pamukkale turkey with kids
Asia, Destination & countries, Travel with babies, Travelling with kids, Turkey

Things to do in Pamukkale with kids + ancient Hierapolis, Turkey

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This time we decided to spend ten beautiful days in one of the all-inclusive Turkish resorts in Marmaris. However, we got quickly bored as we realized we could allocate some time to explore magnificent places nearby. So we decided to travel to Pamukkale and take a cruise to Rhodes in Greece.

Frankly speaking, we were the only family with such small kids, a 5-year-old and a 6-month-old. But we just love traveling regardless of circumstances. Actually, Teo insisted on the trip stating that Pamukkale Turkey is a unique place and there are plenty of things to do in Pamukkale with kids.  

Pros and Cons to go to Pamukkale with kids

  • It is a long bus ride. Wherever you depart from, it will take over 3hs to get to a final destination.
  • The weather is hot. Pamukkale is located high up in the mountains, and it is one of the hottest places in Turkey.
  • If you take a one-day tour only, the whole itinerary is quite rushed and on the move.

So, to make sure this turns out as a pleasant trip for you too, you should consider what your kids will be wearing. Please, bring two sets of clothes and swimwear. For this purpose, download our free travel checklist below.

You should think of things and games that will be distracting your kids during the bus ride.

Finally, you may want to be organized with what you will be seeing first and last because the tour guides set a strict time frame for everyone. Keep reading because next I will tell you exactly where you should go and what things to do in Pamukkale with kids to make the most fun of your trip.

Extra things that you must take when travel to Pamukkale

Pro Tip: take as much water with you as you can! Buy at least 2L for each traveller.

Don’t worry about carrying the water. You can store it in one of the bus compartment overheads. Bringing the water on this trip is the smartest thing you can do because you won’t be able to find cheap water during the trip. Unfortunately, this is one of the realities where you may be well-ripped off by the unreasonably expensive prices on water. Even when you have lunch in the middle of your journey, you will be asked to pay extra for any drinks, including fresh water. Water will cost you three to five times more than the standard price at any Turkish store.

They sell water on a bus too, and it is slightly cheaper, but again, they sell a small bottle that goes out quickly as you travel to a very hot place.

Tip: take cash with you.

The Turkish government collects some “tax” (as they call it) from tourists when they visit local or UNESCO world heritage sites. You will be advised by your tour agent how much to take with you. Most likely, tour guides will sort this out for you and include these fees in the price.

You will find street ATMs that offer various currencies to withdraw the money if you are staying in one of the tourist resorts. In Marmaris, they even offer British pounds because there are lots of tourists coming from the UK.

Take euro or US dollars with you in case you would like to buy some local jewellery or souvenirs.

During the trip you will be brought to taste some amazingly delicious pomegranate wine, turkish sweets and delights, test some natural skincare products, and wear jewellery made with unique gemstones found in Turkey, such as Turkish onyx that can change up to seven colours depending on the light.

Don’t forget to wear a hat and sunglasses! Take your swimwear! And, please, apply sunscreen constantly, or you will be burnt!

Reasons to go to Pamukkale and Hierapolis with kids | What this place is about

Hierapolis amphitheatre and Antique Cleopatras’ pool, Turkey

Hierapolis is an ancient Roman spa city founded around 190 B.C. They say it was one of Cleopatra’s favourite spots back in the time.

This area was affected by repeated, quite dangerous and intense earthquakes, so not much left from Hierapolis, nowadays. However, the amphitheatre and necropolis with sarcophagi built by Romans is well-preserved and protected until today.

Apart from Hierapolis ruins and amphitheatre, you will be able to swim in the Antique Cleopatra’s pool, which was made by Mother Nature. It is mainly famous for its submerged Roman columns as the result of an earthquake.

It is 26°C inside the pool. Therefore, pregnant women or people with heart problems are not allowed to enter the pool. This area contains a lot of Calcium underneath, this is why the pool water is full of Calcium. There is a tiny area separated by a rope where kids are prohibited to go. It is believed that staying in the area for at least 45 minutes can affect your skin positively resulting in a rejuvenation.

Check our video to see what it looks like.

Travel to Pamukkale

Pamukkale is a town that neighbours Hierapolis. It is famous for its mineral-rich thermal waters flowing down white travertine terraces on a nearby hillside. Again, this was all made by Mother Nature.

After a series of earthquakes in the area, the water was pulled out from beneath. However, since it is one of the hottest areas, the water started to evaporate quickly leaving dried minerals on the surface. Due to being so rich in Calcium, the surface started to accumulate this material a lot and form little pools all around the area.

Unfortunately, these pools with mineral-rich thermal waters have almost disappeared due to human negligence. Until today, they were not preserved well. People say locals used to ride motorcycles through this beauty, so within some time, pools started to vanish.

Currently, the area is restricted for tourist use only. There are guards watching the place. It is strictly prohibited to wear any kind of shoes while walking over the pools. You are allowed to wander only bare feet.

Your Pamukkale itinerary

It is important to have an idea where you go first and what you do because you will have a very limited time to enjoy the area, around three hours.

Quite frankly, this is not enough considering that you come all the way to Pamukkale and need to spend around six hours on a road. Partially, this is because you will be brought to a jewellery shop, and winery with skincare products and Turkish delights. Of course, business comes first. However, if time allows, consider staying in the area for the night. This way you will have an amazing, stress-free time spent in Pamukkale and Hierapolis with kids.

If this is not an option, then prioritize and plan your stay carefully. You have three sites to visit:

  • Pamukkale pools and travertines
  • Hierapolis amphitheatre and ruins
  • Hierapolis Antique Cleopatra’s pool

We recommend starting with Pamukkale pools and travertines first. Take your time, take beautiful photos, and make sure you walk down through those pools.

Tip: do not stand in the beginning of pools. It is crowded and messy there. If you walk further up to the end, you will find snow white pools, gorgeous scenery, and very few to no people surrounding you.

You will have to take your shoes off to enter the pools. Do not take a lot of things with you, these pools are slippery. I do not think you would necessarily get into the pool to swim. However, it is not a bad idea to wear a swimsuit.

Normally, tour guides will give you around three hours of free time. Trust me, time flies. Calculate at least an hour at Pamukkale pools.

On your way from the Antique Cleopatra’s pool to Pamukkale pools, you will find a tiny museum. I suggest you don’t waste time on it.

Then you have a choice what to do in Hierapolis. If you travel with kids, I strictly recommend choosing one more site only. Based on our experience it is close to impossible to accomplish everything. Unless otherwise, you should run to get to see everything, and it won’t be quite a pleasant experience.

Also, as they say an amphitheatre is nearby, in reality, it is a fair walk to Hierapolis ruins and amphitheatre. You should climb all the way up and don’t forget how hot it is there. Kids will be exhausted regardless. As the guide said it is very near, Teo and I ran to see the amphitheatre after everyone started to leave for the bus parking. Trust me, we ran when we realized how far we were. The whole bus waited for us for 40 minutes. That was the time we ran only, not to mention the fact that we gave up on actually seeing the place.

Hierapolis Antique Cleopatra’s pool sounds more reasonable. It also has a café nearby, but prices are incredibly expensive. You should spend at least 40 minutes, if you would like to have a rejuvenating effect in that tiny spot filled with Magnesium and Calcium. In the end, please allocate at least an hour for this pool too.


What to wear in Pamukkale?

Wear something light and easy to change. You may already wear a swimsuit to save some time. Don’t forget a towel, sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. Also, it is worth taking at least 2L of water and some sandwiches or snacks with you. Shoe-wise, it is better if you take some light shoes, such as sandals because mainly you will be swimming and walking bare feet.

How many days in Pamukkale should I spend?

If you book the tour, it is normally a one-day trip. However, if you travel with kids and if time allows, please consider staying there overnight for a full experience.

Is Pamukkale worth visiting?

It depends on your expectations. Pamukkale is considered to be the 8th world’s wonder and is absolutely spectacular to observe.

Enjoy Your Stay at Pamukkale and share with us your experience!

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