Top Cappadocia tips

Our Cappadocia tips

We firmly believe in supporting the local economy and in particular the small shops and businesses. One of the things we particularly appreciate about living in Turkey is the fact that daily life still has a personal touch, and we do enjoy doing our shopping at the baker's, the greengrocer's, the butcher's etc.

We have compiled a list of places that we think you would enjoy visiting. Remember that in Turkey, there are no problems, there are only solutions! Whether you need an aspirin, a bit of fresh fruit for your journey or a sandwich to keep you going, maybe your glasses need mending or your laptop is playing up and you need advice, you'll find your answers here. Turkish people are always eager to help and want to make sure you take back to your home country positive memories of theirs.

This list is only a starting-point and will be updated regularly. Please feel free to send us your suggestions and comments through our contact form. We'd love to hear from you!

Bülent Özçetin, Eftelya Internet Café, Ürgüp

Eftelya Internet Café

Your hotel will most probably have a free Wifi access but if you want to scan documents or buy a dongle or if you need a quick repair or advice about your laptop, tablet or smart-phone, then this is the place to go. Right in the centre of Ürgüp, up the steps next to the BIM supermarket and on your left. If you need to consult your emails or Internet, you will be pleasantly surprised to find this internet café clean and quiet. Unlike other places we have visited in Turkey, you will not be disturbed by children playing noisy video games; you can even have a hamburger or a soft drink while you are there. Bülent is an certified HP repairer but he has given us good professional advice on a wide variety of other issues.


Changing money in Ürgüp

Changing money

You can always go to a bank to change your dollars or euros but in Cappadocia, another solution is to go the gold-shop! Don't worry, it is perfectly legal; gold shops have official status for changing money. The advantages are: their opening hours are much more flexible (they don't close at lunch time and are open until late in the evening), no need to queue in the bank, and if you are only changing small amounts of money you will get a better rate than at the bank. At the same time, you can admire the display window dripping with gold bracelets and jewellery. The gold shops are all in the same road, on the road out to Mustafapaşa, turn right after Deniz Bank. There are several, so you can check out the rates and make your choice.


Hamam or Turkish baths

Turkish baths (hamam)

After a long hike in the valleys or a day's sight-seeing, what better way of ending the day than relaxing in the steam of a Turkish bath. Ürgüp has a traditional hamam right in the centre and is not a tourist attraction but is where local people go to eliminate all their toxins and stress. Ürgüp's hamam is also a historical monument as it is housed in what used to be a Greek church (you can see the inscription in Greek over the door). You can appreciate the steamy warming atmosphere but also opt for the foam massage and scrubbing which leaves your skin soft and clean. The massage is invigorating but is not painful as you may find in other places and relaxes and unwinds you; you'll be sure to sleep like a log afterwards. Professionally run by Osman Taşar and his sons Kamil and Serif, this is an experience not to be missed. Saturdays are women-only days but the rest of the week it is open to both men and women which means that you can go as a family. A perfectly respectable address and an institution in Ürgüp. Open every day from 7 am to 11 pm.


Fruit and veg

Greengrocer's

As a general rule we buy fruit and veg from the market (see our article about market day in Cappadocia), but when it is not possible or when we just need to top up on fresh fruit or veg, we go to the manav at the bottom end of the bus station in Ürgüp. Ruşen and his son always have a joke to crack but I also appreciate their advice on how best to prepare whatever produce I buy and we often end up sharing recipes! Reşen buys fresh seasonal produce from local market gardeners and you won't find strawberries in December here or greenhouse-produced fruit or veg. There is no problem if you just want to buy one apple or orange, you don't need to buy by the kilo, which is practical if you just want a piece of fruit to nibble on your journey, for example.


Bread and pides, cooked in a wood-fired oven

Bread and pides

There is nothing better than the smell of fresh crusty bread, straight out of a wood-fired oven! Bread in Turkey is generally excellent and always freshly-baked. Turkish people eat large amounts of bread, which accompanies every meal and they are very critical about quality. The bakery at the bus station in Ürgüp, just next to the greengrocer's (see above), is where the locals buy bread and pide (sort of flatbread, topped with cheese, vegetables or ground meat). The bakery also carries on the tradition of the community oven, where people bring their stews and casseroles to be baked in the wood-fired oven.


Breakfast or a snack?

Breakfast or a snack

The cake shop Süküroğulları (totally unpronounceable for me), specialises in all sorts of rolls, pastries and cakes. I love their poğaca (sort of bread rolls stuffed with different fillings). Their meat ones are delicious but for those with a sweet tooth, you should try their chocolate croissants! They also do little sandwiches and all sorts of beautifully decorated cakes to eat in (or outside on the terrace) or take away. With a tea or a coffee, it makes a great start to the day! You'll find them on the central plaza in Ürgüp.

One of our other favourite breakfast places is Simit Dünyam opposite Nissa Car Rental, near the supermarket Ekonomik Bazaar in Ürgüp. Get there early or you might find they have sold out! Sweet pastries but also gözleme, sort of wheat-flour tortilla, made freshly for you and filled with cheese and/or spinach or potato. Or flaky pastry filled with the same or ground-meat. Or a typical Turkish breakfast of bread, cheeses, cold meats, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggs, jams and honey! In the summer, you can sit out in the garden at the back.


At the barber's shop

Barber's shop

For male visitors a visit to the barber's shop is an experience not to be missed! First, warm soapy suds are applied liberally with a brush then then you can watch the perfectionist technique of the barber as he shaves you with a cut-throat razor. Then nose hair is removed and any stray hair in or around ears are singed using a long implement that has been dipped in alcohol and ignited. Stinging lotion is then applied to the face and to finish off the barber will massage neck and face. Sources close to me confirm that it is a really pleasant experience at a ridiculously cheap price.


Optician, Ürgüp

Opticians

Here you can find qualified proficient opticians who can provide you with all the services you need at extremely reasonable prices. Sunglasses, reading or multi-focal glasses, contact lenses (neutral or coloured), contact lens solution - everything you would expect to find back home you can find here. Repairs can be carried out on the spot. You can also stock up on camera batteries or check out their watch collection. Just down from the HSBC ATM next to the silver shop.


Chemists' signs are easy to recognise

Chemists'

Chemists (look for the sign Eczane) Chemists in Ürgüp are plentiful in Ürgüp and provide a good quality professional service. In Turkey, chemists are highly-trained professionals and can give you medical advice and first-aid for issues like insect stings, sunburn, upset stomachs or minor injuries. Of course, for anything more serious, your first port of call should be the hospital, there is a Accident and Emergency department at Ürgüp hospital just next to the Büyük Hotel.

Tolga Ozalan, in Ürgüp's high-street, just next the Levi's shop, speaks excellent English and has saved us a trip to the doctor on quite a few occasions.


Bus timetables in Cappadocia:

Buses from Urgup to Nevsehir run every 15 minutes from 06:30 to 22:00.

Buses from Nevsehir to Urgup run every 15 minutes from 07:15 to 23:00.

Buses from Urgup to Kayseri run every hour in the morning : 07:00, 08:00, 09:00 then 11:00, 13:00, 15:00, 17:30, 18:30

Buses from Kayseri to Urgup run every 2 hours from 08:00 to 14:00, then 15:00, 17:00, 18:00, 18:45, 19:30

(However if you are going to the airport or need a transfer from the airport you are better off arranging a shuttle transfer through your hotel or travel agency).

Buses to Goreme, Zelve, Cavusin, Avanos from Urgup run every hour on the hour.

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