Planning to visit Cappadocia? Surely, one of the main questions you have is what to wear in Cappadocia. Is modesty important? What about the weather?
After all, the beautiful lunar landscapes of Cappadocia are quite a different scene than Istanbul, which is cosmopolitan and ultra-modern. Cappadocia has a reputation for being a bit conservative.
In general, though, I found that Cappadocia is so centered around tourism that modesty is more of a suggestion than a requirement. While I don’t recommend dressing skimpily out of respect for the locals, you don’t need to be extremely strict about it at the same time.
In general, I think a good rule of thumb is to cover either your shoulders or knees (or both is even better). I wouldn’t wear a teeny-tiny tank top dress that showed both my shoulders and most of my thighs, but I would feel comfortable in a strappy maxi dress that showed shoulder but not knees.
Of course, this is my personal suggestion based off of my own travel experience in Turkey, which I’ve landed on by comparing it to both a more secular style of dress in Istanbul and a more conservative dress code in Morocco.
What to Wear in Cappadocia For Women: Summer
The MVP of any summer closet, beautiful maxi dresses in a variety of colors are wonderful pieces to add into your Cappadocia outfit selections. The more Instagrammable, the better!
Generally, I suggest aiming for slightly more conservative maxi dresses. Spaghetti straps are OK, but I’d save the backless dresses for in your cave hotel only. It would be fine for walking around Göreme or Uchisar, but if you’re traveling around the wider Cappadocia region, it is a little much for this relatively conservative part of Anatolian Turkey.
A-line dresses with sleeves
A-line dresses that cover your shoulders are a great summery option for what to wear in Cappadocia. The one in this photo is a maxi length, but you would be fine in anything that hits after mid-thigh (avoiding body-con or ultra-tight minis).
They’re modest without being stuffy or too hot. Plus, in all likelihood, you already have several such dresses in your closet. Aim for ones that have a roomy, breezy bottom — not only are these less tight-fitting and therefore more modest, the flutter of your dress’s skirt will look beautiful on Instagram!
The even more versatile twist on the maxi dress, a maxi skirt is wonderful for mixing and matching to create a wide variety of outfits that freshen up different tops.
I recommend picking skirts in neutral colors that play well with other colors — white, black, red, and earth-toned skirts tend to mix and match well. Pick one made of chiffon or one with a slit in the side so that you can have maximum movement in your photos! If you’re an avid Instagrammer, we love this ultra-photogenic maxi skirt.
This is best paired with tank tops like these ones – we opt for ones with slightly thicker straps rather than loose, silky camisoles which look more like nightwear.
If you’re planning on enjoying some of Cappadocia’s incredible hikes during your time there — and you should! — be sure to pack some hiking gear.
This includes a quick-dry travel bra (we recommend this one), some lightweight tank tops you won’t mind sweating in, some hiking pants or activewear leggings (such as these), and some sneakers or hiking boots. I use black Nikes as my everyday sneakers and Ahnus for hiking boots.
Don’t forget a comfortable daypack as well! I carry this one for its anti-theft features and it’s comfortable enough for small hikes where I don’t need to carry much, but if you’re doing more heavy-duty hiking, you’ll likely want a bag that distributes weight better and has chest and hip sraps.
T-Shirts & Jeans
Of course, you won’t always be posing for the ‘gram. You’ll probably want to wear something other than just cute dresses and skirts (and this is doubly true after summer ends), so throw in a few loose T-shirts (striped ones are always in my backpack!) and a pair of your comfiest jeans or pants.
These are perfect for exploring sights like Derinkuyu Underground City, hiking in the Ihlara Valley, walking from Göreme to Uchisar along the valleys, or ATV riding.
One of the most versatile things you can pack for Cappadocia, a large shawl or scarf is ultra-useful.
It’s great if you unexpectedly visit a mosque or church or other place where you’re expected to be covered, as well as places where there’s a lot of A/C or to throw on as a layer when you’re cold from waking up at sunrise or staying out for sunset!
An “Instagram hat” (optional)
If you love taking photos for Instagram, you’ll likely want an “Instagram hat.”
What exactly is that? Well, it’s something you wear on your head ostensibly for sun protection, but honestly it’s to keep the back of your head from looking weird and greasy while you look away from the camera. This can be a sunhat in summer or a felt Indiana-Jones style hat in fall or spring. In winter, you’ll definitely want a proper knit beanie!
What to Wear in Cappadocia in Fall/Spring
In addition to most of the summer items above, we recommend adding in or substituting a few of the following items to make your Cappadocia clothing choices more weather-appropriate.
Wonderful in fall as well as spring, when there starts to be a slight chill in the air in Cappadocia you’ll want to dress a little warmer.
While you can always layer some cardigans over your summery clothes, we love the look of long-sleeved dresses like the one above.
A lightweight hoodie
Sometimes a shawl isn’t enough to keep you warm, so you might want to also throw on a lightweight but still-cute hoodie over your dress, skirt, or jeans to keep some warmth in but still look stylish.
At sunrise and sunset, you’ll need a little more warmth than just a lightweight hoodie, which is where a proper sweater or poncho may come in handy.
Pick a cute printed one that compliments the beautiful Cappadocian landscapes like the one above!
What to Wear in Cappadocia in Winter
All the layers!
Cappadocia gets quite cold in the winter, so you’ll definitely want to layer up! I would look like a beached walrus if I tried to wear a denim jacket over a hoodie with a pair of jeans, so this Cappadocia outfit is a no-go for me, but you get the idea.
Hat, scarf, winter jacket & boots
Yes, it snows rather often in Cappadocia! If you’re visiting in the winter, at a minimum, you’ll want to bring a warm winter jacket (I love this North Face parka), cozy snow boots, warm wool socks, touch-screen friendly gloves, a scarf, and a winter hat.
3 Other Things Not to Forget to Pack for Cappadocia!
The Lonely Planet Turkey: A good guidebook can help you with the kinds of safety tips you need if you’re out and about and feel a bit lost, especially if you don’t have internet or a cell signal. These also have specific guides to every town in Cappadocia (which is a region, not a town in itself), and it’s a great supplement to blog posts like this one!
Unlocked Cell Phone: Stephanie and I both have unlocked cell phones that we bought in Europe (Stephanie uses a Samsung and I use an iPhone). This allows up to get sim cards when we travel so that we always have the internet. This has gotten us out of so many jams! If you don’t have an unlocked cell phone that can use a Turkish sim card, you can buy a cheaper unlocked phone online and bring it with you!
Grayl Water Filter: It generally isn’t safe to drink the tap water in Cappadocia, although you could ask your hotel what they think. If you don’t want to be buying millions of plastic water bottles, we strongly recommend a reusable water bottle that comes with a water filter like this Grayl water bottle that filters out literally 99.999% of so that you can sanitize the tap water and reduce your plastic consumption.
Where to Stay in Cappadocia
We have a full guide of cave hotels that will rock your world — you can read it here. Here’s the quick version:
Budget: For a cheap but chic place to stay in Cappadocia, Angel Cave Suites offers a total of 9 cave rooms within a really budget-friendly price range. Most of their rooms have a private bathroom with complete amenities plus a balcony with a view of the mountains or the city.
>> Check out guest reviews, prices, and availability at Angel Cave Suites here
Mid-Range: For a not too expensive but still comfortable stay, we recommend Wish Cappadocia. This small boutique cave hotel in Cappadocia offers six rooms with well-fitted furniture that goes perfectly with the structure of the cave rooms. Some rooms even have a fireplace, and chopped wood is provided for your disposal — great if you’re visiting Cappadocia in winter!
>> Check out guest reviews, prices, and availability at Wish Cappadocia here
Luxury: Awarded both the Best Luxury Boutique Hotel and the Best Hotel Architecture in Europe, you can rest easy that Museum Hotel is one of the finest cave hotels in Cappadocia. Heated outdoor pool where you can even eat breakfast? Check. Museum-quality artifacts in the hotel for guests to peruse? Check. Beautiful luxury rooms? Check. A room with an actual wine tap in it? I’ll never leave.
>> Curious? Check guest reviews, prices, and availability here.
More Cappadocia Travel Resources
If you’re curious about the most Instagrammable places in Cappadocia, we’ve got you covered. We’ve also written a 3-day itinerary for Cappadocia, a guide to some of the best things to do in Cappadocia, and a review of the Cappadocia Green tour
You’re likely also planning a trip to Istanbul if you’re headed to Cappadocia. We have a guide to the best things to do in Istanbul, which we’re continually improving, but for now, you can check out our Instagram guide to Istanbul, our favorite Istanbul neighborhoods and where to stay, and tips for shopping in Istanbul.
For more general Turkey information, check out this guide to planning a trip to Turkey (including visa information) and this guide to other beautiful places to visit in Turkey.
Headed to Cappadocia? Don’t Forget Travel Insurance!
If you’re planning a trip to Cappadocia, make sure to travel with a valid travel insurance policy. While we feel safe in Turkey, especially in Cappadocia, you need to be covered in case of an emergency. Travel insurance covers you in case of theft or an accident, which can save your trip if there’s an incident.
For travel insurance, I use World Nomads. I’ve been a happy customer of theirs for almost three years, and I’ve never had an issue when making a claim. I’m happy to refer them to anyone I meet.
Originally from California, Allison has been living in Bulgaria for the last two years and is obsessed with traveling around the Balkans. She has been published in National Geographic, CNN Arabic, Matador Network, and the Huffington Post. She loves befriending dogs, drinking coffee, geeking out about wine, and cooking food from around the world.