CONTRIBUTED BY TUTI HAWKINS
Göreme Open Air Museum is a miraculous and amazing small cave city that is located at Cappadocia’s famous Göreme Valley. Göreme is known for its thousand-year-old churches, plus early Christians built this small cave city in the 11th century to protect their faith and lifestyle within this mystic place. As being notable for historic cave churches, the museum has a very deep and rich history. This museum is an essential stop and deserves at least a two-hour visit, if not longer, when vacationing in Cappadocia.
Once we entered the gate to the museum, we started out hiking in the guided path; which led us up and down hills and staircases. Some of the caves were open so we could go in and inspect them, while others were roped off. In these caves you will see some richly decorated colorful fresco paintings and icons.
In order to help preserve these frescoes we were not allowed to take flash photography while inside. It was definitely a beautiful site and we enjoyed reading about the history behind these carved caves. I would highly recommend wearing comfortable shoes and be prepared to do lots of walking. The tour can be done self-guided or you can pay a little extra (not sure how much it costs) to join a group for a more detailed tour with a guide.
After all that walking, you are bound to build up a hefty appetite. Not to worry, there is a mini café and souvenir shop next to the entrance gate. (If you do not find anything you like, there is a small village just down the hill filled with restaurants and souvenir shops. I am sure you won’t have any difficulty finding a decent restaurant serving traditional Turkish meals.)
The fun doesn’t stop there! Once you are done with lunch, they offer camel rides for 20 TL per person in the parking lot. My 3-year-old daughter thought riding a camel with the scenic views of dramatic rock formations was the highlight of our Cappadocia experience (well, maybe I thought so too!). She couldn’t stop talking about the camels and how she wants to go back there to ride them again!
There is an entrance fee to walk around the museum. The cost is 25 TL per person (children under the age of 5 are free).
Pro Tip: If you plan to visit multiple museums in the area (Derinkuyu Underground City, Zelve Open Air, Dark Church etc), I would highly recommend that you purchase a Muzekart (Museum Card) for 45 TL. This museum card is valid for 72 hours beginning with your first museum visit. The card can only be used at each museum once, but it is totally worth it. In order to acquire one of these cards, you must present your permanent residency card at the ticket counter. Click here for more information on Muzekart.
The museum is open everyday from 8:30am to 19:00 (7:00pm). In the winter months it closes at 17:00 (5:00pm). Parking costs an additional 5 TL.
Pro Tip: We went to Cappadocia in December, so it was very cold and the grounds had a light dusting of snow. We had some friends visit Cappadocia in the summertime and they recommend that if you find yourself in Göreme Valley during the hot months, the best time to visit the open-air- museum is early in the morning if possible, because the heat is pretty intense at midday.
Plan Your Visit
Admission Fees: 25 TL per person; children under the age of 5 are free. Parking costs an additional 5 TL.
Hours: The museum is open everyday from 8:30am to 19:00 (7:00pm). In the winter months it closes at 17:00 (5:00pm).
Address: Muze Yolu, Goreme, Nevsehir, Goreme, Turkey
GPS Coordinates: 38.642974, 34.83196699999996