>  Cultural Experiences   >  Marvel in Cappadocia’s City of Ürgüp
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Welcome, fellow wanderlust-driven souls, to the remarkable town of Ürgüp! Nestled in the heart of Cappadocia, Turkey.

Ürgüp offers a captivating blend of history, natural wonders, and cultural marvels. As I wandered through its winding streets and soaked in its ethereal ambiance, I can’t help but marvel at the wealth of sights and experiences this enchanting town has to offer.

Join me as we delve into the wonders of Ürgüp and uncover its hidden treasures.


Ruled by Alexander the Great and subsequent leaders, by 323 BC, nearly 30,000 people lived in Ürgüp, a city within Cappadocia. Romans invaded the area in 27 BC, and by 53 AD, Christianity arrived in Ürgüp. Several Christian churches can be seen in the Etiler Valley area. During this time, Ürgüp was known as Osiana and took the name Bashisar in the Seljuk period before being called Urkup when the Ottomans came to rule.

Temenni Hill (Wish Hill)

I began my journey with a visit to Temenni Hill, an iconic landmark offering panoramic views of Ürgüp’s breathtaking landscapes. This hilltop gem, located in the center of town, is the perfect spot to catch the sunrise or sunset. As the golden hues blanket the fairy chimneys and the ancient houses below, you’ll feel a sense of serenity wash over you.

Temenni Hill

Ürgüp Museum

To delve into the town’s rich cultural heritage, I made my way to the Ürgüp Museum, a treasure trove of artifacts and historical relics. Housed in a beautifully restored Ottoman mansion, this museum offers a fascinating glimpse into Ürgüp’s past. The exhibits vividly depict the region’s history, from ancient pottery and traditional textiles to archaeological findings.

  • Hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily
  • Admission: 20TL pp

Wine Tasting in Ürgüp

Ürgüp is renowned for its exceptional wines, and I couldn’t resist indulging in a wine-tasting experience. Many vineyards and wineries in the area offer guided tours and tastings, allowing visitors to savor the flavors of the region. The local wines, particularly the Cappadocian reds, delight the senses. I recommend visiting Turasan Winery, where you can immerse yourself in the winemaking process and enjoy a guided tasting.

  • Hours: The winery is open from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM daily

Pancarlik Church

We took a short drive past unique rock formations and fields of vineyards to Pancarlik Church, an ancient cave church that holds centuries of religious and artistic significance. As you step into this awe-inspiring place, prepare to be transported back in time. Admire the exquisite frescoes that adorn the walls, depicting scenes from the Bible and showcasing the remarkable talent of the artists who created them.

  • Hours: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM daily
  • Admission: 20TL per person.
Pancarlik Church

Nikolos Monastery (Nicholas Monastery)

Nestled in the nearby village of Mustafapaşa, the Nikolos Monastery is a testament to Ürgüp’s spiritual heritage. Dating back to the 5th century, this magnificent structure boasts intricate frescoes and remarkable architecture. Dedicated to St. Nicholas, who is widely seen as the patron saint of sailors, travelers, and children (who became what is known as Santa Claus).

  • Hours: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM daily
  • Admission: 15TL pp
St Nikolas Monastery
St Nikolas Monastery

Eleni Church

Next, we ventured towards Eleni Church, a true gem in the center of Mustafapaşa. This sanctuary is a testament to the region’s rich Byzantine heritage. Above the door is an eight-line inscription written in Greek from 1728. Inside are intricate frescoes that depict various scenes from the Bible. The church’s architecture features a traditional basilica design. It has withstood many historical changes, which can be seen throughout the structure of the building.

  • Hours: 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM every day
  • Admission: 15TL pp
Eleni Church

Keşlik Monastery

Our journey continued to the awe-inspiring Keşlik Monastery, an architectural wonder perched on the hillside; a complex is tucked away in sprawling caves, including two churches (St. Michael and St.  Stephen) and other sacred dwellings. Explore the intricate rock-carved chapels and witness the harmonious blending of natural rock formations with human artistry.

  • Hours:10:00 am to 7:00 PM daily
  • Admission: 25TL pp
KEslik Monastery

Cemil Church

Last but certainly not least, we arrived at Cemil Church, an enchanting sanctuary that will leave you in awe of the region’s cultural heritage. It was opened in 1882 by Archpriest Paisios and dedicated to the Holy Cross. Wander through the beautifully preserved interiors adorned with stunning frescoes that depict biblical scenes and saints. The tranquility and spiritual atmosphere within Cemil Church make it a must-visit destination in Ürgüp.

  • Hours: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM daily
  • Admission: 10TL pp
Cemil Church
Cemil Church

Fairy Chimneys of Ortahisar

No visit to Ürgüp is complete without exploring the iconic fairy chimneys, and Ortahisar is the perfect place to witness their otherworldly charm. These towering natural formations, shaped by centuries of wind and water erosion, create an ethereal landscape. Climb to the top of Ortahisar Castle, nestled within a fairy chimney, to marvel at the panoramic views.

Fairy Chimney

Places to Eat

Located in the heart of Ürgüp, Apetito Restaurant offers a delightful dining experience with its cozy and welcoming atmosphere. The restaurant features a rustic interior adorned with traditional Cappadocian elements, creating a charming ambiance. The menu boasts a wide range of delectable Turkish and international dishes, but their specialty is the mouthwatering Testi Kebab. This traditional Turkish dish features tender meat slow cooked with herbs and spices, in a clay pot.

Testi Kebab
Apetito Restaurant

For an authentic taste of Turkish cuisine, head to Sofra Restaurant. This family-friendly restaurant exudes a warm and inviting atmosphere with its traditional decor and friendly staff. The menu offers a variety of flavorful dishes, but their specialty is the Iskender Kebab. This dish consists of thinly sliced grilled lamb served over a bed of pita bread, smothered in a rich tomato sauce, and topped with creamy yogurt. The combination of tender meat, tangy sauce, and creamy yogurt creates a heavenly symphony of flavors that will leave you wanting more.

Nestled in a charming courtyard is Ziggy’s Restaurant and Bar, a hidden gem offering a unique dining experience. The restaurant features a laid-back and eclectic atmosphere, with live music performances adding to the vibrant ambiance. Their specialty dish, Ziggy’s Meze Platter, is a delightful selection of traditional Turkish mezes.

Situated in the heart of Ürgüp, Prokopi Restaurant is a cozy and charming eatery with a homely atmosphere. The restaurant features a beautiful garden area where you can enjoy your meal surrounded by lush greenery and blooming flowers. The menu offers a fusion of Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine, emphasizing fresh ingredients and bold flavors.

Place to Stay

Fairy Chimney

Ürgüp is a captivating destination that beckons travelers with its ancient charm and mesmerizing landscapes. Whether you find yourself lost in the panoramic views from Temenni Hill, captivated by the history in Ürgüp Museum, or enchanted by the fairy chimneys, I am sure you will find this city in Cappadocia captivating.

Enjoy your travels! Please read my blogs about other exciting places around the world at Traveling Lens Photography.

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Inshallah (God willing!)


Urgup Pin

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