Bodrum Travel Guide – 15 Best Things To Do & See

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Post author Nicky

Written by our local expert Nicky

Nicky, originally from the UK, is now a local in Turkey. She moved to Marmaris, Türkiye for love 12 years ago and is now your Turkey travel planner.

Here is your guide to Bodrum, Turkey. It has everything you need to know and all the Bodrum travel advice that you need. We’ve got a list of the best things to do in Bodrum, top Bodrum sites, and tips for where to stay in this amazing city.

Turkey Travel Blog_Guide To Bodrum Turkey

Türkiye is full of fantastic beach resorts to visit, but some stand out above the rest. There’s a reason why so many famous people are seen floating by in Bodrum Bay aboard an imposing luxury yacht.

It’s because Bodrum is a little bit upmarket, and as such, it’s a sophisticated place to stay for a few days.

Is Bodrum cheap? Not as much as other places, but it’s definitely a fantastic place to go.

Things To Know About Bodrum Turkey

Bodrum street view in Turkey

Bodrum sits on the southwestern coast of Türkiye, lapped by the waters of the Aegean Sea. It’s a town that is authentic yet upmarket, and you’ll find many rich people wandering around. Of course, it’s also a bustling tourist spot every high season in Bodrum.

Bodrum’s early beginnings were very modest, especially compared to how it is now. These days, you’ll see a massive marina with costly yachts inside it, luxury stores, and white-washed houses along cobbled streets. In the beginning, Bodrum was a fishing village, but in the 1960s, it began to grow. Many professional people from Istanbul bought summer houses in Bodrum. Hence, it gained the name ‘Little Istanbul.’

If you want to go somewhere laid back and beachy, yet you want an extra side order of glamour and sophistication, Bodrum is a good choice. The likes of Ellen, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, George Clooney, and billionaire Russians have been spotted on massive superyachts around the Bodrum coastline.

Best Time To Visit Bodrum, Turkey

It’s going to come as no surprise to learn that Türkiye is hot in the summer months, so if you’re not a fan of soaring temperatures (sometimes over 40 degrees), then July and August aren’t for you. These are the busiest times, and you’ll find very little space around the crowded streets.

However, the shoulder months of May, June, the end of September, and October are beautiful times to visit. You’ll still find very warm temperatures at this time, but the oppressive heat has gone, and it may occasionally rain – although not that often. It’s undoubtedly still beach weather until the middle of October.

Things To Do In Bodrum Peninsula

Sailing Turkish Coast - Gumbet, Bodrum, Turkey

There is plenty to see and do in and around Bodrum. You can choose to enjoy your time chilling out and doing little at all, or you can explore to your heart’s content. Here are a few things to see and do.

1. Enjoy A Boat Trip

The single best way to enjoy the sun and the beautiful coastline is to take a boat trip. The sparkling waters are ideal for swimming, and if you want to lay back on a boat and chill out, there are plenty of boat trip options.

2. Castle Of St Peter

The commanding Castle of St Peter sits with the perfect view over Bodrum town, and visiting it will give you the most amazing views over the bay. The castle was built in 1402 as a defense against invaders. As with most castles, it passed hands several times throughout history, and the Ottomans even built a large mosque inside during their reign.

Today, the castle houses the Museum of Underwater Archaeology.

3. Museum Of Underwater Archaeology

Inside the castle, you will find the Museum of Underwater Archaeology, one of Bodrum’s absolute must-sees. Inside, you’ll find all manner of artifacts related to the underwater world and the many shipwrecks that have been found off the Aegean coastline. However, this isn’t your regular museum; it’s easy to follow and learn, thanks to the multimedia displays and interactive elements.

Be sure to check out the Serce Limani Glass Wreck Room, where you’ll find a Byzantine ship that sunk around the peninsula in 1026.

4. Enjoy Bodrum’s Beaches

Bodrum town doesn’t have a sandy beach; however, just outside the main town, you will find some fantastic beaches that are ideal for kicking back and relaxing. Be sure to head to Turgutreis, Gumbet, and Bitez for some of the most idyllic spots – they all have free and private beaches. There are plenty of tourist facilities around, such as bars and local restaurants.

5. Enjoy Some Watersports

odrum Or Antalya – Antalya Vs Bodrum - Sunset in BodrumYou’ll find plenty of water sports on the main beaches if that floats your boat! You can parasail at the main beaches, and there is a lot of kayaking and paddleboarding going on. Speedboat rides are also popular.

6. Bodrum Theater

It’s not all beach time! Bodrum has plenty of historical spots to check out, and the theater is one of them. At the peak of its popularity, there would be 13,000 people inside, but these days, the theatre is used for regular events and concerts – see if there is anything on while you’re there. Even if not, it’s a great spot to check out anyway, and the views are nothing short of breathtaking.

7. Bodrum Old Town

Just behind Bodrum Castle, you’ll find the Old Town, with its maze of winding, cobbled streets. It’s a great idea to spend some time exploring around here, stopping at small cafes for tea or coffee, and then heading off to do some shopping at the many souvenir shops. There are also markets where you can purchase all sorts of homemade goods, including leather shoes and jewelry.

8. Bodrum Marina

Bodrum Marina is a really picturesque area that is ideal for romantic walks and sunset views. The boats here are seriously big and extremely expensive, and you’ll find upmarket cafes and restaurants lining the marina where you can stop and have a drink or a meal. This is a particularly great place for seafood.

9. Mausoleum Of Halicarnassus

The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus used to be one of the wonders of the world, and it dates back to around 350 BC. While a lot of the original building was damaged in an earthquake, you can still visit the ruins and check out the views. You head up the hill from the marina and walk for around 15 minutes.

10. Bodrum Amphitheater

You can quickly check out the mausoleum and the amphitheater during the same visit, as they’re virtually next to one another. The amphitheater isn’t as severely damaged as the mausoleum, and it really is a window to the past, dating back to around the 6th century BC. At the height of its usage, it would have held around 10,000 people!

11. Sarnic Beach Club

There are some fantastic beach clubs around Bodrum, and some are quite exclusive. Sarnic Beach Club is somewhere in between. Here, you pay a set amount of money as you enter, and your food and drink are all included. You have free access to the beach, sun-loungers, parasols, entertainment, and the water springs and cushioned areas. You’ll have to pay extra for watersports and diving, but it’s a great place to spend the day.

12. Bodrum’s White Windmills

On the short road between Bodrum and Gumbet, you’ll find a series of white stone windmills on the hill. While it might not look like much, the view from that hill is seriously impressive, and these windmills are historic in their own right, having been there for more than 300 years.

13. Zai Bodrum

This is a cute chill-out spot that’s ideal for taking in the view, a little rest and relaxation, and perhaps an excellent spot for a day’s work. This is a park area with swings, cushions, seating, views, and a fantastic restaurant on-site. It’s shaded by trees, so it’s a good spot during the summer, and be sure to check out the food because it’s really delicious.

14. A Boat Trip To Black Island (Karaada Island)

No, the island isn’t black; it’s actually very green, but it’s a fantastic spot to visit on a boat trip. A lot of people come here for the mineral springs as they’re reputed to be suitable for certain health issues, but most simply swim and dive around the crystal clear waters.

15. Take A Day Trip From Bodrum


Vladimir at Ephesus - Hercules Gate

You can visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ephesus in around three hours by bus or car. This is one of the most amazing places to visit in the whole of Turkey, and you’ll definitely need to set off early so you get the most time there. However, do be aware that during the summer months, there is no shade in this huge area, and it can get very crowded.

Ephesus is an ancient city dating back to around the 10th century BC, and the ruins are exceptionally well preserved. It really is like walking through the past.

Greek Island Of Kos, Greece

Ancient ruins on Kos - Things to do on Kos Island

You can easily visit the beautiful island of Kos for the day via ferry, which is only 20 minutes away. You can easily confuse people on your social media by checking in at a restaurant in Kos; they’ll wonder why you’re in Greece and not Turkey!

You can book this trip via an excursion desk in Bodrum itself, or you can book your tickets directly from the port. If you go for the excursion option, you’ll be picked up from your hotel and dropped off again. If you buy your tickets from the port, you’ll need to make your own way there, but it’s only 10 minutes away by taxi.

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Places To Eat In Bodrum – Restaurants In Bodrum

What To Eat In Turkey - Turkish Food - Lahmacun

Traditional Turkish food is like nothing else on the planet – it’s genuinely delicious. The great thing about Bodrum is that it’s a beautiful blend of both local and international spots. You can find anything you like there, but if you want to try one of the most lauded-after restaurants, here are a couple you should add to your visit list.

Sultan Bahce Restaurant

Set in a beautiful garden, this restaurant is the perfect spot for al-fresco dining with a sophisticated edge. The menu is extensive, but every dish is perfect. From seafood to kebabs and pizza, you’ll find everything you might fancy here, but be sure to try the freshly caught fish – it’s cooked on a BBQ, and it’s the most delicious you’ll find around Bodrum.

Antik Akdeniz

A very tourist-friendly Turkish restaurant, this is the ideal spot to try traditional food while in Bodrum. Pide and lahmacun here are some of the best you’ll find anywhere else, and there is a huge menu of grilled meat kebabs to choose from. There is also an extensive children’s menu so that nobody will go hungry.


How To Get To Bodrum

You can get to Bodrum in four ways: by bus, by car, by plane, or by ferry.


If you fly into Istanbul or you happen to be in another part of Turkey, you can take a long-distance coach with either Pamukkale, Metro, or Kamil Koc. You can check prices and times online, but Turkish buses are very comfortable and offer entertainment, Wi-Fi, snacks, and refreshments.


Bodrum has a small international airport of its own, called Milas-Bodrum Airport, and it’s located around 30km just outside the city itself. You can find shuttle buses and taxis that will take you directly to your hotel.


If you’re somewhere else in Turkey and you want to drive yourself, it’s very easy to hire a car. You need your full driving license, passport, and any visa paper applicable to you. You’ll also need a credit or debit card to leave details behind.

Roads to Bodrum are very clear and easy to follow, and Bodrum is easy to drive in, but parking in the city itself can be an issue. Make sure that the hotel you choose has parking before booking.


If you’re on the island of Kos, Greece, you can take a ferry over to Bodrum in the summer months. You can do this either as a day trip or to stay a little longer. The journey is only 20 minutes long, and you can purchase tickets directly from the port.

Where To Stay In Bodrum Türkiye

Of course, you need somewhere to rest your head, and in that case, let’s take a look at three choices – one luxury, one mid-range, and one on budget. And, of course, browse through our extensive Bodrum Hotel guide, too!

Luxury Choice – Raddison Collection Hotel

Turkey Travel Blog_Guide To Bodrum_Radisson Collection Hotel
Photo Credit: Radisson Collection Hotel

Raddison is always a top choice, but this particular branch is undoubtedly one of the best. Located a stone’s throw away from Aspat Beach, you’ll find numerous on-site facilities, including a bar, fitness center, top restaurant, parking, and seriously comfortable surroundings.

Rooms are large and decorated in a modern manner. Each room has a TV and private bathroom, tea and coffee-making facilities, a minibar, and high-quality Wi-Fi. Views from each balcony are breathtaking, and the level of service is like no other.

Turkey Travel Blog_Guide To Bodrum_Radisson Collection Hotel
Photo Credit: Radisson Collection Hotel


Mid-Range Choice – Asmin Hotel Bodrum

Turkey Travel Blog_Guide To Bodrum_Asmin Hotel 2
Photo Credit: Asmin Hotel

Asmin Hotel is an excellent mid-choice option, and it still gives you plenty of comfort and luxury during your stay for a lower price tag. Each room has a large bed, comfortable décor, air conditioning, stunning views, and a flat-screen TV.

There is an outdoor swimming pool, perfect for cooling during the summer months, and plenty of on-site facilities, such as laundry, excursion desk, and pool bar.

Turkey Travel Blog_Guide To Bodrum_Asmin Hotel
Photo Credit: Asmin Hotel


Budget Choice – Manzara Hotel

Turkey Travel Blog_Guide To Bodrum_Manzara Hotel
Photo Credit: Manzara Hotel

Just a stone’s throw from the beach, this budget hotel is an excellent option if you want to save money but still enjoy an excellent base for your stay. There are two outdoor swimming pools and a large sun terrace where you can soak up the sun. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout.

Rooms are large and include air conditioning, flat-screen TV, private bathroom, and minibar. There is a restaurant on-site and a large bar where you can enjoy an evening drink or two.

Turkey Travel Blog_Guide To Bodrum_Manzara Hotel 2
Photo Credit: Manzara Hotel

Wrapping Up Your Trip To Bodrum

Bodrum is a must-visit in Turkey, bursting with attractions for every traveler. Whether you’re diving into history, lounging by the sea, or exploring the vibrant streets, there’s something here for you. 

Comments (5)

  1. I like your blog but dearly wish you would be more careful about promoting activities that are abusive to animals. The camels are abused and live in terrible conditions. They are tethered day and night and only allowed to walk free with the heavy cargo of tourists on their back. There is widespread camel abuse all over the world so please do your research and stop promoting animal cruelty.

  2. i like your article so much and it will help me on my trip to Bodrum but I have two questions I booked Airbnb instead o a hotel and my question is safe to stay in a house instead of a hotel? second question if you can help me and tell me where to rent a good car from good places? Thank you

    1. When considering Airbnb for your trip to Bodrum, it’s crucial to take precautions to ensure a safe experience. Before booking, make sure to read the reviews left by previous guests, especially those mentioning cleanliness, safety, and host responsiveness. Consider booking with Superhosts, as they have a track record of excellent service. Also, look for hosts with verified profiles, which indicates they have undergone additional verification steps by Airbnb. Communicate with the host to address any safety concerns or questions about the property and neighborhood. Check if the accommodation has safety features like smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. Always use Airbnb’s secure platform for booking and payments. Choose accommodations in well-reviewed and safe neighborhoods.

      For renting a car in Bodrum, use these guys

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