Hierapolis Ancient City is one of the indispensable tourist centers of Pamukkale/Denizli. It is one of the beauties on the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage List that must be seen. The history of this ancient city, nestled with the white travertines of Pamukkale, dates back to the 2nd century BC. Hierapolis, which means the city of Hiera, is one of the historical regions frequented in Pamukkale, which attracts around 2 million tourists each year.
Hierapolis stands out with the Hierapolis Ancient Theatre, the Hierapolis Necropolis, and many other important buildings it hosts. One of the most notable aspects of the Ancient City is that it is one of the most intact ancient cities that has survived to the present day. Another distinguishing feature is that it is known as the “Holy City”. The murder of Philippus, one of the 12 apostles of the Prophet Jesus, and the sites created in his honor are regarded sacred by Christians. Therefore, it is particularly significant in the Christian world.
We have prepared a comprehensive guide for you if you want to learn more about this amazing ancient city!
Table of Contents
What to see in Hierapolis Ancient City?
The Ancient City of Hierapolis is famous for its numerous historical areas. Following the Roman period, Hierapolis became a very significant city throughout the Byzantine period. Today, with its historical ruins, Hierapolis still preserves its importance.
Moreover, it stands out as one of Turkey’s tourist paradises with its rich structures such as the ancient theatre, necropolises, ancient pool, aka Cleopatra Pool, and many others.
- Hierapolis Ancient Theater: The antique theater is one of the works of art worth seeing in Hierapolis. The theater, which seats 12 thousand people, was placed on the city’s eastern slope so that people could see the whole ancient city. With its beautiful beauty and position, the theater has long been a source of pride and inspiration for the inhabitants of the city. The theater was restored to its current form in 2013 after years of restoration work.
- Hierapolis Necropolis: Those who start their Pamukkale tour from the northern gate of the ancient city first encounter the Hierapolis Necropolis, that is, the city cemetery. The city has a total of three cemeteries, namely the northern, southern, and eastern necropolises. The largest cemetery of Western Anatolia is located in Hierapolis.
- Cleopatra Antique Pools: The Cleopatra Pool, also known as the ancient pool, is believed to be the place where the famous Egyptian queen Cleopatra came to swim after hearing about its popularity. This is a myth, however its water is known to be therapeutic. Swimming amid ancient ruins is its most intriguing aspect, aside from its therapeutic water. You must pay an additional 60₺ to access the Cleopatra Pool.
- Ancient Temple of Apollon: The Hierapolis Apollon Temple, built on Plutonium and recognized as a sacred and ancient cave, is one of the inhabitants’ oldest religious centers. The Hierapolis Temple of Apollo remains originate from the Hellenistic period. The entrance steps of the Temple of Apollo at Hierapolis are 70 meters long.
How to go to Hierapolis in Pamukkale?
The Ancient City of Hierapolis is located around 17 kilometers north of Denizli in Turkey. By following the Pamukkale route from Denizli center, you can reach the Ancient City in about 20 minutes. In addition, it is possible to go to the region with private tours as well.
If you want to come to Hierapolis from cities such as Istanbul or Izmir, the Ancient City of Hierapolis is about 75 km away from Denizli Çardak Airport and 1 hour away. After getting off at the airport, you have to use the shuttles and minibuses to go to Pamukkale.
For those who will go in their car: When you head towards Pamukkale from the city center of Denizli, you can easily reach the ancient city by following the guiding signs. The average distance is 15 to 20 minutes.
For those going by public transport: You can be in Pamukkale in about 25 minutes by minibuses departing from Denizli bus station. In addition, minibuses depart from Denizli city center, too.
Entrance & Tickets to Hierapolis Ancient City
Entrance: Hierapolis (Pamukkale) is open every day of the week and provides service between 06.30 and 20.00. The toll booths close at 19.30 at the latest. There is also an audio guide service that you can use throughout the ancient city.
Tickets: Located in the same complex, the entrance to the ancient city of Hierapolis and the other areas within it, and the Travertines, are free if you have a MüzeKart (Museum Card). If you do not have a MüzeKart, you have to pay 200₺ to enter.
Also, keep this in mind; you have to pay an additional fee (60₺) to enter the Cleopatra Antique Pool, besides the entrance to the Ancient City.
Helpful Tip: If you do not have a MüzeKart, you have to pay additional fees for many places to visit in the ancient city. Therefore, it is useful to have a MüzeKart before you begin your Hierapolis Ancient City tour!
If you want to purchase and learn more about MüzeKart and entrance to the Hierapolis Ancient City, you can visit the official website.
Hotels nearby Hierapolis Ancient City in Turkey
Pamukkale is one of the places that deserve a comprehensive sightseeing tour with its many historical beauties and rich natural beauties. If you want to enjoy your holiday to the fullest, you can choose Pamukkale hotels that are both successful and comfortable in terms of location. Hotels in Pamukkale are mostly thermal service businesses. Nonetheless, we have compiled three hotels for you.
Adempira Termal & Spa Hotel: Adempira Termal & Spa Hotel allows you to effectively benefit from the thermal water coming from Pamukkale thermal springs, besides the opportunity to rest and regenerate with a Turkish bath. The hotel also has a sauna, jacuzzi, steam room, salt room, private pool for women, special thermal pools for men and women, family bath, outdoor pool, and massage facilities.
Welcoming its guests in its spacious and comfortable rooms, the resort also offers privileges such as parking, 24-hour room service, and car rental service. Adempira Termal & Spa is only 4.5 km from Hierapolis Ancient City. Address: Karahayıt, 113 Mustafa Sezer Sokak No: 5/1, 20190 Pamukkale/Denizli
Richmond Pamukkale Thermal Resort: Richmond Pamukkale Thermal Resort is a 5-star resort located just 5 kilometers from Hierapolis. In addition to its convenient location, the hotel’s luxury concept is well appreciated by its guests. The hotel allows guests to revitalize themselves with various water therapies using thermal waters.
On the other hand, there is a sauna, hammam, and fitness center in the spa center. Breakfast and dinner are also served as an open buffet at the hotel. Located 5 minutes away from the travertines by car, Richmond Pamukkale Thermal is a perfect option for those who want to stay near Hierapolis. Address: Karahayıt, 20290 Pamukkale/Denizli
Venus Hotel: Venus Hotel is located near the Pamukkale Travertines area and is only a 10-minute drive from Hierapolis Ancient City. Offering an outdoor pool, the hotel also gives a massage service to its guests.
You can explore Turkish cuisine in its restaurant, where it offers delicious Turkish dishes, and can relieve the tiredness of the day with a pleasant drink at the bar. Venus Hotel provides an airport shuttle service in addition to features such as a courtyard with a garden, free internet access, free transport from the bus station, and private parking. Address: Hasan Tahsin Cd. No:21, 20190 Pamukkale/Denizli Merkez/Denizli
History of Hierapolis Ancient City in Turkey
It is known that the ancient city of Hierapolis was founded by Eumenes II, one of the Kings of Pergamon, at the beginning of the II century BC and took its name from Hiera, the wife of Telephus, the legendary founder of Pergamon. According to the ancient geographers Strabo and Ptolemy, Hierapolis was a Phrygian city because of its proximity to the cities of Laodikeia and Tripolis, which border the Caria region.
The Ancient City of Hierapolis was founded in the 3rd century BC. Archeology researchers asserted that there was life in the city prior to the 2nd century BC, and its establishment and name as a city took place on this date. This date coincides with the Hellenistic era. Hierapolis Ancient City, which has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List both as a natural and cultural heritage, is one of Turkey’s most popular tourist destinations with its deep-rooted history and rich architecture.
Other Ancient City to Visit in Turkey :
About Pamukkale Denizli :
- Where is Pamukkale in Turkey & How to go
- When to Visit Pamukkale: Seasons & Temperatures
- Guide to Hot Springs in Pamukkale (tickets info)
- Best Things to do in Pamukkale
- Things to see around Pamukkale
- 10 Best-Rated Hotels in Pamukkale (near Thermal Pools)
- Best-Rated Thermal & Spa Hotels in Pamukkale
- What to eat in Pamukkale: Best Restaurants