Cappadocia Tours

Goreme Open Air Museum Tickets

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CappadociaGoreme Open Air Museum

Goreme Open Air Museum | Exploring cave churches and rock-cut splendor

Carved into Cappadocia's fairytale chimneys, the Goreme Open Air Museum is a wonderland of Byzantine history. Explore 15+ rock-cut churches adorned with vibrant frescoes, peek into monks' quarters, and wander through cave dwellings. These cave churches are a testament to early Christianity and the ingenuity of ancient architects. Read on to learn about this UNESCO cultural gem, what it has to offer, and other details to plan your visit.

Why visit the Goreme Open Air Museum?

Goreme Open Air Museum in Cappadocia
  • Rock-carved churches: At the Goreme Open Air Museum, you can see churches and chapels sculpted into Cappadocia's otherworldly rock formations. Feel the history seep from the walls as you explore tunnels, chambers, and frescoes untouched by time.
  • Historical significance: Immerse yourself in the lives of early Christians who used these caves as sanctuaries. You can see vivid scenes from the Bible, depicting the Crucifixion, Nativity, and other stories along these cave walls. 
  • Daily life of the monks: Beyond the holy, discover daily life in these ancient dwellings. Climb ladders to monks' quarters, peek into kitchens and dining halls, and marvel at the ingenuity of their water cisterns and ventilation systems.
  • Outdoor activities: The rock formations are perfect for nature lovers and long-distance walkers. You can hike through fairy chimneys, marvel at panoramic vistas, and watch gorgeous sunsets. 
  • Cultural significance: This UNESCO gem blends Cappadocian history, art, nature, and adventure into one unforgettable experience. It's not just a museum; it's a portal to a bygone era.

Goreme Open Air Museum highlights

A world of frescoes at Goreme Open Air Museum

A world of frescoes

Dive into the vibrant world of Byzantine art within cave churches like Tokali Kilise and Elmali Kilise and marvel at the vivid depictions of biblical scenes, saints, and emperors gracing the walls.

Explore its tunnels at Goreme Open Air Museum

Explore its tunnels

When visiting the Goreme Open Air Museum, you can explore its hidden tunnels and passageways that weave through the rock formations. You may discover secret chambers that once housed monks and their belongings.

Feel at the top of the world at Goreme Open Air Museum

Feel at the top of the world

Ascend to the highest point of the museum and be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of Goreme Valley and the fairy chimneys stretching out below. You can watch a gorgeous sunset from this point during golden hours.

Visit the Dark Church at Goreme Open Air Museum

Visit the Dark Church

Step into the enigmatic Dark Church, named for its lack of windows that preserved its vibrant frescoes. Prepare to be mesmerized by the interplay of light and shadow and the intricate scenes depicting the life of Christ.

Understand the lives of the monks at Goreme Open Air Museum

Understand the lives of the monks

Delve into the daily lives of early Christian monks by exploring their living quarters carved into the rock. Peek into kitchens, dining halls, and sleeping chambers, and marvel at the ingenuity of their water cisterns and ventilation systems.

Explore the Apple Church at Goreme Open Air Museum

Explore the Apple Church

Don't miss the Apple Church, named for the Greek cross carved into its pillars. Make sure to admire the well-preserved frescoes showcasing scenes from the life of Jesus, including the Last Supper.

See the Snake Charmer at Goreme Open Air Museum

See the Snake Charmer

If you are intrigued by the unusual, seek out the Snake Charmer, adorned with a fresco depicting Saint George slaying a dragon. Explore the low-ceilinged nave and soak in the unique atmosphere of this fascinating cave church.

Explore the Buckle Church at Goreme Open Air Museum

Explore the Buckle Church

Tokali Kilise, also known as the Buckle Church, boasts stunning artwork and the largest cave church interior within the museum. Examine the intricate details of the ceiling while admiring the frescoes depicting the apostles.

Goreme Open Air Museum and Rock Sites of Cappadocia

Go beyond the Caves

Wander through the open-air sections, admiring the rock formations known as fairy chimneys. Hike through this lunar landscape, soak in the fresh air, and appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds the ancient caves.

Plan your visit to Goreme Open Air Museum

Goreme Open Air Museum timings

Daily: 9 AM to 5 PM

Note: Opening times may change or vary during the holy month of Ramadan.

Best time to visit: 

  • April to May & September to October: Enjoy moderate temperatures, fewer crowds, and beautiful scenery as nature transitions into vibrant greens or warm hues. 
  • June to August: Witness the iconic hot air balloon spectacle at sunrise, but be prepared for larger crowds and scorching temperatures. Consider early mornings or evenings for sightseeing. 
  • December to February: Experience a serene and snow-dusted landscape. Be mindful and plan since some areas may be closed. Avoid the summer rush, pack warm clothes, and be aware of potentially slippery paths.

Address: 50180 Goreme, Nevsehir Merkez, Nevsehir, Turkey
Find on maps

  • By bus: For budget travelers, the Nevsehir-Avanos-Urgup public bus line stops near the Goreme Open Air Museum. Take bus number 9 from the airport to Avanos Bus Terminal, then switch to bus number 4 to Goreme.
    Nearest stop: Goreme
  • By shuttle: The easiest and most hassle-free option is to hop on a shared shuttle service directly from the airport to your hotel in Goreme. 
    Nearest stop: Goreme
  • By taxi: Taxis are readily available outside the airport, offering a convenient and flexible option. Expect to pay around €30 for the journey, depending on traffic and negotiation.
    Nearest stop: Goreme
Facilities available at Goreme Open Air Museum
  • Accessibility: The museum grounds are generally accessible for visitors with limited mobility, with paved pathways and ramps available. However, some cave churches may have uneven terrain or narrow passageways.
  • Restrooms: Clean and well-maintained restrooms are available throughout the museum complex.
  • Souvenir shops: The shops at Goreme offer handcrafted treasures, traditional textiles, and postcards.
  • Picnic Areas: Enjoy a delightful picnic lunch amidst the fairy chimneys at designated picnic areas equipped with benches and shade.
  • Photography: Photography is permitted within the museum, but remember to be respectful of other visitors and avoid using flash inside the cave churches.
  • Bookstore: Browse through a selection of books and publications about Cappadocia, history, and archaeology at the on-site bookstore.
Tips to note when visiting the Goreme Open Air Museum
  • Reach early in the morning: Escape the crowds and enjoy the sunrise over the fairy chimneys while the hot air balloons take flight. The early hours also offer cooler temperatures for visiting the museum's slopes.
  • Wear comfortable clothing: Wear comfortable shoes with good grip and support for uneven terrain and narrow passageways at the museum. Temperatures can rise, so opt for breathable layers and wear a hat and sunscreen during the summer months.
  • Dive deeper with a local guide: Join a guided tour to explore the hidden stories and gain insights into the frescoes, architecture, and daily lives of the monks who once called these caves home.
  • Fuel your explorations: Pack a light lunch or snacks if you plan on staying for the day. Enjoy a picnic amidst the fairy chimneys or find a shaded nook to refuel before continuing your adventures.
  • Go beyond the caves: Explore the surreal landscape of Cappadocia beyond the cave churches. Hike through the fairy chimneys and discover hidden chapels while enjoying panoramic views.
Where to eat near Goreme Open Air Museum?
  • Topdeck Cave Restaurant: Just 200 meters from the museum entrance, Topdeck Cave Restaurant offers a unique dining experience in a charming cave setting. 
  • Pumpkin Restaurant: This restaurant, around 350 meters away, specializes in vegetarian and vegan delights, colorful salads, mezze platters, and hearty lentil soups.
  • My Mother's Restaurant: This family-run eatery serves up authentic Turkish dishes like clay pot casseroles, sizzling stews, and fluffy pide (flatbreads).
  • Dibekli Han: For a taste of Ottoman grandeur, Dibekli Han is just 500 meters away. This historic caravanserai houses a charming restaurant serving regional specialties like lamb tandoori, pistachio kebabs, and yarak sarma (stuffed grape leaves).
  • Seki Restaurant: Their wood-fired pizzas, creamy pastas, and fresh salads are perfect for satisfying a post-exploration hankering.
What to see near Goreme Open Air Museum?
  • Hot Air Balloon Flight: Get a bird’s-eye view of Cappadocia's fairytale chimneys as the sunrise bathes them in a fiery glow. Drift alongside hundreds of colorful balloons for a truly magical experience.
  • Ihlara Valley: Hike through a hidden paradise carved by the Melendiz River. Explore rock-cut churches, admire towering cliffs, and spot ancient birds of prey in this verdant canyon.
  • Kaymakli Underground City: Descend into an intricate 8-level labyrinth and learn how early Christians thrived underground. Wander through tunnels and peek into living quarters. 
  • Ozkonak Underground City: Discover a lesser-known gem, home to stables, wine presses, and even a church. Unravel the secrets of this 4-level city's inhabitants and marvel at its engineering feats.

Frequently asked questions about Goreme Open Air Museum tickets

How much is a ticket to the Goreme Open Air Museum?

You can book guided tours to the Goreme Open Air Museum, that start from around €57 to €85. These tours are available in multiple languages and also include flexible cancellation policies.

How to book tickets to the Goreme Open Air Museum?

We recommend booking Goreme Open Air Museum tickets online to save time and money. Online ticket bookings are convenient and provide a hassle-free touring experience.

Why should I book Goreme Open Air Museum tickets online?

If you book Goreme Open Air Museum tickets online in advance, you can skip ahead of long lines on the day of your visit. You can also avail of reduced prices, discounted deals, and combo prices when booking tickets online.

What do Goreme Open Air Museum tickets include?

Goreme Open Air Museum guided tours include an expert-guided tour of northern Cappadocia, hotel transfers, and lunch options. Most guided tours are available in multiple languages like Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Russian, and English. You can also include a pottery-making workshop at Avanos and visit the underground city of Ozkonak with these guided tours.

Are discounts available on Goreme Open Air Museum tickets?

Yes, if you book Goreme Open Air Museum tickets online, you can avail of discounted prices and combo deals. Make sure to book these tickets online in advance to ensure a worry-free touring experience.

Can I book Goreme Open Air Museum guided tours?

Yes, you can book Goreme Open Air Museum guided tours online. These tours include a local, expert tour guide, multilingual options, and flexible cancellation policies.

What is the cancellation policy for Goreme Open Air Museum tickets?

If you book Goreme Open Air Museum tickets online, you can cancel them up to 24 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund on your purchase.

What are Goreme Open Air Museum’s opening hours?

The Goreme Open Air Museum is open from 9 AM to 5 PM daily throughout the year. These timings may differ during the holy month of Ramadan.

How long does it take to fulfill a Goreme Open Air Museum tour?

You can choose to spend a whole day exploring the rock formations at the Goreme Open Air Museum. Ideally, you should spend at least 5 to 6 hours looking through the cave churches and the fairy chimneys. You can go on a long hike along these caves, enjoy a picnic, or book a guided tour for an in-depth touring experience.