Shuttle from Denizli to/from Pamukkale

Denizli airport is about an hour flight from Istanbul and is where you’ll fly into if you’re visiting the Pamukkale park. However, even though it may be the closest airport, it is also about a hour away from town. You can take a taxi all the way to your destination but that would pretty expensive.

As soon as you grab your bags and walk out, you’ll see a row of Hava buses ready to take you to your destination. You’ll just need to ask which bus to get on and that depends on your final destination. It can’t be easier.

Which Destination

Most people when they fly into Denizli are going to stay in the town of Denizli. And understandably so. Denizli is a larger town than Pamukkale so I imagine there’s more to do and greater options of hotels and restaurants. However, I stayed in Pamukkale and was within waking distance of the park. The choice is up to you and I obviously don’t have anything to compare it to but I’d highly recommend staying in Pamukkale. Not much to do, but the close proximity and walkable distance make it pretty tough to beat.

As you approach the row of buses, you’ll be asked where you’re going. I told them Pamukkale and they asked which hotel I was staying at. They then directed me to the smaller mini-bus vs. the larger big bus. That was ok since there were only 7 of us total on the mini-bus and 3 others were staying at the same hotel as me.

Just walk across the street from baggage claim to the buses.

The busses are timed so they are there to pick up passengers as the planes arrive. The buses wait (within reason) for all the passengers to come out of the arrivals hall but if you’re dilly dallying for whatever reason, you will be left behind.


The cost was 120 lira (about $6) per person and you’ll be able to pay via credit card or cash. I opted for credit card since I didn’t have much cash left on me but that’s up to you.

As a point of comparison, my hotel quoted me a price of 65 euros for a one way trip to the airport (for my departure) and another person offered to do it for 50 euros when I was at dinner. The price makes sense since Pamukkale is an hour from the airport and the driver will have to get there and back but it’s a steep price.

The cost is the same (120 lira) for the ride back to the airport as well so you won’t be surprised.

Drop Off Point

I don’t know if this was because there were so few of us or if this is normal but the mini-bus dropped me off right at my hotel. Now there were only 7 of us and 4 of us were staying at the same hotel. The remaining 3 were a family so they were most likely staying at the same hotel as well. I don’t know if that’s normal or if the driver was just extra nice but considering Pumakkale isn’t that big, I guess it amakes sense.

Ride Back to the Airport

For the ride back to the airport, again, the mini-bus came directly to the hotel to pick me up. I don’t know how you can beat $6 each way for an hour journey where you’re picked up and dropped off to your exact location. However, you’ll want to make sure you’ve downloaded Whatsapp. You’ll need to call Hava bus to make a reservation for your ride back but they’ll contact you via Whats app to get further information.

Number to call to set up your ride back to the airport.

I don’t speak a word of Turkish and I don’t expect anyone here to speak English. So when I called, they were happy to take my info but then asked me if I was on Whatsapp. Luckily I am and they were quick to text me with the info they needed from me from my passport info to my flight info. I’m assuming they were able to use the app to translate what info they were trying to convey to me and vice versa. The process is simple but you’ll just want to make sure you have Whats App installed on your phone.

For my 9:50am flight, the bus came around 7am but also would have texted me via the app if something changed. I had received a text via Whatsapp saying the bus would arrive around 7:15 but when I went downstairs to check out just past 7, the bus was already waiting for me. The bus was much smaller than the one that drop me off and was a luxury bus that only seated 8 with an incredible amount of space. It also helped that I was the only one on the bus. The only difference this time was that only cash was accepted. I guess there wasn’t a credit card machine this time. Luckily I had some cash on so it worked out but I didn’t have much left since my plan was to use the ATM at the airport (having tried a few ATMs in Istanbul and Pamukkale, only the ones at the airport have an English translation so I couldn’t use the other ATMs).

Just to be safe, I’d checked in for my flight the night before so I had my boarding pass already. This wasn’t really necessary but I did it anyway.

Also, the airport is a single building where you’ll have to walk across the tarmac to get on/off the plane. There really is no Earthly reason to get there super early as there is nothing to do there.

Option 1

Just past the buses, you’ll see some taxis lined up as well. I have no idea how much that would cost. I guess it would be a little faster since you won’t be waiting for the last person to come outside so you’ll have to decide how much your time is worth. I don’t think I saw a single person take a taxi

Option 2

I honestly think Pamukkale can be done as a day trip. If you wanted to just fly down for the day from Istanbul and fly back, I think it’s very doable. Now if that’s your decision I would recommend a few things.

First, I’d recommend doing this as a guided tour. This way you’ll have the guide pick you up and drop you off at the airport when you’re done. Driving in this part of Turkey isn’t difficult but if you were to get lost, you’d definitely be losing out on sightseeing time.

Second, take the earliest flight in and the last flight out. Remember, it’ll take about an hour each way to/from the airport. On an already limited time crunch, you’ll want to maximize the amount of time you’ll have at the site.

Third, don’t forget how long it’ll take for you to get to the airport in Istanbul. If you’re taking the first flight, it may be before rush hour but definitely check to make sure since it could add to a very long day.

Final Thoughts

Pamukkale is a great destination and really shouldn’t be missed if you’re coming to Turkey. Although the location is pretty remote, there is a quick and easy way to get to/from the airport via Hava bus. The fact that they’re willing to drop you off and pick you up like a taxi makes it that much better.

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