Denizli is nestled against the hillside at the southern side of the plains of Büyük Menderes River. It's a busy place partly because of nearby Pamukkale and its travertine pools but mainly because it's the main commercial hub for the agricultural produce coming from the region. It's also the place where you probably need to go if you're in need of cash.
Don't let its looks deceive you when you arrive at the otogar once you proceed beyond the main thoroughfare and its dreary concrete façades which are repeated throughout the city, you find there's a lively market and all sorts of eateries. Since tourists don't really come here, you probably won't be harassed.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Denizli's climate is subcontinental and Mediterranean; it features quite hot (usually hotter than the coastlines) and dry summers, and cool to chilly, occasionally rainy and scarcely snowy winters.
Summers are hot to very hot, and often rainless, but the rain that can fall around once or twice a month, can be heavy. During heatwaves the temperature can reach a scorching 40°C, which can make visiting during this time very uncomfortable.
Winters are moderately chilly, with night-time temperatures occasionally dipping to -5°C or so. Rain is somewhat common, although not nearly as heavy as in the coastlines; while snow is fairly uncommon, although definitely not impossible.
Spring and fall are mild, but nights can get a bit chilly, light clothing might not be sufficient.
Denizli does have enough maritime influence to avoid the strong spring thunderstorms of inland Anatolia, but leftover showers can affect the area, causing minor delays.
- 1 Denizli Bus Terminal (Otogar). All connections that are of interest to you will go through this station. There are enough seats for the night, if you arrive early or leave late—laying is not allowed though. The local company Pamukkale Turism offers the great options with buses to many cities leaving once or even twice an hour, but they have their price. However, there are numerous other options, each company serving a specific region. As several ticket booths to get the best price and soonest connection.
There are also direct buses from/to Adana, Ankara, İzmir, Diyarbakır, Istanbul, Fethiye, and Selçuk (for Ephesus), and almost any other major city in the country. Always check your departure time and gate as well as the destination—the agent most probably will not know any word in English so you may need to use body language instead.
Destinations (and prices as of Dec 2019) include:
- Pamukkale – You can take a dolmuş at platform 76 in Denizli to reach the travertines. They run every 20 min and cost 9.50 TL (€0.70). Some actually go further and might be convenient to get dropped at one of the other entrances to the travertines.
- Antalya – Every two hours or so, 3.5 hr.
- Göreme – At least 3 direct night connections, 9-10 hr.
- Nevsehir – Same buses as Göreme plus 1-2 more.
- Yesilova – For Salda, the bus goes from underground platform 33 a few times a day, 2 hr, for 50 TL (~€3.20).
There are trains only from İzmir to the city. The daily Istanbul service (Pamukkale Express) has been suspended due to track renovations. Check with Turkish State Railways' (TCDD) website  for most up-to-date information on this.
- 2 Denizli railway station (Denizli Garı).
- 3 [formerly dead link] Denizli Çardak Airport (DNZ IATA). The national carrier Turkish Airlines provides three daily flights from Istanbul Airport. The times are very early morning, morning, and evening. Çardak Airport is about one hour outside the city of Denizli. There are taxis available at the airport, but a better option is taking the havaş. The havaş is a bus that goes only between the airport and the city for every flight. It costs 15 TL. If you are going to Pamukkale, the havaş can take you from the airport to a dolmuş (minibus) that goes to Pamukkale.
Denizli is not a very big city. You won't need to use the transportation system very often. Minibuses and buses provide service. There is neither metro nor trams running. Just rely on your foot as the center of the city is so small. If you want to go to the outskirts of the city you can take buses. Every bus has a sign on it stating where it goes and terminates. You can try to ask the driver as well.
Because it is not a very popular tourist destination, Denizli does not have tons of stuff to offer.
- İncilipınar Parkı and Çamlık Parkı. Two very beautiful parks in the city that are worth a look—also for some fresh air.
- 1 Museum. There is one very famous museum which was the house used by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk—the founder of the Turkish Republic—when he visited Denizli. This museum is located across the street from "Babadağlılar İşhanı" where you can shop for Turkish towels and other linens.
- 2 Laodikeia (Laodicea). A bit closer to Denizli are the ruins of Laodicea. The main part of the ancient town is somewhat better preserved than that of Hierapolis, though it hasn't been reconstructed as much as the more famous sites like Ephesus. It is along the dolmuş route between Denizli and Pamukkale. The driver will stop and let you off on the side of the highway. Look for a large brown sign pointing to Laodikeia. Walk about 1 km (15 min) to reach the site. There is a small cafe, gift shop, and toilets. Laodicea is mentioned in the Bible as one of the 7 Churches of the Revelations. It is a great place to experience the Roman history without the crowds. The main road, called Syria Street, and the temple are the highlights. The temple has a glass floor so you can look down into the basement and see offerings that were uncovered there during excavations. (The temple is closed to visitors in May 2018) The theatre offers a great view of the surrounding area, including Pamukkale in the distance. 10 TL.
Denizli is well known for its textile in Turkey. It may offer you a wide-variety of textile products. Also, one can find some hand-made clothes and so on. The biggest place for buying traditional handmade clothes is "Babadağlılar İşhanı" located in the heart of the city. Moreover, huge shopping malls such as "Teraspark" and "Forum Çamlık" are good options for worldwide-known stores.
You can find some local tastes in Denizli to eat. The very first one that is worth a mention of these is Denizli Kebabı. Fairly good Denizli kebabi can be had at Enver Kebabçı and Kebabci Halil both of which are located at Bayramyeri district. This local type of kebab is also known as Tandır in some other regions of Turkey. Denizli Kebabı is best eaten around noon.
Also, another option would be Kaşarlı Alabalık—a kind of meal made from fish covered with some grated cheese in a very special oven.
You should also try the toasts of the buffet "Karadam" which is located in the city centre "Çınar". The Dörtlü is also something that you should not miss.
There is a local company called "Hacı Şerif" that sells all kinds of sweets from Turkish Delight (lokum) to hard candies and chocolates. They have a large shop in downtown Denizli (Çinar) and smaller shops throughout the rest of the city. They are a family business, started in 1938, and well known locally. Besides their Turkish Delight, you should try their Dondurmalı İrmik Helvası . Irmik helvası is a dessert made with semolina and pine nuts. Hacı Şerif places a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a small cup and packs warm irmik helvası in around it. The resulting dessert is a delicious mixture of warm and cold.
The Çal Vineyard Route connects a number of vineyards around the town of Çal, northeast of Denizli.
While there are places to stay in the city centre, the hotels in nearby Pamukkale and especially Karahayıt (further north from Pamukkale) offers some better places to stay at affordable prices.
- Napa Hotel, Saraylar Mh., Cumhuriyet Cd No:10, ☏ . Quite OK hotel near the bus station. Buffet breakfast included in price. 100-120 TL.
- Yildirim Hotel, 632 Sokak #13 (Directly next to the Denizli bus station), ☏ , email@example.com. Yildirim Hotel is next to the Denizli bus station and offer comfortable and affordable rooms. Also, they speak English! 60-100 TL.
- Visiting Pamukkale is possibly why you are in Denizli in the first place. It offers calcium-coated cliffs and hot spring pools, and the ancient site of Hierapolis, which has a well preserved ancient theater and necropolis. The Hierapolis Museum and historic site are well worth seeing.
- Nearby Aphrodisias is one of the best preserved Roman cities in Turkey, and without the usual crowds of better known sites such as Ephesus.
|Routes through Denizli|
|Izmir ← Selçuk ←||N S||→ Termessos → Antalya|
|Bodrum ← Muğla ←||W E||→ Burdur → Konya|