How To Get To Pamukkale From Istanbul (& From Istanbul To Pamukkale)

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How To Get To Pamukkale From Istanbul (& From Istanbul To Pamukkale)

Turkey has many tourism hotspots and Istanbul is certainly one of the big ones. This is a city that is packed with history, shopping, eateries, sports, culture, the list goes on and on. It’s very unlikely that during a trip to Istanbul you’d have any time to spare, but if you want to extend your trip, there are plenty of places to visit a little further afield.

Have you ever seen Pamukkale in pictures? This UNESCO World Heritage Site has to be seen to believed. Known as ‘cotton castle’ locally, the landscape is pure white with bright blue pools along the travertine terraces and calcium carbonate on top of it. Known for its natural healing benefits, a dip at Pamukkale could give you more than a few great selfies!

It’s not all chilling out in a beautiful landscape either, as the ancient Greek city of Hierapolis is also at Pamukkale, giving you plenty of history to boot.

So, if you’re in Istanbul and you fancy heading to Pamukkale, how do you go about it? And, how do you get back?

Pamukkale From Istanbul By Air (And Back Again)

Most Beautiful Mosques In Turkey - Blue mosque in Istanbul at sunset The fastest way to get to the heart of Pamukkale is to fly. The nearest city to Pamukkale is Denizli, which has direct flights from Istanbul several times per day. The flight time is just 1 hour and you can fly from either Istanbul Airport or Sabiha Gokcen. There are regular flights back to Istanbul throughout the day, so simply reverse the information for your journey back to the city.

Once you arrive at Denizli Airport, simply take a taxi to Pamukkale itself. This should take around 1 hour, covering 70km. Ask the taxi driver for an average price before you get in, although be aware that they’ll probably tell you they’ll put it on the metre. However, by getting an average price, you know how much you can expect to pay.

Pamukkale From Istanbul By Bus (And Back Again)

How To Get From Pamukkale To Cappadocia - Pools
Pamukkale, Turkey

You can easily take the bus to Pamukkale from Istanbul. There are three main long distance bus providers in Turkey – Pamukkale, Kamil Koc, and Metro. All three have regular services to Denizli throughout the day, with just as many services going back in the opposite direction.

The bus journey takes 10 hours and 20 minutes to Denizli bus station, although the bus is very comfortable, offering wifi, entertainment, and refreshments. Bear in mind there are no toilets on these buses but they do stop regularly.

Once you arrive at Denizli, take a taxi to Pamukkale, taking just under 1 hour. Again, ask the driver for an average price before getting in.

Pamukkale From Istanbul By Train (And Back Again)

If time isn’t an issue for you and you really want to check out the beautiful passing scenery along the way, you could go by train. The journey in total will take you around 13 hours and 20 minutes but trains in Turkey are very comfortable. You’re advised to book your tickets ahead of time, and you can buy them online or from the train station locally.

From Istanbul, head to Yenikapi Station. You can reach this via Metro, bus, or taxi. Once you board the train, you’ll first head to Pendik, which should take around 48 minutes. This train leaves every 15 minutes. Then, you’ll need to swap to the Ankara Express that heads to Eskisehir. This leaves hourly and takes 2 hours 45 minutes. After that, you need to jump on the Pamukkale Express that heads to Goncali. The final leg takes 7 hours 40 minutes and once there, jump in a taxi for a 12 minute journey, directly to Pamukkale itself.

To head back to Istanbul, simply reverse the information and be sure to book your tickets ahead of time as the return journey is often very busy.

Pamukkale From Istanbul By Car (And Back Again)

Another quick route to Pamukkale from Istanbul is to hire and car and drive. The journey will take you around 6 hours 20 minutes, depending upon traffic leaving and arriving back in Istanbul. It is a 551km journey and the roads are very easy to follow and comfortable to drive on.

Obviously, reverse the advice for your journey back to Istanbul.

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