The first thing that comes to people’s mind when thinking of things to do in Bodrum is visiting Bodrum Castle. Quite rightly, as it is – besides a prominent landmark – a beautiful and exciting place to visit. But the truth is that there is more to the city than just its Castle. Join us for a little trip around town and discover the top things to do in Bodrum besides visiting Bodrum Castle.
Have a stroll alongside the marina
Bodrum’s marina is extended, luxurious and a feast for the eye if you only even remotely like boats. You see yachts of all sorts and sizes, but the reality is that the bigger ones rule. Admire the craftsmanship that must go into building the many wooden gullets that are so typical for the region, and plainly enjoy the flair of the place.
Check out Myndos Gate
Nowadays, Myndos Gate isn’t a real gate anymore. Still, the ruins of the gate are the only still standing evidence of the 7km long wall around Halicarnassus built by King Mausolus in the 4th century BC. They are an intriguing piece of historical testimony to discover when in Bodrum. If you’re exploring Myndos Gate, make sure to walk down towards the hotel pool to check out the ancient graves. Only in Turkey will you be standing next to a swimming pool looking at century-old graves accompanied by a DJ-set.
Pop by at the theatre
Bodrum’s ancient theatre is a perfect vantage point to admire the city and sea below. Its disadvantage is the location right next to the rather busy and noisy main road. On a positive note, it makes it easy to conveniently park your car right next to it for a quick visit and some snapshots.
Have a peek at a Wonder of the Ancient World: Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Apart from the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, none of these Ancient World Wonders have been preserved. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus was a monument and the tomb of Mausolus. The rectangular masterpiece had epic dimensions. It was 45m high, on a base structure of approximately 40m by 30m. Archaeologists agree that the Mausoleum was likely destroyed by an earthquake between the 11th and the 15th century AD. Nowadays, there is not much left of its former grandeur as the stones were reused in local buildings.
Get lost in Bodrum Old Town
The modern allure of Bodrum makes room for a more bohemian atmosphere in the narrow streets of old town. This is the place where you find the bazaar, some cozy little bars, and restaurants, and a feel of how things were when the city was still a quiet little fishermen’s village. The sea is never far away, and the vibe is relaxed at all times of the day.
Spend some time at the beach
Yes, there is a beach! Bodrum beach is a mix of sandy beach and tables and chairs from the restaurants along the promenade. It doesn’t keep people from having all kinds of beach fun though, and it is fair to say that this beach is appreciated in winter just as much as it is in the summertime. It’s all part of the joys of the city.
Don’t forget Bodrum Castle
We mustn’t leave Bodrum Castle out of this list. It has the views, the history, the museum, and a general feel of importance. The castle is undergoing restorations and is due to reopen by the summer of 2019. If you are going before that time, you can still enjoy this magnificent structure from its outside walls. Inside, there are glorious views from the battlements. The castle is also home to the Museum of Underwater Archaeology, fascinating for both adults and children alike.
A bonus: Visit Trafo
Trafo is a café-restaurant owned by the Bodrum Council. The ultra-modern venue lies in the shadow of Bodrum Castle and features extensive waterside terraces and a gorgeous exhibition space in an old stone house. We never feature places to eat or drink, because what’s fine this month, can be terrible the next. But we were willing to make an exception for Trafo because this truly is a hidden gem. Despite its central location in the old town, many people don’t know it exists. And in all the years it has been there, there was a constant quality, probably because it isn’t privately owned. At Trafo Bodrum, you’ll get a prime location, at locals’ prices. Don’t forget to post a picture of your happy face on our Facebook Wall if you make it there. 🙂
And to make sure you know how to find it, here are the directions:
- Go to the square in front of the old mosque near Bodrum Castle
- You are at the entrance of the bazaar
- Enter the bazaar and immediately turn right
- You will see a sign for Trafo
- Go up the little road
- Behind the corner on your right-hand side, behind the stone house, lies Trafo
Climb up to the windmills
Okay, we confess, technically speaking the windmills are not part of Bodrum center. In fact, it is quite a long walk to get there. Still, if you are looking for a great spot away from the hustle and bustle, this is it. Beware! The wind may blow away your sorrows, but also any other thing you forgot to hold onto. If you are keen on exploring the rest of the peninsula, check out this blog post where we take you to every resort on the Bodrum peninsula, showing you that picking the right resort can make or break you Bodrum holiday.
Practical information for your Bodrum trip
Bodrum is about an hour by car from the nearest airport: Bodrum-Milas. There are connections with Istanbul airports if required. You’ll find cheap flight options here. Or you can use the search widget on the side to quickly find the most affordable and best flights available. Don’t forget to make the most of our map search function for more Turkey travel inspiration. Getting around on the peninsula is convenient as there are regular dolmuş services to all resorts. Coming from another city, you can take a long distance bus to Bodrum Otogar. You will find links to help you book your bus trip or organize a flight on this page where we’ve bundled all Turkey travel resources on one page. It contains the links to the official visa application website, FastTrack through Istanbul airport links and plenty more.
Looking for a place to stay? There’s an abundance of lovely pensions, boutique hotels, and luxury hotels in Bodrum center. We went off to explore the rest of the peninsula from a more quiet spot and stayed at ‘A Bodrum Dream in Nature.’
For a quick tour of Bodrum, have a look at this time-lapse video from Turkey Home.
If you want to add an unusual experience to your time in Bodrum, a boat trip, a cooking class, or a romantic dinner are just a few of your options. Or why not take the ferry across to Datça and get a taste of Knidos or walk up to lovely Pedasa?