Scenic panoramic view of Pamukkale hot springs

Things to do in  Pamukkale

Nature’s ultimate infinity pools

Featuring chalky white travertine terraces brimming with light blue water, Pamukkale in southwestern Turkey looks like the surface of another planet. The thermal pools at Pamukkale, which translates to “cotton castle” in Turkish, lead up to the ancient ruins of Hierapolis, a Roman spa town with gates, a theater, a temple, and a necropolis that you can visit. Wading through the thermal pools and exploring the ruins—both of which have been granted UNESCO World Heritage status—are the most popular things to do in Pamukkale, but you can also soak in the Antique Pool (also known as Cleopatra Pool), visit the Hierapolis Archaeological Museum, and soar over the area in a hot air balloon.

Top 2 attractions in Pamukkale


Said to have been one of Cleopatra’s treasured retreats, the UNESCO-listed Hierapolis hot springs are a spectacular sight: The pools are bright white terraces filled with turquoise water that were formed by calcium that hardened over millennia and are surrounded by the ruins of the ancient city.More

Pamukkale Thermal Pools

Known for their therapeutic properties since Roman times, the waters of the Pamukkale Thermal Pools flow into white travertine formations that rise out of the surrounding plains. Nearby are the ruins of Hierapolis, an ancient city that grew up around the springs. The thermal pools and petrified waterfalls create an otherworldly landscape at Pamukkale, which means Cotton Palace.More

Top activities in Pamukkale

Pamukkale Hot Air Balloon Tours

Pamukkale Hot Air Balloon Tours

Pamukkale Hot Air Balloon tour - Turkey
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Pamukkale Hot Air Balloon tour - Turkey

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All about Pamukkale

When to visit

Pamukkale can be visited year-round, but the best time is in the spring or fall months (April–May and September–October) when the weather is warm and mild and the crowds are manageable. The sun can be intense in the summer months, but walking through Pamukkale’s thermal pools this time of year is a refreshing experience. Come winter, the same experience will warm you up in the chilly air.

Getting around

Located 11 miles (17 kilometers) north of Denizli, Pamukkale can be reached by rental car, minibus (dolmus), or taxi. Once in Pamukkale, you can navigate the small town on foot or by minibus. Guided tours from Istanbul and Cappadocia are also available.

Traveler tips

Make sure to walk through the travertines to get to Hierapolis, which is quite an extensive site and worth spending even more time in than the actual pools of Pamukkale. It’s possible to spend only a day in Pamukkale and see everything, though if you stay overnight, you can enter the site in the morning when it opens and beat the crowds that come to visit.


People Also Ask

Is Pamukkale worth visiting?

Yes, Pamukkale is worth visiting. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the white travertine thermal pools are unusual and beautiful. The adjacent site of Hierapolis only adds to the experience, with extensive ruins of the ancient city located just at the top of the hill.

Is one day enough in Pamukkale?

Yes, one day is plenty of time to visit Pamukkale. It is even possible to visit both Pamukkale and the ruins of Hierapolis in the course of a few hours. However, spending the night can give you more flexibility with your visit.

What is Pamukkale famous for?

Pamukkale is famous for its travertine pools and the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Hierapolis, founded in the second century BC to take advantage of the calcite-rich thermal waters nearby. Today, you can still wade around the travertine terraces, whose waters are said to have healing properties.

Can you wear shoes in Pamukkale?

No, you cannot wear shoes in the travertine pools at Pamukkale—you have to carry your shoes and walk barefoot through the water so you don’t damage the structures. At the top of the hill, you can put your shoes back on to explore the ancient ruins of Hierapolis.

Can I swim in Pamukkale?

Yes, you can swim at Pamukkale, though many of the travertine pools are only wading-deep and not swimming-deep. If you want to take a dip, head to the nearby Cleopatra Pool, which also has thermal waters and is designed for swimming.

Which city is closer to Pamukkale?

The closest city to Pamukkale is Denizli. Denizili is home to the Denizli Çardak Airport, and you can travel between the two destinations by bus, minibus, or taxi. Denizli itself is a contemporary Turkish city, and most visitors will visit only en route to the Pamukkale and Hierapolis sites.

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