Trip Index (what we have published so far):
Bodrum is scenic city at the tip of South-western Turkey – that comes to life with the main summer season.
As with many places in Western Turkey you can see the Greek islands right from the beach of Turkey. It is that close!
Bodrum (and the neighboring) Marmaris are also the start of the so called ‘Blue Voyage’ that takes small sail boats along the coast of the Mediterranean (all the way to Antalya or Alanya). The idea of the Blue Voyage, made famous by Cevat Sekir, who gave the town the image of a sailing capital which it now is.
The waters around Bodrum are usually calm (with the exception of the afternoon winds) and very clear. There is juts one thing missing – sandy beaches. Those are just a few around the coast.
Table of Contents
Things to do in Bodrum – Sightseeing
Bodrum is the site of the ancient city of Halikarnassus – however almost all remains have been destroyed.
Bodrum is a small town that only gets really crowded in summer. The easterns side has a small beach with pebble rocks with most of the entertainment and food options immediately behind it. West of the castle is the more calm and more posh district with a beautiful marina stretching into another bay.
The main entertainment districts of Bodrum only get going around 11PM – it’s amazing how crowded the main city walkways are at that time.
Bodrum Castle/Castle of St Peter
This castle was built in the 15th century and boats a perplexing array of walkways and beautiful views. It also doubles as museum for underwater archeology with lots of interesting ship wrecks. The whole castle is a bit like the ‘Tardis’ – it looks much smaller from the outside than it is from the inside. Brings some time to enjoy the marvelous views.
Things to do in Bodrum – Food and Drinks
Given the sheer amount of tourist traps and pushy restaurant owners it can be daunting to eat out in Bodrum.
OX Wine and Burger Bar
This great burger bar is right in the middle of the tourist traps along the beach walk. But beware this places serves high quality burger that would compete well in any major American city.
The wait staff is very friendly and speaks good English – but rarities in Turkey.
Arka Pizza is set in an alley behind the main tourist zone. It’s close enough but feels a world away. The service is awesome and the prices too. The pizzas are as good as it gets in Bodrum.
Of the crowded (but scenic) Bodrum beach bars – Cafe del Mar is probably the best of the bunch. The beach chairs and lounge options are free by cityordinance – so just grab a seat and just order if you are thirsty.
Sadly the local Starbucks seems to make the best espresso in town. There isn’t much of a competition for that title. The Starbucks has (like other establishments next door) a wonderful view from the terrace towards the bay.
This bakery – immediately adjacent to the Starbucks has some seriously delicious Turkish and International desserts. Try!
Things to do in Bodrum – Day Trips
There are a number of tour operators offering tours to the blue waters of the Aegean from Bodrum. We asked around in the marina area and settled for a tour that did cost TRY 40 for 8 hours on the water with 5 stops and lunch included. Since this is less than $15 we felt this is too good to be true.
However the tour was fantastic – plenty of sunshine – crystal clear water and yummy lunch. Yes there were other boats in the same bays but it wasn’t that crazy. For some reason every boat tried to outdo each other with blaring Turkish techno music. That completely felt out of place given the serenity of this place but our captain would not tune it down besides our suggestions to that.
The surroundings are so beautiful it might be a good idea to take several of these (similar) day trips just to enjoy more of Bodrum at the water – this is after what it has become so famous of and it soo cheap to do!
Things to do in Bodrum – Where to stay
Sadly (or not) there are few chain hotels and deal to take advantage in the area. There are a number of (pricey) resorts and budget hotels in the city of course. There is the beautiful Hilton Bodrum Turkbuku Resort but this is far from teh city and you will need a car.
I opted for an Airbnb rental which was just a 5 minutes walk away from the strip and proved to be great value.