Can you picture the conversation?
Go back 1400 years. A man and his son are digging yet another tunnel in one of Cappadocia’s underground cities. The boy is tired and ready to quit…
BOY: “Dad, why do we have to dig this tunnel? Don’t we have enough space already?”
DAD: “I already told you. In 1300 years Turkey will be dependent on tourism for a healthy economy. People are not going to come from around the world to visit a large cellar. We have to get down at least 100 meters to make it a “Wow” experience.
BOY: “Oh yeah, I forgot.”
But their blood, sweat, and tears are still helping the local residents. Only this time they are greeting the “invaders” and welcoming them into their underground cities.
CAPPADOCIA’S UNDERGROUND CITIES
Apparently, if you could cut a cross-section of Cappadocia, you would see tunnels everywhere like one of those ant farms you probably had as a kid. Hundreds of underground cities are quietly lying beneath the surface throughout the region.
Unfortunately, only a few are open to the public. As we write about them, we will include a link to the posts on this page. We hope this makes it easy for you to find them and make an educated choice about which one you wish to descend into when you visit Cappadocia.
For all of these underground cities you will be well served to hire a guide as they have almost no signage or brochures to inform you as to what you are looking at.
This is the deepest underground city going down 100 meters. Click to read our Guide to Derinkuyu.
This is the most spread out underground city with a maze like structure that will make you think you are in a honeycomb. Click to read our Guide to Kaymakli.
This one might actually be the largest but most of it is closed to the public. This underground city is only 15 minutes from Avanos as opposed to 35+ minutes for the two listed above.
I doubt this was actually a city. My guess is that it was either a caravansary or a monastery of some sort.