Western Anatolia

Laodicea was once a commercial city straddling two major trade routes, famed for its black wool, banking and medicines. Cicero lived here for a time and it was also home to a large Jewish population. Enter the site up colonnaded Syria St from where you reach a 2nd-century temple with a glass-floor showing toppled pillars beneath. Nearby is Laodicea's basilica church, one of the 'seven churches of Asia' mentioned in the Book of Revelation, which holds beautifully restored mosaic flooring.

From here paths wind across the hill to the remains of the north theatre and the west theatre, both with good views of Pamukkale's travertines. Note that excavation and restoration work is continuing in the far north and west portions of the site and some areas can't be entered. Afterwards, backtrack to Syria St to see its agoras and bath ruins. With more time up your sleeve, head south from Syria St to the stadium and south baths complex. Make sure to wear good walking shoes as the southern portion of the site is very overgrown in places.

Laodicea is 8km from Pamukkale and easily reached using the Pamukkale–Denizli dolmuş (minibus with a prescribed route; ₺4). The site entry is a 1km walk from the signposted turn-off. When you're finished, simply walk back down to the highway and flag the dolmuş down as it goes by.

Closing time is 5pm from October through to mid-April.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Western Anatolia attractions

1. Middle Gate

5.87 MILES

The middle gate to Hierapolis is at the bottom of the travertines, on the edge of Pamukkale village.

2. South Gate

6.17 MILES

This entrance gate to Hierapolis is about 2.5km up the hill from Pamukkale village.

3. Byzantine Gate

6.19 MILES

The first monument you come to if you enter Hierapolis at the south gate is this 5th-century travertine block and marble gate.

4. Gymnasium

6.21 MILES

Only a few Doric columns remain from Hierapolis' 1st-century gymnasium, which was one of the social hubs of the ancient city. An earthquake in the 7th…

5. Byzantine Church

6.31 MILES

Hierapolis' scant Byzantine church ruins are a bit of a jumble and difficult to decipher. They're behind the museum.

6. Travertines

6.32 MILES

The World Heritage–listed saucer-shaped travertines (or terraces) of Pamukkale wind sideways down the powder-white mountain above the village, providing a…

7. Hierapolis Archaeology Museum

6.32 MILES

Housed in former Roman baths, this excellent museum exhibits spectacular sarcophagi from nearby archaeological site Laodicea and elsewhere; small finds…

8. Hierapolis


This ancient spa city's location atop Pamukkale's tourist-magnet travertines is quite spectacular. Founded as a curative centre around 190 BC by Eumenes…