Bodrum is Turkey’s Turquoise Coast at its most vibrant. It is a holiday destination du jour, with a marina full of luxury yachts; a handful of ancient attractions; and a town filled with instagrammable, original, whitewashed houses.
If you don2t know exactly where to hang out in Bodrum, here is a list of top-rated things to do and to see.
- Castle of St. Peter
Bodrum Castle is surrounded by the sea on 3 sides, it was built between 1406-1523, in the form of a square with 5 towers in the castle: Italian Tower, German Tower, English Tower, and Serpent Tower, the tallest of which is the French tower with a height of 47.50 meters. In addition, there are 14 cisterns inside the castle…
During the reign of the Ottoman sultan Süleyman the Magnificent, the castle passed into Turkish hands and a mosque was built inside. Today, many of the vast halls inside the castle display the exhibits of Bodrum’s Museum of Underwater Archaeology.
Read more about Bodrum castle here: https://www.inhousebodrum.com/bodrum-castle/
- Boat Trips & Water Sports
Bodrum is all about the sea, but not only about a lazy holiday of sun, sea, and sand. Boat trips are the most popular way to get out on the water, with hundreds of tours, ranging from a couple of hours to multi-day yacht trips down the coast. Many resorts and beach also offer kayaking, fishing, and jet-skiing as well.
Bodrum harbor is home to plenty of yachts ready to whisk you out onto the Aegean Sea for a boat trip. There are both half- and full-day trips on offer that promise hours of sunbathing on board, the rocky coast of the Bodrum Peninsula, and the tiny islets offshore with lots of swimming stops. Including a chance to swim, snorkel, and sunbathe, as well as explore the island of Kara Ada. Reserving a yacht with crew for the day privately is also an option.
- Sunbathe on the Bodrum Peninsula Beaches
Outside of Bodrum town, the Bodrum Peninsula is home to several beaches, which get crammed full of sunbathers soaking up the heat during the summer months. The towns of Ortakent, Bitez, and Turgetreis all have good beaches on offer, and plenty more. During the height of summer, this is one of Turkey’s most popular places to be and going to the beach is the top thing to do.
This pile of ancient marble and rubble was once one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The Mausoleum of Mausolus was built in Halicarnassus (Bodrum’s ancient name) by the architect Pytheos as the final resting place of King Mausolus (376-353 BC). When finished, the impressive towering structure measured 46 meters high and was decorated with magnificent friezes by the most celebrated Greek sculptors of the day.
Despite damage by earthquakes over the centuries, it was only finally destroyed by the Knights Hospitallers, who used its stones to build the Castle of St. Peter. The modern day site, in a peaceful garden setting, is worthy of a look if only just to say you’ve seen one of the seven ancient wonders. There’s also a helpful scale model of the original mausoleum on site.
- Myndos Gate
The Myndos gate is the last remaining chunk of King Mausolus’ once sturdy fortress walls, which wrapped around the ancient city for seven kilometers. There are plenty of small ruins nearby, including a scattering of tombs and mosaic fragments left in situ, as well as the sparse remnants of a 4th-century BC moat.
- Bodrum Theater
Bodrum’s ancient theater may be small by Roman standards but it has been beautifully restored, and the views from the upper tiers, out towards the mountains, are superb. In its heyday during the 4th century, it would have held 13,000 spectators. If you’re here in summer, Bodrum uses the theater for a program of events and concerts.
- Marina and Shipyard
It’s the crystal blue Mediterranean that calls most visitors to Bodrum, and yachting is big business here. The marina is a sailor’s and sea-lover’s paradise, crammed with bobbing yachts of all shapes and sizes. There are dozens of options to get out onto the water, with excursion vessels offering day trips (or longer) around the coast, visiting islands and hidden coves for sunbathing and swimming. If you follow the marina road farther west, you’ll come to the Ottoman shipyard, which has some interesting tombstones and great marina views.
- Explore the Old Town
The narrow pedestrian alleyways here are lined with vine-draped, whitewashed, and stone-cut cottages that look like they fell off a postcard. Much of Bodrum has been modernized, so this is one of the few parts of town where you can still get a feel for the old fishing village. It’s an incredibly charming place, and heaven for photographers. There are plenty of cute boutiques and cafés in this area.
- Shop at the Bazaar
If you’re looking for some retail therapy, Bodrum has it all. You may surprisingly end up buying everything in Bodrum’s artisan market. Knick-knacks, clothes, and sandals are very popular here… In fact, Bodrum is famous for its excellent quality leather sandals, and the beautiful shell and jewelry stands that are particularly eye-catching.