The entire area of Cappadocia is around 95 miles wide, so you’re going to need to plan your time and learn where to stay in Cappadocia to get the most out of your time. But don’t worry; I fixed my mistake, and now I can pass my pearls of wisdom as we dive into the best areas and places to stay in this otherworldly city in Turkey.
Everyone has seen pictures of Cappadocia online or in brochures; it’s impossible to miss simply because it’s so unbelievably beautiful. But did you know that it’s actually huge? I made the common mistake of assuming that Cappadocia is small and that I could see it in a couple of days–WRONG!
One thing you need to make peace with before you visit Cappadocia for the first time is that you’re going to fall in love, and will most likely want to go again. I certainly did – I still can’t get over how stunning the landscapes are, and staying in a cave hotel is a true bucket list experience.
Cappadocia is thought to date back to around the 6th century BC, but the unique landscapes were formed millions of years prior. This place is stunning; in fact, I don’t have words to do it justice. But, it’s important you understand the best areas to stay in Cappadocia, in order to make the most of every second of your trip.
Best Areas to Stay in Cappadocia
Quick Look: Best Areas to Stay in Cappadocia
Where To Stay in Cappadocia
Once you pinpoint the best area to stay in Cappadocia for what you want to do, you’ll be able to explore freely without the need to commute every day. I’ve worked out the best areas for different preferences, so you don’t have to do the hard work yourself:
Göreme: Best Place To Stay in Cappadocia for Your First Time
Göreme is the key central part of Cappadocia, and that means it’s also the busiest. I didn’t personally find it too crowded, but I can imagine it may get that way from time to time. In truth, you’ll be so captivated by what you’re seeing, you probably won’t mind.
Göreme is one of the best neighborhoods in Cappadocia if you’re looking for a full-on tourist experience; this is where you’ll find fairy chimneys, Göreme Open Air Museum, and the two underground cities: Kaymakli and Derinkuyu. I’d highly recommend taking a private Cappadocia tour so you get the most out of the area, click here for details.
If you’re looking for where to stay in Cappadocia city center and you don’t want to venture too far, I’d highly recommend this neighborhood.
Pros of Staying in Göreme
- You’re right in the heart of Cappadocia, with plenty of top sights.
- Hot air balloon tours tend to meet in Göreme. It’s also a great spot for just watching hot air balloons floating through the sky if you don’t want to do it yourself.
- Plenty of accommodation options to choose from, including cave hotels.
- Good nightlife and gastronomy options.
- You don’t need to drive around this area to see a lot.
Cons of Staying in Göreme
- This is the busiest part of Cappadocia, so it may be crowded from time to time.
- While you’ll get a somewhat traditional experience, Göreme is more touristic than some other areas.
- Prices may be slightly higher in Göreme than in other neighborhoods.
Best Places to Stay in Göreme
There’s no shortage of places to stay in Cappadocia Center, and you’ll find some great options in Göreme. Here are some of my favorite choices:
1. The Niche Cave Hotel: I always wanted to stay in a cave hotel, and this place didn’t disappoint. It was so atmospheric, and the facilities were top-notch. I really liked the viewing platform where you could go in the mornings and watch the hot air balloons taking off. They also serve a fantastic breakfast with a view. Click here for details.
2. Carus Cappadocia: I think this is the best place to stay in Cappadocia if you want a sophisticated, high-quality spot. I didn’t stay here, but I did go to the restaurant and looked around; it’s a beautiful hotel with large, comfortable rooms. I had breakfast here, and it was one of the best I had during my stay. Click here for details.
3. Secret Hill Cave Suites: If you’re looking for where to stay in Cappadocia and want to be central, but don’t want to be in a loud location, this is a great choice. The hotel is slightly off the main part of Göreme, so it’s a little more peaceful but still close enough to everything. The hotel itself is really high-quality. Click here for details.
Avanos: Best Area in Cappadocia for Nightlife
While Göreme has some great nightlife, another fantastic spot is Avanos, which offers plenty to do both day and night, without the bigger crowds. I liked this area because it felt more authentic, yet still had plenty of touristic things to do, such as the Red River, and the Zelve Open Air Museum, with some fun bars to visit at night.
I took a half-day wine-tasting tour in Avanos, and it was fantastic. I learned about how wine is made in the area and got to try quite a few glasses. Another thing that Avanos is known for is its pottery, and you’ll find lots of small shops that sell handmade items for you to take home. I highly recommend taking a pottery-making class if you have the time. Click here to learn more.
Pros of Staying in Avanos
- Avanos has many Cappadocia hotels near nightlife, without the crowds.
- You’ll have a more authentic experience in Avanos, compared to Göreme.
- Aside from nightlife, Avanos is also famous for other things, including crafts, pottery, and wine.
- Compared to some other Cappadocia neighborhoods, Avanos is surprisingly green, which makes for great photography opportunities.
- When looking at where to stay in Cappadocia for nightlife, you’ll find some lower-cost options here.
Cons of Staying in Avanos
- If you choose to stay in Avanos, you’ll need a car to get around.
- There aren’t as many tours that go directly from Avanos, but you can ask for a hotel pick-up.
- Avanos does feel slightly less Cappadocia-like, but you don’t have to go too far to immerse yourself.
- Fewer accommodation options compared to more central spots.
Best Places to Stay in Avanos
Personally, I think Avanos is the best place to stay in Cappadocia for nightlife outside of Göreme. I really liked this neighborhood, and it had a more traditional feel to it than the more central areas. I also found prices to be slightly lower here, which is never a bad thing.
1. Sofa Hotel: I stayed for one night in this hotel, and I could have happily stayed longer; it had such a traditional feel to it, but it was unbelievably cozy and comfortable. Each room is authentically decorated, so you feel like you’re in a home away from home. The courtyard is also super-pretty and is a great place to enjoy a coffee. Click here for details.
2. Atax Cave Hotel: I think this is one of the best hotels in Cappadocia, especially when it comes to cave hotels. It feels ancient, but at the same time, you have all the modern things needed for a comfortable stay. The staff are also really helpful and will arrange any tours or activities you want. Click here for details.
3. HacıAşık Konağı Butik Hotel: If you’re looking for an Instagrammable hotel, this is definitely it. The architecture and the interior decorations are so traditionally beautiful; the whole place gives a sense of traveling back in time. Of course, it’s also a top-class hotel, so you can expect all the modern-day amenities you need for a good night’s rest. Click here for details.
Ürgüp: Coolest Place to Stay in Cappadocia
For me, Ürgüp is one of the poshest areas of Cappadocia as this is where you’ll find some of the highest quality (and therefore more expensive) cave hotels. If you’re after a boutique/super-sophisticated place to lay your head, this is the place to go.
But, it’s not all about being fancy, Ürgüp is the best neighborhood in Cappadocia for chilling out and getting some well-deserved R&R.
This area is also quite rural, yet it has great road links to Göreme. One of the best things to do in this area is to take a jeep safari at sunrise or sunset – I would go for sunset, simply because you don’t have to get up so early, and the changing colors as evening draws in give such an amazing view. Click here for more details.
Pros of Staying in Ürgüp
- A quieter place to stay but with easy reach of nightlife and other attractions. Definitely check out the Turkish dinner show, with pick-ups from Ürgüp. It’s a great night out for all the family.
- High-end accommodation in a really chilled-out setting.
- Most tour operators will pick up from Ürgüp, including hot air balloon trips. Click here for more details.
- A great mix of old and new.
Cons of Staying in Ürgüp
- You’ll need a car to get around this area.
- Hotels are a little more expensive here.
- This may not be the best place for families.
Best Places to Stay in Ürgüp
Ürgüp is a great option if you’re looking for places to stay in Cappadocia with parking. It’s less crowded than other areas and is also home to some fantastic hotels. Here are some of my top recommendations:
1. Narcissos Cave Hotel: As far as cave hotels go, this is definitely one of the most traditional, with some of the most mind-blowing views around. You can sit on the terrace and have your breakfast in classic Turkish style; sitting on colorful rugs as you watch the hot air balloons float by. Click here for details.
2. Fresco Cave Suites Cappadocia: This is a large and stylish hotel that has original frescoes on the wall, dating all the way back to the 19th century. Rooms are large and very comfortable with all the modern amenities you could possibly need. I loved the exterior of this hotel, and it makes for some great photo opportunities. Click here for details.
3. Taru Cave Suites: The restaurant at this hotel is very highly rated, and it constantly receives praise for its breakfasts and evening meals. In terms of the rooms, they’re spacious, beautifully decorated, and in the traditional cave style. Click here for details.
Uçhisar: Best for Families
One of the most popular places to stay in Cappadocia is Uçhisar, and this is a great spot for families. While it’s close to Göreme, it has more space to roam and a lot more fairy chimneys for kids to run around and climb on—yes, you can actually touch them!
Out of all the Cappadocia neighborhoods, this is one of my favorites as it ticks all the boxes: it’s got a lot of tourist options, but it also feels more relaxed.
Uçhisar is fantastic for views; it’s the highest point of the area with panoramas as far as the eye can see. I highly recommend dating a tour to Uçhisar Castle – this is one of the highlights of the whole area. Kids will love a Whirling Dervish show in the evenings, and to help you all chill out, why not visit the hammam? Click here for details.
Pros of Staying in Uçhisar
- I felt very comfortable in this Cappadocia neighborhood, thanks to its particularly family-friendly feel.
- One of the best places to stay in Cappadocia for groups, as there are some great accommodation options.
- Amazing views.
- More laid-back than Göreme.
Cons of Staying in Uçhisar
- You’ll need a car if you want to explore the area fully.
- Hotels may be a little more expensive than in the Göreme area.
- If you want a greater selection of nightlife, Uçhisar may not be for you.
Best Places to Stay in Uçhisar
If you’re looking for the best apartment in Cappadocia or a large room for a family, here are some great options I found in Uçhisar:
1. Casa Di Cappadocia: This hotel is excellent for families as it has plenty of parking space and a garden for running around. Rooms are also large, and you’ll have a home-away-from-home experience here; perfect when you’re traveling with children. Click here for details.
2. Taskonaklar: All the rooms in this hotel feature private terraces, so you can easily check out the amazing views and watch the hot air balloons as they take off at sunrise (if you want to get up that early). Kids will love the idea of staying in a cave hotel, and the restaurant offers a children’s menu. Click here for details.
3. Caldera Cave Hotel & Restaurant: This hotel is one of the best places to stay in Cappadocia in terms of price versus quality. They also have a fantastic restaurant on-site and offer different-sized rooms, making it a great choice for families and groups. Click here for details.
Ortahisar: Best Place in Cappadocia on a Budget
If you’re looking to save a little cash, Ortahisar is one of the cheapest places to stay in Cappadocia. It’s a little further away from Göreme than some of the other neighborhoods, but it’s got some really great boutique hotels, a charming castle, and some modern-day fun too.
I liked this area because it felt like I could dip in and out of the tourist side of things whenever I wanted. It really offers the best of both worlds.
Ortahisar Castle provides amazing views, so I’d certainly recommend you head there. You can take the Red Valley and Pigeon Valley Tour which also includes the underground cities. Ortahisar is located in the middle of several valleys and this tour will show you the best parts. Click here for more information.
Pros of Staying in Ortahisar
- A good spot for those on a budget.
- Ortahisar offers a homely base, so you can dip in and out of activities as you choose.
- Close to several important valleys, so a great spot for hiking.
- Ortahisar Castle is a must-visit, with stunning views.
Cons of Staying in Ortahisar
- This neighborhood is a little further away from the main tourist spots, so you’ll need a car.
- You may not feel like you’re in the middle of Cappadocia when you stay here, which could be an issue if you really want to immerse yourself in the landscapes.
- Fewer nightlife options compared to Göreme.
Best Places to Stay in Ortahisar
Ortahisar is the spot to find the best guesthouse in Cappadocia on a budget, which means you’ll have more to spend as you explore the area. Here are some of my top picks:
1. Exedra Cappadocia: I think this hotel is really great value for money and the exterior looks just like an old palace. Inside, you’ll find everything you need for a comfortable stay, and while it’s not an actual cave hotel, it does have the same design, just at a lower price tag. Click here for details.
2. Corner In Cappadocia: This is a small bed and breakfast that offers a comfortable place to rest after a long day of sightseeing. There’s a buffet breakfast on offer every morning, catering to different diets, and the rooms are large and beautifully decorated in a traditional style. Click here for details.
3. Cappadocia Splendid Cave Hotel: Firstly, this hotel is just so cute! It’s a cave hotel in design, but it feels warm and welcoming, like a person’s home, rather than a large hotel. Everything you need for a cozy stay is included in each room, and the pool area has the most wonderful view. Click here for details.
Tips About Staying in Cappadocia
I mentioned earlier that the first time I visited Cappadocia, I didn’t do my homework well enough. That was a huge mistake, but thankfully I was able to put that mistake right in subsequent visits. Now you know the best places to stay in Cappadocia, let me give you some advice to help make your stay as amazing as possible:
Book your hot air balloon trip early
One of the most popular things to do is the hot air balloon ride, but it’s really important to book this as soon as you know you’re going. This activity is in such high demand that you don’t want to be left disappointed. Note that pregnant women and children under five can’t take part in this tour. Click here for tour information.
If you’re a little unsure of heights, don’t worry about missing out; watching from the ground is just as magical.
Go for a guided tour
The thing about Cappadocia is that it’s not only beautiful, it’s also drenched in history, and if you don’t read up on it beforehand, it’s difficult to know what you’re seeing.
The other issue is that there’s so much to learn, it’s hard to take it all in simply from a website or a book. For that reason, I’d highly recommend you book a guide to help you appreciate everything you’re seeing.
Hire a car for the best experience
Cappadocia is large. I really didn’t appreciate how big it was at first, but trust me, it’s pretty sizable. Unless you plan to stay in Göreme and not venture further (in which case you’re missing out), you’ll need to hire a car. That way, you can see so much more in a relaxed manner.
Remember your hiking boots
Hiking is a wonderful thing to do in Cappadocia, especially in the spring and fall months. However, it’s important that you have the right footwear: this is not a place for flip-flops or sandals. Take some good quality hiking boots or sneakers and plenty of comfortable socks: I learned this one the hard way too.
Plan your time beforehand
It’s easy to assume that Cappadocia is just about Göreme, but there’s so much more to it. If you take the time to plan your visit before you go, you’re eyes will be opened, and you won’t have regrets. That doesn’t mean you need to walk around with a clipboard and an itinerary, but a general plan will see you through.
FAQ’s About Where To Stay in Cappadocia
Having visited Cappadocia, I’m often asked questions about the area. Here are some answers to the most common queries people have:
Göreme is the most popular part of Cappadocia as this is considered the center of tourism in the area. It can be a crowded area at times, but staying here will mean you don’t have to go too far to be close to the action.
There aren’t any parts to avoid per se, but if you want to avoid driving, you should stay clear of neighborhoods that are further away. Nevşehir itself is around 20-30 minutes away from Cappadocia, so staying there is going to add extra travel time to your days.
Göreme is a pretty safe part of Cappadocia, and everything is within a short distance, so you won’t have to walk too far. Overall, Cappadocia is a safe area, and it is far away from any major cities.
Yes, it does matter where you stay in Cappadocia, especially if you don’t want to drive. If you don’t mind driving, you have a lot of choices in terms of neighborhoods, but if you want to avoid travel, you should stay in Göreme itself. Having said that, most neighborhoods are no more than 20 minutes away maximum.
All of Cappadocia is beautiful, and all areas have their highlights. However, Göreme and Uçhisar are often cited as the most beautiful.
Göreme can get very busy and crowded, but it does mean that you’re close to everything. It’s really down to your personal choice; Göreme certainly isn’t a bad place to stay by any means.
Hiking is one of the best things to do in Cappadocia, so definitely take some comfortable shoes. However, in terms of walking from place to place, you’re probably going to struggle and will need to use public transport or a car.
If you want to be close to the main sights in Cappadocia, you should stay in Göreme.
Both Göreme and Uçhisar are wonderful places to stay, and if you want to be right in the heart of everything, choose Göreme. Uçhisar is a more laid-back area and is great for families.
Cappadocia and the word ‘magic’ go together like salt and pepper. This area is one of the most stunning spots you’ll ever see in your life, and it’s somewhere I always want to return to. Knowing where to stay in Cappadocia will make your time easier, and will allow you to see more; after all, there’s a lot to explore.
Many people have Cappadocia on their bucket lists, and if you haven’t been yet, it should definitely be on yours. There’s nowhere else like this on the planet, and whether you soar high in a hot air balloon or not, you’ll definitely be enchanted by the wild and romantic landscapes of Cappadocia.