Kaymakli Underground City Cappadocia: Ultimate Guide & Tours 2024


Are you planning a visit to Kaymakli Underground City in Cappadocia, Turkey? Before you embark on your journey into this ancient underground labyrinth, read our Ultimate Guide to Kaymakli Underground City! Here we provide all the essential information and tips for making the most of your time at this incredible destination.

From learning about its history and what attractions are available above and below ground to knowing when the best time is to go and how to prepare for a family-friendly visit, we have covered it all.

So, get ready as we take you through our ultimate guide that will help ensure an unforgettable experience while visiting Kaymakli Underground City.

Some links on this page are affiliate links—that means that at no extra cost to you, we earn a small commission if you book through these links, and that helps keep this blog running. Thank you!

Overview of Kaymakli: What to Expect at the Underground City

Kaymakli is a favorite to visit of the underground cities in Cappadocia, Turkey. Plan on getting there early to beat the tours that arrive late morning and early afternoon.

Open Hours

The Kaymakli Underground City is open from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, with the box office closing at 4:15 pm.

Entrance Fee

The entrance fee is 250 TL per person, or you can use the Turkey Museum Pass to enter. Download the Museums of Turkey app for all the current information.

History of Kaymakli Underground City

Around 150 – 200 underground cities have been discovered in the Cappadocia region, with Derinkuyu and Kaymakli Underground City being the largest open to the public.

Kaymakli Underground City is under a hill called the Citadel of Kaymakli and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This fascinating site dates to the Hittite era and consists of a complex network of tunnels and rooms carved out of the rock beneath the earth’s surface.

Kaymakli is the widest of the underground cities and possibly the largest. Only four floors are excavated, but due to the size of the food storerooms, researchers assume the city protected many people. Over the years, this underground city was expanded and improved upon by various civilizations, including the early Christians and the Byzantines, escaping persecution during the Arab invasions.

Kaymakli protected around 3,500 people and has miles of tunnels that connect it to the underground city of Derinkuyu. It has over 200 tunnels and many chambers, including wine cellars, stables, churches, and schools.

The long narrow tunnels’ purpose is to restrict invaders’ movement. The underground city has round rock doors that can be closed to limit the enemy from moving further into the tunnels and protecting all the floors below.

You’ll see the stables on the first floor, and the second floor has the church and seating area. The third floor is an important area where you’ll find the wineries, food storage, kitchens, and rooms for crushing and grinding.

Today, visitors to Kaymakli can explore this incredible piece of history and gain a new appreciation for the ingenuity and resilience of those who lived here so many centuries ago.

cave room in Cappadocia

How to Get to Kaymakli Underground City

Visiting the ancient Kaymakli Underground City in Cappadocia, Turkey, is a unique and unforgettable experience. Getting to this incredible destination is easy, with several transportation options available depending on your location.

By Car

Rent a car once you arrive in Cappadocia to explore the region independently. From Goreme & Uchisar, Kaymakli Underground City is 25.7km and 21.9km, respectively, and will take about 30 minutes to get there. After visiting Kaymakli, you can go to Derinkuyu or return to Goreme to visit other fantastic sites.

Read our Route Guide from Antalya to Cappadocia

By Bus

Some buses go to Kaymakli Underground City. We recommend talking to your hotel reception for the closest pick-up location. The other option is to download one of our favorite apps for travel in Turkey – the Moovit App. You can go where you want to go; it will give you directions to the bus stop and the bus you are looking for. When you get on the bus, you can ask your bus driver for “Kaymakli,” and they’ll confirm that you are on the right bus.

By Tour

In Cappadocia, local agencies run the Red and Green Tours, but neither goes to Kaymakli Underground City. If you’re set on taking a small group tour to an underground city in Cappadocia, plan to take the Green Tour to visit Derinkuyu, the largest underground city.

Another option is to plan a private day trip with a guide and driver, and you can see many of the sites in the region at your own pace. The guides are licensed and will provide information for any sites you visit, including Kaymakli.

By Private Tour

Another option is to plan a private day trip with a guide and driver, and you can see many of the sites in the region at your own pace. The guides are licensed and will provide information for any sites you visit, including Kaymakli.

We recommend our favorite tour agency for day tours or private tours throughout turkey. They will build your tour exactly how you want it and you have the flexibility to make changes on the go. A great way to travel – especially when you’re with family!

view of Uchisar Castle and hotels

Where to Stay Near Kaymakli Underground City

Goreme and Uchisar are two of the best places to stay near Kaymakli Underground City. Located in Cappadocia, Turkey, these towns offer a range of accommodation options for travelers visiting this fascinating ancient site. From luxury cave hotels to budget-friendly options, you can find something that suits your needs and budget. Plus, both Goreme and Uchisar have plenty of restaurants, shops, and other areas to explore during your visit.

📍 Museum Hotel

The Museum Hotel in Cappadocia perfectly blends modern luxury and traditional charm. Located in Uchisar, about 30 minutes from Kaymakli Underground City, this luxurious hotel features a variety of cave suites, all impeccably crafted with a classic design aesthetic. Every suite is spacious and comfortable, featuring plush furnishings and superior amenities to ensure your stay is as comfortable as possible. Each suite also boasts spectacular views of the surrounding rock-cut landscape, including views of the sunrise hot air balloons.

📍 Kale Konak

Kale Konak is a unique cave hotel in Uchisar, Cappadocia, near Kaymakli Underground City. The hotel offers spacious standard and deluxe suites carved from rock and stunning views of the hot air balloons and surrounding landscape. All rooms have modern amenities such as free wifi and air conditioning. Guests can also enjoy a complimentary breakfast served daily and complimentary airport transfers to help make their stay even more comfortable.

📍 Elite Cave Suites

The Elite Cave Suites in Goreme, Cappadocia, offer a unique experience for visitors exploring the ancient underground city of Kaymakli. Each suite features modern amenities such as free wifi and air conditioning. To make the stay even more comfortable, a complimentary breakfast is served daily, while airport transfers are provided to help guests get to the site conveniently. The suites are constructed from rock, offering stunning views of the hot air balloons and surrounding landscape.

Kaymakli underground city tunnels

Best Time to Go to Kaymakli Underground City

The best time to visit Kaymakli Underground City is first thing in the morning or late afternoon. Mid-morning and early afternoon are more crowded. Spring, summer, and fall is the best time to travel through Cappadocia, Turkey. There will be larger crowds during the summer months of June, July, and August. We recommend visiting in the early morning.

Winery at Kaymakli

Tips for Visiting Kaymakli in Turkey

You need to know a few essential things before visiting Kaymakli Underground City. From what to bring and what to expect, we’ve got an extensive list of everything you need to prepare for your visit.

✅ Visiting with Kids

Visiting Kaymakli Underground City with kids can be a fun and educational experience for the whole family. The ancient city offers a fantastic opportunity to explore history while providing plenty of adventure. To ensure that your trip is as enjoyable as possible, here are some tips for visiting this underground labyrinth with children:

  • Go Early – To make the most of your visit to Kaymakli Underground City, skip the crowds by going first thing in the morning.
  • Babies & Toddlers – It will be challenging to carry a baby or toddler through the tunnels because some tunnels, you have to hunch over or crouch down to walk. We do not recommend Kaymakli Underground City if you have young children.
  • Kids 5 and Up – We recommend a headlamp for the kids. It is fun to explore and look in all the nooks that the lights in the underground city do not reach. It gave our kids a sense of adventure and confidence as we entered Kaymakli.

✅ Dress in Layers

With many stairs and tight spaces to navigate, comfortable clothing is essential when exploring this ancient site. Also, consider bringing an extra layer as the temperatures inside the underground city are a constant 55 degrees F.

✅ Turkey Museum Pass

You can use Turkey Museum Pass or the Cappadocia Regional Museum Pass to enter the Kaymakli Underground City. Skip the line to buy your ticket, go straight to the entrance, and scan your pass. Download the Museums of Turkey app for information on sites in Cappadocia.

✅ Claustrophobia

If you are claustrophobic or have anxiety in small, enclosed places, Kaymakli Underground City may not be a site you need to visit. The tunnels are tight; you must hunch over or crouch down to walk through them. You can stand up and walk around when you get to the different rooms and chambers.

✅ Time Needed to Visit

When you visit Kaymakli Underground City, you’ll need 30 minutes to 1 hour to walk through the city. If you are uncomfortable in small places, it is possible to go through quickly depending on the number of people there. We recommend going first thing in the morning to avoid crowds and tour groups.

✅ What to Wear at Kaymakli Underground City

There are a few items that will make your trip to Kaymakli even better! Be sure to bring the following:

  • Light Jacket – The temperature in Kaymakli Underground City is 55 degrees year-round. You can always tie your jacket around your waist if you are warm inside.
  • Head Lamp – While the underground city has lights, it can be fun to wear a headlamp to look in the nooks and holes you see throughout the Kaymakli that are not lit up.
  • Comfortable Clothes – You will have to crouch down or hunch over when walking through the tunnels of the underground city. Make sure to wear clothing that is easy to move around in.
  • Comfortable Sandals or Sneakers – While the pathways are even, we recommend flat sandals or shoes that are good for walking.
mill stone in underground city

Activities Near Kaymakli Underground City

Visiting Kaymakli Underground City in Cappadocia, Turkey, is a unique experience that will take you back in time. But if you’re looking for more activities to do in the area, there are plenty of options! From hot air balloon rides over the stunning rock-cut landscape to shopping and tasting local delicacies at markets and restaurants, there’s something for everyone near Kaymakli Underground City. Whether exploring ancient sites or simply taking in the region’s breathtaking views, visitors are sure to find plenty of things to see and do during their stay.


Derinkuyu Underground City is an ancient underground city located in Cappadocia, Turkey. With its multiple levels and chambers, Derinkuyu dated back to the 8th century BC and was originally used as a refuge for locals during times of war. The city has over 200 tunnels that reach depths up to 8 – 9 stories below ground level! Visitors can explore the different levels, including wine cellars, stables, churches, and even schools! Be sure to bring a headlamp to explore this amazing site’s hidden nooks and crannies.

Sunrise Hot Air Balloons

Cappadocia’s sunrise hot air balloons offer a breathtaking and unforgettable experience. In the early morning hours, travelers can witness the sky filled with colorful balloons of all different sizes and shapes rising up from the earth below. The stunning rock-cut landscape surrounding the area further enhances the site, which offers unparalleled views for everyone on board. With their unique beauty and adventure, these hot air balloon rides shouldn’t be missed when visiting Cappadocia.

Pasabag Valley (Monks Valley)

Pasabag Valley, Monks Valley, is a stunning area within Cappadocia’s rolling hills. Here you will find some of the region’s most unique and captivating rock formations. Amongst the jagged rocks lies a collection of hermitages cut into the stone walls, believed to have been built by early Christian monks in the 16th century. The valley offers many spectacular views, from towering peaks to ethereal fairy chimneys. Pasabag Valley is a magical place where nature and history intertwine for an unforgettable experience.

Zelve Open Air Museum

The Zelve Open Air Museum in Cappadocia, Turkey, is one of the region’s most unique and remarkable sites. Located in the Zelve Valley, the area boasts diverse rock formations, from towering peaks to delicate fairy chimneys. The museum consists of three valleys where visitors can explore ancient churches, monasteries, mosques, and small dwellings dug into the rocks. The site has many points of interest, including tunnels, passages, and cave rooms carved out by early Christian monks centuries ago. Visitors can also experience breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape from various vantage points. With its stunning natural beauty and captivating historical sites, Zelve Open Air Museum is a must-see for any traveler visiting this fascinating part of Turkey.

After visiting Zelve Valley, head down the road to Goreme Open Air Museum to see the cave churches with beautiful frescoes.

Ihlara Valley

Ihlara Valley is a beautiful area in Cappadocia, Turkey. Set amidst rolling hills and lush vegetation, it is one of the most picturesque sites in the region. The valley is 14 kilometers long and 100 meters deep, home to over 200 churches, monasteries, and other sites of historical interest. Here visitors can find a variety of rock formations, from towering peaks to delicate fairy chimneys. Ihlara Valley is also known for its diverse wildlife and plant life; it boasts over 400 species of birds and numerous plants unique to the region.

Avanos Pottery Workshop

Avanos is famous for its pottery made from the red clay in the region. Visit a local artisan for a pottery workshop and try your hand at throwing pottery. The kids enjoyed trying their hand a the pottery wheel at Chez Hakan in Avanos.

Uchisar Castle

Visit the highest point in Cappadocia – Uchisar Castle. The ancient fortress is dug into the volcanic rock with many tunnels and chambers to explore. Climb to the top of the castle for the best views of the Cappadocia region at sunset.

stone door in underground city

FAQs: Kaymakli Underground City

Is it Better to Visit Kaymakli or Derinkuyu?

Regarding underground cities, the two most popular choices are Kaymakli and Derinkuyu. These ancient sites are located in Cappadocia, Turkey, and offer visitors a fascinating glimpse into the past. But which is better? While both have unique attractions and features, many travelers prefer Kaymakli Underground City for its expansive network of tunnels and chambers below the ground. In comparison, it may be smaller than Derinkuyu, but a favorite to visit.

Derinkuyu is the larger of both underground cities and goes 4-5 stories underground. We found the experience at Derinkuyu to have more tunnels and fewer rooms to explore. Also, you use the same tunnels going in and out, making it a tight squeeze if you need to pass someone in a tunnel.

For those looking for an unforgettable journey through time, we recommend Kaymakli Underground City should be at the top of your list.

How deep is Kaymakli Underground City?

Kaymakli Underground City is approximately 60 meters deep, or four stories below ground level.

Which underground city is better in Cappadocia?

We recommend Kaymakli Underground City instead of Derinkuyu in Cappadocia. Although Derinkuyu is bigger, it can be difficult to explore because it only has one two-way tunnel for entering and exiting. It makes the underground city feel cramped when you pass others in the tunnel.

On the other hand, Kaymakli may be smaller, but it has multiple rooms and chambers that you can explore. Additionally, you can follow a clear one-way pathway through the tunnels from the entrance to the exit, which makes the experience more enjoyable.

How old is Kaymakli Underground City?

Kaymakli Underground City is estimated to be built by the Hittites and Phyrgians and added to over time. Its primary use was as a refuge and defensive site during times of war.

How many people lived in Kaymakli Underground City?

It is estimated that around 3,500 people lived in Kaymakli underground city. The population varies depending on the time period.

Who lived in the underground cities of Cappadocia?

Over the centuries, groups like the Phrygians, Persians, and Seljuks inhabited the region and further developed the underground city. These underground cities were a refuge for those seeking safety from religious persecution. They were utilized by Christians during the Byzantine era as protection from invading Arabs.

kaymakli underground city

Final Thoughts on Kaymakli Underground City

Kaymakli Underground City is a fantastic site for anyone visiting Cappadocia, Turkey. With its multiple levels and chambers reaching depths of up to 4 stories below ground level, the city has a rich history that spans centuries. From its ancient churches and monasteries and intricate tunnels, Kaymakli offers something unique for every traveler. Whether you’re looking for adventure or want to learn more about the region’s history, don’t miss this amazing underground city on your next trip!

Some links on this page are affiliate links—that means that at no extra cost to you, we earn a small commission if you book through these links, and that helps keep this blog running. Thank you!