What to see in Bodrum: our top 8 places

What to see in Bodrum and where to go – my top 12

Once the ancient city of Halicarnassus, Bodrum became a simple fishing village during the Ottoman era, but that all changed in the 1940s when tourism came here. Bodrum has many amazing evidence of different eras and rulers – from the famous Mausoleum, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, to the fantastically beautiful view from the ancient hill to the Castle of St. Peter, built by the Knights.

St. Peter’s Castle. Bodrum, Turkey. Learn prices for tours in Marmaris

Mills and Lookout

The first thing to see in Bodrum are the 18th-century stone windmills, as much a symbol of the resort as the white houses. It is written that they worked until the 1970s and are now abandoned. The mills themselves look nice, but not as interesting as the scenic views around them! From the hill we admired Bodrum, neighboring Gümbet, the fortress, the bay and the islands. It’s quite a popular place, but we were lucky to walk alone. I suggest meeting romantic sunsets here.

The mills are located on a hill between Bodrum and Gumbet. It is better to walk here by car, because the road goes uphill all the time. The coordinates are: 37.025627, 27.41464.

What to see in Bodrum

The mills of Bodrum are on the Gümbet hill. It is written that they were in operation until the 1970s.

Bodrum Vacation Reviews

The views from the observation deck are beautiful!

Mindos Gate

This is the restored remains of the only surviving gate of what was originally a 7-kilometer-long fortress wall around the ancient city, probably built by King Mausolus in the 4th century BC. At the front of the gate you can see the remains of the ditch in which many soldiers of Alexander the Great drowned in 334 BC when storming the city.

Mindos Gate. Bodrum, Turkey. See Bodrum tours prices

The gate had been destroyed for a long time, and only recently, in 1998, it was decided to restore it, and during the archaeological works around them, scientists found many tombs of the ancient Greek and Roman periods.

Galicarnassus Mausoleum

The legendary Halicarnassus Mausoleum, built for Mausolus by his wife Artemisia, lies in ruins due to an earthquake in the 13th century. We looked at the ruins from behind the fence because we came too late, but even that was enough. The once magnificent tomb, 45 meters high, is now just a pile of pathetic stones that the Hospitallers didn’t hesitate to use in building the castle. If it’s important for you to tick off the fact that you’ve been to the site of one of the Seven Wonders of the World, you can come.

Admission costs 17.5 liras. The mausoleum in high season is open from 9 to 19 hours. The coordinates are 37.037909, 27.42402.

What to see in Bodrum

Statue of Artemisia, the wife and sister of Mausolus (laws allowed it back then). It stands on the square in front of the Maritime Museum.

Museum of Underwater Archaeology

This museum is located in St. Peter’s Castle. It is worth seeing even if you are not interested in underwater archaeology. There is a unique collection of artifacts from the Bronze Age to the Middle Ages. You can see an incredible number of amphorae, bronze items and jewelry, household items, and the remains of various ships sunk in the waters of the Aegean Sea. Children will be incredibly fascinated to walk around the mock-up of an ancient ship that sank in the XI century in the Glass Hall, where ivory items, copper ingots, glass vessels and other interesting items, perfectly preserved on the sea bottom, are also exhibited.

Museum of Underwater Archaeology. Bodrum, Turkey. Learn prices for Bodrum tours

Viewpoint and local life

If you want to see local life, interesting stories, seals, unlined houses and quiet streets, go towards the mausoleum. And from there, go up to the observation deck and you’ll see the city as if it were in the palm of your hand! Here you can watch the sunset and watch the evening lights come on.

Viewpoint coordinates: 37.039518, 27.422598.

Bodrum Vacation Reviews

Bodrum seals that are fed by locals.

Bodrum Vacation Reviews

Non-tourist Bodrum.

Old Town

Beyond St. Peter’s Castle is Bodrum’s most interesting neighborhood. The narrow pedestrian streets here are lined with stone and the whitewashed houses are decorated with vines and flowers. Much of Bodrum has been modernized and rebuilt, so this is one of the few parts of town where you can still feel the fishing village as it used to be. It’s a charming place for an evening stroll and a photographer’s paradise. There are many cute boutiques and cafes located in the area if you need to sit and relax after your walk.

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Old Town. Bodrum, Turkey. Learn tour prices to Bodrum

Wild Beaches Aquarium

This is the place we liked the most in Bodrum. Be sure to go see it! It is still little known among tourists. The Aquarium is called a few wild beaches on the peninsula near Bitez, where the locals arrive or sail. An easy hike (3-5km depending on the beach), and you enjoy privacy, beauty, and clear water! Except the beaches are wild and there’s no infrastructure, and there’s also plenty of trash left over from picnics. The entrance is stony, so rubber slippers will be handy.

You can only get there on your own from Bodrum by cab or on foot. We came with our car. The coordinates of the beginning of the trail to the beaches are 37.022187, 27.383236.

What to see in Bodrum

The Aquarium is a place you can come to on foot or by boat. The clearest water and beautiful islets – isn’t it Greece?

Bodrum Holidays

A drone view of the islets near the Aquarium. It is cold to swim here in the middle of May!

  • Bodrum’s Best Beaches
  • Bodrum’s Best Restaurants

Antique Theatre

On the main road to Bodrum, an amphitheater was built on the side of a cliff in the 4th century BC. The theatre could hold up to 13000 spectators for gladiatorial fights. Bodrum’s ancient theater may be small by Roman standards, but it has been beautifully restored and the views from the upper tiers of the mountains and sea are stunning.

Antique Theater. Bodrum, Turkey. Learn prices for tours in Bodrum.

There are various concerts and festivals during the summer. Check out if there’s an event within its walls while you’re in Bodrum, because seeing a play at the theater is the best way to imagine how it was used in the Great Era of Halicarnassus.

Where to go from Bodrum

To see the surroundings of Bodrum, it is better to rent a car. We did just that: we walked around the city sights, and to travel around the country we rented a car on Myrentacar. Read about our experience of renting a car in Turkey.

By car from Bodrum go to see the picturesque ruins of ancient cities: Ephesus, Didim, Miletus and Evrom. The Temple of Apollo in Didim is the largest temple in Ionia, whose giant columns can shock you. Ephesus is the most beautiful and spectacular ruins that everyone should see. Miletus is a large and once glorious city, the jewel of Ionia, and Euromus is interesting with its well-preserved temple of Zeus. I talked about these and other places in my article about the 18 most beautiful ruins in Turkey.

In Pamukkale – a spa resort with 2200 years of history – from Bodrum you can go with a tour or on your own by car. Snow-white travertine, pleasant mineral water, beautiful ruins – you will love it at the resort!

Take a boat trip to Dalyan, Karaada and Orak islands – the Aegean Sea is best viewed from a ship, and it’s nice to swim in the clearest water. If you have Schengen, you can take a ferry to the islands of Kos and Rhodes.

Where to go from Bodrum

Here I am standing among the columns of Apollo’s temple in Didymos – appreciate the scale! The library of Celsus in Ephesus is the most beautiful building and a tourist attraction.

What excursions should I take?

On the main sights of the city of Bodrum you can walk yourself. Their huge advantage is the free space and walking distance from the city center.

An excellent choice would be to take a sea tour for the whole day along the coast of Turkey. You will have time to admire the scenery, sea cliffs and interesting villages of the eastern Mediterranean. You can snorkel and snorkel, or just sunbathe.

For young people will be relevant excursion to the club “Halikarnas” – a huge nightclub, styled as an amphitheater. It is the main symbol of Bodrum parties.

There will also be interesting tour-safari on jeeps. Under the guidance of an experienced driver you can spend the whole day driving around the hills of Bodrum.

The marina Aganlar Tersanesi

Answering the question of what is interesting in Bodrum, many tourists name the sea pier. This attraction is located near the Ottoman shipyard, if you walk along Marina Road. There are always dozens of yachts from all over the world.

At the Bodrum Marina you can always find an interesting excursion to the nearby islands or just go for a walk along the Turkish coast.

READ
Antalya in January 2022: weather, temperatures, whether to go

Experienced tourists advise arriving at the sight in the evening, when the lights are on and the moon and stars are reflected in the sea.

Bardakci Bay

One of the most beautiful beaches of Bodrum attracts vacationers with crystal clear water, white sand and picturesque views. Hotels, stores and clubs are right on the beach, and the main attractions are close at hand. The beach has sun beds and wooden platforms. The bathing area is separated by a special fence, because yachts enter the bay.

Ottoman Dockyard

Bodrum Shipyard

Another landmark structure located in the northwestern part of Bodrum harbor. The history of the shipyard dates back to 1775, when the Ottoman fleet was completely defeated by the Russians in the battle at Cesme in 1770. The shipyard was erected five years later with the aim of rebuilding the Turkish fleet. The lookout tower was built in 1794 to protect against pirate attacks and is still there today.

Now in the preserved building there is an art gallery, where local artists hold exhibitions of their works. Sometimes cultural and entertainment events are held here.

Address: 5 Neyzen Tevfik Street, Bodrum.

Saint Peter’s Castle

The main symbol of Bodrum was built in the first half of the 15th century. Inside you can see towers in the Gothic style, a collection of medieval amphorae and a chapel with a ship. During its existence the castle was a fortress, a military garrison and the city prison. Since 1961 there is a museum here. There is also an orchard and the Commander’s Tower has a great view over the sea.

Address: Çarşı, Kale Cd., 48400

Opening hours: Every day from 08:30 to 18:30.

Airport

You can get to Milas - Bodrum Airport by direct flights, as well as by flights with a connection in major Turkish cities such as Istanbul or Ankara.

Milas Bodrum Airport can be reached by direct flights as well as by connecting flights from major Turkish cities like Istanbul or Ankara. The main carrier is Turkish airlines: Turkish airline, Pegasus. Milas is located 40 km from the city. Busses go from the airport to the city. Travelling time is one hour and the cost is 8 Euros. One may also take a cab 40-45 minutes. Please book a transfer in advance or call for a car at your arrival. The services of the airport are used by about 30 airlines. There are currency exchange offices at the airport and it is best to exchange dollars for liras right away.

Ataturk Memorial

This landmark is located in the heart of Bodrum, on the waterfront of the city – not far from the port.

Ataturk was the first leader of the Republican People’s Party in Turkey and one of the most beloved political figures by Turks. Many justifiably consider him the father of the Turkish nation.

The Ataturk Memorial is one of the most important landmarks for the people of Bodrum. The majestic monument is always kept in good condition and protected from vandals.

Pedaza

The remnants of this ancient city are on top of a wooded hill 4 km from Bodrum. Among the main attractions is a bastion with minarets built in the Byzantine period. The upper part of its wall was decorated with stone and the entrance gate was completed with a colonnade. A cemetery with crypts was placed at the southern end. All this is known from the documents.

The address is Muğla, Cıvıkan MAh.

Kara Ada Black Island

A picturesque spot a few minutes from the center. Famous for its abundance of healing thermal springs and mud to help with skin diseases. In addition to public places on the island there are caves to enjoy privacy, a restaurant and a hotel. Despite its name, Kara Ada is immersed in pine forests and greenery. Walk inland and you will come across bays with comfortable sandy bottoms and clear waters.

Address: Muğla, 48440.

Bodrum and Antalya: what is the difference? Features of vacations

Bodrum differs from Antalya, first of all, the sea water here is a little cooler, but cleaner. The most comfortable temperature – in late summer and early autumn. Consider the comparative table to learn more about the differences:

Parameter Bodrum Antalya
Beach Holiday Season May – October The humidity is lower and the heat on the hottest days is calmer and more comfortable. End of April – end of November High humidity, so the exhausting heat is very felt.
Nature (plants) Olive orchards, pine forests, cypress groves, minimal palm trees. Palm groves, conifers are common only in mountainous hilly areas.
Average monthly seawater temperature May 20°C June 21°C July 23°C August 24°C September 25°C October 24°C May 20°C June 24°C July 26°C August 27°C September 26°C October 24°C
Beach areas, approaches to the sea There are considerably fewer hotels than in Antalya. The hotel complexes have a clear division into budget and luxury segments. Maximum diversity of housing for tourists
All inclusive (features of the system “all inclusive”). Not all hotel complexes have such system. Provision of round-the-clock service is rather an exception than a rule. The lion’s share of hotel bars and restaurants close by midnight. Almost all hotel complexes practice the All Inclusive system (also with prefix “ultra”). There are many hotels with round-the-clock service.
Service features Bright and loud show programs with animators are not common. Staff speaking Russian is available in four- and five-star hotels, in small numbers. There is a very active animator work in all directions. The staff speaks Russian very much.
Excursion trips The choice of excursion destinations is very wide and in Bodrum, and in Antalya. The only difference is the duration of the transfer. The only “but”: to Ephesus and the Greek islands excursions leave only from Bodrum.
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How much does it cost to go on vacation to Turkey. Our spending and prices 2022.

Conditions for full diving

Diving photos

Diving FAQ

Where in Bodrum can I learn to dive?

There are several diving clubs in the city, the most popular of which is Aquapro Dive. The training center teaches scuba diving to both beginners and experienced divers.

A great option for spending your free time in Bodrum is diving. The Turkish resort is famous for some dive sites. There are excellent diving clubs that offer group programs for tourists. For example, quality trips to the sea are organized by the Aquapro Dive Center. The club employs professional divers who organize excellent diving programs for guests.

15 Great Sights of Bodrum Worth Visiting with Detailed Descriptions and Photos

The first thing to see in Bodrum are the 18th-century stone windmills, as much a symbol of the resort as the white houses. It is written that they worked until the 1970s and are now abandoned. The mills themselves look nice, but not as interesting as the scenic views around them! From the hill we admired Bodrum, neighboring Gümbet, the fortress, the bay and the islands. It’s quite a popular place, but we were lucky to walk alone. I suggest meeting romantic sunsets here.

The mills are located on a hill between Bodrum and Gumbet. It is better to walk here by car, because the road goes uphill all the time. The coordinates are: 37.025627, 27.41464.

What to see in Bodrum

The mills of Bodrum are on the Gümbet hill. It is written that they were in operation until the 1970s.

Bodrum Vacation Reviews

The views from the observation deck are beautiful!

Saint Peter’s Castle

The main symbol of Bodrum was built in the first half of the 15th century. Inside you can see towers in the Gothic style, a collection of medieval amphorae and a chapel with a ship. During its existence the castle was a fortress, a military garrison and the city prison. Since 1961 there is a museum here. There is also an orchard and the Commander’s Tower has a great view over the sea.

Address: Çarşı, Kale Cd., 48400

Opening hours: Every day from 08:30 to 18:30.

Galicarnassus Mausoleum

The legendary Halicarnassus Mausoleum, built for Mausolus by his wife Artemisia, lies in ruins due to an earthquake in the 13th century. We looked at the ruins from behind the fence because we came too late, but even that was enough. The once magnificent tomb, 45 meters high, is now just a pile of pathetic stones that the Hospitallers didn’t hesitate to use in building the castle. If it’s important for you to tick off the fact that you’ve been to the site of one of the Seven Wonders of the World, you can come.

Admission costs 17.5 liras. The mausoleum in high season is open from 9 to 19 hours. The coordinates are 37.037909, 27.42402.

What to see in Bodrum

Statue of Artemisia, the wife and sister of Mausolus (laws allowed it back then). It stands on the square in front of the Maritime Museum.

The Amphitheater

Deciding to see Bodrum, visit the “coliseum”, which appeared in the 4th century BC. In former times, it was used for concerts and gladiatorial fights, which were watched by up to 13 thousand spectators simultaneously. Today musical events are organized here. The acoustics are excellent – even if you go up on the upper tiers you can hear clearly what is being said below.

Address: Yeniköy, 48400.

Working hours: Mon-Sun from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. From Monday to Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. 4.30 p.m.

Viewpoint and local life

If you want to see local life, interesting stories, seals, unlined houses and quiet streets, go towards the mausoleum. And from there, go up to the observation deck and you’ll see the city as if it were in the palm of your hand! Here you can watch the sunset and watch the evening lights come on.

READ
18 the most beautiful ruins of ancient cities in Turkey

Viewpoint coordinates: 37.039518, 27.422598.

Bodrum Vacation Reviews

Bodrum seals that are fed by locals.

Bodrum Vacation Reviews

Non-tourist Bodrum.

Mindos Gate

Another architectural monument located in the historic heart of Bodrum. At the time of Alexander the Great they were a fragment of the fortress wall. A busy road to Mindos passed through them and the conquerors tried to break through – archaeologists found mass graves. Earlier the gate was crowned by three large stone towers, but they were destroyed. You can see the moat that once surrounded the central part of the settlement.

Address: Buyuk Iskender Cad, Gumbet.

Wild Beaches Aquarium

This is the place we liked the most in Bodrum. Be sure to go see it! It is still little known among tourists. The Aquarium is called a few wild beaches on the peninsula near Bitez, where the locals arrive or sail. An easy hike (3-5km depending on the beach), and you enjoy privacy, beauty, and clear water! Except the beaches are wild and there’s no infrastructure, and there’s also plenty of trash left over from picnics. The entrance is stony, so rubber slippers will be handy.

You can only get there on your own from Bodrum by cab or on foot. We came with our car. The coordinates of the beginning of the trail to the beaches are 37.022187, 27.383236.

What to see in Bodrum

The Aquarium is a place you can come to on foot or by boat. The clearest water and beautiful islets – isn’t it Greece?

Bodrum Holidays

A drone view of the islets near the Aquarium. It is cold to swim here in the middle of May!

  • Bodrum’s Best Beaches
  • Bodrum’s Best Restaurants

Museum of Underwater Archaeology

Not sure where to go in Bodrum? Head to the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology, known all over the country. Here you can find artifacts from shipwrecks. Exhibits include ancient frigates, jewelry, Bronze Age items, gold jewelry, pewter and copper ingots. Also in the museum is the Hall of Glass Shards, dating back to the early Middle Ages. All of this mass was sent to be melted down, but it never made it to its destination.

Address: Çarşı Mh., 48400.

Opening hours: Every day from 08:30 to 18:15.

Where to go from Bodrum

To see the surroundings of Bodrum, it is better to rent a car. We did just that: we walked around the city sights, and to travel around the country we rented a car on Myrentacar. Read about our experience of renting a car in Turkey.

By car from Bodrum go to see the picturesque ruins of ancient cities: Ephesus, Didim, Miletus and Evrom. The Temple of Apollo in Didim is the largest temple in Ionia, whose giant columns can shock you. Ephesus is the most beautiful and spectacular ruins that everyone should see. Miletus is a large and once glorious city, the jewel of Ionia, and Euromus is interesting with its well-preserved temple of Zeus. I talked about these and other places in my article about the 18 most beautiful ruins in Turkey.

In Pamukkale – a spa resort with 2200 years of history – from Bodrum you can go with a tour or on your own by car. Snow-white travertine, pleasant mineral water, beautiful ruins – you will love it at the resort!

Take a boat trip to Dalyan, Karaada and Orak islands – the Aegean Sea is best viewed from a ship, and it’s nice to swim in the clearest water. If you have Schengen, you can take a ferry to the islands of Kos and Rhodes.

Where to go from Bodrum

Here I am standing among the columns of Apollo’s temple in Didymos – appreciate the scale! The library of Celsus in Ephesus is the most beautiful building and a tourist attraction.

What excursions should I take?

On the main sights of the city of Bodrum you can walk yourself. Their huge advantage is the free space and walking distance from the city center.

An excellent choice would be to take a sea tour for the whole day along the coast of Turkey. You will have time to admire the scenery, sea cliffs and interesting villages of the eastern Mediterranean. You can snorkel and snorkel, or just sunbathe.

For young people will be relevant excursion to the club “Halikarnas” – a huge nightclub, styled as an amphitheater. It is the main symbol of Bodrum parties.

There will also be interesting tour-safari on jeeps. Under the guidance of an experienced driver you can spend the whole day driving around the hills of Bodrum.

Kara Ada Black Island

A picturesque spot a few minutes from the center. Famous for its abundance of healing thermal springs and mud to help with skin diseases. In addition to public places on the island there are caves to enjoy privacy, a restaurant and a hotel. Despite its name, Kara Ada is immersed in pine forests and greenery. Walk inland and you will come across bays with comfortable sandy bottoms and clear waters.

READ
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Address: Muğla, 48440.

Old Town

The most interesting area of the resort begins just behind St. Peter’s Cathedral. This is one of the few places that still has the atmosphere of a fishing village. The narrow pedestrian streets of the Old Town are sheltered from the sun by vines and covered with white cobblestones. Many palm trees and exotic plants grow everywhere, and there are shops with souvenirs and cafeterias with authentic cuisine.

Location

The resort is located in the southwestern part of Turkey on the peninsula of the same name and is washed by the waters of the Aegean Sea. Bodrum has the status of a district center and is located in the province of Mugla.

It was built on the site where the ancient city of Halicarnassus once stood. Modern Bodrum is conditionally divided into two parts, the eastern and the western. The eastern part is ancient with narrow streets and two-story white houses. West – modern, with nightclubs, discos and luxury hotels. The resort is located near the cities of Fethiye (233 km), Izmir (236 km), Kusadasi (152 km), Marmaris (163 km). Detailed location of Bodrum on the map of Turkey can be found below.

You can reach the city by airplane. Milas Airport Bodrum receives both scheduled and charter flights. From Turkish cities such as: Istanbul, Izmir, Fethiye, Marmaris can be reached by bus. You can also travel by sea from the Greek islands, the nearest ones are Rhodes and Kos. You can also get there by boat from nearby Turkish towns: Didim and Marmaris.

Bardakci Bay

One of the most beautiful beaches of Bodrum attracts vacationers with crystal clear water, white sand and picturesque views. Hotels, stores and clubs are right on the beach, and the main attractions are close at hand. The beach has sun beds and wooden platforms. The bathing area is separated by a special fence, because yachts enter the bay.

Airport

You can get to Milas - Bodrum Airport by direct flights, as well as by flights with a connection in major Turkish cities such as Istanbul or Ankara.

Milas Bodrum Airport can be reached by direct flights as well as by connecting flights from major Turkish cities like Istanbul or Ankara. The main carrier is Turkish airlines: Turkish airline, Pegasus. Milas is located 40 km from the city. Busses go from the airport to the city. Travelling time is one hour and the cost is 8 Euros. One may also take a cab 40-45 minutes. Please book a transfer in advance or call for a car at your arrival. The services of the airport are used by about 30 airlines. There are currency exchange offices at the airport and it is best to exchange dollars for liras right away.

Pedaza

The remnants of this ancient city are on top of a wooded hill 4 km from Bodrum. Among the main attractions is a bastion with minarets built in the Byzantine period. The upper part of its wall was decorated with stone and the entrance gate was completed with a colonnade. A cemetery with crypts was placed at the southern end. All this is known from the documents.

The address is Muğla, Cıvıkan MAh.

Gündogan

Gundogan is a very quiet town, located 25 km from Bodrum in a picturesque bay. It does not possess the brilliance of its neighbors, but every year it is visited by more and more tourists and its infrastructure is constantly growing. The surrounding beaches, woodlands, are some of the cleanest of the local resorts.

Here is an ancient monastery, which can be accessed by steps that are cut right into the rock. You can look at the rock tombs, windmills, the tower of the Ottoman Empire . It all adds up to a calm sea and quiet winds, and amazing views from local cafes or beaches. You can get here from Bodrum not only with a tour, but also by shuttle bus, which runs at 15-minute intervals, from 8:00 until late evening. The cost is about 6 liras.

Gündogan

Zeki Murena Art Museum

What to see in Bodrum for art lovers? The Museum of Turkish Elvis Presley! Zeki Murena was a nationally famous actor, singer and composer who won nationwide love. The museum is located in the house where he once lived. Among its exhibits are paintings, stage costumes, photographs, albums, equipment and even jewelry. In front of the entrance to the building is the performer’s favorite car.

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