Turkiye is relatively easy due to well-maintained highways and clear signage, but keep in mind that gas prices can be high.