The best way to make the 285 km (177 mile) journey from Ankara to Cappadocia (Kapadokya) is by bus or car. There are no non-stop flights between Ankara and Cappadocia. Connecting flights are available through Istanbul to both Kayseri and Nevşehir airports. Trains (see below) are slow and run mostly at inconvenient times.
Nevşehir Seyahat and Kamil Koç buses depart Ankara‘s AŞTİ main bus terminal about every two hours for Nevşehir (and vice versa). The journey takes between 3.5 to 4.5 hours, with the longer time including a 25 minute stop about 75 minutes into the journey to stretch your legs, use the toilet, have a glass of tea, a meal, or a smoke (no smoking on the bus). The one-way fare was 160-170TL in March 2022.
Buy your ticket at Nevşehir Seyahat, AŞTİ ticket counter 50, or Kamil Koç at ticket counter 74. Metro Turizm, at Nos. 16, 30, 41, 50 & 78, also has several buses to Nevşehir. Read more info about how to buy bus tickets in Turkey.
The city of Nevşehir’s bus terminal (Adnan Menderes Otogarı; map) is 25 km (16 miles) west of most Cappadocian towns such as Göreme, Uçhisar and Ürgüp. When you arrive at Nevşehir Otogar, you may be transferred to a shuttle minibus (servis) for the final part of your journey to another Cappadocia’s town. The cost of the minibus trip is usually included in your bus ticket fare.
Fight your way through Ankara traffic to the E-90 highway south, following signs for Aksaray, 219 km (136 miles, 3 hours). At Aksaray, turn left (east) following signs for Nevşehir, 73 km (45 miles, 1 hour).
Just at the junction of E-90 and the Nevşehir highway in Aksaray is the Ağaçlı Turistik Tesisi (map), an elaborate commercial highway rest stop with a 4-star hotel, restaurant, cafeteria, snack stands, toilets, souvenir shops, fuel and service stations, even a small mosque.
The main railway line runs from Ankara to Kayseri, then splits, one line running east to Sivas, the other south to Niğde, Karaman and Adana, skirting Cappadocia to the east and south.
Express trains take 7 hours to cover the distance between Ankara and Kayseri. (Compare this to the bus which is 3.5- 4.5 hours from Ankara to Nevşehir.)
High-speed trains (Yüksek Hızlı Trenler) speed between Ankara, Istanbul and Konya, so if a visit to Konya is in your travel plans, you may want to take the High-Speed Train from Ankara, then a bus from Konya to Nevşehir and your chosen Cappadocian town.
Train <—> Bus Station by Taxi
A taxi between Ankara Gar (railway station) and AŞTİ (main bus terminal) takes about 10 minutes in light traffic. You can also take the Metro and Ankaray, transferring between lines at Kurtuluş station.