The Cappadocia Underground Cities are the one-of-a-kind locations in Cappadocia that must not be missed. The subterranean cities are built from soft volcanic rock and linked by tiny tunnels.
The Christian community was thought to have constructed an underground city as a hideaway that could not be observed from above, allowing them to flee the Roman Empire and Arabs’ persecution.
There are 35 underground cities to visit in Cappadocia, but 2 of them are very important in terms of the size and what they offer.
The Kaymakli Underground City is a complex of eight subterranean levels (only 4 open though) that were dug from soft volcanic rock and linked with tiny passageways. Stalls, stables, shops, refectories, churches, wineries, kitchens, and other areas may be visited by visitors.
The Derinkuyu Underground City features eight levels carved out of soft volcanic rock linked by narrow passageways. Stables, cellars, storage areas, refectories, churches, and wineries are all connected via a vast network of tunnels. On the second floor, visitors may see the missionary school and study rooms as well.
It is a hard question of which to visit, but let me tell you the difference. Even though Kaymakli is the second biggest in terms of the size, the visiting parts are much more vast and informative compared to Derinkuyu. As tour guides, we prefer visiting Kaymakli better than Derinkuyu, because in Derinkuyu you need to imagine more to understand the place whereas you see and imagine in Kaymakli. That’s why, I personally recommend visiting Kaymakli.
Other thing is that Kaymakli is more doable than Derinkuyu. Derinkuyu has some tunnels that are over 100 meters and is used for both going down and up, you might find yourself trapped in the middle while you are trying to go down and someone trying to go up. In Kaymakli, you do not repeat any tunnels, it is a one way underground city and the longest tunnel is about 30 meters. Still, Derinkuyu is quite fun to do especially if you are young and looking for adventure.