Whether it is history, leisure, culture or cuisine that you are after, Bodrum has the lot. Located on the stunning Turkish coastline bordering the Aegean Sea, beautiful beaches and turquoise waters line the city, making it the perfect place to relax in the sun while enjoying some of its fantastic sights.
Home to one of the ancient wonders of the world, there are lots of interesting historic sites to visit, as well as some great museums. With so much to see and do, Bodrum is a brilliant destination to visit and you will certainly enjoy all that this wonderful Turkish city has to offer.
10. Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
Once one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, all that remains of the Mausoleum are its ruins; over the centuries, it was destroyed by a number of earthquakes. The tomb was built for King Mausolus and apparently reached up to 46 meters in height. Its fantastic friezes led to it being celebrated for its beauty and impressive architecture.
In addition to the earthquakes, the Knights of St John carted away many of the old blocks to help build Bodrum Castle. While the ruins may not look as spectacular as the mausoleum did back in its heyday, there is a scale model replica to help you imagine what it looked like.
Its stunning aesthetics were so renowned that the design of numerous buildings and monuments around the world was based on this famed mausoleum. Occupying a special place in history, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus is well worth a visit when you’re in Bodrum.
9. Boat Trip
One of the most popular things to do for tourists to Bodrum is to take a boat trip around the lovely coves, bays, and beaches that line Turkey’s coastline. There are a number of great tour providers in the city and the cruises are a great way to see more of the coast while enjoying life aboard the boat.
On the trips, you inevitably stop off to snorkel in pristine turquoise waters, visit the hot springs on Black Island and get to gaze upon the beauty of the Turkish shoreline. A great day out, a boat trip around the waters surrounding Bodrum is a fantastic experience that you won’t forget any time soon.
8. Yahsi Beach
With its long sandy beach, enticing water and a plethora of bars, restaurants, and shops, Yahsi has something for everyone to enjoy. Relaxing on the beach is a lovely way to spend the day, although it can get quite crowded and is geared predominantly towards tourists.
Conveniently located right next to a whole host of different food outlets, you can be enjoying a meal one minute and be back in the warm water of the Aegean the next.
7. Bardakci Beach
One of the most beautiful beaches in Bodrum, Bardakci lies not too far from the city center and is the perfect place if you’re looking to relax and take in the sun after a busy morning spent sightseeing.
Set in a lovely little cove, palm trees line the sand and there’s a great view out over the pristine waters. As it is a resort beach, Bardakci is quite highly developed. As such, there are more than enough tourist facilities to keep you occupied. You can try your hand at water sports, relax in a spa or simply enjoy a drink while lounging on the beach.
6. Windmills in Bodrum
Perched atop a hill overlooking Bodrum, Gumbet and even the Greek island of Kos, the old windmills are in various states of repair, with some of them well preserved and others looking much the worse for wear.
Gleaming in the sun, their whitewashed walls stand out against the blue skies above them and the sun-bleached grasses surrounding them. A wonderfully secluded spot, the windmills themselves may not be much to look at but the view from up on the hillside is breathtaking and is well worth the climb.
5. Zeki Muren Arts Museum
Dedicated to the musician and actor after whom the arts museum is named, this wonderful institution is the last place where Zeki Muren lived just before his death. A famous Turkish singer, the museum offers an interesting insight into his personal life and fabulous career, and fans of his will love this fascinating collection.
Memorabilia, merchandise and more takes you through the journey of his life, elucidating how he became to be such a renowned artist, famed throughout the country.
4. Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology
© Evren Kalinbacak / Dreamstime
Located inside Bodrum Castle, this wonderful museum is a captivating place to visit. It is the largest museum in the world dedicated to underwater archaeology. Perusing its ancient vases, jewelry and extensive collection of glassware, is as interesting as it is educational and offers up an amazing glimpse at some of the finds that have been discovered beneath the waves.
Featuring a huge range of discoveries from ancient shipwrecks, the museum is great to wander around. It also exhibits a tomb of a Carian princess as well as a delightful old chapel which houses findings from the Mycenaean Age, which occurred from the 14th to 12th centuries BC!
3. Bitez Beach
Located around six kilometers from Bodrum, the fantastic Bitez Beach is well worth a visit when you are in the city if you are looking for a relaxing spot. With lovely clear water bordering its long stretch of sand, reclining in a hammock and watching the world go by is simply divine; olive and citrus groves form a peaceful backdrop to the curve of the bay.
More active beachgoers can enjoy the water sports that are on offer, with windsurfing being particularly popular. Bitez Village isn’t far away if you’re looking for a change of scenery.
2. Bodrum Amphitheater
Dating all the way back to the 4th century BC, this lovely amphitheater was built during Roman times and – while it may be quite small – it is definitely worth checking out. Very well preserved, the steps and seats of the amphitheater are built into the hillside.
From the upper levels you have some great views out over the mountains and sea before you. With a capacity of around 13,000, during summertime, the amphitheater hosts a number of great concerts and festivals as well as some local cultural events.
1. Bodrum Castle
Looking out imperiously over the waters surrounding it, Bodrum Castle is the most popular tourist attraction in Bodrum – and with good reason. Built between 1402 and 1437 by the Knights of St John, its domineering walls are remarkably well-preserved, considering their age.
Its fantastic turrets and towers only add to the castle’s magnificent appearance. A couple of them are named the French and English Tower; this indicates the international nature of the Knights’ order as Catholic factions came together to fight the Ottomans.
Vast halls lie inside the castle walls and it is also home to the brilliant Museum of Underwater Archaeology that houses so many interesting artifacts from around the local area. A captivating place to visit, Bodrum Castle is a must-see when visiting the city.
Best Time to Visit Bodrum
As it is known for its beaches, vast numbers head to Bodrum in summer to sunbathe, swim or enjoy watersports in the Aegean. Many stay in its nearby resorts or take day trips to the gorgeous Greek island of Kos.
In July and August, temperatures average a sweltering 32 to 33°C (89 to 91°F) with the prices and crowds at their highest. While this is a bit hot for sightseeing, it is ideal for sunbathing and swimming, provided you put suncream on! The Bodrum International Ballet Festival is also held in its castle and at the ancient theatre of Halicarnassus.
If you want to avoid the worst of the heat and crowded beaches, then both April to June and September and October are better bets. Average temperatures of 20 to 30°C (68 to 86°F) mean you can comfortably sunbathe and sightsee though the water might still be a bit chilly in spring. Prices are also lower while its acclaimed Jazz Festival takes place in September.
After this, fewer visitors arrive as it is too cold to sunbathe or swim. As the weather is still warmer than most of Europe, some do head here though for the Christmas holidays.