Goreme Open Air Museum is among the top tourist attractions in Cappadocia. Goreme has a very important legacy of the early Christian period.
The unique geography of Cappadocia has been formed over thousands of years. Cappadocia, the shelter of Christians who escaped from Roman persecution, offers many clues about the life of that period. Cave churches carved into spongy rocks promise a unique experience to their visitors.
In this article you can find facts about the rock churches in Goreme and the history of the monastic tradition. In addition, Goreme Open Air Museum ticket price and opening hours are noted.
Things to Do in Goreme, Cappadocia
Goreme Open Air Museum promises a deep cultural heritage and plenty of hiking, as in many parts of Cappadocia. Things to do in Goreme include seeing the famous rock churches of Cappadocia, enjoying the unique nature and discovering hidden treasures.
Goreme also carries the legacy of St. Basil, an early church father. The famous bishop, who published a code that shaped the monastic life in the 4th century, introduced the self-sufficient monasteries. Thus, he shaped the monastic life in Cappadocia for the next thousand years.
Like other places in Cappadocia, it is recommended to visit Goreme with a tour guide. The narratives of a knowledgeable guide are necessary to grasp such a deep cultural heritage. For this reason, you can consider hiring a private tour guide in Cappadocia.
1. Tokali Church
Tokali Church is also known as Church of the Buckle. There are many examples of the Christian art of Cappadocia in the church, which is the largest among the rock churches in Goreme. Famous for its frescoes with various shades of blue, the church ranks first among places to see in Goreme.
2. Elmali Church
Elmali Church is also known as the Church of the Apple. The church has many impressive frescoes with biblical scenes. Biblical narratives such as Lazarus, Jesus’ last supper, Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem, and Jesus’ descent to hell are depicted in a very impressive way. Elmali Church is a rock church with 9 small domes carried by 4 columns.
3. Saint Barbara Church
Saint Barbara Church is dedicated to a faithful woman who was persecuted by her father in early Christianity. Despite the tortures she suffered, the woman who remained faithful to the Christian faith became one of the early Christian martyrs.
The Christ Pantocrator fresco draws attention in the cross-planned church. Saint Barbara’s Church is a mysterious church with frescoes featuring animal figures like grasshoppers, dragons and snakes. You can solve this mystery with the narration of your guide.
4. Yilanli Church
Yilanli Church is also known as the Church of the Snake. The church, which has a long nave, takes its name from the fresco that depicts St. George‘s killing the dragon. The locals, who likened the dragon to a snake, made the church take this name over time.
One of the most distinctive features of the church is that it commemorates Emperor Constantine, who pioneered the spread of Christianity in the Roman Empire. The church, which has a fresco dedicated to Constantine and his mother Helena, refers to the discovery of the true cross in the 4th century.
5. Karanlik Church
Karanlik Church is also known as Dark Church. The most important feature of this church is that it reflects the 11th century Christian art in its best way. The church with its perfectly preserved frescoes is the gem of Goreme.
The magnificent “Christ Pantocrator” fresco is among the treasures of the church that should be discovered. Among the things to do in Goreme, visiting the Dark Church will be the highlight of your day.
Goreme Open Air Museum ticket is not enough to enter the Dark Church. A small extra fee is required for this museum. Don’t forget to turn off your flash when viewing these magnificent works of art as the frescoes inside the church are very sensitive to light.
Goreme Open Air Museum Ticket Price 2022
Goreme Open Air Museum ticket price is 125 Turkish Liras as of 2022. Admission is free for children under 8 years. It should be noted that the Goreme ticket does not include the Dark Church. You have to pay a small extra entrance fee for the Dark Church.
Goreme Open Air Museum Opening Hours 2022
Goreme Open Air Museum opening hours are between 08:00 and 19:00 in the summer season. The summer season starts on 1 April and continues until 1 October. In the winter season it closes two hours earlier and no visitors are allowed after 17:00.
Visiting hours at the museums in Turkey may change each season. For this reason, you can visit the official website of the Goreme Museum and check the latest situation.
Guided Tour Tickets for Goreme Museum
You can purchase guided tour tickets for the Goreme Open Air Museum. These tickets are more expensive than the standard museum ticket, but give you the advantage of fast track. You can also join a small group and tour Goreme with a guide.
If you want to book a Goreme guided tour ticket, you can make your reservation from here. Tickets are sold under the guarantee of GetYourGuide, an international travel site. You can cancel the tour up to 24 hours and get a full refund.
Along with Istanbul and Ephesus, Cappadocia is one of Turkey’s most visited tourist destinations. Cappadocia has a large area spread over four cities and requires a good travel plan.
Things to do in Cappadocia article can offer you useful tips while planning your visit to Cappadocia. Thus, you can prepare an itinerary that includes churches, valleys, underground cities and fortresses in Cappadocia.
Also, if you want to learn about balloon tours, I recommend you to review the Cappadocia hot air balloons article. Watching the unique geography of Cappadocia from a balloon gives you the opportunity to take amazing photos.
Written by Serhat Engul