Cappadocia is one of the most photogenic places on the planet. It’s also one of the most magical places we’ve been to and definitely lived up to our high expectations.
Get ready for some seriously early starts as we take you through the best places to watch the hot air balloons, or if you’re more of a sunset chaser, we have lots of spots for you too.
There are some photo locations you’ll have seen time and time again but might not know exactly where it is as well as some lesser known places to shoot too.
After spending more than two weeks in the area these are our picks on the most Instagrammable spots in Cappadocia.
13 Instagrammable spots in Cappadocia
Sunset Point, Goreme
In a region of absolutely magical landscapes this is the spot we loved the most.
It’s pretty at sunset but the time to come here is sunrise. You only need to walk for around 5 – 10 minutes to reach this epic section of cliff edge which will give you a front row seat for the balloons.
We wondered whether some pictures we’d seen had been photoshopped but we counted over 100 balloons on our visit! It truly makes for one of the most photogenic places in Turkey.
You will need to get here at least 45 – 60 minutes before sunrise to make sure you get the best spot, ie right on the cliff edge with an uninterrupted view. It will be worth that 3.50am wake up call!
Pasabag was not one of our favourite spots in the area as it was hugely busy and all the concrete paths made it feel artificial.
Without that It would be amazing though, and it’s a good opportunity to go inside the chimneys.
The top Instagrammable spot is around a 5 minute walk from the car park - you can’t miss it. It’s the first main bit you come to.
It was extremely busy and hard to get a shot here in the day so coming early or late would probably be a good idea.
Please be respectful when visiting this spot; it’s a business and carpet selling needs to take priority. Entering the shop basically feels like walking on to the set of Aladdin, we’ve never seen anything like it.
Due to its incredible popularlity on social media you need to pay a fee if you want to take photos (unless you buy a carpet) – we think this is totally fair and please respect it.
You’ll then have 15 minutes to take photos. The owner is also a photographer and drone pilot and offers photo shoots which is great for solo travellers or if you want a hand with the photography. The top down drone pictures we saw looked pretty cool!
We heard a few horror stories from the owner about people being disrespectful in the shop and not following the rules or trying to get pictures for free so please don’t be one of them. The family who own the shop are lovely and have lots of stories to share.
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Crazy Ali Café
This is definitely one of the most memorable cafes we have ever been to. The most photogenic time to come is at sunset.
To get the most coveted spot right on the cliff edge with completely uninterrupted views you will need to arrive around one hour and a half before sunset.
Everbody wants that spot! If you don’t nab it there are many other cool places to sit but they can’t rival that one on the very edge. It’s the perfect place for a sundowner as the sun slowly turns the valley a deep red.
There was a sign as we drove in saying that you needed to pay to enter the Red Valley but we were not charged. It goes without saying that you should buy a drink at the café if you want to take photos : )
Local Cave House
This actually ended up being our favourite place to stay in Cappadocia and we were disappointed it was fully booked and we could only stay three nights.
You’ll want to book this place as soon as you can so you don’t miss out.
The popular spot for photos is of course in front of that pool (a rarity in Goreme) with that absolutely incredible fairy chimney back drop.
You could take a good photo here any time but we found the early morning was the best for making sure other people weren’t using the pool or loungers.
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Sultan Cave Suites
We are writing about Sultan Cave Suites as this is where we stayed but you could use any one of the many roof top terraces at the cave hotels around town.
Mithra right next door to the Sultan Cave Suites looked to have an amazing roof top set up too and less people.
Prepare yourself because SCS terrace is heaving at sunrise, you will have to queue to take pictures anywhere on this terrace at sunrise.
You also need to be a guest and they check room keys and generally patrol it so don’t try and sneak in!
If for you it isn’t all about the balloons or you can’t get a room then you can come and get a drink from the bar and use the terrace at sunset as a non guest.
Goreme Open Air Museum
Goreme Open Air Museum is amazing and definitely not to be missed. It is deservedly popular so go early or late in the day to have less crowds, you’ll unlikely be alone but you shouldn’t find it overrun.
The spot in our photo is one of the churches near the Dark Church and is not far from the entrance (although nothing really is as the site is quite small).
There was another building directly in front of the entrance gates which had an amazing stairway which would be great for photos but it was closed on our visit.
If it’s open for you I think it would be the best spot in the site.
Rose Valley Balloon Landing
This is another popular sunrise spot for watching the balloons and you can get incredibly close to them, one actually landed right beside us!
It’s popular and a great free alternative if you don’t want to pay the extra price that staying in a cave hotel with a terrace brings.
You can drive right up to this spot, although at points the road isn’t the best and a popular thing to do on our visit was drive one of the vintage cars from town and park it on the cliff edge and pose for photos. It’s a big area and despite it being busy when we visited we weren’t jostling for space.
The cliff edge is long and you can take good pictures anywhere along it. You could turn up for sunrise or come just after as the balloons are making their way along this valley before landing which is what we did.
Doing it this way means you can actually squeeze it in after watching the balloons take off at another location.
This was one of our favourite valleys in Cappadocia and we visited many!
It was blissfully quiet even in the middle of the day and you only had to walk for 10-15 minutes from the car park to feel like you’d entered another world.
Walking in this area is a magical expernece but it is very slippery and some ledges are quite narrow and crumbly so take care.
The area in our photo is around 10 minutes from the car park if you head up the path on the left handside but to be honest anywhere in amongst these amazing rock formations make for a great photo.
Rose Valley hike
This valley is spectacular, totally mind blowing and yet no one was there! Perhaps because exploring it is best on the 5km hiking trail.
Their loss is your gain (especially as it was one of our favourite things to do in Cappadocia) - you’ll get truly magical scenery and peace and serenity. The hike is not difficult although there are a few mildly slippery sections so we wouldn’t advise flip flops.
The whole hike is beautiful but we particularly loved the bit that opened out on to layer after layer of pink mountains. We went in the middle of the day but it would be even more beautiful and a deeper pink at sunset.
The spot in our photo is just after the turning up to the Red Valley, don’t take that turning and continue going straight and you’ll see it about a minute along the path on the left. We then backtracked to the main path to continue the hike.
You don’t have to hike very far to get to one of the most picturesque spots in the Red Valley, which is lucky because it is seriously slippery terrain!
To reach this spot head from the main car park along the walking trail for around five minutes.
You’ll soon see a narrow path off to the left and down to this spot which is around 30 seconds off the main trail. I took my shoes off and went barefoot to reach this spot as it felt like it would be easy to slip and there’s a sheer drop on one side.
Barefoot or in proper shoes it would be fine (I was in flip flops!).
The best time to visit for beautiful light is sunset. It does get busy in this area around sunset but not many people walk along the path so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting photos.
Rose Valley Lookout
This little lookout is yet another great sunset spot near Goreme. It’s just a few minutes walk uphill from the car park, unfortunately it’s a very popular haunt for ATV’s which kick up all the dust which makes it unpleasant until you’re at the top and out of their range.
Once there you can perch on the white rocky ledges (there are quite a few in a row if you aren’t the only ones there) and watch the show.
Just watch out because the white dust will definitely stick to your clothes - but brushes off easily!
So technically this spot is just outside the castle but it’s the easiest way to describe it! Whilst we loved the castle itself and the views from the top, we thought the most beautiful photography spot was on the sloping walking trail just in front of the castle itself.
Sunset is the time to be here, whether you want to watch it from the top of the castle or from the pathway in front.
To get to this exact spot walk right from the castle down the path and on to the second switchback - although to be honest anywhere in the area around the side of the castle has incredible views.
Where to stay in Cappadocia
Getting your head around the hundreds of places to stay in Cappadocia can be hard, so we’ve got a couple of suggestions below.
Local Cave House - Goreme
Instagrammer’s favourite and truly unique, Local Cave House has it all. As the name suggests, all the rooms are caves in a fairy chimney, meaning you will have a quintessential Cappadocian experience. The rooms are nicely furnished with local touches and despite being in the middle of Goreme, it is really quiet.
There’s a picturesque pool for when it gets hot outside and the views from here are spectacular (but they aren’t of the balloons). It’s also one of the best value hotels in the whole area.
Duven Hotel - Uchisar
Duven House flies under the radar of most travellers, which means this gem is also lovely and quiet. Although it isn’t a cave hotel, Duven makes up for this with a spectacular view of Uchisar Castle which is only 50 metres away!
The rooms are big, comfortable and come with a tasty breakfast included, making it superb value.
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