Goreme Cappadocia: 2024 Holidays, Top Things to Do & See

Goreme is a charming town located in the heart of Cappadocia, Turkey. Known for its unique rock formations, stunning natural landscapes, and rich cultural heritage, Goreme is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to the region.

Goreme is the most visited region of Cappadocia, hosting thousands of foreign and local visitors every year. The town is located about 12 kilometers from Nevsehir city, and is home to many churches and monasteries, as it is one of the oldest settlements in Cappadocia. The town is also situated at the center of the main valleys of Cappadocia, on the contrary, Avanos and Urgup.

Goreme in a Nutshell – Top Facts

Here are the top facts about Goreme and what you can expect from your visit:

  1. Fairy Chimneys: Goreme is famous for its “fairy chimneys,” which are tall, cone-shaped rock formations that were created by volcanic activity millions of years ago. These formations are found throughout the town and are a popular sightseeing attraction.
  2. Open Air Museum: Goreme Open Air Museum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features several historic churches and monasteries that were carved into the rock by early Christians. Visitors can explore the churches and learn about the history and culture of the region.
  3. Hot Air Balloon Rides: Goreme is one of the best places in the world to take a hot air balloon ride. Visitors can take a balloon ride over the fairy chimneys and other rock formations, providing breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
  4. Hiking: Goreme and the surrounding area offer several hiking trails that wind through the unique rock formations and natural landscapes of the region. Hikers can enjoy stunning views and explore the local flora and fauna.
  5. Traditional Cuisine: Goreme is known for its traditional Turkish cuisine, including dishes such as kebabs, meze, and baklava. Visitors can sample these delicious dishes at local restaurants and cafes.
  6. Handicrafts: Goreme is home to several traditional handicrafts, including pottery, carpets, and textiles. Visitors can explore local shops and markets to purchase these unique and beautiful items.
  7. Nightlife: Goreme offers a vibrant nightlife, with several bars and clubs that stay open late into the night. Visitors can enjoy live music, drinks, and socializing with locals and other travelers.

What to Expect?

Goreme is without a doubt, the star attraction and point of interest of any visit to Cappadocia. This lovely place is almost like an open-air museum surrounded by wonderful valleys and fairy chimneys, and has become one of the most frequented points of local and foreign tourists. Travelers are welcomed by big rocky formations like all are left from the “Stone Age”.

Majority of the houses and accommodation in Goreme are rock-cut houses or made from stone. That’s why you can’t recognize the district by day light but you will definitely see and enjoy the magical scenery of this place by night as the houses and hotels are enlightened.

You can experience the best views of Goreme from the hills along Goreme, on the platforms made for watching sunset.

Night view of Goreme town in Nevsehir Province, Central Anatolia located among amazing rock formations in Cappadocia region of Turkey

A visit to Goreme offers a unique and unforgettable experience. With its stunning natural landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and vibrant local culture, Goreme is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Cappadocia. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or just enjoying local cuisine and nightlife, Goreme has something to offer everyone.

Goreme Video Tour

You can watch the below video your to see how Goreme looks like.

NAT GEO Goreme with Mock VO from Kayla Wumer on Vimeo.

Things to Do & See

With over 200 unique accommodations, guests can have an authentic experience in some of the restored houses, mansions, and unique boutique hotels.

Top view of Goreme

You can walk to everywhere in this area, and there are easy transportation options to the other regions in Cappadocia. Taste some of the local dishes such as Nevşehir pan, agpakla (dried beans) and other traditional dishes.

Goreme Open Air Museum

Goreme Open Air Museum is a must see place in Goreme. Also one of the most popular places to see in Cappadocia. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985, comes first among the places to visit in the town.

Here you’ll experience and enjoy the impressive rock-cut churches with frescoes dating from the 10th century carved by early Christian monks and fine examples of Byzantine art at the museum.

Goreme Open Air Museum

The Elmali Church, Dark Church, Tokali Church, Yilanli Church, Saint Basil Chapel, Santa Barbara Chapel and Santa Catherine Chapel are the popular churches and chapels that worth a visit and see at the Goreme Open Air Museum.

Panoramic Viewpoints – Esentepe Hill

Panoramic viewpoints overlooking the amazing Goreme National Park, located in the hilly area on the Goreme-Avanos road, are very popular with the travelers. You can sit in one of the restaurants and cafes around here and watch the magnificent views and enjoy a nice meal.

Esentepe Hill

The Esentepe observation terrace is the most popular of these. Location map >> Here you can enjoy the panoramic view of Goreme at the platforms on the viewpoint of Esentepe and marvel at some of the best views in the region. You can also enjoy the Goreme valley and Goreme town complete along with the stunning fairy chimneys, rock formations and cave houses.

Lovers Hill

Lovers Hill is situated right next to Goreme town and can be accessed by climbing a pathway along the central Goreme Mosque.

This is one of the best places where you can best observe the sunrise in Cappadocia. You can also watch the beautiful views of Goreme National Park and the early morning hot air balloons. Location Map >>

Pigeon Valley

Pigeon Valley is a fantastic place where certain cave dwellings have been painted white to attract the birds for their valuable droppings. The valley is also famous for its beautiful views.

Situated between Uchisar and Goreme, and famous for its beautiful landscapes, the valley takes its name from pigeons and ranks first among the popular, most known, and impressive valleys of Cappadocia. You can walk along the valley to the hills, watch the valley from the edge of the tree with the famous evil eye bead, and feed the pigeons here. Read more >>

Hot Air Balloon Ride

Hot air balloon ride is one of the most attended tours in Cappadocia. It is also as one of the most interesting and exciting attractions in the world.

Going on a balloon tour and watching the valleys from the sky is another fantastic attraction that we recommend during your Goreme holidays. With a hot air balloon, you can see the unique beautiful valleys of Cappadocia from a bird’s eye view and enjoy the magnificent views.

More Info & Booking

Sightseeing Tours

If you want to discover the popular sights, fairy chimneys, valleys, underground cities and the most beautiful spots of Cappadocia, than you should take take the sightseeing tours.

There are variety of sightseeing tours that covers all regions of Cappadocia. Most of the sightseeing tours are named in colors like Red TourGreen Tour and Blue Tour.

Eating Out – What to Eat?

Goreme offers nice selection of dining and wining opportunities for its visitors with its local delicacies and menus made of natural products. There are many restaurants and cafes serving delicious meals at affordable prices.

You can find all kinds of dishes from olive oil dishes and appetizers to Turkish kebabs in the town. Among the popular dishes of Cappadocia, jug kebab, pot beans, stuffed apricots, wedding soup and homemade wines are also indispensable tastes of the Cappadocia cuisine. Vegetarian and vegan options are also available.

Shopping – What to Buy?

Goreme is famous for its traditional handicrafts, including pottery, carpets, and textiles. Since it is a touristic area, you’ll find shops mostly selling souvenirs in general.

You’ll find many local shops and markets selling unique and high-quality items and buy hand-woven carpets, rugs or runners to your loved ones from the Goreme region, which is famous for its hand-woven, and fairy chimney sculptures and magnets, which are a miniature of the architectural structure of the region, as gifts. Haggling is expected, so don’t be afraid to negotiate to get the best price.

Nightlife & Night-time Activities

While Goreme is not known for its nightlife, there are still a few options for night-time activities. Many restaurants offer live music and traditional Turkish dance and whirling dervishes show performances in the evenings. You can also take a night-time hot air balloon ride for a truly unforgettable experience.

Accommodation in Goreme – Where to Stay?

Goreme is one of the most popular areas in the region, due to its convenient location to many of the popular tourist attractions, all which can be reached by foot. Furthermore, in Goreme guests have all the accommodation types available to them, including both luxury and budget-friendly options.

Goreme offers a variety of accommodation options, from budget hostels to luxury hotels. Many hotels are built into the unique rock formations, providing an authentic and unforgettable experience. Cave hotels, in particular, are a popular choice for visitors to Cappadocia.

How to Get to Goreme?

Getting to Goreme is easy and convenient, with a range of transportation options available from nearby towns and cities. Whether you’re traveling by car, taxi, or local bus, you can easily reach this charming town and explore its many historic and cultural landmarks, including the Goreme Open Air Museum and the fairy chimneys.

How to get to Goreme from Avanos, Uchisar, and Urgup?

Getting to Goreme is easy and convenient, with a range of transportation options available from nearby towns and cities.

  • From Uchisar: The easiest way to get to Goreme from Uchisar is by car or taxi. The town is located approximately 5 kilometers from Goreme, and the journey takes around 10 minutes by car. Alternatively, you can take a local bus from Uchisar to Goreme, which runs regularly throughout the day.
  • From Avanos: If you’re staying in Avanos, the best way to get to Goreme is by car or taxi. The town is located approximately 16 kilometers from Goreme, and the journey takes around 25 minutes by car. You can also take a local bus from Avanos to Goreme, which operates on a regular schedule throughout the day.
  • From Urgup: To get to Goreme from Urgup, you can take a car or taxi. The town is located approximately 12 kilometers from Goreme, and the journey takes around 20 minutes by car. There are also local buses that run from Urgup to Goreme, which operate on a regular schedule throughout the day.

Traveling to Goreme

Goreme is situated about 305 km. from Ankara, 750 km. from Istanbul, 780 km. from Izmir, 60 km. from Kayseri, and 12 km. from Nevsehir.

There are NO direct international flights for Cappadocia region. Nearest local airports are situated in Nevsehir and Kayseri. You can find direct domestic flights to these cities from Istanbul and Izmir.

Nevsehir Kapadokya Airport (NAV) is the closest one (44 km.) to the Cappadocia, while you can find more flights to Kayseri Airport (ASR) (75 km.).

After reaching Kayseri or Nevsehir by land or plane, you can reach Goreme by minibuses in about 30 minutes from the airports. But this would be a hard way. Taking a taxi from the center, bus station or airport is another option.

As Cappadocia region is NOT a metropolitan one, mostly has a rural life, we highly recommend you take airport transfers to get to your hotel in Avanos, Goreme, Uchisar or Urgup town of Cappadocia. So that you can have a safe, comfortable and easy transport option to your hotel.

The Shared Shuttle (about €8 per person) or Private shuttle (about €80 per person) is the most comfortable and convenient way to travel between the airports and Cappadocia and all neighboring regions.

As for private shuttle transfers to Goreme, we highly recommend KiwiTaxi as we recently tested them and had a great trip to our hotel. It offers low-priced, fixed rate private shuttles that include meet-and-greet airport pickups and luggage assistance.

Their large selection of comfortable taxis, minivans, luxurious cars and 6-19+ passenger minibuses can match any need while ensuring quick and safe travels to and from Kayseri airport (ASR). They met us inside the airport, helped with our luggage, brought us in front of the hotel and there also helped us with our luggage.

It is so easy to make a booking: you just choose a vehicle, specify time and place of departure and destination. The driver will meet you, help with baggage and take you to the agreed address.

Faster and more comfortable than shuttles, buses and taxis. Free cancellation. All prices include fees & tip.

Book your Private Shuttle

Check out and book your transfer from the below best and cheapest options

Book your Shared Shuttle

These are the other options for those who would like a shared shuttle transfer

Book Your Balloon Ride

Below you can find our recommendations. Each company directly operates the hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia with their team of experts. So you will book your flight directly from the company. No men in the middle.

Read More

Related Reading

Local Recommendations from Cappadocia4U team

If youʻre visiting Cappadocia for the first time, we have you covered. Below are some of the top recommendations, tours and experiences!

Some useful info

  • Cappadocia is the name of the region situated in the middle of Turkey. It is mostly known by the three popular towns of Goreme, Urgup and Uchisar but actually it is the name of the very big region spread through the cities of Nevsehir, Kirsehir, Nigde, Aksaray and Kayseri.
  • If you are first-time visitor, want to get familiar, please read our Cappadocia for first timers guide.
  • If you are not sure how to travel, please read our Traveling to Cappadocia guide.
  • If you don't know where to stay, please read our Where to Stay in Cappadocia guide for regions, and Accommodation guide for hotels.
  • If it is hard to plan your days, please read our Ideal 3-Days Cappadocia itinerary.

Top Attractions & Sights

There are 6 must do and see in Cappadocia that you won't want to miss!

  1. Hot Air Balloon Rides (the most exciting attractions in the world)
  2. Goreme Open Air Museum (some best-preserved examples of Byzantine rock-cut architecture and frescoes in the world)
  3. Pasabag Monks Valley (one of the most popular fairy chimneys areas)
  4. Uchisar Castle (highest point, the biggest fairy chimney)
  5. Derinkuyu Underground City (one of the largest underground cities in the world, 8th century BC)
  6. Ihlara Valley (fantastic canyon with a depth of about 100 mt. and 14 km. length)

Tip-1: One of the best ways to explore Cappadocia is by taking a sightseeing tour, so that you can cover all the top sights. Three main sightseeing tours available: Red Tour (covers the highlights of the region), Green Tour (best of natural and historical sites), and Blue Tour (lesser-known sights, off-the-beaten-path experience)

Tip-2: Private Tours are also good choice within a well-planned and custom itinerary along with a private vehicle, driver and professional guide. Great for those who don't have a car or don't know the region well.

For leisure activities we'd recommend 2 must-take attractions! Don't miss! Wine Tasting and Photo Shooting