Cappadocia’s underground cities—vast multistory complexes carved into the region’s famous volcanic rock—are among the most impressive underground dwellings in the world. Kaymakli Underground City is one of the most visited, with eight floors reaching depths of 262 feet (80 meters) and a history dating back to the eighth century BC.
A guided walking tour of Kaymakli takes visitors underground to explore the excavated ruins—including the remains of homes, kitchens, stables, storage rooms, and even a wine press—linked by tunnels and ventilation shafts. Four of the eight floors are open to the public.
Kaymakli is a popular stop on sightseeing tours of Cappadocia, often alongside attractions such as Uchisar Castle, Pasabag (Monk’s Valley), Avanos, or the Göreme Open Air Museum. You can also combine a visit to Kaymakli with a hike through the Soganli Valley or a sunrise hot air balloon flight over the fairy chimneys.
Things to Know Before You Go
- There is an admission charge to enter Kaymakli.
- Visit with a guide, as there is very little information provided on-site.
- Allow at least an hour to visit Kaymakli.
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes to explore the underground city.
- The narrow tunnels and small underground chambers can make navigating Kaymakli difficult for those who suffer from claustrophobia.
- There are stairs, low passageways, and uneven terrain, so Kaymakli is not wheelchair accessible. Some areas may also be difficult to access for very tall or large people, or those with mobility issues.
How to Get There
Kaymakli is located about 15 miles (25 kilometers) south of Göreme in south Cappadocia. It’s a 30-minute drive from Göreme. Regular buses also run from nearby Nevşehir and also take around 30 minutes.
When to Get There
Kaymakli is open year-round, although opening times vary throughout the year. It can get busy during peak season, when the quietest times to visit are early morning and late afternoon just before closing.
Cappadocia’s Underground Cities
Cappadocia is home to more than 40 underground communities, which vary from small “villages” to enormous “cities.” The largest are Kaymakli and Derinkuyu, which could hold up to 3,500 people or 20,000 people, respectively. Traces of underground homes date back to Hittite times, but the elaborate cities that visitors can see today were built during the Byzantine era, and are thought to have been used as hideouts by early Christian communities during the Arab-Byzantine Wars.