The 13 Very Best Things to Do in Bodrum, Turkey

Things to do in Bodrum, Turkey.
Things to do in Bodrum, Turkey

We love escaping London to the Mediterranean for a bit of guaranteed summer sunshine.

We usually head to Greece but decided to take a punt and visit Turkey instead, and thankfully, it didn’t disappoint.

Before we get stuck into the post, here’s a note.

If you are still deciding where to get accommodation and want to visit Bodrum for a more cultural experience, we recommend staying in Bodrum, not Gumbet.

However, if you are after a party holiday, Gumbet is the place to be. It is home to several large nightclubs: great if you love clubbing, not so great if you love a good night’s sleep!

Note that Gumbet is also on the other side of a hill from Bodrum.

Although it’s not far away, you’ll probably want to take a taxi between the two places if you are staying in Gumbet.

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Things to Do in Bodrum

Bodrum is a vibrant tourist hotspot in Turkey with plenty of things to do. Mostly famous among us Brits for its markets, Bodrum also offers idyllic beaches, lively nightlife, and a relaxing harbour.

And if you like a bit of culture, as we do, Bodrum isn’t short of some fascinating history to help you intertwine culture with lazy days at the beach.

Once the ancient city of Halicarnassus, Bodrum is home to the ruins of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the impressive Bodrum Castle, several museums, plus it has a few other things on offer, which you are about to discover.

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1 | Visit Bodrum Castle

Bodrum Castle is, without a doubt, the city’s most famous landmark.

It’s also a great place to visit, which is why it tops our list of things to do in Bodrum.

As the region has grown into a popular tourist destination and its medieval roots have slowly disappeared, the castle is a pleasant reminder of its past.

Bodrum Castle, also known as the Castle of St. Peter, is an imposing and unmissable fortification on a small peninsula along the Bodrum coastline.

Constructed by the Knights Hospitaller in the early 15th century, it’s a fine example of medieval military architecture.

Inside Bodrum Castle, you’ll find what you expect in a castle – sturdy walls, impressive towers, a chapel and even a moat. There’s also something extra inside the castle…

📍 Çarşı, Kale Cd., 48400 Bodrum/Muğla, Türkiye

💷 Paid entry

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2 | See Shipswrecks in the Museum of Underwater Archaeology

The Museum of Underwater Archaeology is dedicated to exploring and displaying underwater artefacts.

Although the museum is inside Bodrum Castle, you need to buy a combined ticket to get in; otherwise, you will have to pay extra to enter to see the Glass Wreck.

Established in 1964, the museum houses a collection of relics recovered from ancient shipwrecks in the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas.

Highlights include the Uluburun Shipwreck, one of the oldest and richest Bronze Age shipwrecks ever found, and the Glass Wreck from the Byzantine period.

📍 Çarşı, Kale Cd., 48400 Bodrum/Muğla, Türkiye

💷 Paid entry


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3 | Watch the Sunset from Bodrum Windmills

We love chasing a sunset, and, without a doubt, the best place to watch the sunset in Bodrum is from the windmills.

The Bodrum Windmills, located on a hill between Bodrum and Gumbet (the neighbouring town), are historic landmarks dating back to the 18th century.

Eight windmills exist in various states of disrepair, but most still have their distinctive white cylindrical structures, similar to those found on the famous Greek islands of Mykonos and Santorini.

In a bygone era, the windmills were vital to the local economy and used primarily for grinding grain.

Today, they offer an interesting, derelict landscape and incredible panoramic views of Bodrum, Gumbet, and the Aegean Sea.

These panoramic views make them a popular sunset spot, so grab a beer, head up the hill, and take some time to appreciate the world around you.

📍 Eskiçeşme Mh, Haremtan Sk. No:10, 48400 Bodrum/Muğla, Türkiye

💷 Free

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4 | Have Dinner on the Beach

Bodrum has endless places to eat, like any tourist destination, but a stretch in Bodrum sets the restaurants apart.

It’s the little beach between Bodrum Beach and Bodrum Castle, where you can eat at the water’s edge.

It’s a beautiful little spot with plenty of restaurant choices and an incredible view of the crystal clear sea, boats and castle.

We’re not foodies and rarely remember the food but we tend to remember the locations.
This place is up there with the best of them – one we won’t forget in a while.

There is no marker on Google Maps to identify exactly where this stretch of beach is, but we’ve dropped a pin for you in the address below.

📍 Kumbahçe, 48400 Bodrum/Muğla, Türkiye

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5 | Explore Bodrum Grand Bazaar and Old Town

There is more than one Bazaar in Bodrum.

This one is Bodrum Grand Bazaar, which snakes through Old Town and stretches from the harbour towards the beaches east of the town.

Here, you’ll find all sorts of stuff for sale, from textiles and rugs to Turkish Delight and jewellery.

You’ll also find stalls selling handcrafted goods and paintings, which are a welcome delight amongst all the shops selling counterfeit goods.

It’s a great place to wander, with lots to take in and a few nice alleys to explore.

You’ll also find tons of places to eat and drink, too.

It’s bustling, vibrant, and in one of the nicest and visually most interesting parts of Bodrum: Old Town.

Avoid Bodrum Grand Bazaar early in the morning when it’s not busy—wait until it gets a bit busier to get lost in the crowd and avoid being hassled by the shopkeepers!

📍 Çarşı, 6. Sk. 6, 48400 Bodrum/Muğla, Türkiye

💷 Free

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6 | Visit the Bodrum Bazaar Market

This is the other bazaar in Bodrum and is more typical of a market you’d expect in the UK, where the stalls are temporary and change depending on the day.

On Google Maps, it’s known as Bodrum Bazaar, but it is also known as Bodrum Old Market.

It’s more relaxed than Bodrum Grand Bazaar, and you’ll find all sorts of items here, from herbs and spices to souvenirs, counterfeit goods, and second-hand items and antiques.

📍 Çarşı, Külcü Sk. No:49, 48400, 48400 Bodrum/Muğla, Türkiye

💷 Free

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7 | Visit Kos

The wonderful Greek island of Kos is just 20 minutes away by catamaran. (We’ve been, so read our post about things to do in Kos!).

The catamaran takes you straight into Kos Town (we’ve also been there, so read our post about things to do in Kos Town!), where you can spend the day exploring its delights.

You can sit under the Tree of Hippocrates, explore the Ancient Agora or wander the old streets. But whatever you do, it will be an enjoyable day away from Bodrum.

The 20 minutes doesn’t account for Customs, so be prepared for some queuing.

Read our guide to the best things to do in Kos.

Read our guide to the best things to do in Kos Town.

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8 | Head on a Boat Trip

There are plenty of boat trips on offer in Bodrum other than to Kos.

You can reach other Greek Islands, too, but the main boat trips from Bodrum are daily ones, which usually visit four or five islands and include lunch.

The boats’ typical places are Black Island (hot springs and Meteor Bay), Aspat Bay, Bagla Bay, Aquarium Bay, Camel Beach, and Rabbit Island.

The trips usually last a full day, starting around 1030 in the morning and returning by late afternoon, around 1800.

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9 | Take an Excursion

Depending on how long you stay in Bodrum, you might want to leave town to explore the surrounding area.

There are many excursions, and the most popular ones are jeep safaris, quad and buggy safaris, the ancient city of Ephesus, the impressive white mineral spring terraces of Pamukkale, and scuba diving.

Others include the ruins of Knidos, the Dalyan River cruise, and visits to some traditional Turkish villages.

You’ll find kiosks dotted all over Bodrum offering excursions – just keep an eye out for one and ask which they offer.

10 | Head up to Bodrum Ancient Theatre

Bodrum Ancient Theatre (officially known as Theatre at Halicarnassus) sits on the hillside overlooking Bodrum.

It’s a bit of a walk, and you have to cross a crazy busy road, but it’s free to enter and worth the walk for the history and the views over Bodrum Bay.

Built during the Hellenistic period in the 4th century BC, the amphitheatre could originally seat over 10,000 spectators.

It features a typical ancient Greek architectural design with semi-circular stone seating and a stage area. It was used for theatrical performances, ceremonies, and gladiatorial contests.

It’s still used for some of those things today, minus the gladiator contests!

📍 Yeniköy, D330 No:175 D:169, 48440 Bodrum/Muğla, Türkiye

💷 Free

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11 | Explore Mausoleum at Halicarnassus Ruins

The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Built between 353 and 351 BCE, it was the tomb of Mausolus, the ruler of Caria, in what was Mausolus’s capital city at the time: Halicarnassus.

The mausoleum, designed by Greek architects and decorated with sculptures by renowned Greek artists, stood approximately 45 meters high.

Unfortunately, not much is left of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus because it was largely destroyed by earthquakes in the Middle Ages.

However, its ruins, including the foundation and some sculptural fragments, can still be seen.

It’s cheap to enter, peaceful, close to Bodrum Centre, and worth visiting.

📍 Tepecik, Turgut Reis Cd. No:93, 48440 Bodrum/Muğla, Türkiye

💷 Paid entry

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12 | Bodrum Maritime Museum

Bodrum Maritime Museum, located in the very heart of Bodrum (and also very easy to miss!), celebrates the region’s maritime heritage.

Opened in 2011, the museum features a collection of exhibits, including intricately built model ships, maritime artefacts, and historical imagery collected over the past 50 years or so.

The museum also showcases traditional fishing equipment and documents the evolution of boat-building in Bodrum.

A section is dedicated to the famous sponge diving industry, which was a significant part of Bodrum’s economy (hence the diver statues around the town).

Be aware – the museum only takes cash to enter!

📍 Çarşı, Nazım Hikmet Sk. No.4/1, 48400 Bodrum/Muğla, Türkiye

💷 Paid entry


13 | Visit Zeki Muren Arts Museum

The Zeki Müren Arts Museum is more for Turkish visitors because it’s dedicated entirely to the life and work of Zeki Müren, one of Turkey’s most beloved and influential musicians.

The museum is housed in the former residence of Müren, where he lived from 1980 until he died in 1996.

The Zeki Müren Arts Museum offers visitors a comprehensive look at his personal and professional life.

Exhibits include his stage costumes, personal belongings, awards, photographs, and artwork, reflecting his multifaceted talents as a singer, composer, poet, and actor.

📍 Kumbahçe, Zeki Müren Cd. No:11, 48400 Bodrum/Muğla, Türkiye

💷 Paid entry


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Things to do in Bodrum Map

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