Hierapolis Travel Guide: Notes to Visit Hierapolis
Hierapolis is a paradise in Turkey known for its archaeological wealth and its natural beauty. In this Hierapolis travel guide you will find the necessary information to visit Hierapolis and plan your vacation without missing a thing.
Visit Hierapolis: General Information
If you are thinking of taking a trip to Hierapolis, then read on and get ready to start your adventure.
Ancient Hierapolis today lies in ruins, however it continues to be impressive and one of the most important traces of Roman and Hellenic civilization. Thanks to these incredible archaeological finds, UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site in 1998.
In order to reach Hierapolis, it is necessary to first pass through Pamukkale and its famous white travertine pools, a fascinating natural heritage that gives the city its name and world fame. This is why we can say that when you get to know Hierapolis and its incredible historical-cultural heritage, you will also find an amazing natural wealth.
Some of the treasures that you will find in Hierapolis are temples dedicated to the Greco-Roman Gods, fountains, caves, baths, tombs and even a magnificent theater.
Without a doubt, it is a city to fully immerse yourself in ancient times, after walking barefoot through the white castle of natural sediments and diving into the pool of Cleopatra VIII.
Location of Hierapolis
Here's where Hierapolis is located:
Hierapolis map on Google Maps
What to See in Hierapolis
Hierapolis is one of the most outstanding archaeological jewels in Turkey, as its heritage has left traces of great value to bring us closer to the different ancient civilizations that passed through there and their worldviews.
Below, we mention some of the most amazing sites in Hierapolis that you cannot miss on your trip through this fascinating archaeological site.
The Archaeological Museum of Hierapolis
One of the most striking attractions in Hierapolis is its fascinating archaeological museum, located in one of the largest and most imposing buildings in the area: the Bath Complex.
The ruins of the Baths are impressive, as its walls covered in marble and the large rooms reserved for the Emperor and the celebrations make this construction a magical place.
The Archeology Museum has been in operation since 1984 and inside it houses works of art found in the excavations carried out on the site, as well as curious crafts and artifacts from the Bronze Age. You will also be able to see objects found in Caria, Pisidia and Lydia.
Inside the museum you will find three rooms. The first exhibits the findings from the excavations at Hierapolis and Laodicea, such as pedestals, columns, statues dedicated to various gods and even impressive terracotta sarcophagi and representations of scenes from life that decorated the tombs.
In the second room, lots of objects used in ancient times in everyday life are exhibited, including a vast collection of coins and jewelry with precious stones.
Finally, in the third room, there are the works of art that were found in the Hierapolis theater, where motifs related to the Gods prevail.
Plutonium: the Grotto of Hierapolis
Known as the gateway to the Underworld, Plutonio was a grotto, to which, according to Strabo, pilgrims arrived from different parts of the world to carry out sacrifices in honor of Pluto, for which they paid the priests.
During the excavations carried out by archaeologists in 1957, the possible location of the Plutonium was investigated near the temple of Apollo, in a place to which one descends by stairs with arcades.
However, in 2012, another team of archaeologists found a cave by discovering numerous bird carcasses, whose cause of death was the toxic gasses that came from the cave.
Already in 2013, upon discovering a 1.5 meter high statue of Cerberus, the theory that that cave was indeed Plutonium was confirmed.
This fascinating ancient theater was built on a slope in the 2nd century and is one of the best preserved sites.
Here currently works the archaeological museum where we can not only marvel at the discoveries on display but also with the infrastructure of the place itself, which is impressive.
Temple of Apollo
This was built during the Hellenistic era. And, although, after the earthquake and the reconstruction, it lost its central place and was reduced, still this construction will surprise you.
Saint Philip's Tomb
It is the tomb of the apostle, who also has his own monument on the site.
Nympheum: the fountain of Hierapolis
This fountain has preserved its crescent-shaped façade since the 4th century, it will undoubtedly surprise you.
Without a doubt, a fascinating stop for the most curious.
The Gates of the City of Hierapolis
These were built in different historical periods, so it is great to be able to observe the nuances of history in them.
Festivals of Hierapolis
Discover the fascinating ancient city of Hierapolis and immerse yourself in its vibrant cultural scene with its most prominent festivals. In this historic land, various events are held every year that attract visitors from all over the world.
These festivals are just a sample of the cultural richness and vitality of Hierapolis. If you are looking for a unique tourist experience that combines history, art, gastronomy and sport, you cannot miss these exciting events that take place in this charming ancient city.
Read on to learn about the most prominent festivals in Hierapolis.
Hierapolitan Culture Festival
It is one of the most anticipated events of the year. For a week, the city comes alive with a wide range of activities including traditional music concerts, dance performances, art exhibitions and theater performances.
This festival is a window into the rich history and heritage of Hierapolis, where visitors can immerse themselves in local traditions and enjoy unique artistic expressions.
Hierapolitan Gastronomy Festival
This is a festival where traditional flavors merge with contemporary cuisine. During this festival, visitors can sample exquisite dishes prepared by renowned local chefs, as well as enjoy wine tastings and other culinary delights.
In turn, this festival is an opportunity to explore the richness of the region's gastronomy and enjoy an unforgettable sensory experience.
Ancient Sports Festival
Este festival rinde homenaje a las competiciones atléticas que se celebraban en la antigüedad. Durante este evento, los atletas de diferentes partes del mundo participan en una variedad de deportes y juegos inspirados en las antiguas tradiciones. Desde carreras de resistencia hasta lucha libre, este festival promueve la conexión entre el pasado y el presente a través del deporte.
Eating in Hierapolis
The food in Hierapolis is very tasty, as it has a great gastronomic offer. Whether you want to sit down to eat in a restaurant or opt for street food, you will find the best of typical Turkish cuisine.
A delicious dish that we recommend you try is Dolma, which is made from vegetables, which are filled with meat, rice and spices. A true explosion of flavor that you will love.
Likewise, another delight that you can find on your trip is Kofta, a skewer made from seasoned minced meat that you will surely find very tasty.
And if what you want is to try a little of everything, order your typical Mezze in a restaurant, which consists of a selection of small dishes to taste different preparations in their small version.
And if you wonder what drink to accompany your meals with, the star of Turkey is tea, go ahead and try something different.
As for dessert, you must try Baklava, a delicious puff pastry and walnut (or pistachio) cake that will win you over.
Hierapolis: the Summer City of the Roman Nobles
Hierapolis was built around 180 BC by Eumenes II, King of Pergamum at the time. The objective of this city was to function as a center of facilities near the nearby hot spring area.
In this way, the Hellenic population could take advantage of the benefits of the curative waters with greater facilities.
During the first century Hierapolis was partially destroyed by an earthquake, so it had to be rebuilt. This reconstruction was carried out in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, however, in the process it lost its Hellenistic façade and was transformed into a Roman city, where Roman nobles came during the summer.
In the middle of the 14th century Hierapolis suffered another earthquake, which completely destroyed it. That is why today we can only visit its ruins, however, there are still some very well preserved parts.
How to Get to Hierapolis
To get to Hierapolis, there are several options depending on your current location. Here are some of the most common routes:
- By plane: If you are coming from outside of Turkey or from a distant city within the country, Denizli Cardak International Airport is the closest to Hierapolis. Once you arrive at the airport, you can take a taxi or a bus to reach Hierapolis, which is approximately 20 kilometers to the north.
- By train: if you prefer to travel by train, you can get to the Denizli Train Station, which has connections from various Turkish cities. From there, you can take a bus or a taxi to reach Hierapolis, which is about 20 kilometers north of Denizli.
- By Bus: Bus transportation is a popular option in Türkiye. You can take a bus from various Turkish cities to Denizli and then take another bus or a taxi to reach Hierapolis.
- By car: If you prefer to drive, you can rent a car and head to Hierapolis by road. The city is located near the D320 highway, which connects Denizli with other major cities in the region. Just follow the signs for Hierapolis once you get to Denizli.
How to Get around Hierapolis
Getting around Hierapolis is very simple. As we have already mentioned, to get to Hierapolis it is necessary to enter Pamukkale.
Once there, you will see a place where the cars are parked and you will have to take off your shoes to walk through the terraces of the fabulous cotton castle, as these travertine pools are usually called. Yes, walking! But don't worry, it's only a 30-minute tour.
If this doesn't convince you, there is another entrance through which you enter directly to Hierapolis, which can be reached by bus and, if you wish, visit the cotton castle after seeing the ruins of this city.
The ancient city can be explored perfectly on foot, do not forget to wear comfortable shoes.
Private Transfer in Hierapolis
If you are looking for the most comfortable and safest option to get to Hierapolis, here you will find the information you need to book your private transfer with Greca, with experienced drivers and no surprise charges.
When to Visit Hierapolis
The best season to visit Hierapolis is during spring and autumn. These stations offer a pleasant climate and moderate temperatures, which allows you to enjoy the exploration of the archaeological site and its surroundings in a more comfortable way.
In spring, which includes the months of April to June, Hierapolis is at its best. The temperatures are mild and pleasant, ranging between 15°C and 25°C. In addition, the surrounding fields and gardens are full of lush greenery and blooming flowers, providing a lovely setting to stroll and enjoy the scenery.
Autumn, from September to November, is also a recommended season to visit Hierapolis. During these months, temperatures are pleasant, with highs around 20°C and lows that are cool but not extremely cold. In addition, the landscape is tinged with autumn colors, creating a picturesque atmosphere for exploring the ancient ruins.
Keep in mind that summer in Hierapolis can be quite hot, with temperatures exceeding 30°C, especially during July and August. If you decide to visit in the summer, it is important to take precautions against the heat, such as wearing light clothing, sun protection, and staying hydrated.
As for winter, although Hierapolis can be visited at this time, temperatures are colder, especially from December to February, with possible occasional snowfall. Some tourist services may have reduced hours during the low season.
Destinations Near Hierapolis
Hierapolis is a wonderful destination that takes you back in time.
Are you looking to see the most wonderful landscapes? Do you want to know fascinating ancient ruins? Do you want to try delicious dishes?
If your answer is "yes", at Greca we have several proposals for tourist packages to Hierapolis, which you can modify and adapt according to your needs and times.
There are travel packages for all tastes. Choose your own adventure according to your needs!
More Travel Guides!
If you have been interested in our Hierapolis travel guide and want to continue learning about this and other wonderful destinations, we invite you to look at the section of all our Travel Guides. Plan your next adventure with Greca!