Discovering three underground cities in Turkey :: Travel blog

Discovering three underground cities in Turkey

Kaymakli inside, Turkey. Source: Nevit Dilmen, Wikipedia.

Turkey is an awesome country full of beautiful landscapes, interesting places, and great tourist attractions. This time, on our travel blog, we will get deep down and discover three underground cities in Turkey.

That's right, underground cities in Turkey. There are three main places we would like to show you: Kaymaklı Underground City, Derinkuyu Underground City, and Özkonak Underground City. All they are slightly different and one of them has 18 levels underground and it is thought to have been able to protect 20 000 inhabitants for long periods of time! So let's start to discover those interesting places!

Kaymaklı Underground City

You can find a lot of underground cities in Turkey's Cappadocia, but the Kaymaklı Underground City is the best one from them. It is said that some of those places were built around 2000 BCE and expanded in time by later civilizations. There are a lot of quarters and chambers here for different purposes: stables, rooms for living, storage or even for making a wine.

Kaymakli Underground City, Turkey

Kaymaklı Underground City was not built for defense (like Özkonak) and it's not as deep as Derinkuyu, but this one has a lot of space and it's much wider than any other underground city in Turkey. It has eight floors of subterranean defense, but right now only four of them are open for tourists.

Interesting fact: Many of the chambers and tunnels in Kaymaklı Underground City are still used by the local people for storage or even for living purposes.

Derinkuyu Underground City, Turkey. Source: David Welch, Flickr.

Derinkuyu Underground City

Derinkuyu Underground City was discovered when a man found a hidden room behind a wall in his home :-) Further digging showed the whole complex. Can you imagine?

Derinkuyu Underground City was probably built about 8th century BCE by an ancient people as a fortress to provide protection against invading armies. During the Byzantine time, it was rebuilding and expanding and finally became a huge hidden complex that was able to provide a shelter for 20 000 people for long months, mostly because of advanced defense innovations.

The Derinkuyu hidden city has 18 levels deep underground and this is the deepest underground city in Turkey. It also has thousands of ventilation shafts to provide fresh air and multiple waterways to provide drinking water to every floor. You are able to find here chambers not only for a living but also stables for horses, storage, winery or even churches. There were also huge stone wheels made of stone that could be rolled to close all the entrances. And if we are talking about the entrances, more than 600 has been found nowadays. Impressive, isn't it? The Derinkuyu is the biggest underground city in Turkey and it's a must-see tourist attraction in Cappadocia.

Özkonak Underground City. Source: Katpatuka, Wikipedia.

Özkonak Underground City

We are unable to determine an exact age of Özkonak Underground City, but it probably dates back to antique times. We can be sure that it was used in Middle Ages because hot oil holes were found above the entrances and that advanced technology hasn't been used before medieval times. It was discovered in 1972 by a Turkish farmer.

One unique thing in Özkonak Underground City is that there is a communication system installed so that each level could talk to the one above or below. The hidden city has ten floors, but only four of them are open to tourists and visitors. It's a great place and a great adventure, where you can feel how people lived here in ancient times.


Turkey has a lot of great places and those three underground cities are definitely one of them. If you enjoyed this article or have some questions about this hidden cities or Turkey, feel free to leave me a comment in the section below.

Wojciech Kuźma

Hey there! My name is Wojtek and I am very happy that you came to my travel blog. I've been traveling the world for a few good years now and I still want more.

On my website I describe the adventures that have happened to me, you will also find here a collection of valuable tips for tourists and travelers. If you liked this article, be sure to leave a comment and read some more!

4.91 | 11 votes
Comments: 3
  •   21th March 2018, 16:57

    Wow, that sounds awesome! I cannot imagine people live in this underground cities in Turkey, but, well, ancient times... Anyway, great article and I hope to read you more often :-) Regards!

  •   25th June 2018, 16:34

    I always wanted to see these famous underground cities in Turkey, unfortunately so far I can only do this by watching photos on your travel blog :-( Kaymakli looks great in particular! This text was translated automatically. Original text is below: Zawsze chciałam zobaczyć te słynne podziemne miasta w Turcji, niestety jak na razie mogę to zrobić jedynie oglądając zdjęcia na Twoim blogu podróżniczym :-( Szczególnie Kaymakli wygląda super!

  •   16th August 2018, 08:57

    It is a beautiful article about the hidden underground city in Turkey. we have fifth flour hidden cave in Upper Mustang also known as lost Buddhist kingdom in Nepal which looks quite similar to this underground city.

Add comment Cancel reply
E-mail: (Won't be published)

Table of contents

    Categories in this section