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Kayseri, Turkey Guide

Last Updated on August 19, 2023

The ancient city of Kayseri (Caesarea, alt. 3458 feet/1054 meters, pop. 900,000) on the eastern edge of Cappadocia (map) has outstanding Seljuk Turkish architecture (1100s to 1200s) and interesting bazaars. Also, Kayseri's Erkilet Airport (ASR) is one of the primary choices when traveling to Cappadocia by plane. 

Set in the shadow of Erciyes Dağı (Mount Aergeus, 3916 meters; 12,848 feet), Kayseri's historic buildings contrast with the sparkling ski slopes on Erciyes. Most of Kayseri's grand old buildings are made of dark, somber volcanic stone, so different from the sunny volcanic tufa of Cappadocian buildings. But Kayseri's Citadel and great mosques and medreses (schools) are still impressive Seljuk Turkish works of art.

Top Sights

You can see most of Kayseri's sights in a morning or afternoon excursion from your base in Ürgüp, Göreme, or another Cappadocian town, by minibus or your own car (map). 

The Citadel (Hisar)

At the very center of Kayseri, located at Kayseri's center square, the Citadel is one of the oldest structures in Kayseri. This amazing building used to be a castle and now serves as a bazaar selling traditional food and items and offering a historical perspective to the city.

Seljuk Turkish Caravanserais

On Kayseri's outskirts are several grand Seljuk Turkish caravanserais, the Sultan Han and the Karatay Han, left from the days of the Silk Road and now serving as a historical site to visit and soak in the history of Turkey.

Gevher Nesibe Hospital

Built as a hospital in the 12th century, Gevher Nesibe Hospital now operates as a museum with an amazing story. You must visit the museum to learn the myth behind this medical structure and the history behind Seljuks.

Hunat Hatun Complex

Built in the 13th century by Seljuk Turks, it is a Medressa (school), Mosque, and hammam complex. It also serves as a bazaar today. If you ever visit Kayseri, try the traditional hammam experience in this famous spot.

Top Experiences in Kayseri

You can see most of Kayseri's sights in a morning or afternoon excursion from your base in Ürgüp, Göreme, or another Cappadocian town, by minibus or your own car (map). 

Shopping

Kayseri is famous for traditional products and bazaars. However, keep in mind Kayseri's citizens are renowned in Turkey for their commercial acquaintance—in other words, they're known as sharp traders. But you'll find friendliness if you visit the city's two historic market buildings: the Bedesten and the Vezir Hanı, both near the Ulu Cami (Great Mosque) in the city center.

Enjoy Skiing at Erciyes Ski Resort

If you ever visit Kayseri in Winter, it is highly recommended to visit Erciyes Ski Resort. This nationwide favored center offers a great atmosphere for families to spend time together in the snow.

Lodging in Kayseri

Kayseri has many hotels and restaurants to visit. Moreover, the prices will be more affordable compared to hotels nearby Cappadocia. The best place to stay is the Hilton Kayseri Hotel.

Transportation to Kayseri

Kayseri is a major transport nexus for the region, with daily flights from/to Istanbul, a train station, and a busy bus station.

This means you can travel to Kayseri by bus, train, and direct flights from both Istanbul's Istanbul Airport (IST) and Sabiha Gökçen Airport (SAW) to Kayseri's Erkilet Airport (ASR) on Turkish Airlines and Pegasus Air. (Approximately 1.5 hours.)


Transportation from Kayseri to Cappadocia

Kayseri is a major hub when traveling to Cappadocia, located just an hour away. Another option is to travel to Nevşehir, 40 minutes away. Read more about transportation in Kayseri.

Shuttle vans operated by Argeus Tourism and Rock Valley Travel can take you from both airports directly to your Cappadocian hotel

Alternatively, you can use a taxi or bus to reach Cappadocia from Kayseri. If you intend to use a bus to reach Cappadocia, we advise making a reservation beforehand since it can be difficult to find tickets during summer.


Visit Kayseri Today!

Kayseri is a unique city in Turkey, offering amazing sights and historical sites. It is also one of the major bases before traveling to Cappadocia. 

If you ever end up in Kayseri, remember to enjoy your time and try the region's delicious food. 

—by Tom Brosnahan, updated by Can Turan

FAQs

How far is it from Kayseri to Cappadocia?

The distance between the two spots is 50km. However, it can take 70km when traveling with a vehicle. 

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