Hidden churches, unique caves, colourful landscapes, the friendliest people in Turkey and, for 2 hours every morning, a sky littered with majestic hot air balloons. With all this to its name, it’s hard not to fall for the charm of Cappadocia. With cheap airfares and plenty of free activities in the area, it makes for the perfect budget weekend away.
Where to stay
Cappadocia is famous for its cave and staying in one of the many cave rooms available is a must, even if they are a little dingy and dusty! We stayed at Bedrock Cave Hotel which was very affordable at $26 a night based on 2 sharing a double room. It’s ideally located, the rooms were very well decorated, the customer service was great and they have a comfortable roof terrace with a great view. If you think the cave rooms might be a bit claustrophobic or dark, stay 1 night then move to a regular room.
Where to eat
There were lots of restaurants dotted all over the town and most of them were very cheap. Mitos Cafe was a real highlight. Each night, the owner cooks a real home cooked local meal. 3 courses cost just 22 Turkish Lira (TL). Although the main portion was a little small, the complimentary bread and home made dips were unlimited so we didn’t leave hungry.
Cornetto Ice Creams make a cheap snack at only 1 Lira, although if you need something more filling, find a place serving Pitta Pizza (Pida) – long pitta breads with pizza toppings usually only costing around 5 TL.
What to do
For a full list of activities, check out my guide on free things to do in Cappadocia. You really can’t go to the area though without experiencing a hot air balloon flight. It was the highlight of my trip. Although it is pricey, it really is a unique experience and the best way to take in the beauty of the area. I paid 100 Euros for my flight with Kapadokya Balloons who were very good. There are so many providers though that I would recommend waiting until you arrive as I am certain you would be able to haggle a cheaper last minute price.
Cappadocia on a budget: $ breakdown
In total, I stayed 3 nights in Cappadocia and was sharing a double room and was travelling on a very tight budget. Costs below are total per person. The amounts in Euros were paid in cash in this currency.
Internal return flight from Istanbul: $60
Return Airport shuttle (organised by hotel): 20 Euros
3 nights accommodation (including breakfast): $39
Food (2 dinners, 3 lunches and snacks): $20
Hot Air Balloon flight: 100 Euros
Total: $119 + 120 Euros