It’s been a year exactly since I visited Cappadocia, where does the time go!? In light of this I decided to sit down and give it to you straight, so here are the best photo spots in Cappadocia! Just writing this and putting the pictures together makes me want to book a flight back to Cappadocia immediately.
Cappadocia was one of those bucket list places for me. Now known for its incredible Instagrammable photo locations, but my dream of visiting started long before Instagram even existed! In case you don’t know, I actually studied fine arts in school and have always loved art history. I remember learning about Cappadocia’s famous fairy chimneys in school and being completely captivated by them. I have secretly always wanted to celebrate an anniversary or get engaged on a hot air balloon ride. I’m not really sure why – maybe from watching The Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica. Either way, this place always seemed so magical to me!
You can find the best photo spots in Cappadocia by checking out the local hotels, shops, and surrounding areas. You’ll want to make sure your batteries are charged and your camera bag has all of your gear ready because your camera will stay busy from sunrise to sundown. There will be no shortage of amazing backdrops with cave hotels, fairy chimneys, and hot air balloon sunrises.
BEST HOTELS FOR PHOTOS IN CAPPADOCIA
Some of the best photo locations in Cappadocia are at the hotels. Many hotels will not let you watch the sunrise there unless you are a guest. However, after sunrise, most will welcome you in and allow you to check out the property and take pictures.
We stayed in Kaykapi Premium Caves which has beautiful views of the city and the fairy chimneys. With a pool and tables overlooking the views, you can’t go wrong here. We had a two-bedroom cave suite with an amazingly large bathroom and hammam (similar to a sauna/steam room). As a bonus, they leave chocolates on your doorstep when you stay here.
My favorite spot for photos at Kaykapi was a tree filled with beautiful lanterns. Our jaws hit the floor when we saw this lantern tree and the view over Cappadocia behind it. At night, it took on a magical look with the lanterns and city lights. It looked like it fell straight out of a fairytale!
You can’t come to Cappadocia and not visit Sultan Cave Suites. While sunrise is typically reserved for guests only, we were invited to visit and see the most magical sunrise. Seeing the hot air balloon in Cappadocia was on my bucket list for almost a decade, and it did not disappoint! The sunrise there was so pretty. Witnessing the hot air balloons at sunrise was a dream come true for me.
While it looks peaceful in photos you see on Instagram, there are dozens of other people there trying to get the same shot you are. This means you will have to wait your turn or work around the others who are enjoying the same sunrise views. Check out my Instagram highlights on Turkey if you want to see more BTS of my trip and IG vs Reality moments.
The balloons took longer than we expected to take off due to some heavy winds that morning, but the crowds and balloons mostly dissipated by 7:30 in the morning. You might want to bring a jacket or sweater to keep warm between photos as you enjoy the view. It is a little chilly in the morning until the sun comes up, or at least it was in May. You may want to check the weather, so you can be prepared!
Because we went in May, which is just at the beginning of high season, we were warned that high winds may result in canceled flights. We actually planned to go on a balloon flight in Cappadocia the next morning organized by the owner of Sultan Cave Suites, something I really looked forward to doing. However, because of the wind, no balloons took off that day. Just another reason to book a flight back sometime soon!
While crowds gather at Sultan Cave Suites at sunrise, it is open to guests anytime after sunrise and you’ll find fewer people on the famous rooftop. Stop by to say hi to Izmir, the famous Cocker Spaniel, enjoy a drink and take in the views. You won’t regret it!
We also visited Local Cave House one morning for its amazing pool. The cave rooms surround the pool and makes for beautiful photos. The cooler morning air makes the water chilly, but we still enjoyed lounging by the pool and taking pictures. While visiting in the morning with the chilly air makes it less likely guests will be swimming, the pool area doesn’t seem to get too crowded most of the time if you plan to stop by for photos.
OTHER HOTEL OPTIONS
OTHER PHOTO LOCATIONS IN CAPPADOCIA
Besides hotels, there are plenty of other places that are perfect for photos in Cappadocia. Your best bet is to visit early in the morning or later in the afternoon. Most tours visit these locations from around 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., so those times are the most crowded.
This Instafamous rug shop in Cappadocia lives up to its name. Galerie Ikman is home decor goals! I was in heaven but also in big trouble visiting this store. I ended up spending $250 on gifts to bring home with me. With the lanterns, rugs, and jewelry, you will undoubtedly find something to bring home with you! Only my wallet and how much I could carry limited me as I kept asking myself how many rugs was too many to buy.
Because of the influx of people coming in just to take pictures, they do charge for photographs now. Please remember to be respectful as this is their place of business. We ended up staying for a few hours and having some apple tea with the owners, laughing and talking and really getting to know them. Plus, we ended up making purchases while we were there.
We saw a bunch of girls come in and start taking pictures without saying even hello or thank you to the owners. The owner was not happy with this at all and immediately asked them to leave.
PRO TIP: When taking pictures in someone’s place of business, owners always appreciate it if you say hello and ask permission. Consider making a purchase or even offering to pay a little to use their business as a shoot location instead of just assuming they want you there to take photos and post them. Sometimes it can cause them to lose business if people are there to take pictures, all the cameras can often deter paying customers. I always want to leave a good impression and be welcomed back. Plus, I don’t want to ruin it for future visitors who want to get similar photos, and I definitely don’t want to hurt the shop’s business in the process.
FAIRY CHIMNEYS IN PASABAGI
Pasabagi (or Valley of the Monks) is best known for the fairy chimneys. Erosion creates some incredible rock formations in this area. Mother Nature really is impressive, and I really enjoyed this park. This area is a little out of town, so the best way to get there is to rent a car or hire a taxi. You can take a tour, but they don’t stay long and it is very crowded when they are there.
We made the mistake of visiting right around 2 p.m. The best time to visit is in the morning when the air is cooler and before the tour groups start to pour in around 10. You can still get pictures of it empty if you wait and take them between tours coming through. It fills up for 15 – 30 minutes and then empties out for about 5 – 10 minutes between groups. There may still be other individual groups then, but the large tour groups cycle through regularly.
The most famous spot for photos is right near the parking lot. You walk straight in and stay to the left where you will see a little shopping area. Just past this area are some caves and the arch that makes an appearance regularly on Instagram.
While we waited for the tour groups to clear out, we enjoyed some juice at a little restaurant next to the parking lot. This little area was perfect to relax in the shade while we waited.
OTHER POPULAR PHOTO SPOTS
If you have more time and want to check out more of Cappadocia, some other popular spots include the Sunset Point and the Panoramic View Point. Sunset Point is actually a great free spot to watch the sunrise in Cappadocia. The Panoramic View Point is great for sunset views of the landscape.
Goreme Open Air Museum is another popular stop. Again, visit early to avoid the crowds and tours. They begin arriving by 9 a.m. You can go inside cave churches here and see some of the original art still on the walls.
While safety in Turkey seems to often be a topic of uncertainty I can tell you that Turkish people are some of the friendliest I’ve ever met! I was blown away by the hospitality and kindness offered to us visiting.
Cappadocia should be on everyone’s bucket list. It is perfect for views, relaxing, hiking, shopping, eating, etc. In other words, it has something for everyone. I’m already planning my next visit back. Trust me, you don’t want to miss it!
Looking for another Instagrammable place to add to your bucket list? Don’t miss Tulum (https://lisahomsy.com/most-instagrammable-places-in-tulum/)!