I left a review last year for Pamukkale/Hierapolis following a day trip which involved seven hours travelling for a one hour visit to the site. It's on here somewhere if you can find it but I'm pleased to say that this year we made sure we got to see it all properly by staying in the area for 3 days and it was well worth it. We actually spent two whole days up at Pamukkale/Hierapolis and it still wasn't really long enough - there is so much to see and it's a huge site. I'm really pleased we did it and it's what all the excellent reviews say it is and more, so I won't bother to reiterate them, what I would like to do though is to correct some misimpressions that appear to have arisen.
Firstly, I've seen complaints that you can only paddle in the man-made pools and that these are set out in an unnatural row. This is actually true but there is a very good reason for it. We learned, while staying in the area, that back in the 60s/70s five hotels were built up at the top of Pamukkale, the hotel owners even going so far as to knock down some of the ruins to make space for their hotels, building an asphalt road across the white travertines and diverting the water supply to fill their own swimming pools. This resulted in the natural travertines becoming empty and discoloured. UNESCO took over the site in (I believe) the 90s, demolished the hotels and built artificial pools over the asphalt road (which is why they are in a straight line). People are only allowed to bathe in the artificial pools to protect the natural pools which are still recovering. The flow of water is controlled to fill some of the natural pools at some times and others at other times, which aids their recovery and is why some of the pools are dry at some times.
Secondly, it isn't true that in order to get anything to eat and drink you have to pay to visit the ancient pool - I suspect people have gotten this impression because the ticket desk is at the entrance to the ancient pool but, in fact, you only have to pay (30TL) if you want to swim in the pool itself - it's free to enter the baths, get something to eat and drink and wander around and take photos and the food places are accessible from outside the baths. The lockers are available for a refundable deposit of 10TL.
Thirdly, I saw some guy who seemed to think that the bubbles were caused by the air reacting with the water - in fact the bubbles are gas bubbling up through the rocks from below and if you go to the narrow channel to the back of the pool the bubbles will settle all over your body. I would say that the water and mineral content is very therapeutic - several years back my husband had a leg ulcer which, although healed, had left a large red, scaly scar. We made two visits to the baths, staying about an hour or two each time. A couple of days later the improvement to the skin of my husband's leg is definitely noticeable. I wonder what it would have looked like had we spent a week there and bathed every day!
Last thing, visit the pool after 4.30 pm when the day trippers have departed or before they arrive at around 11.00 am - especially on a weekday. We shared the pool with only a handful of other people on both of our visits and if we ever go back, one thing we will be sure to do is to visit the ancient pool again.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.