As you can see in the below plan of Hierapolis - Pamukkale, the ancient city has three entrances. One is located in the south, one is in the north and one in the west. While the southern and northern gates have parking lots, western gate requires a little walk after you park your car by the white travertines. However, this walk is nothing besides the steps you will make in the ancient city.
Considering the size of the ancient city and the beauty of the white travertines of Pamukkale, we highly recommend you to spare a full day to the area. Approximately a half day is scheduled by many travelers to this beautiful place full of ruins of the prosperous Roman Era which makes history buffs regretful. If you have a full day for the site, love walking and can skip lunch with a little snack, let me take you to a whirlwind tour of the ancient city. Pack up enough water to for 3 hours, have a spare bag to carry your shoes while walking in the travetines and don't forget your sunscreen and hat.
Use the northern gate. Shuttle buses from Pamukkale to Karahayit run frequently during the day. If you don't have a car, use one to be dropped there. After getting your tickets, start your walk by the necropolis of the ancient city. Use the dirt track as the cobblestone road is used by the vehicles of the museum. Church and the city gates will greet you as the number of the sarcophagi decrease. After seeing the agora and the nymphaeum, you will be seeing the foundations of the houses on your right. A goat track will take you among them to the top of the ancient city where lies the Martyrium of Saint Philip the Apostle. After a little rest enjoying the least crowded corner of the ancient city, not it is time to dive into the crowd. Theater of Hierapolis is just 10 minute walk from the Martyrium. The last renovation was very successful to show you the Roman Architecture's capability. As you leave the theater behind, walk downhill to the Pool of Cleopatra to get a snack or even refresh by swimming in the ancient pool. There is an extra fee you need to pay but it is fun. Don't worry about the timing, you can leave the place by the sunset.
There is a gigantic rooster statue in between the pool and the Roman Baths. Denizli rooster holds the world record of crowing. Please google for the funny and ear scratching videos of our proud animal :)
The huge structure on the right is the Roman Bath which is used as a museum right now. Another extra admission fee is required to enter but worth the money as it houses beautiful sarcophagi, statues, carvings and finds from the area. The structure itself is impressive and nice way to cool as you will be on foot for the last 4 or 5 hours.
The time has come!
There is a nice cafe underneath the big pine trees by the white travertines of Pamukkale. Ready for a nice cup of coffee or a cold beverage before your decline? It is always nice to just sit there and see how tourists are excited to walk on the travertines and swim in the warm waters of Pamukkale (cotton castle) while seated under the shades of the trees there. The security wardens constantly warn them to keep them on track which is designated to the tourists only. Now it is time to pack your shoes and walk on the white travertines all the way down to the western gate to leave the site. As you reach to the main road, you can get a shuttle bus going to Karahayit to collect your car from the northern gate or find a cab for that. Congratulations! You did Pamukkale - Hierapolis from the top the bottom.
You can also start the day with a hot air balloon flight in Pamukkale.
Self Drive Ephesus program covers Pamukkale and Hierapolis ancient city with enough time to spend a full day in the area.