Three things are certain in life: death, taxes, and fluctuating Cappadocia hot air balloon prices.
Naturally, you want to pay a fair price for a Cappadocia hot air balloon tour without feeling like you’re getting ripped off. And given that hot air balloon rides in Cappadocia start at over $100, getting ripped off could make a big dent in your travel budget.
So, I’ll share must-know Cappadocia hot air balloon price hacks to help you pay the lowest price possible for this once-in-a-lifetime hot air balloon experience.
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Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Price
You likely arrived here wanting to know the price of a Cappadocia hot air balloon ride, so here it is.
Cappadocia hot air balloon prices typically range from $150 USD to $250+ USD per person for a one-hour ride with a large group.
Keep in mind that if you purchase your hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia, prices at tour agencies are often in Euros. I recommend using XE for free up-to-date currency conversions.
Now, let’s take a closer look at how you can secure a price at the lower end of this range.
Click on the video below for an overview of the 11 price hacks I’ll be covering here. Then scroll down to read more details on each one.
Why Does the Price of Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Rides Vary So Much?
Well, my friend, this question is the foundation of this article.
We’ll get into the many answers to this question next, but to give you an overview, Cappadocia hot air balloon prices vary for one or more of the following reasons:
- Time of year
- When you book
- Where you book
- Who you are
- Weather conditions before your visit
- Weather conditions during your visit
- Quality of the company
- Group size
- Your negotiating skills
When it comes to “tricking” the system of the price of Cappadocia hot air balloon rides, it’s a matter of educating yourself on these eleven topics and knowing their workaround.
Scroll down for details on each point. At the end of each one, you’ll find a pink box with key takeaways. They’ll be your go-to hack for securing the best Cappadocia hot air balloon price.
Psst! Don’t miss my guide on What to Expect From the Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Ride. You’ll learn everything from what not to wear to what happens if your camera falls out of the balloon.
Cappadocia Balloon Price Hacks
And now, let’s get to the good stuff with details on these eleven Cappadocia balloon price hacks.
1. Time of Year
Like most touristy places, Cappadocia has a high and low season which corresponds with more expensive and less expensive hot air balloon prices.
The summer months (June to August) are when Cappadocia has the highest chance of the hot air balloons running and the hottest temperatures. These months fall during the high tourism season.
Note that I bolded the part that reads you’ll have a higher chance of boarding your hot air balloon in the summer. For safety reasons, hot air balloons in Cappadocia can’t run if the winds are over 10 kilometers per hour.
So, it’s important to book your Cappadocia hot air balloon ride on your first morning in Cappadocia so that you can rebook the tour if weather conditions cause cancellations. You can read all about weather-related cancellations in my article on What to Expect in Cappadocia.
Hot air balloon cancellations in Cappadocia are less frequent in the summer than at other times of the year. Therefore, if you choose to travel outside of summer, there’s a higher chance of wind and rain. And thus, cancellations.
In the winter (December to February), temperatures are bitterly cold. However, some people prefer to visit this time of year to have the chance to see Cappadocia covered in a layer of snow.
Travel Hack: Cappadocia hot air balloon prices are cheapest from October to April. However, you’ll experience fewer weather-related cancellations in the summer. Read my guide on Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Cancellations so you know what to do if your tour gets canceled.
2. When You Book
If you’re traveling during the high season, book your hot air balloon ride a minimum of one month in advance. Further in advance is even better.
Summer travelers don’t have the same price negotiating power in Cappadocia as people traveling at other times of the year.
It’s common to see summer tourists hopping from agency to agency after they’re in Cappadocia, begging them to find a spot on their balloon, willing to pay practically any price (speaking from experience here).
It all comes down to demand.
If you’re traveling outside of the high season, it’s still not a terrible idea to book your tour in advance. However, if you’re visiting during the winter, you’ll likely be able to snatch a great deal in person as tourism agencies watch you wheel and deal with their competition.
Travel Hack: If you travel to Cappadocia in the summer, compare prices online and make your hot air balloon reservation a minimum of one month in advance. If you’re traveling during the low season, you might be able to secure a better price by shopping in person at the many tourism agencies in Cappadocia.
3. Where You Book
We’ve already established that there are many hot air balloon tour agencies in Cappadocia. By factoring in online providers like Viator and Tripadvisor, you’ve got yourself a near-endless supply of people wanting to sell you a hot air balloon tour.
As a general rule, the closer you’re able to get to the company offering Cappadocia tours, the better the deal you’ll be able to snag.
However, as you’ll learn below in the scam section, you must be careful with the company you end up choosing.
I recommend putting out feelers to your hotel or hostel in Cappadocia to see what hot air balloon companies they work with. Most have a few agencies they partner with, which is useful in the summer when tours are often sold out.
Once you receive the company name from your hotel and you know the price they’d charge you for the tour, go ahead and reach out to the hot air balloon company directly to see what kind of price they can offer.
Hotels and hostels are sometimes able to secure the best price. So, don’t count them out of the equation.
Travel Hack: Aim to book your tour directly through the company offering the hot air balloon tour instead of a secondhand agency. Don’t forget to check with your hotel or hostel since they sometimes get great rates for their guests.
4. Who You Are
Have you ever seen a local at a market get offered the same product for half the price?
When it comes to Cappadocia hot air balloon prices, “locals” refer to anyone from Turkey and the “market” refers to the companies selling the balloon rides.
If you’re Turkish, you’re pretty much guaranteed to receive a cheaper price from the start. Moreover, the tour agency will expect bartering to ensue, thus bringing the hot air balloon price to a point where both parties agree is fair.
It’s unlikely you’ll get that kind of luxury as a foreigner. Of course, this isn’t unique to Turkey—it’s a common scenario across the globe.
Travel Hack: If you have a Turkish friend, ask them to negotiate the price for you. Ideally, you shouldn’t accompany your friend during the bartering process to avoid the price starting higher.
5. Weather Conditions Before Your Visit
Remember how it can be common for hot air balloon cancellations to happen in Cappadocia if the weather’s bad? Well, this can affect how much you pay if you wait to purchase your tour until you arrive in Cappadocia.
Let me paint the picture for you.
Say the hot air balloons couldn’t operate on the day you arrive in Cappadocia (FYI, the balloons only run at sunrise). By the time you settle into your accommodation and head out to purchase your hot air balloon ride for the following morning, all the tourists who missed out on their hot air balloon ride that day will have already rescheduled their ride for the following day.
Now, picture cancellations happening two days in a row. Or three days.
And now, toss in the additional obstacle of all this happening during the high season. Although cancellations are fewer during the summer, they do happen.
Of course, some of those people will have already left Cappadocia without their hot air balloon ride because their travel itinerary doesn’t allow them extra time to wait for another day.
But you get the point.
The flip side to this is that hot air balloon prices could also be lower. If the weather has been great every day leading up to your visit and you aren’t traveling during the high season, demand will be lower and, therefore, this combination will likely lead to among the cheapest prices of the year.
Travel Hack: If weather conditions are bad in the day(s) leading up to your arrival to Cappadocia and you didn’t purchase your hot air balloon tour in advance, the price could be higher due to greater demand. If the weather has been good and you’re traveling in the low season, you should be able to lock in a lower price.
6. Weather Conditions During Your Visit
Similar to the point above, if you wait to purchase your hot air balloon tour in person upon your arrival to Cappadocia, prices could be higher if weather conditions cause cancellations during your visit.
The hot air balloon companies in Cappadocia are smart; they have a strong understanding of consumer demand.
So, if the weather is forecasted to be decent the day you want to purchase your tour for but then shows that the weather will be poor in the days that follow, they know that they can raise prices since more tourists will be booking their hot air balloon ride on the nice day.
However, if you’re traveling during the low season and the weather is good and looks like it will continue to remain that way, you should be able to get a great deal on a tour.
Travel Hack: Monitor the weather in the week leading up to your arrival to Cappadocia. If it’s looking like the weather will be iffy, you may save more money by booking your hot air balloon tour in advance than booking it in person. Alternatively, if the weather looks good and you’re traveling in the low season, you should be able to get a great deal in person.
7. Quality of the Experience
Like most tours, quality varies depending on the company. And, usually, this corresponds with how much you pay.
The majority of Cappadocia hot air balloon companies have the following in common. Most tours offer:
- Pick up & drop off at your hotel
- A snack and/or breakfast before takeoff
- Champagne after landing
- Hot air balloon completion certification
- Proof of safety certifications
The quality of the pre-flight food, the length of the time in the air, whether or not you want a meal inside the hot air balloon, and how large or small of a group you want to be with all affect the price.
You can even hire a private hot air balloon ride, which can be advantageous budget-wise if you’re traveling with a large group.
Arguably, the most important part of the Cappadocia hot air balloon ride is getting into the air before sunrise.
Regardless of how much research you do on a company, know that even if you’re confident that you’ve chosen a stellar company, the best ones can still be late for sunrise.
More often than not, this is due to fellow hot air ballooners who are late or no-shows during the pickup process. Saying it’s a bummer is an understatement, but the good news is that this doesn’t happen too often.
Travel Hack: Know what you need (and don’t need) from your Cappadocia hot air balloon experience. The less picky you are about extra perks, the cheaper the price you’ll be able to secure.
8. Group Size
Group size directly translates to how cheap or expensive your Cappadocia hot air balloon ride will be.
I booked a balloon with a 28-person capacity. That’s among the largest hot air balloon tour option in Cappadocia, but there are smaller ones out there.
Generally speaking, the larger the hot air balloon, the cheaper the price.
If you’re concerned about a bad experience due to lots of people in the balloon, I didn’t feel held back by it. The basket is divided into different sections bordering the outside of the balloon, with a couple to a few people per section.
Therefore, everyone in my group of 28 was able to claim a spot along the edge.
Travel Hack: Check the size of the hot air balloon you’re quoted for. Ask if they have a larger balloon that fits more people since you’d be able to get a lower price.
9. Your Negotiating Skills
Negotiation is the pulse of business in Turkey. There’s no question about it—Turks expect fellow Turks to negotiate.
When it comes to foreigners, things get trickier.
The price you receive from a Turkish agency will likely be inflamed because you’re a tourist and they want to safeguard themselves in case you try negotiating with them.
No one wants to lose a sale more than the person you’re speaking with. So, negotiation is very much on the table for foreigners. In fact, you should negotiate the price if you’re purchasing your tour in person, no questions asked.
The exception to this is if you’re trying to book a hot air balloon ride during high season at the last minute. Dozens of other tourists will be on your tail, willing to pay an inflated price with grateful hearts.
I fell into that category during my time in Cappadocia, so I didn’t haggle the price once I was finally able to find an agency with availability.
Travel Hack: If you’re shopping around for the best Cappadocia hot air balloon price in person, negotiate the cost unless availability is limited across the board.
Scams for Cappadocia hot air balloon prices are rampant, particularly during the summer since availability is limited.
As a general rule of thumb, if someone offers you a Cappadocia hot air balloon price that sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Wouldn’t it be worse to find out that you seemingly saved $40 USD only to learn that it was a fake ticket and you have to spend another $150+ USD to take the hot air balloon ride?
Scammers tend to seek out people in the streets in high tourist traffic areas (I’m looking at you, Istanbul). They can also be commonly found at bus stations.
If you’re unsure if a scammer has approached you, ask them where their agency is and to write down their contact information and the price they’ve offered you.
Then, go to the agency at a separate time on your own (with online research of the company under your belt). If they’re a scammer, you likely won’t even get to that point.
Travel Hack: Don’t be fooled by prices that seem too cheap offered to you in the streets of Turkey. Do your research on the company before paying any money.
If you didn’t know why I included luck on this list when you first saw it, you should now.
The ten items above are solid ways to save money on the price of a Cappadocia hot air balloon ride. However, a few contradict each other, particularly the ones involving weather.
And so, there it is. You can do all the research and preparation in the world, but sometimes getting the best Cappadocia hot air balloon price boils down to luck.
I wish you the best of luck, dear reader.
And, even if luck isn’t on your side, as long as spending the extra cash won’t leave you completely broke, in my opinion, the experience of taking a hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia is worth shelling out the extra cash.
Travel Hack: Cross your fingers and toes.
A Note on Responsible Tourism
I’ll end this post with a reminder that wanting a fair price for a Cappadocia hot air balloon ride differs from bartering a price under the standard range.
Hot air balloon rides are a for-profit business. Tour agencies have bills and employees to pay.
In short, my friends, harness responsible tourism by finding a balance between settling on a price you’re comfortable with and understanding that your money is how these businesses stay afloat and feed their families.
Save It for Later
Would you like a quick reference for what we just covered? Save the YouTube video below or leave it on repeat to enjoy the Turkish soundtrack.
I’d Love to Hear From You
Have you taken a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia? If so, share your experience and price tips in the comments below.
Your fellow Cappadocia-going friends reading this will appreciate it, as will I 😊
If you have questions about the Cappadocia hot air balloon ride, leave a comment and I’ll be happy to help.
Don’t Forget! Check out my posts on how to handle Cappadocia Hot Air Ballon Cancellations and What to Expect from a Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Ride. I’ll show you why you must book your hot air balloon ride for your first full morning in Cappadocia, or else risk missing out on the hot air balloon experience.
Also, are you thinking about visiting Pamukkale? Read about how to take the bus from Pamukkale to Cappadocia (or vice versa).