If you’re staying in Göreme and wondering whether you can easily get from Goreme to Derinkuyu underground city by yourself, the answer is yes! And there’s also plenty of time to explore the amazing Kaymakli underground city on your way back. Check out my quick guide on how to catch the bus from Göreme to Derinkuyu and Kaymakli, plus the entrance fees for each underground city, and the amount of time this day trip will take you.
If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know I’m not a fan of being herded around in organized tour groups. It’s much more fun figuring out how to catch local transport so I can take my time, talk to some of the locals, and explore at my own pace.
I really didn’t want to be stuck on one of the many lengthy Cappadocia tours, so I was thrilled when I found out it was ridiculously easy to get to both Derinkuyu and Kaymakli on my own using the local bus.
Total time for the round trip from Göreme > Derinkuyu > Kaymakli > Göreme is around 6 – 7 hours, (depending how many photos you take, and how many gozlemes you eat on the way). We left Goreme on the 9.30am bus, and arrived back at 4pm. My verdict = absolutely worth the trip!
Goreme To Derinkuyu Underground City
Head to the Göreme bus station, and you’ll see a line of local buses waiting there that go to Nevşehir every 30 minutes. You need to go to Nevşehir first, and then catch a connecting bus down to Derinkuyu underground city.
It’s super easy and very organized. The Göreme bus will drop you off in Nevşehir, then you’ll simply cross the road and catch your next bus to the underground city. Easy!
Note: If you only want to see Kaymakli underground city, you’ll follow these exact same steps too – as the buses and shuttles for both underground cities leave from the same bus stop in Nevşehir.
Once you’re at the Göreme bus station, it will cost you 13 lira to get on the bus to Nevşehir. The trip is about 25 minutes. Tell the bus driver you’re going to Derinkuyu (or Kaymakli) and they’ll drop you off in the right place.
Then, cross straight over the road and you’ll see an LCD bus timetable, some shops and kebab places, and a few other people waiting for buses. Grab a bus that says Derinkuyu underground city on it (check with the bus driver if you’re unsure – they all know where it is!)
The bus trip from Nevşehir to Derinkuyu takes around 30 minutes and will cost you 30 lira.
You’ll pass the huge entrance sign for Kaymakli underground city on the way, so you can see how easy it is to visit there on the way back.
Once you get to the small Derinkuyu bus station, the driver will point you in the direction of the underground city. It’s only a couple of minutes walk, and you’ll pass through a small market in case you want to stop for yet another Turkish tea, or buy souvenirs.
When you’ve finished exploring the Derinkuyu underground city, head back to this same bus stop to catch the bus back to Goreme and/or Kaymakli underground city.
Derinkuyu underground city entrance fee: 100 lira
Time to explore: 1 – 2 hours
Derinkuyu to Kaymakli Underground City By Bus
After the thrill of climbing down multiple floors, exploring underground caverns, and wondering how the heck people carved a city big enough for 20,000 people to live in, way back in 800 BC – you’ll probably be wanting to do more exploring up the road at Kaymakli!
Kaymakli has a completely different vibe from Derinkuyu, so I recommend doing both of them if you can.
Head back to the bus station where you got dropped off in Derinkuyu, and catch the next bus back that’s going to Nevsehir. Tell the driver you want to be dropped off at Kaymakli underground city and they’ll stop at the right place for you.
Jump off the bus and then head through the small market area to what looks like a very modern building, but is actually the entrance to the tunnel complex.
The Kaymakli underground city entrance fee is 100 lira
Time to explore: About 1 hour
Now you’ve finished exploring Kaymakli, I urge you to buy one of the freshly rolled, hot gozlemes (Turkish pancakes) that you’ll see right outside the exit. The potato and cheese ones are excellent! These are 50 lira. It’s rare to see traditional gozlemes being prepared, so I always grab one of these when I come across them.
Head back to the place the bus dropped you off on the main road, and wait for the next bus going to Nevsehir. They’re pretty regular so you won’t need to wait long.
Once you reach Nevsehir again, simply jump back on the next bus that’s headed to Goreme.
In Summary – Goreme to Derinkuyu Underground City & Kaymakli By Bus
Catching the local bus is pretty smooth sailing if you want to go from Goreme to Derinkuyu Underground City and Kaymakli to unleash your inner Indiana Jones for a few hours. This was one of the highlights of my stay in Cappadocia, so I would 100% recommend you set aside a day for it if you can.